A Collection of English Poems, 1660-1800

By Ronald S. Crane | Go to book overview

WILLIAM LISLE BOWLES

(1762-1789-1850)

Sonnets1

Sonnet V

EVENING, as slow thy placid shades descend,
Veiling with gentlest hush the landscape still,
The lonely battlement, and farthest hill And wood, I think of those that have no friend,
Who now, perhaps, by melancholy led, 5 From the broad blaze of day, where pleasure flaunts,
Retiring, wander 'mid thy lonely haunts
Unseen; and watch the tints that o'er thy bed
Hang lovely, to their pensive fancy's eye
Presenting fairy vales, where the tir'd mind 10 Might rest, beyond the murmurs of mankind,
Nor hear the hourly moans of misery!
Ah! beauteous views, that Hope's fair gleams the while
Should smile like you, and perish as they smile!


Sonnet IX

At Dover Cliffs, July 20, 1787

ON THESE white cliffs, that calm above the flood,
Uplift their shadowing heads, and, at their feet,
Scarce hear the surge that has for ages beat,
Sure many a lonely wand'rer has stood;
And, whilst the lifted murmur met his ear, 5 And o'er the distant billows the still Eve
Sail'd slow, has thought of all his heart must leave
To-morrow; of the friends he lov'd most dear;
Of social scenes, from which he wept to part:
But if, like me, he knew how fruitless all 10 The thoughts that would full fain the past recall,
Soon would he quell the risings of his heart,
And brave the wild winds and unhearing tide--
The World his country, and his GOD his guide.

____________________
1
Published in 1789. Text of ninth edition, 1805.

-1098-

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