Edward Hutton.

A book of English love poems; chosen out of poets from Wyatt to Arnold online

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And when we meet a mutual heart
Come in between, and bid us part ?

Bid us sigh on from day to day
And wish and wish the soul away ;
Till youth and genial years are flown,
And all the life of life is gone ?

But busy, busy still art thou
To bind the loveless, joyless vow,
The heart from pleasure to delude
To join the gentle to the rude.

For once, O Fortune, hear my prayer,
And I absolve thy future care ;
All other blessings I resign
Make but the dear Amanda mine.

JAMES THOMSON

ODE

HP ELL me, thou soul of her I love,
* Ah, tell me, whither art thou fled,
To what delightful world above
Appointed for the happy dead ?



136 A LITTLE BOOK OF LOVE POEMS

Or dost thou free, at pleasure, roam,
And sometimes share thy lover's woe,

Where, void of thee, his cheerless home
Can now, alas ! no comfort know ?

! if thou hoverest round my walk,
While, under every well-known tree,

1 to thy fancied shadow talk,

And every tear is full of thee :

Should then the weary eye of grief,
Beside some sympathetic stream

In slumber find a short relief,
O visit thou my soothing dream !

JAMES THOMSON

PASTORAL BALLAD

SINCE Phyllis vouchsafed me a look
I never once dreamt of my vine :
May I lose both my pipe and my crook

If I knew of a kid that was mine !
I prized every hour that went by,

Beyond all that had pleased me before ;
But now they are past, and I sigh ;

And I grieve that I prized them no more.

But why do I languish in vain ;

Why wander thus pensively here r
Oh ! why did I come from the plain

Where I fed on the smiles of my dear ?
They tell me, my favourite maid,

The pride of that valley, is flown ;
Alas, where with her I have strayed

I could wander with pleasure, alone.



WILLIAM SHENSTONE 137

When forced the fair nymph to forego,

What anguish I felt at my heart !
Yet I thought but it might not be so

'Twas with pain that she saw me depart.
She gazed, as I slowly withdrew,

My path I could hardly discern ;
So sweetly she bade me adieu

I thought that she bade me return.

The pilgrim that journeys all day

To visit some far-distant shrine,
If he bear but a relique away

Is happy, nor heard to repine.
Thus widely removed from the fair

Where my vows, my devotion, I owe,
Soft Hope is the relique I bear

And my solace wherever I go.

WILLIAM SHENSTONE

IF DOUGHTY DEEDS

IF doughty deeds my lady please,
Right soon I'll mount my steed,
And strong his arm and fast his seat,

That bears frae me the meed.
I'll wear thy colours in my cap,

Thy picture at my heart ;
And he that bends not to thine eye
Shall rue it to his smart !

Then tell me how to woo thee, Love,
O tell me how to woo thee !
For thy dear sake nae care I'll take,
Tho' ne'er another trow me.

If gay attire delight thine eye

I'll dight me in array ;
I'll tend thy chamber door all night

And squire thee all the day.



138 A LITTLE BOOK OF LOVE POEMS

If sweetest sounds can win thine ear,
These sounds I'll strive to catch ;

Thy voice I'll steal to woo thyself,
That voice that nane can match.

But if fond love thy heart can gain,

I never broke a vow,
Nae maiden lays her skaith to me,

I never loved but you.
For you alone I ride the ring,

For you I wear the blue,
For you alone I strive to sing ;
O tell me how to woo !

Then tell me how to woo thee, Love,
O tell me how to woo thee !
For thy dear sake nae care I'll take,
Tho' ne'er another trow me.

ROBERT GRAHAM OF GARTMORE

TO MARY UNWIN

MARY ! I want a lyre with other strings,
Such aid from heaven as some have feign'd they drew,
An eloquence scarce given to mortals, new
And undebased by praise of meaner things,
That ere through age or woe I shed my wings,
I may record thy worth with honour due
In verse as musical as thou art true
And that immortalises whom it sings :
But thou hast little need. There is a Book
By seraphs writ with beams of heavenly light,
On which the eyes of God not rarely look,
A chronicle of actions just and bright

There all thy deeds, my faithful Mary, shine ;

And sincethou own'st that praise, I spare thee mine.

