Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
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Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
 
On the Death of His Friend West
By Thomas Gray (1716–1771)
 
IN 1 vain to me the smiling mornings shine,
  And reddening Phœbus lifts his golden fire;
The birds in vain their amorous descant join,
  Or cheerful fields resume their green attire:
These ears, alas! for other notes repine;        5
  A different object do these eyes require;
My lonely anguish melts no heart but mine;
  And in my breast the imperfect joys expire.
Yet morning smiles the busy race to cheer,
  And new-born pleasure brings to happier men;        10
The fields to all their wonted tribute bear;
  To warm their little loves the birds complain;
I fruitless mourn to him that cannot hear;
  And weep the more, because I weep in vain.
 
Note 1. For a defence of this beautiful sonnet against the hypercriticism of Wordsworth, see Introductory Essay. [back]
 
 
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