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Sonnet: July 18th 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: July 18th 1787
by William Lisle Bowles

O Time! who know'st a lenient hand to lay
Softest on sorrow's wound, and slowly thence
(Lulling to sad repose the weary sense)
The faint pang stealest unperceived away;
On thee I rest my only hope at last,
And think, when thou hast dried the bitter tear
That flows in vain o'er all my soul held dear,
I may look back on every sorrow past,
And meet life's peaceful evening with a smile -
As some lone bird, at day's departing hour,
Sings in the sunbeam, of the transient shower
Forgetful, though its wings are wet the while: -
Yet ah! how much must that poor heart endure,
Which hopes from thee, and thee alone, a cure!


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