WILLIAM COWPER



WILLIAM BLAKE 139

TO A YOUNG LADY

SWEET stream, that winds through yonder glade,
Apt emblem of a virtuous maid
Silent and chaste she steals along,
Far from the world's gay busy throng :
With gentle yet prevailing force,
Intent upon her destined course ;
Graceful and useful all she does,
Blessing and blest where'er she goes ;
Pure-bosom'd as that watery glass,
And heaven reflected in her face.

WILLIAM COWPER

SONG

T T OW sweet I roamed from field to field,
-1- - And tasted all the summer's pride,
Till I the Prince of Love beheld
Who in the sunny beams did glide.

He showed me lilies for my hair,

And blushing roses for my brow ;
He led me through his gardens fair,

Where all his golden pleasures grow.

With sweet May-dews my wings were wet,

And Phoebus fired my vocal rage ;
He caught me in his silken net,

And shut me in his golden cage.

He loves to sit and hear me sing,

Then, laughing, sports and plays with me,

Then stretches out my golden wing,
And mocks my loss of liberty.

WILLIAM BLAKE



HO A LITTLE BOOK OF LOVE POEMS

SONG

MY silks and fine array,
My smiles and languished air,
By love are driven away ;

And mournful lean Despair
Brings me yew to deck my grave :
Such end true lovers have.

His face is fair as heaven

When springing buds unfold ;

why to him was't given,
Whose heart is wintry cold ?

His breast is love's all-worshipped tomb,
Where all love's pilgrims come.

Bring me an axe and spade,

Bring me a winding-sheet ;
When I my grave have made,

Let winds and tempests beat :
Then down I'll lie, as cold as clay.
True love doth pass away !

WILLIAM BLAKE

SONG

T OVE and harmony combine,
J ' And around our souls entwine,

While thy branches mix with mine,

And our roots together join.

Joys upon our branches sit,
Chirping loud and singing sweet ;
Like gentle streams beneath our feet,
Innocence and virtue meet.

Thou the golden fruit dost bear,

1 am clad in flowers fair ;

Thy sweet boughs perfume the air,
And the turtle buildeth there.



WILLIAM BLAKE 141

There she sits and feeds her young,
Sweet I hear her mournful song ;
And thy lovely leaves among
There is Love ; I hear his tongue.

There his charming nest doth lay,
There he sleeps the night away ;
There he sports along the day,
And doth among our branches play.

WILLIAM BLAKE



IN A MYRTLE SHADE

r I ^O a lovely myrtle bound,
- Blossoms showering all around,
O how weak and weary I
Underneath my myrtle lie !

Why should I be bound to thee,
O my lovely myrtle-tree ?
Love, free love, cannot be bound
To any tree that grows on ground.

WILLIAM BLAKE



LOVE'S SECRET

NEVER seek to tell thy love,
Love that never told can be
For the gentle wind does move
Silently, invisibly.

I told my love, I told my love,

I told her all my heart,
Trembling, cold, in ghastly fears.

Ah ! she did depart !



142 A LITTLE BOOK OF LOVE POEMS

Soon after she was gone from me,

A traveller came by,
Silently, invisibly :

He took her with a sigh.

WILLIAM BLAKE



BONNIE DOON

YE flowery banks o' bonnie Doon,
How can ye blume sae fair !
How can ye chant, ye little birds,
And I sae fu' o' care !

Thou'lt break my heart, thou bonnie bird,

That sings upon the bough ;
Thou minds me o' the happy days

When my fause luve was true.

Thou'lt break my heart, thou bonnie bird,

That sings beside thy mate ;
For sae I sat, and sae I sang,

And wist na o' my fate.

Aft hae I fov'd by bonnie Doon,

To see the woodbine twine ;
And ilka bird sang o' its luve,

And sae did I o' mine.

Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose,

Frae off its thorny tree ;
And my fause luver staw the rose,

But left the thorn wi' me.

