Richard Watson Gilder

(1844-1909 / the United States)

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Gilder was born at Bordentown, New Jersey. He was the son of the Rev. William Henry Gilder, at whose seminary in Flushing, New York, he was educated. He was the brother of William Henry Gilder, Jeannette Leonard Gilder and Joseph Benson Gilder. Gilder studied law at Philadelphia.

During the American Civil War, he enlisted in the state's Emergency Volunteer Militia as a private in ... more »

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Best Poem of Richard Watson Gilder

What Is A Sonnet?

What is a sonnet? 'Tis the pearly shell
That murmurs of the far-off murmuring sea;
A precious jewel carved most curiously;
It is a little picture painted well.
What is a sonnet? 'Tis the tear that fell
From a great poet's hidden ecstasy;
A two-edged sword, a star, a song- Ah me!
Sometimes a heavy-tolling funeral bell.
This was the flame that shook with Dante's breath;
The solemn organ whereon Milton played,
And the clear glass where Shakespeare's shadow falls:
A sea this is- beware who ventureth!
For like a fjord the narrow floor is laid
Mid-ocean deep to...

Read the full of What Is A Sonnet?

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