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Sonnet XXXVII.

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



The poet's fancy takes from Flora's realm
Her buds and leaves to dress fictitious powers,
With the green olive shades Minerva's helm,
And give to Beauty's queen, the queen of flowers.
But what gay blossoms of luxuriant spring,
With rose, mimosa, amaranth entwined,
Shall fabled Sylphs and fairy people bring,
As a just emblem of the lovely mind?
In vain the mimic pencil tries to blend
The glowing dyes that dress the flowery race,
Scented and colour'd by a hand divine!
Ah! not less vainly would the Muse pretend,
On her weak lyre, to sing the native grace
And native goodness of a soul like thine!

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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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