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Lacock Nunnery

William Lisle Bowles 1762 (King's Sutton) – 1850



I stood upon the stone where ELA lay,
The widowed founder of these ancient walls,
Where fancy still on meek devotion calls,
Marking the ivied arch, and turret gray--
For her soul's rest--eternal rest--to pray;
Where visionary nuns yet seem to tread,
A pale dim troop, the cloisters of the dead,
Though twice three hundred years have flown away!
But when, with silent step and pensive mien,
In weeds, as mourning for her sisters gone,
The mistress of this lone monastic scene
Came; and I heard her voice's tender tone,
I said, Though centuries have rolled between,
One gentle, beauteous nun is left, on earth, alone.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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William Lisle Bowles

William Lisle Bowles was an English poet and critic In 1783 he won the chancellors prize for Latin verse In 1789 he published in a small quarto volume Fourteen Sonnets which were received with extraordinary favour not only by the general public but by such men as Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Wordsworth The Sonnets even in form were a revival a return to an older and purer poetic style and by their grace of expression melodious versification tender tone of feeling and vivid appreciation of the life and beauty of nature stood out in strong contrast to the elaborated commonplaces which at that time formed the bulk of English poetry more…

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