Posts tagged ‘sonnet’

Monday, 25 April 2022

Sonnet by Robert Malise Bowyer Nichols

Now when I feel the hand of Death draw near
While yet no laurel stands upon my brow,
I ask what can sustain me, what is dear
Was dear once and remains so even now?
Fame, Wisdom, Love, the high inheritance
Of noble words and actions can no more
Beacon my spirit being changed of chance
To the bright rags on which the crazed set store.

Grown child again I turn my thoughts—too late—
Back to the quiet house upon the hill
Where shine—alas! more than sea-separate—
Those human hearts I loved, and harder still
Eyes too oft grieved by th’ importunate
And crooked workings of my hazard will.

FRANCE, 1915.

From: Nichols, Robert, Invocation: War Poems and Others, 1915, Elkin Mathews: London, p. 24.

Date: 1915

By: Robert Malise Bowyer Nichols (1893-1944)

Thursday, 7 October 2021

Sonnet by Aaron Novick

Listen: you can hear
the silent thunder gathering
before the clouds unload the loud, rude ring
that stupefies the ear.

Not yet insensate, here
in the slurred rain, you feel each thing
that cannot be becoming, thickening
from nothing, drawing near.

What world is this, that streams
with solid fog? What empty glut
of all just as it seems?

And, when real thunder fills
the sky, and these things vanish—what?
It is your mind that stills.


Date: 2020

By: Aaron Novick (19??- )

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Sonnet by Elizabeth Deborah Slade Brockman

Cool wind coming from the southern sea,
Filling white sails that homeward turn again,
And flit away like pale clouds o’er the main,
We hail you as you pass so fresh and free.

Warming or chilling ever as you flee,
Speed on soft breeze above the liquid plain,
Blow sweetest, freshest, blithest, when you gain
Fair England’s generous soil of Liberty.

Bear greeting from her children far away,
Who bless her in the new homes where they stay,
Turning with true hearts to the land they love.

Come with the song of birds, the breath of flowers,
Dance with the shadows under hazel bowers,
And fill with whispered music every grove.

From: Kinsella, John and Ryan, Tracy (eds.), The Fremantle Press Anthology of Western Australia Poetry, 2017, Fremantle Press: Fremantle, p. 44.

Date: c1860

By: Elizabeth Deborah Slade Brockman (1837-1915)

Monday, 15 July 2019

Sonnet [I Love the First Shiver of Winter] by Alfred Louis Charles de Musset-Pathay

I love the first shiver of winter! That day
When the stubble resists the hunter’s foot,
When magpies settle on fields fragrant with hay,
And deep in the old chateau, the hearth is lit.

That’s the city time. I remember last year,
I came back and saw the good Louvre and its dome,
Paris and its smoke—that whole realm so dear.
(I can still hear the postilions shouting, “We’re home!”)

I loved the gray weather, the strollers, the Seine
Under a thousand lanterns, sovereign!
I’d see winter, and you, my love, you!

Madame, I’d steep my soul in your glances,
But did I even realize the chances
That soon your heart would change for me too?

From: Rogow, Zack, “Three Poems by Alfred de Musset” in Transference, Volume 6, Issue 1, Article 15, 2008, p. 66.

Date: 1829 (original in French), 2008 (translation in English)

By: Alfred Louis Charles de Musset-Pathay (1810-1857)

Translated by: Zack Rogow (1952- )

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Sonnet by Attipate Krishnaswami Ramanujan

Time moves in and out of me
a stream of sound, a breeze,
an electric current that seeks
the ground, liquids that transpire

through my veins, stems and leaves
toward the skies to make fog and mist
around the trees. Mornings brown
into evenings before I turn around

in the day. Postage stamps, words
of unwritten letters complete with commas,
misplaced leases and passports, excuses
and blame swirl through the night

and take me far away from home
as time moves in and out of me.


Dater: 1994 (published)

By: Attipate Krishnaswami Ramanujan (1929-1993)

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Sonnet by Arthur Henry Hallam

A melancholy thought had laid me low;
A thought of self-desertion, and the death
Of feelings wont with my heart’s blood to flow,
And feed the inner soul with purest breath.
The idle busy star of daily life,
Base passions, haughty doubts, and selfish fears,
Have withered up my being in a strife
Unkind, and dried the source of human tears.
One evening I went forth, and stood alone
With Nature: moon there was not, nor the light
Of any star in heaven: yet from the sight
Of that dim nightfall better hope hath grown
Upon my spirit, and from those cedars high
Solemnly changeless, as the very sky.

