Sonnet on Visiting Cromer for the First Time Since the Death of My Mother with Whom I used Frequently to visit it (c. 1791, unpublished)

Scenes of my childhood, where, to grief unknown,

And, led by Gaity, I joy’d to rove,

‘Ere in my breast Care fix’d her ebon throne,

And her pale rue, with Fancy’s roses wove.

No more, alas! your wonted charms I view,

Ye speak of comforts I can know no more;

The faded tints of Memory ye renew,

And wake of fond Regret the tearful power.

But would ye bid me still the beauties prize

That on your cliff-crowned shores in state abide,

Bid, aim’d in awful pomp, yon billows rise

And seek the realms where Night and Death reside;

Unusual empire bid them there assume,

And force departed goodness from the tomb!

“To Mr. L —-. Occasion’d by the foregoing—” (unpublished, Berg Collection, New York Public Library, original spelling intact)

Oh tell me no more of the magic of Love,

Nor think that my heart does its influence obey,

Uncaught by its fetters I carelessly rove

And tho’ I have seen, I’ve not bow’d to its sway

I’ve gaz’d on the handsome, have talk’d with the wise, [5]

With the witty have laugh’d, unhurt by its power

And tho’ long assail’d by young Corydon’s eyes

They charm’d for a day & were thought of no more

But, once, I confess (‘t was at tender sixteen)

Love’s agents were busy in deed round my heart [10]

And nought but good fortune’s assistance I ween

Could e’er from my bosom have warded the dart

A youth, (but his name I will never declare)

Alike by the muses & Graces endow’d,

‘T was mine to behold, & ‘t was mine too to hear— [15]

While Envy itself in his praises was loud—

He spoke, & persuasion his accents had dress’d—

He look’d, & his glance was the language of Love;

His eyes but too well the warm feelings express’d

Which Pity, applauses, & tenderness move— [20]

When he talk’d of the joys that in gayety beam

His soul seem’s in lightnings to flash from his eye,

When Sorrow, & softness he chose for his theme

His glance was responsive to feeling’s soft sighs

No wonder my heart was alive to his power— [25]

Young Hope for my temples her Evergreens wove,—  

And Fancy in aid of the dangerous hour

Concel’d all the thorns, by the roses  of Love—

But soon, ah to soon, he was summon’d away,

And bow’d Dissipation at thy sickly shrine [30]

‘T was his to be gayest alas! midst the gay

To sigh, & lament for his errors, was mine

And long, tho’ the tale of his follies & shame

By censure’s strong breezes was borne to my ear,

I fondly admir’d, tho’ I could not but blame, [35]

Doing homage to Love, by a sigh, & a tear—

At length to my aid came its bitterest foes;

Both absence, & time, to preserve me conspir’d

And Reason, kind reason, to aid me arose

She bade me despise, what before I admir’d— [40]

Since then, I have play’d with Love’s death bearing


I’ve made it amuse, without dark’ning my hours

No image I’ve suffer’d to fix on my heart

But what is portray’d by Friendship’s sweet powers

Then cease your suspicions, nor think that my verse [45]

Gives faithful accounts of the state of my mind,

That from experience Love’s sorrows rehearse,

To Nature’s true language oh, be not so blind

I own I the sorrows of passion have sung

Because theyre good themes for poetical art— [50]

But while Love is so much on my pen  & my tongue

Believe me, if never will come hear my heart.