In the Reading-Room of the British Museum

By Louise Imogen Guiney 1861–1920
Praised be the moon of books! that doth above
A world of men, the fallen Past behold,
And fill the spaces else so void and cold
To make a very heaven again thereof;
As when the sun is set behind a grove,
And faintly unto nether ether rolled,
All night his whiter image and his mould
Grows beautiful with looking on her love.

Thou therefore, moon of so divine a ray,
Lend to our steps both fortitude and light!
Feebly along a venerable way
They climb the infinite, or perish quite;
Nothing are days and deeds to such as they,
While in this liberal house thy face is bright.

Source: American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century (The Library of America, 1993)

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Poet Louise Imogen Guiney 1861–1920

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 Louise Imogen Guiney

Biography

Louise Imogen Guiney is known for her lyrical, Old English-style poems that often recall the literary conventions of seventeenth-century English poetry. Informed by her religious faith, Guiney's works reflect her concern with the Catholic tradition in literature and often emphasize moral rectitude and heroic gallantry. Today Guiney is praised for her scholarship in both her poetry and in her numerous literary and historical . . .

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SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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