Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
William Wordsworth. 1770–1850
534. The Sonnet
SCORN not the Sonnet; Critic, you have frown'd, 
  Mindless of its just honours; with this key 
  Shakespeare unlock'd his heart; the melody 
Of this small lute gave ease to Petrarch's wound; 
A thousand times this pipe did Tasso sound;         5
  With it Camöens sooth'd an exile's grief; 
  The Sonnet glitter'd a gay myrtle leaf 
Amid the cypress with which Dante crown'd 
His visionary brow: a glow-worm lamp, 
  It cheer'd mild Spenser, call'd from Faery-land  10
To struggle through dark ways; and when a damp 
  Fell round the path of Milton, in his hand 
The Thing became a trumpet; whence he blew 
Soul-animating strains—alas, too few! 
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