ROBERT BURNS



ROBERT BURNS 143



A RED, RED ROSE

OMY Luve's like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June ;
O my Luve's like the melodic
That's sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,

So deep in luve am I :
And I will luve thee still, my dear,

Till a' the seas gang dry :

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun ;

And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.



And fare thee weel, my only Luve !

And fare thee weel a while !
And I will come again, my Luve,

Tho' it were ten thousand mile.

ROBERT BURNS



MARY MORISON

OMARY, at thy window be,
It is the wished, the trysted hour !
Those smiles and glances let me see

That make the miser's treasure poor :
How blithely wad I bide the stoure,

A weary slave frae sun to sun,
Could I the rich reward secure,
The lovely Mary Morison.



i 4 4 A LITTLE BOOK OF LOVE POEMS

Yestreen, when to the trembling string,

The dance gaed thro' the lighted ha',
To thee my fancy took its wing

I sat, but neither heard nor saw :
Tho' this was fair, and that was braw,

And yon the toast of a' the town,
I sigh'd, and said, amang them a',

" Ye are na Mary Morison ".

O Mary, canst thou wreck his peace

Wha for thy sake wad gladly dee ?
Or canst thou break that heart of his

Whase only faut is loving thee ?
If love for love thou wilt na gie,

At least be pity to me shown ;
A thought ungentle canna be

The thought o' Mary Morison.

ROBERT BURNS



JOHN ANDERSON, MY JO

T OHN ANDERSON, my jo, John,
J When we were first acquent,
Your locks were like the raven,

Your bonnie brow was brent ;
But now your brow is bald, John,

Your locks are like the snow ;
But blessings on your frosty pow,

John Anderson, my jo.

John Anderson, my jo, John,
We clamb the hill thegither ;

And mony a canty day, John,
We've had wi' ane anither :



ROBERT BURNS 145

Now we maun totter down, John,

But hand in hand we'll go,
And sleep thegither at the foot,

John Anderson, my jo.

ROBERT BURNS



CRAIGIE-BURN WOOD

SWEET fa's the eve on Craigie-burn,
And blythe awakes the morrow ;
But a' the pride o' spring's return
Can yield me nocht but sorrow.

I see the flowers and spreading trees,

I hear the wild birds singing ;
But what a weary wight can please,

And care his bosom wringing ?

Fain, fain would I my griefs impart,

Yet darena for your anger ;
But secret love will break my heart,

If I conceal it langer.

If thou refuse to pity me,

If thou shalt love anither,
When yon green leaves fa' frae the tree,

Around my grave they'll wither.

ROBERT BURNS



TO THE WOODLARK

OSTAY, sweet warbling woodlark, stay,
Nor quit for me the trembling spray :
A hapless lover courts thy lay,

Thy soothing, fond complaining.
10



146 A LITTLE BOOK OF LOVE POEMS

Again, again that tender part,
That I may catch thy melting art !
For surely that wad touch her heart
Wha kills me wi' disdaining.

Say, was thy little mate unkind,
And heard thee as the careless wind ?
Oh, nocht but love and sorrow joined,
Sic notes o' wae could wauken.

Thou tells o' never-ending care,
O' speechless grief and dark despair ;
For pity's sake, sweet bird, nae mair !
Or my poor heart is broken.

ROBERT BURNS

NON SUM QUALIS ERAM

WHEN I think on the happy days
I spent wi' you, my dearie ;
And now what lands between us lie,
How can I be but eerie !

How slow ye move, ye heavy hours,

As ye were wae and weary !
It was na sae ye glinted by

When I was wi' my dearie.

ANON

LUCY

SHE dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove,
A maid whom there were none to praise
And very few to love :



WILLIAM WORDSWORTH 147

A violet by a mossy stone

Half-hidden from the eye !
Fair as a star, when only one

Is shining in the sky.

She lived unknown, and few could know

When Lucy ceased to be ;
But she is in her grave and, Oh !

The difference to me !

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH



SHE WAS A PHANTOM OF DELIGHT

SHE was a Phantom of delight
When first she gleamed upon my sight ;
A lovely Apparition, sent
To be a moment's ornament ;
Her eyes as stars of Twilight fair,
Like Twilight's, too, her dusky hair ;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful Dawn ;
A dancing Shape, an Image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and way-lay.

