Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
II. On Seeing a Child Blush on His First View of a Corpse
By Charles Tennyson (1808–1879)
’T IS good our earliest sympathies to trace,
  And I would muse upon a little thing,—
  What brought the blush into that infant’s face,
  When first confronted with the rueful King?
He boldly came: what made his courage less?        5
  A signal for the heart to beat less free
  Are all imperial presences; and he
  Was awed by Death’s consummate kingliness,
And by the high and peerless front he bore.
  No thought of dying armies crossed the lad;        10
  He feared the stranger, though he knew no more;
Surmising and surprised, but most, afraid;
  As Crusoe, wandering on the desert shore,
  Saw but an alien footmark, and was sad!

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