William Lisle Bowles

Southampton Water

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 Wordswo…






Smooth went our boat upon the summer seas,
Leaving, for so it seemed, the world behind,
Its sounds of mingled uproar: we, reclined
Upon the sunny deck, heard but the breeze
That o'er us whispering passed, or idly played
With the lithe flag aloft. A woodland scene
On either side drew its slope line of green,
And hung the water's shining edge with shade.
Above the woods, Netley! thy ruins pale
Peered as we passed; and Vecta's azure hue
Beyond the misty castle met our view;
Where in mid channel hung the scarce seen sail.
So all was calm and sunshine as we went
Cheerily o'er the briny element.
Oh! were this little boat to us the world,
As thus we wandered far from sounds of care,
Circled by friends and gentle maidens fair,
Whilst morning airs the waving pennant curled;
How sweet were life's long voyage, till in peace
We gained that haven still, where all things cease!

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