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Short poem

James Kenneth Stephen (1859-1892)

A Sonnet

              1Two voices are there: one is of the deep;
              2It learns the storm-cloud's thunderous melody,
              3Now roars, now murmurs with the changing sea,
              4Now bird-like pipes, now closes soft in sleep:
              5And one is of an old half-witted sheep
              6Which bleats articulate monotony,
              7And indicates that two and one are three,
              8That grass is green, lakes damp, and mountains steep:
              9And, Wordsworth, both are thine: at certain times
            10Forth from the heart of thy melodious rhymes,
            11The form and pressure of high thoughts will burst:
            12At other times -- good Lord! I'd rather be
            13Quite unacquainted with the A.B.C.
            14Than write such hopeless rubbish as thy worst.


9] William Wordsworth (1770-1850).

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: J. K. Stephen, Lapsus Calami (Cambridge: Macmillan and Bowes, 1891), p. 83. PR 5473 S4L3 1891 Robarts Library.
First publication date: June 1891
Publication date note: Granta (June 1891)
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1998.
Recent editing: 2:2002/2/14

Form: sonnet
Rhyme: abbaabbaccdbbd

Other poems by James Kenneth Stephen