Bereavement

By William Lisle Bowles 1762–1850 William Lisle Bowles
Whose was that gentle voice, that, whispering sweet,
      Promised methought long days of bliss sincere!
      Soothing it stole on my deluded ear,
Most like soft music, that might sometimes cheat
Thoughts dark and drooping! ’Twas the voice of Hope.
      Of love and social scenes, it seemed to speak,
      Of truth, of friendship, of affection meek;
That, oh! poor friend, might to life’s downward slope
Lead us in peace, and bless our latest hours.
      Ah me! the prospect saddened as she sung;
      Loud on my startled ear the death-bell rung;
Chill darkness wrapt the pleasurable bowers,
Whilst Horror, pointing to yon breathless clay,
“No peace be thine,” exclaimed, “away, away!”

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Poet William Lisle Bowles 1762–1850

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Subjects Death, Sorrow & Grieving, Relationships, Living

Occasions Funerals

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 William Lisle  Bowles

Biography

Thomas Moore—William Lisle Bowles's friend, fellow minor poet, and longtime Wiltshire neighbor—recorded in a journal for 20 March 1819 that he found the middle-aged vicar "in the bar of the White Hart, dictating to a waiter (who acted as an amanuensis for him) his ideas of the true Sublime in Poetry." He concluded by recalling the innocent, absentminded, and benevolent country parson in Henry Fielding's Joseph Andrews (1742): . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Death, Sorrow & Grieving, Relationships, Living

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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