Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
 
What the Sonnet Is
 
Eugene Lee-Hamilton (b. 1845)
 
 
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        5
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        10
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.
 

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