1818
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sonnet to the Evening Star.

St. James's Chronicle and London Evening Post (29 October 1818).

C.


A Horatian-descriptive ode in two ottava-rima Spenserians, signed "C." The poet strikes a note of Byronic melancholy: "Guiled by thy light, of old, full many a theme | Of too ambitious import filled my brain; | When beauty smiled; perchance, 'twas but a dream; | Yet better was it far than waking pain." "C" was a longtime contributor to the St. James's Chronicle, whose "Poet's Corner" in the nineteenth century had become a shadow of its former self.



Star of descending eve! hail to thy beam
Whose magic lustre gilds the ruby west;
Thou greet'st my vision like some half-trac'd dream
With which the pillow of my youth was blest.
Be thou at once my omen and my theme,
Now that each sterner passion is at rest,
And all that did o'ercloud me is afar,
And life's horizon glows like that beneath thy car.

Guiled by thy light, of old, full many a theme
Of too ambitious import filled my brain;
When beauty smiled; perchance, 'twas but a dream;
Yet better was it far than waking pain:
Quenching of mind and heart are worse I deem,
And struggling to escape renewed in vain:
Like thine, bright star, when I beheld thee last,
Edging a thunder cloud rent by the fitful blast.

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