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Sonnet: At Ostend, July 22nd 1787
by William Lisle Bowles

English poet and critic. His first work, Fourteen Sonnets (1789), was a considerable influence on the early romantics, especially Coleridge, and revived the sonnet form. Other works include The Spirit of Discovery (1804) and The Grave of the Last Saxon (1822). His edition of Alexander Pope's works (1806) brought about a pamphlet war between him and Byron for his claim that Pope's attention to "artificial" life rather than nature placed him at the leadership of only the second rank of poets.


Sonnet: At Ostend, July 22nd 1787
by William Lisle Bowles

How sweet the tuneful bells' responsive peal!
As when, at opening morn, the fragrant breeze
Breathes on the trembling sense of wan disease,
So piercing to my heart their force I feel!
And hark! with lessening cadence now they fall,
And now, along the white and level tide,
They fling their melancholy music wide,
Bidding me many a tender thought recall
Of summer-days, and those delightful years
When by my native streams, in life's fair prime,
The mournful magic of their mingling chime
First waked my wond'ring childhood into tears; -
But seeming now, when all those days are o'er,
The sounds of joy, once heard, and heard no more.


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