1828 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Hazlitt

Versificator, "Sonnet addressed to W. Hazlitt, the Historian of Napoleon" The Examiner (4 May 1828) 298.



Deep in the ground lay Gold, a God unborn!
Subtle and bright was he, and seeming mild;
Yet grew he like the storm when skies are wild,
And seas fly maddening upwards at the morn.
Deep, too, 'midst thoughts and things (yet how forlorn,
And pressed by power, and jeered by fools) lay Truth,
A creature calm as age, as fair as youth,
And wiser than the world with all its scorn.
Historian! thou hast earned that wide world's debt.
Thanks from the brave, the wise, the good, are thine;
Whose grasp has freed Truth from her iron net,
And shewn her as she is — sincere, divine.
— What more reward wouldst have for thy rich line?
What further can king-crowned success beget?