Charlotte Smith

(4 May 1749 – 28 October 1806 / London)

Sonnet LXIX


Written at the same place, on seeing a Seaman return
who had been imprisoned at Rochfort.
CLOUDS, gold and purple, o'er the western ray
Threw a bright veil, and catching lights between,
Fell on the glancing sail, that we had seen
With soft, but adverse winds, throughout the day
Contending vainly: as the vessel nears,
Increasing numbers hail it from the shore;
Lo! on the deck a pallid form appears,
Half wondering to behold himself once more
Approach his home--And now he can discern
His cottage thatch amid surrounding trees;
Yet, trembling, dreads lest sorrow or disease
Await him there, embittering his return:
But all he loves are safe; with heart elate,
Though poor and plunder'd, he absolves his fate!

Submitted: Thursday, April 15, 2010

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