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Sonnet XXXIV: Charm'd by Thy Suffrage

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



Charm'd by thy suffrage, shall I yet aspire
(All inauspicious as my fate appears,
By troubles darken'd, that encrease with years,)
To guide the crayon, or to touch the lyre?
Ah me!---the sister Muses still require
A spirit free from all intrusive fears,
Nor will they deign to wipe away the tears
Of vain regret, that dim their sacred fire.
But when thy envied sanction crowns my lays,
A ray of pleasure lights my languid mind,
For well I know the value of thy praise;
And to how few, the flattering meed confin'd,
That thou,---their highly favour'd brows to bind,
Wilt weave green myrtle, and unfading bays!

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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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