Great Sonnets

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Treasury of over 170 English and American sonnets by more than 70 poets, from the Renaissance to the 20th century. Shakespeare's "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?", Milton's "On His Blindness," Wordsworth's "The World Is Too Much with Us," many more by Spenser, Sidney, Blake, Byron, Coleridge, Longfellow, Yeats, Frost, Poe, etc. Includes 2 selections from the Common Core State Standards Initiative: "The New Colossus" and "Ozymandias."

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Overview

Treasury of over 170 English and American sonnets by more than 70 poets, from the Renaissance to the 20th century. Shakespeare's "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?", Milton's "On His Blindness," Wordsworth's "The World Is Too Much with Us," many more by Spenser, Sidney, Blake, Byron, Coleridge, Longfellow, Yeats, Frost, Poe, etc. Includes 2 selections from the Common Core State Standards Initiative: "The New Colossus" and "Ozymandias."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486280523
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 8/23/1994
  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions Series
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Pages: 112
  • Product dimensions: 5.19 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 0.32 (d)

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Great Sonnets


By Paul Negri

Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 1994 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-11216-9



CHAPTER 1

SIR THOMAS WYATT (1503-1542)

POET AND courtier active in the service of Henry VIII. Through his adaptations of Petrarch, he introduced the sonnet form to England in the 1530s.

    "The long love that in my thought doth harbor"

    The long love that in my thought doth harbor,
    And in mine heart doth keep his residence,
    Into my face presseth with bold pretense,
    And there campeth, displaying his banner.
    She that me learneth to love and to suffer,
    And wills that my trust and lust's negligence
    Be reined by reason, shame, and reverence,
    With his hardiness taketh displeasure.
    Wherewith love to the heart's forest he fleeth,
    Leaving his enterprise with pain and cry,
    And there him hideth and not appeareth.
    What may I do when my master feareth
    But in the field with him to live and die?
    For good is the life ending faithfully.


    "My galley charged with forgetfulness"

    My galley charged with forgetfulness
    Through sharp seas in winter nights doth pass
    Tween rock and rock, and eke my foe (alas)
    That is my lord, steereth with cruelness.
    And every oar, a thought in readiness,
    As though that death were light in such a case;
    An endless wind doth tear the sail apace
    Of forced sighs and trusty fearfulness;
    A rain of tears, a cloud of dark disdain,
    Have done the wearied cords great hinderance;
    Wreathed with error and eke with ignorance,
    The stars be hid that led me to this pain.
    Drowned is reason that should be my comfort,
    And I remain, despairing of the port.


    "Farewell, love, and all thy laws forever"

    Farewell, love, and all thy laws forever,
    Thy baited hooks shall tangle me no more:
    Senec and Plato call me from thy lore
    To perfect wealth, my wit for to endeavor.
    In blind error when I did persever,
    Thy sharp repulse that pricketh aye so sore
    Taught me in trifles that I set no store,
    But scape forth, since liberty is lever.
    Therefore, farewell, go trouble younger hearts,
    And in me claim no more authority;
    With idle youth go use thy property,
    And thereon spend thy many brittle darts.
    For hitherto though I have lost my time,
    Me list no longer rotten boughs to climb.


    "Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind"

    Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind,
    But as for me, alas, I may no more,
    The vain travail hath wearied me so sore.
    I am of them that farthest cometh behind;
    Yet may I by no means my wearied mind
    Draw from the Deer: but as she fleeth afore,
    Fainting I follow. I leave off therefore,
    Since in a net I seek to hold the wind.
    Who list her hunt, I put him out of doubt,
    As well as I may spend his time in vain:
    And, graven with diamonds, in letters plain
    There is written her fair neck round about:
    Noli me tangere, for Caesar's I am;
    And wild for to hold, though I seem tame.


HENRY HOWARD, EARL OF SURREY (1517?—1547)

FRIEND OF Wyatt, with whom he shares credit for introducing the sonnet form to England. He was accused of treason bv Henry VIII and executed.


