Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
Revisiting a Birthplace Which Was Not Happy
By Samuel Jackson Pratt (1749–1814)
SCENES 1 of my boyish days,—yet scenes of woe
  From cradled childhood up to manhood’s bloom,—
At thy approach why do my eyes o’erflow,
  As if in grief to meet were still our doom?
Yet why, though half involved in shades of night        5
  Dim through the river’s mist thy spire appears,
Impatient do I strain my aching sight,
  Eager to own each object through my tears?
And as thy well-remembered bridge I gain,
  And draw more near, alas! my natal earth,        10
Though faster fall the drops, though sharp the pain,
  I hail my birthplace, though I weep my birth.
Ah, tender tears, which tender thoughts impart,
And leave no room for malice in my heart!
Note 1. Author of “Liberal Opinions,” “Emma Corbet,” and other works,—a writer who, if he had known how to discipline his mind, would have obtained distinction. I found this sonnet in Mr. Lofft’s collection. Though the phraseology is here and there artificial, much of it is otherwise, and the impression affecting. It is an instance of what has been said in the Essay respecting the desirableness of founding compositions of this kind on direct personal experience. [back]

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