1788 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Philip Sidney

Charlotte Smith, "Sonnet written at Penshurst, in Autumn, 1788" Elegiac Sonnets (1789) 46.



Ye towers sublime, deserted now and drear,
Ye woods, deep sighing to the hollow blast,
The Musing Wanderer loves to linger near,
While History points to all your glories past:
And startling from their haunts the timid deer,
To trace the walks obscur'd by matted fern,
Which Waller's soothing lyre were wont to hear,
But where now clamours the discordant heron!
The spoiling hand of Time may overturn
These lofty battlements, and quite deface
The fading canvas, whence we love to learn
Sydney's keen look, and Sacharissa's grace;
But fame and beauty still defy decay,
Sav'd by th' historic page — the poet's tender lay!