Charlotte Turner Smith

Sonnet Written at Penshurst in Autumn, 1788

YE towers sublime, deserted now and drear,
Ye woods deep sighing to the hollow blast,
The musing wanderer loves to linger near,
While history points to all your glories past;
And, startling from their haunts the timid deer,
To trace the walks obscured by matted fern
Which Waller’s soothing lyre were wont to hear,
But where now clamors the discordant hern!
The spoiling hand of time may overturn
These lofty battlements, and quite deface
The fading canvas whence we love to learn
Sidney’s keen look and Sacharissa’s grace;
But fame and beauty still defy decay,
Saved by the historic page, the poet’s tender lay!

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