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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Eugene Lee-Hamilton (1845–1907)

What the Sonnet Is

FOURTEEN small broidered berries on the hem

Of Circe’s mantle, each of magic gold;

Fourteen of lone Calypso’s tears that rolled

Into the sea, for pearls to come of them;

Fourteen clear signs of omen in the gem

With which Medea human fate foretold;

Fourteen small drops which Faustus, growing old,

Craved of the Fiend, to water life’s dry stem.

It is the pure white diamond Dante brought

To Beatrice; the sapphire Laura wore

When Petrarch cut it sparkling out of thought;

The ruby Shakespeare hewed from his heart’s core;

The dark, deep emerald that Rossetti wrought

For his own soul, to wear for evermore.