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Short poem

William Lisle Bowles (1762-1850)


              1Whose was that gentle voice, that, whispering sweet,
              2    Promised methought long days of bliss sincere!
              3    Soothing it stole on my deluded ear,
              4Most like soft music, that might sometimes cheat
              5Thoughts dark and drooping! 'Twas the voice of Hope.
              6    Of love and social scenes, it seemed to speak,
              7    Of truth, of friendship, of affection meek;
              8That, oh! poor friend, might to life's downward slope
              9Lead us in peace, and bless our latest hours.
            10    Ah me! the prospect saddened as she sung;
            11    Loud on my startled ear the death-bell rung;
            12Chill darkness wrapt the pleasurable bowers,
            13Whilst Horror, pointing to yon breathless clay,
            14"No peace be thine," exclaimed, "away, away!"

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: William Lisle Bowles, Sonnets, written chiefly on picturesque spots during a tour, 2nd edn. (Bath: R. Cruttwell, 1789). D-10 2523 Fisher Rare Book Library
First publication date: 1789
RPO poem editor: J. D. Robins
RP edition: 2RP.2.18; RPO 1996-2000.
Recent editing: 2:2002/1/16

Form: sonnet
Rhyme: abbacddceffegg

Other poems by William Lisle Bowles