Verse > Anthologies > Higginson and Bigelow, eds. > American Sonnets
Higginson and Bigelow, comps.  American Sonnets.  1891.
At St. Oswald’s
By Margaret (Junkin) Preston (1820–1897)
WITHIN the church I knelt, where many a year
  Wordsworth had worshipped, while his musing eye
  Wandered o’er mountain, fell, and scaur, and sky,
That rimmed the silver circle of Grasmere,
Whose crystal held an under-world as clear        5
  As that which girt it round; and questioned why
  The place was sacred for his lifted sigh,
More than the humble dalesman’s kneeling near.
Strange spell of Genius!—that can melt the soul
  To reverence tenderer than o’er it falls        10
    Beneath the marvellous heavens which God hath made,
And sway it with such human-sweet control
  That holier henceforth seem these simple walls,
    Because within them once a poet prayed!

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