I saw her upon nearer view,

A Spirit, yet a Woman too !

Her household motions light and free,

And steps of virgin -liberty ;

A Countenance in which did meet

Sweet records, promises as sweet ;

A Creature not too bright or good

For human nature's daily food ;

For transient sorrows, simple wiles,

Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.



148 A LITTLE BOOK OF LOVE POEMS

And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine ;
A Being breathing thoughtful breath,
A traveller between life and death ;
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill ;
A perfect Woman, nobly planned,
To warn, to comfort, and command ;
And yet a Spirit still, and bright,
With something of angelic light. 1

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

THREE YEARS SHE GREW

HPHREE years she grew in sun and shower ;
J- Then Nature said, " A lovelier flower

On earth was never sown :
This Child I to myself will take ;
She shall be mine, and I will make

A lady of my own.

" Myself will to my darling be
Both law and impulse : and with me

The girl, in rock and plain,
In earth and heaven, in glade and bower,
Shall feel an overseeing power

To kindle or restrain.

" She shall be sportive as the fawn
That wild with glee across the lawn

Or up the mountain springs ;
And her's shall be the breathing balm,
And her's the silence and the calm

Of mute insensate things.

1 Wordsworth's note to this poem was " it was written from
my heart, as is sufficiently obvious ".



WILLIAM WORDSWORTH 149

" The floating clouds their state shall lend
To her ; for her the willow bend ;

Nor shall she fail to see
Even in the motions of the storm
Grace that shall mould the maiden's form

By silent sympathy.

" The stars of midnight shall be dear
To her ; and she shall lean her ear

In many a secret place
Where rivulets dance their wayward round,
And beauty born of murmuring sound

Shall pass into her face.

" And vital feelings of delight
Shall rear her form to stately height,

Her virgin bosom swell ;
Such thoughts to Lucy I will give
While she and I together live

Here in this happy dell."

Thus Nature spake. The work was done
How soon my Lucy's race was run !

She died, and left to me
This heath, this calm and quiet scene ;
The memory of what has been,

And never more will be.

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH



I TRAVELLED AMONG UNKNOWN MEN

ITRAVELL'D among unknown men
In lands beyond the sea ;
Nor, England ! did I know till then
What love I bore to thee.



150 A LITTLE BOOK OF LOVE POEMS

'Tis past, that melancholy dream !

Nor will I quit thy shore
A second time, for still I seem

To love thee more and more.

Among thy mountains did I feel

The joy of my desire ;
And she I cherish'd turn'd her wheel

Beside an English fire.

Thy mornings show'd, thy nights conceal'd
The bowers where Lucy play'd ;

And thine too is the last green field
That Lucy's eyes survey'd.

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH



A SLUMBER DID MY SPIRIT SEAL

A SLUMBER did my spirit seal ;
I had no human fears :
She seem'd a thing that could not feel
The touch of earthly years.

No motion has she now, no force ;

She neither hears nor sees ;
Roll'd round in earth's diurnal course

With rocks, and stones, and trees.

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH



SONNET

WHY art thou silent ! Is thy love a plant
Of such weak fibre that the treacherous air
Of absence withers what was once so fair ?
Is there no debt to pay, no boon to grant ?



WILLIAM WORDSWORTH 151

Yet have my thoughts for thee been vigilant,
Bound to thy service with unceasing care
The mind's least generous wish a mendicant
For nought but what thy happiness could spare.
Speak ! though this soft warm heart, once free to hold
A thousand tender pleasures, thine and mine,
Be left more desolate, more dreary cold
Than a forsaken bird's-nest fill'd with snow
'Mid its own bush of leafless eglantine
Speak, that my torturing doubts their end may know !

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

SONNET

SURPRISED by joy impatient as the wind
I turn'd to share the transport O with whom
But Thee deep buried in the silent tomb,
That spot which no vicissitude can find ?
Love, faithful love, recall'd thee to my mind
But how could I forget thee ? Through what power,
Even for the least division of an hour,
Have I been so beguiled as to be blind
To my most grievous loss ? That thought's return
Was the worst pang that sorrow ever bore,
Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn,
Knowing my heart's best treasure was no more ;
That neither present time, nor years unborn,
Could to my sight that heavenly face restore.

