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Poem by Anna Seward


Sonnet 34. When Death, or adverse Fortune's ruthless gale


When Death, or adverse Fortune's ruthless gale,
    Tears our best hopes away, the wounded Heart
    Exhausted, leans on all that can impart
    The charm of Sympathy; her mutual wail
How soothing! never can her warm tears fail
    To balm our bleeding grief's severest smart;
    Nor wholly vain feign'd Pity's solemn art,
    Tho' we should penetrate her sable veil.
Concern, e'en known to be assum'd, our pains
    Respecting, kinder welcome far acquires
    Than cold Neglect, or Mirth that Grief profanes.
Thus each faint Glow-worm of the Night conspires,
    Gleaming along the moss'd and darken'd lanes,
    To cheer the Gloom with her unreal fires.

June 1780

Anna Seward


Anna Seward's other poems:
  1. Sonnet 71. While Summer Roses all their glory yield
  2. Sonnet 25. Fortunate Vale! exulting Hill! dear Plain!
  3. Sonnet 45. From Possibility's dim chaos sprung
  4. Sonnet 15. The evening shines in May's luxuriant pride
  5. Sonnet 87. Round Cleon's brow the Delphic laurels twine

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