    The Soote Season

    The soote season, that bud and bloom forth brings,
    With green hath clad the hill and eke the vale;
    The nightingale with feathers new she sings;
    The turtle to her mate hath told her tale.
    Summer is come, for every spray now springs,
    The hart hath hung his old head on the pale;
    The buck in brake his winter coat he flings;
    The fishes flete with new repaired scale;
    The adder all her slough away she slings;
    The swift swallow pursueth the flyes smale;
    The busy bee her honey now she wings,
    Winter is worn that was the flowers' bale.
    And thus I see among these pleasant things
    Each care decays, and yet my sorrow springs.


    "Love, that doth reign and live within my thought"

    Love, that doth reign and live within my thought
    And build his seat within my captive breast,
    Clad in arms wherein with me he fought,
    Oft in my face he doth his banner rest.
    But she that taught me love and suffer pain,
    My doubtful hope and eke my hot desire
    With shamefast look to shadow and refrain,
    Her smiling grace converteth straight to ire.
    And coward Love, then, to the heart apace
    Taketh his flight, where he doth lurk and 'plain,
    His purpose lost, and dare not show his face.
    For my lord's guilt thus faultless bide I pain,
    Yet from my lord shall not my foot remove:
    Sweet is the death that taketh end by love.


GEORGE GASCOIGNE (1525?-1577)

DRAMATIST AND poet, Gascoigne is credited with having written the earliest English critical essay on the writing of poetry.


    "You must not wonder, though you think it strange"

    You must not wonder, though you think it strange,
    To see me hold my lowering head so low;
    And that mine eyes take no delight to range
    About the gleams which on your face do grow.
    The mouse which once hath broken out of trap
    Is seldom teased with the trustless bait,
    But lies aloof for fear of more mishap,
    And feedeth still in doubt of deep deceit.
    The scorched fly which once hath 'scap'd the flame
    Will hardly come to play again with fire.
    Whereby I learn that grievous is the game
    Which follows fancy dazzled by desire.
    So that I wink or else hold down my head,
    Because your blazing eyes my bale have bred.


SIR WALTER RALEGH (1552?-1618)

POET, SOLDIER and courtier, favorite of Queen Elizabeth. Declining political fortunes resulted in long imprisonment in the Tower of London and his eventual execution by James I.


    [Sir Walter Ralegh to his Son]

    Three things there be that prosper up apace
    And flourish, whilst they grow asunder far,
    But on a day, they meet all in one place,
    And when they meet, they one another mar;
    And they be these: the wood, the weed, the wag.
    The wood is that which makes the gallow tree;
    The weed is that which strings the hangman's bag;
    The wag, my pretty knave, betokeneth thee.
    Mark well, dear boy, whilst these assemble not,
    Green springs the tree, hemp grows, the wag is wild,
    But when they meet, it makes the timber rot;
    It frets the halter, and it chokes the child.
    Then bless thee, and beware, and let us pray
    We part not with thee at this meeting day.


EDMUND SPENSER (1552-1599)

AUTHOR OF The Faerie Queene. The sonnets presented here are from his Amoretti, a sequence of 88 sonnets.


    "Happy ye leaves! whenas those lily hands"

    Happy ye leaves! whenas those lily hands,
    Which hold my life in their dead doing might,
    Shall handle you, and hold in love's soft bands,
    Like captives trembling at the victor's sight.
    And happy lines! on which, with starry light,
    Those lamping eyes will deign sometimes to look,
    And read the sorrows of my dying sprite,
    Written with tears in heart's close bleeding book.
    And happy rhymes! bathed in the sacred brook
    Of Helicon, whence she derived is,
    When ye behold that angel's blessed look,
    My soul's long lacked food, my heaven's bliss.
    Leaves, lines, and rhymes seek her to please alone,
    Whom if ye please, I care for other none.


    'Most glorious Lord of life, that on this day"

    Most glorious Lord of life, that on this day
    Didst make thy triumph over death and sin,
    And having harrowed hell, didst bring away
    Captivity thence captive, us to win:
    This joyous day, dear Lord, with joy begin,
    And grant that we, for whom thou diddest die,
    Being with thy dear blood clean washed from sin,
    May live forever in felicity:
    And that thy love we weighing worthily,
    May likewise love thee for the same again;
    And for thy sake, that all like dear didst buy,
    May love with one another entertain.
    So let us love, dear love, like as we ought,
    Love is the lesson which the Lord us taught.