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

COUNTY GUY

AH ! County Guy, the hour is nigh,
The sun has left the lea,
The orange-flower perfumes the bower,
The breeze is on the sea ;



1 52 A LITTLE BOOK OF LOVE POEMS

The lark, his lay who thrill'd all day,

Sits hush'd his partner nigh ;
Breeze, bird, and flower confess the hour,

But where is County Guy ?

The village maid steals through the shade

Her shepherd's suit to hear ;
To Beauty shy, by lattice high,

Sings high-born Cavalier.
The star of Love, all stars above,

Now reigns o'er earth and sky,
And high and low the influence know

But where is County Guy ?

SIR WALTER SCOTT

SONG

WHERE shall the lover rest
Whom the fates sever
From his true maiden's breast

Parted for ever ?
Where, through groves deep and high

Sounds the far billow,
Where early violets die

Under the willow,

Eleu loro,
Soft shall be his pillow.

There, through the summer day,

Cool streams are laving :
There, while the tempests sway,

Scarce are boughs waving ;
There thy rest shalt thou take,

Parted for ever,
Never again to wake,

Never, O never !

Eleu loro,
Never, O never !



SIR WALTER SCOTT i

Where shall the traitor rest,

He, the deceiver,
Who could win maiden's breast,

Ruin, and leave her ?
In the lost battle,

Borne down by the flying,
Where mingles war's rattle

With groans of the dying ;

Eleu loro,
There shall he be lying.

Her wing shall the eagle flap

O'er the false hearted :
His warm blood the wolf shall lap

Ere life be parted :
Shame and dishonour sit

By his grave ever ;
Blessings shall hallow it
Never, O never !

Eleu loro,
Never, O never !

SIR WALTER SCOTT



SONG

AWEARY lot is thine, fair maid,
A weary lot is thine !
To pull the thorn thy brow to braid,

And press the rue for wine.
A lightsome eye, a soldier's mien,

A feather of the blue,
A doublet of the Lincoln green
No more of me you knew,

My Love !
No more of me you knew.



154 A LITTLE BOOK OF LOVE POEMS

"This morn is merry June, I trow,

The rose is budding fain ;
But she shall bloom in winter snow

Ere we two meet again."
He turned his charger as he spake

Upon the river shore,
He gave the bridle-reins a shake,

Said " Adieu for evermore,
My Love !

And adieu for evermore."

SIR WALTER SCOTT

SONG

O LOVERS' eyes are sharp to see,
And lovers' ears in hearing ;
And love, in life's extremity,

Can lend an hour of cheering.
Disease had been in Mary's bower
And slow decay from mourning,
Though now she sits on Neidpath's tower
To watch her Love's returning.

All sunk and dim her eyes so bright,

Her form decay'd by pining,
Till through her wasted hand, at night,

You saw the taper shining.
By fits a sultry hectic hue

Across her cheek was flying ;
By fits so ashy pale she grew,

Her maidens thought her dying.

Yet keenest powers to see and hear

Seem'd in her frame residing ;
Before the watch-dog prick'd his ear

She heard her lover's riding ;



SIR WALTER SCOTT 155

Ere scarce a distant form was kcnn'd

She knew and waved to greet him,
And o'er the battlement did bend

As on the wing to meet him.

He came he pass'd an heedless gaze

As o'er some stranger glancing ;
Her welcome, spoke in faltering phrase,

Lost in his courser's prancing
The castle-arch, whose hollow tone

Returns each whisper spoken,
Could scarcely catch the feeble moan

Which told her heart was broken.

SIR WALTER SCOTT



SONG

"pAREWELL to Northmaven,
Gray Hillswicke, farewell !
To the calms of thy haven,

The storms on thy fell
To each breeze that can vary

The mood of thy main,
And to thee, bonny Mary !

We meet not again.

