Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
The Deformed Child
By Vincent Leigh Hunt (1823–1852)
AN ANGEL 1 prisoned in an infant frame
Of mortal sickness and deformity,
Looks patiently from out that languid eye
Matured, and seeming large with pain. The name
Of “happy childhood” mocks his movements tame,        5
So propped with piteous crutch, or forced to lie
Rather than sit, in his frail chair, and try
To taste the pleasure of the unshared game.
He does; and faintly claps his withered hands
To see how Brother Willie caught the ball;        10
Kind Brother Willie, strong, yet gentle all:
’T was he that placed him where his chair now stands
In that warm corner, ’gainst the sunny wall.
God, in that brother, gave him more than lands.
Note 1. Vincent Leigh Hunt was the youngest son of Leigh Hunt, and inherited a large share of his father’s poetical talents. He died when quite young. In a letter to me, Mr. Hunt thus speaks of him: “His whole life was full of sympathy. A sonnet like this will allow his father to indulge a hope, that, wherever any sonnets of his own may be thought worth collecting, they and it may never be parted.”  (S. A. L.) [back]

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