    "One day I wrote her name upon the strand"

    One day I wrote her name upon the strand,
    But came the waves and washed it away:
    Again I wrote it with a second hand,
    But came the tide, and made my pains his prey.
    Vain man, said she, that dost in vain assay
    A mortal thing so to immortalize!
    For I myself shall like to this decay,
    And eek my name be wiped out likewise.
    Not so (quoth I), let baser things devise
    To die in dust, but you shall live by fame:
    My verse your virtues rare shall eternize,
    And in the heavens write your glorious name;
    Where, whenas death shall all the world subdue,
    Our love shall live, and later life renew.


    "Fair is my love, when her fair golden hairs"

    Fair is my love, when her fair golden hairs
    With the loose wind ye waving chance to mark:
    Fair, when the rose in her red cheeks appears,
    Or in her eyes the fire of love does spark:
    Fair, when her breast, like a rich laden bark
    With precious merchandise she forth doth lay:
    Fair, when that cloud of pride, which oft doth dark
    Her goodly light, with smiles she drives away —
    But fairest she, when so she doth display
    The gate with pearls and rubies richly dight,
    Through which her words so wise do make their way,
    To bear the message of her gentle sprite.
    The rest be works of Nature's wonderment,
    But this the work of heart's astonishment.


SIR PHILIP SIDNEY (1554-1586)

SIDNEY'S GREAT sonnet sequence Astrophel and Stella (published in 1591), from which the first three selections are taken, was enormously popular and influential, inaugurating the great vogue for sonnet sequences in the 1590s.


    "Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show"

    Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show,
    That the dear she might take some pleasure of my pain,
    Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know,
    Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain,
    I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of woe:
    Studying inventions fine, her wits to entertain,
    Oft turning others' leaves, to see if thence would flow
    Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sunburned brain.
    But words came halting forth, wanting Invention's stay;
    Invention, Nature's child, fled stepdame Study's blows;
    And others' feet still seemed but strangers in my way.
    Thus, great with child to speak, and helpless in my throes,
    Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite:
    "Fool," said my Muse to me, "look in thy heart, and write."


    "With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb'st the skies!"

    With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb'st the skies!
    How silently, and with how wan a face!
    What! may it be that even in heavenly place
    That busy archer his sharp arrows tries?
    Sure, if that long-with-love-acquainted eyes
    Can judge of love, thou feel'st a lover's case:
    I read it in thy looks; thy languish'd grace
    To me, that feel the like, thy state descries.
    Then, even of fellowship, O Moon, tell me,
    Is constant love deem'd there but want of wit?
    Are beauties there as proud as here they be?
    Do they above love to be loved, and yet
    Those lovers scorn whom that love doth possess?
    Do they call "virtue" there — ungratefulness?


    "Come, Sleep, O Sleep! the certain knot of peace"

    Come, Sleep, O Sleep! the certain knot of peace,
    The baiting place of wit, the balm of woe,
    The poor man's wealth, the prisoner's release,
    Th' indifferent judge between the high and low;
    With shield of proof shield me from out the prease
    Of those fierce darts despair at me doth throw:
    O make in me those civil wars to cease;
    I will good tribute pay, if thou do so.
    Take thou of me smooth pillows, sweetest bed,
    A chamber deaf to noise and blind to light,
    A rosy garland, and a weary head:
    And if these things, as being thine by right,
    Move not thy heavy grace, thou shalt in me,
    Livelier than elsewhere, Stella's image see.


    "Leave me, O Love, which reachest but to dust"