Sept, 1830.

From: Hallam, Arthur Henry, The Poems of Arthur Henry Hallam, Together with his Essay on the Lyrical Poems of Alfred Tennyson, 1893, Elkin Mathews & John Lane: London, p. 69.

Date: 1830

By: Arthur Henry Hallam (1811-1833)

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Sonnet (The Song of Birds) by Matteo Maria Boiardo

The song of birds which leaps from leaf to leaf,
The scented breeze that runs from flower to flower,
The shining dew that glitters in each bower,
Rejoice our sight and banish thoughts of grief.
It is because She holds all Nature in fief
Whose will is that the world shall live Love’s hour;
Sweet scents and songs – the Spring’s own magic power—
Each stream invade, each wind, each emerald sheaf.
Where’er She walks, She by her gaze enstarred
Brings warmth before due season in her arms;
Love’s kindled in her look and falls in showers;
At her sweet smile or at her sweet regard
The grass grows green and colours paint the flowers,
The sky is clear, the sea is locked in calms.

From: Lind, L. R. (ed.), Lyric Poetry of the Italian Renaissance: An Anthology with Verse Translations, 1964, Yale University Press: New Haven and London, p. 215.

Date: 15th century (original in Italian); 1951 (translation in English)

By: Matteo Maria Boiardo (1441-1494)

Translated by: Irwin Peter Russell (1921-2003)

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Sonnet by Elbridge Jefferson Cutler

The flag is folded; for the battle’s din,
The cry of trumpet and the blaze of gun,
The thunderous rush of squadrons closing in,
The stifled groan, the triumph-shout, are done.

And Peace is come, with passionless, mild eyes,—
A mother’s eyes, a mother’s tenderness;
Calmed by her touch the weary nation lies,
And feels her dewy breath upon his face.

But Time cannot avail, with all his years,
Some chasms in our riven hearts to fill,
Whence misty memories rise to break in tears,
And ghosts of buried hopes that haunt us still,

Yet bring a kind of joy,—the solemn trust
That form is more than unsubstantial dust.

From: Cutler, Elbridge Jefferson, War Poems, 1867, Little, Brown, and Company: Boston, pp. 46-47.

Date: 1867

By: Elbridge Jefferson Cutler (1831-1870)

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Sonnet by Mary Matilda Betham

Urge me no more! nor think, because I seem
Tame and unsorrowirig in the world’s rude strife,
That anguish and resentment have not life
Within the heart that ye so quiet deem:
In this forc’d stillness only, I sustain
My thought and feeling, wearied out with pain!
Floating as ’twere upon some wild abyss
Whence, silent Patience, bending o’er the brink,
Would rescue them with strong and steady hand,
And join again, by that connecting link,
Which now is broken:—O, respect her care!
Respect her in this fearful self-command!
No moment teems with greater woe than this,
Should she but pause, or falter in despair!

From: Betham, Matilda, Poems, 1808, J. Hatchard: London, p. 48.

Date: 1808

By: Mary Matilda Betham (1776-1852)

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Sonnet by Robert Bland

Tu in bei facondi detti
Sciogli la lingua de’ Fedeli tuoi, &c.*

         Aminta: A. 2, S. 3, Coro. [Torquato Tasso]

Love, the great master of true eloquence,
Disdains the tribute of a vulgar tongue:
Cold are the words and vain the affected song
Of him whose boasted passion is pretence.
The favoured few that to his court belong
With noblest gifts the mighty God presents;
Their powerful language chains the admiring sense,
And their warm words in torrents pour along.
And oft (oh wondrous excellence of Love!)
Oft trembling vows, and sighs, and accents broken,
With far more force th’ enraptur’d hearer move,
Than smoothes the phrase with courtliest action spoken.
E’en silence oft has found the power to prove
Both words and prayers, when she is true love’s token.

*You let loose the tongue of your Votaries in beautiful and eloquent Discourses (translation by P. B. Du-Bois, 1726)

From: Bland, Robert, Translations Chiefly from the Greek Anthology, with Tales and Miscellaneous Poems, 1806, Richard Phillips: London, p. 231.

Date: 1806

By: Robert Bland (?1779-1825)