X. On Dover Cliffs.

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



ON these white cliffs, that calm above the flood
Rear their o'er-shadowing heads, and at their feet
Scarce hear the surge that has for ages beat,
Sure many a lonely wanderer has stood;
And, whilst the lifted murmur met his ear,
And o'er the distant billows the still Eve
Sail'd slow, has thought of all his heart must leave
To-morrow -- of the friends he lov'd most dear, --
Of social scenes, from which he wept to part: --
But if, like me, he knew how fruitless all
The thoughts, that would full fain the past recall,
Soon would he quell the risings of his heart,
And brave the wild winds and unhearing tide,
The World his country, and his God his guide.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 14, 2023

38 sec read
226

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABBCDEEFGHHGII
Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 663
Words 125
Stanzas 1
Stanza Lengths 14

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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