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Sonnet XXXVIII.

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



FROM THE NOVEL OF EMMELINE.
WHEN welcome slumber sets my spirit free,
Forth to fictitious happiness it flies,
And where Elysian bowers of bliss arise,
I seem, my Emmeline--to meet with thee!
Ah! Fancy then, dissolving human ties,
Gives me the wishes of my soul to see;
Tears of fond pity fill thy soften'd eyes:
In heavenly harmony--our hearts agree.
Alas! these joys are mine in dreams alone,
When cruel Reason abdicates her throne!
Her harsh return condemns me to complain
Through life unpitied, unrelieved, unknown.
And as the dear delusions leave my brain,
She bids the truth recur--with aggravated pain.

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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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