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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Theodore Watts-Dunton 1832–1914

The Sonnet’s Voice


YON silvery billows breaking on the beach

Fall back in foam beneath the star-shine clear,

The while my rhymes are murmuring in your ear

A restless lore like that the billows teach;

For on these sonnet-waves my soul would reach

From its own depths, and rest within you, dear,

As, through the billowy voices yearning here,

Great nature strives to find a human speech.

A sonnet is a wave of melody:

From heaving waters of the impassion’d soul

A billow of tidal music one and whole

Flows in the “octave;” then returning free,

Its ebbing surges in the “sestet” roll

Back to the deeps of Life’s tumultuous sea.