Farewell the wild ferry,

Which Hacon could brave,
When the peaks of the Skerry

Were white in the wave.
There's a maid may look over

These wild waves in vain,
For the skiff of her lover

He comes not again.



i S 6 A LITTLE BOOK OF LOVE POEMS

The vows thou hast broke,

On the wild currents fling them ;
On the quicksand and rock

Let the mermaiden sing them.
New sweetness they'll give her

Bewildering strain ;
But there's one who will never

Believe them again.

O were there an island,

Though ever so wild,
Where woman could smile, and

No man be beguiled
Too tempting a snare

To poor mortals were given ;
And the hope would fix there,

That should anchor on heaven.

SIR WALTER SCOTT



LOVE

ALL thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
All are but ministers of Love,

And feed his sacred flame.

Oft in my waking dreams do I
Live o'er again that happy hour,
When midway on the mount I lay
Beside the ruin'd tower.

The moonshine stealing o'er the scene
Had blended with the lights of eve ;
And she was there, my hope, my joy,
My own dear Genevieve !



SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE 157

She lean'd against the armed man,
The statue of the armed knight ;
She stood and listen 'd to my lay,
Amid the lingering light.

Few sorrows hath she of her own,
My hope ! my joy ! my Genevieve !
She loves me best, whene'er I sing,

The songs that make her grieve.

I play'd a soft and doleful air,
I sang an old and moving story
An old rude song, that suited well
That ruin wild and hoary.

She listen 'd with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes, and modest grace ;
For well she knew, I could not choose
But gaze upon her face.

I told her of the Knight that wore
Upon his shield a burning brand ;
And that for ten long years he woo'd
The Lady of the Land.

I told her how he pined : and ah !
The deep, the low, the pleading tone
With which I sang another's love
Interpreted my own.

She listen'd with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes, and modest grace ;
And she forgave me, that I gazed
Too fondly on her face.



158 A LITTLE BOOK OF LOVE POEMS

But when I told the cruel scorn
That crazed that bold and lovely Knight,
And that he cross'd the mountain-woods,
Nor rested day nor night ;

That sometimes from the savage den,
And sometimes from the darksome shade,
And sometimes starting up at once
In green and sunny glade,

There came and look'd him in the face
An angel beautiful and bright ;
And that he knew it was a Fiend,
This miserable Knight !

And that unknowing what he did,
He leap'd amid a murderous band,
And saved from outrage worse than death
The Lady of the Land ;

And how she wept, and clasp'd his knees ;
And how she tended him in vain ;
And ever strove to expiate

The scorn that crazed his brain ;

And that she nursed him in a cave,
And how his madness went away,
When on the yellow forest-leaves
A dying man he lay ;

His dying words but when I reach'd
That tenderest strain of all the ditty,
My faltering voice and pausing harp
Disturb'd her soul with pity !



SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE 159

All impulses of soul and sense
Had thrill'd my guileless Genevieve ;
The music and the doleful tale,
The rich and balmy eve ;

And hopes, and fears that kindle hope,
An undistinguishable throng,
And gentle wishes long subdued,

Subdued and cherish'd long !

She wept with pity and 'delight,

She blush'd with love, and virgin shame ;

And like the murmur of a dream,

I heard her breathe my name.

Her bosom heaved she stepp'd aside,
As conscious of my look she stept
Then suddenly, with timorous eye,
She fled to me and wept.

She half inclosed me with her arms,
She press'd me with a meek embrace ;
And bending back her head, look'd up,
And gazed upon my face.

'Twas partly love, and partly fear,
And partly 'twas a bashful art
That I might rather feel, than see
The swelling of her heart.

I calm'd her fears, and she was calm,
And told her love with virgin pride ;
And so I won my Genevieve,

My bright and beauteous Bride.

SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE



160 A LITTLE BOOK OF LOVE POEMS

I HELD HER HAND

I HELD her hand, the pledge of bliss,
Her hand that trembled and withdrew ;
She bent her head before my kiss,
My heart was sure that hers was true.

Now I have told her I must part,
She shakes my hand, she bids adieu,


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Online LibraryEdward HuttonA book of English love poems; chosen out of poets from Wyatt to Arnold → online text (page 9 of 13)