1830 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Milton

George Wallingford Clarke, "On Reading Milton's Sonnets" The Atlantic Souvenir [Philadelphia] 5 (1830) 51.



Thou, who didst love Italia's clime and lyre,
Whose hands have smit the epic chords sublime,
With power unequal'd in all modern time,
And only match'd by Homer's heavenly fire!
When from thy dazzling visions I retire,
Thy paradisal lay and "hours of prime,"
'Tis sweet to listen to the varying rhyme
Thy sonnets, rich in melody, respire.
They on the ear in sounds according rise,
Like the wild harp's, that whispering airs arouse;
While rapture owns the genius in their sighs
That swell'd the song of man and Eden bright—
The breeze, that gently shakes the fruit-tree boughs,
Is but the tempest, soften'd from its might.