1791
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sonnet on viewing an ancient Fortress, Armory, &c.

Gentleman's Magazine 61 (August 1791) 759.

William Hamilton Reid


A sonnet in the manner of Thomas Warton. William Hamilton Reid, originally a laborer, perhaps by 1791 a journeyman silversmith, was a frequent contributor of periodical verse and a weather vane of popular taste.



These princely towers, majestic in decline,
To some may give a retrospective eye
To the proud times of antient chivalry,
Or when the goblets foam'd with gen'rous wine.
Targe, helm, or battle-axe, th' aspiring mind
May with a noon-tide fervency inspire,
And feats of those long since to dust consign'd
In souls congenial wake a kindred fire;
But who from life is wean'd by long distress,
Pleasures more calm and soothing shall beguile;
He most the vestiges of Time shall bless,—
For that he'll think the hands that rais'd this pile
Sorrow and anxious cares no more await,
Beneath the wail of woe, above the reach of fate.

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