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Sonnet: O Poverty! Though From Thy Haggard Eye

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

O, Poverty! though from thy haggard eye,
Thy cheerless mien, of every charm bereft,
Thy brow that Hope's last traces long have left,
Vain Fortune's feeble sons with terror fly;
I love thy solitary haunts to seek.
For Pity, reckless of her own distress;
And Patience, in her pall of wretchedness,
That turns to the bleak storm her faded cheek;
And Piety, that never told her wrong;
And meek Content, whose griefs no more rebel;
And Genius, warbling sweet her saddest song;
And Sorrow, listening to a lost friend's knell,
Long banished from the world's insulting throng;
With thee, and thy unfriended offspring, dwell.

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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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