poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

About this Poem 

“Sonnet LXX” was published in Elegiac Sonnets, and Other Poems (J. Dodley, H. Gardner, and J. Bew, 1786).

Sonnet LXX. (On Being Cautioned against Walking on Headland Overlooking the Sea, Because It Was Frequented by a Lunatic.)

Is there a solitary wretch who hies
 To the tall cliff, with starting pace or slow,
And, measuring, views with wild and hollow eyes
 Its distance from the waves that chide below;
Who, as the sea-born gale with frequent sighs
 Chills with cold bed upon the mountain turf,
With hoarse, half-utter’d lamentation, lies
 Murmuring responses to the dashing surf?
In moody sadness, on the giddy brink,
 I see him more with envy than with fear;
He has no nice felicities that shrink
 From giant horrors; wildly wandering here,
He seems (uncursed with reason) not to know
 The depth or the duration of his woe.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on October 27, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on October 27, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

Charlotte Smith

Charlotte Smith

Charlotte Smith was born in 1749 in London, England.

by this poet

poem

Huge vapours brood above the clifted shore,
Night o’er the ocean settles, dark and mute,
Save where is heard the repercussive roar
Of drowsy billows, on the rugged foot
Of rocks remote; or still more distant tone
Of seamen, in the anchored bark, that tell
The watch reliev’d; or one

poem
When latest autumn spreads her evening veil,	
And the gray mists from these dim waves arise,	
I love to listen to the hollow sighs	
Through the half leafless wood that breathes the gale.	
For at such hours the shadowy phantom pale,	        
Oft seems to fleet before the poet's eyes;	
Strange sounds are heard,
poem

    Oh, Hope! thou soother sweet of human woes!
    How shall I lure thee to my haunts forlorn!
For me wilt thou renew the wither’d rose,
    And clear my painful path of pointed thorn?
Ah come, sweet nymph! in smiles and softness drest,
    Like the young hours that lead the tender year,