1789 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Charlotte Smith

William Hamilton Reid, "Sonnet on his Exception from the Litchfield Society. To Ethelinde" Morning Post and Daily Advertiser (14 December 1789).



Sweet plaintive plainer of ARUNA'S vale,
The hooting tenant of the sapless tree,
When to the pale moon telling heavy tale,
Is not so musically lorn as thee.
Thus much I own — then why refuse a swain,
Who like a crocodile with thee can weep!
Although unequal to thy matchless strain!
What if my readers don't so soundly sleep?
The maid of LITCHFIELD and the doughty 'Squire,
My heav'n-born gift in black and white confest,
Then in such 'semblage none should e'er aspire,
E'en in a dream to differ from the rest!
Nor louder snore — nor step ere other take,
Towards our own proper goal — Oblivion's tideless lake.