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Sonnet LXXXII. To The Shade Of Burns

Charlotte Smith 1749 (London) – 1806 (Tilford, Surrey)



MUTE is thy wild harp, now, O bard sublime!
Who, amid Scotia's mountain solitude,
Great Nature taught to 'build the lofty rhyme,'
And even beneath the daily pressure, rude,
Of labouring poverty, thy generous blood,
Fired with the love of freedom--Not subdued
Wert thou by thy low fortune: but a time
Like this we live in, when the abject chime
Of echoing parasite is best approved,
Was not for thee--Indignantly is fled
Thy noble spirit; and no longer moved
By all the ills o'er which thine heart has bled,
Associate, worthy of the illustrious dead,
Enjoys with them 'the liberty it loved.'

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Charlotte Smith

Charlotte Turner Smith was an English Romantic poet and novelist. She initiated a revival of the English sonnet, helped establish the conventions of Gothic fiction, and wrote political novels of sensibility. A successful writer, she published ten novels, three books of poetry, four children's books, and other assorted works over the course of her career. She saw herself as a poet first and foremost, poetry at that period being considered the most exalted form of literature. Scholars now credit her with transforming the sonnet into an expression of woeful sentiment. more…

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