    Leave me, O Love, which reachest but to dust;
    And thou, my mind, aspire to higher things;
    Grow rich in that which never taketh rust;
    Whatever fades, but fading pleasure brings.
    Draw in thy beams, and humble all thy might
    To that sweet yoke where lasting freedoms be,
    Which breaks the clouds and opens forth the light,
    That doth both shine and give us light to see.
    O take fast hold; let that light be thy guide
    In this small course which birth draws out to death,
    And think how evil becometh him to slide
    Who seeketh heaven, and comes of heavenly breath.
    Then farewell, world; thy uttermost I see:
    Eternal Love, maintain thy life in me.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Great Sonnets by Paul Negri. Copyright © 1994 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledements
THOMAS WYATT
  "The long love that in my thought doth harbor"
  "My galley charged with forgetfulness"
  "Farewell, love, and all thy laws forever"
  "Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind"
"HENRY HOWARD, EARL OF SURREY"
  The Soote Season
  "Love, that doth reign and live within my thought"
GEORGE GASCOIGNE
  "You must not wonder, though you think it strange"
SIR WALTER RALEGH
  [Sir Walter Ralegh to his Son]
EDMUND SPENSER
  "Happy ye leaves! whenas those lily hands"
  "Most glorious Lord of life, that on this day"
  "One day I wrote her name upon the strand"
  "Fair is my love, when her fair golden hairs"
SIR PHILIP SIDNEY
  "Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show"
  "With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb'st the skies"
  "Come Sleep, O Sleep! the certain knot of peace"
  "Leave me, O Love, which reachest but to dust"
SAMUEL DANIEL
  "Fair is my Love and cruel as she 's fair"
  "Care-charmer Sleep, son of the sable Night"
  "Let others sing of Knights and Paladines"
  "If this be love, to draw a weary breath"
MICHAEL DRAYTON
  "Dear, why should you command me to my rest"
  "Since there's no help, come le us kiss and part"
JOSHUA SYLVESTER
  "Were I as base as in the lowly plain"
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
  "When I do count the clock that tells the time"
  "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?"
  "When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes"
  "When to the sessions of sweet silent thought"
  "Not marble, nor the gilded monuments"
  "Let me not to the marriage of true minds"
  "Th' expense of spirit in a waste of shame"
  "My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun"
BARNABE BARNES
  "Ah, sweet Content, where is thy mild abode?"
JOHN DONNE
  "Thou hast made me, and shall thy work decay?"
  "At the round earth's imagin'd corners, blow"
  "Death be not proud, though some have called thee"
  "Batter my heart, three-person'd God; for you"
WILLIAM DRUMMOND OF HAWTHORNDEN
  "I know that all beneath the moon decays"
  "My lute, be as thou wert when thou didst grow"
GEORGE HERBERT
  Prayer
  Redemption
JOHN MILTON
  On His Being Arrived to ethe Age of Twenty-Three
  On His Blindness
  On the Late Massacre in Piedmont
  On His Deceased Wife
  "To the Lord General Cromwell, on the Proposals of Certain Ministers at the Committee for the Propagation of the Gospel"
THOMAS GRAY
  On the Death of Mr. Richard West
WILLIAM BLAKE
  To the Evening Star
ROBERT BURNS
  A Sonnet upon Sonnets
WILLIAM LISLE BOWLES
  "O Time! Who know'st a lenient hand to lay"
WILLIAM WORDSWORTH
  "Nuns fret not at their convent's narrow room"
  Scorn Not the Sonnet
  "It is a beauteous evening, calm and free"
  "Surprised by joy - impatient as the wind"
  "Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802"
  "The world is too much with us; late and soon"
SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE
  Work Without Hope
  On a Discovery Made Too Late
ROBERT SOUTHEY
  Winter
CHARLES LAMB
  "A timid grace sits trembling in her eye"
JOSEPH BLANCO WHITE
  To Night
LEIGH HUNT
  The Nile
  To the Grasshopper and the Cricket
"GEORGE GORDON, LORD BYRON"
  Sonnet on Chillon
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY
  Ozymandias
  Sonnet: England in 1819
  "Lift not the painted veil which those who live"
WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT
  Midsummer
  November
JOHN KEATS
  On First Looking into Chapman's Homer
  On Sitting Down to Read King Lear Once Again
  On Seeing the Elgin Marbles
  "Why did I laugh to-night? No voice will tell"
  When I Have Fears
  Bright Star
HARTLEY COLERIDGE
  Prayer
  "Long time a child, and still a child, when years"
THOMAS HOOD
  Silence
  Death
ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING
  "If thou must love me, let it be for nought"
  "Belovèd, my Belovèd, when I think"
  "If I leave all for thee, wilt thou exchange"
  "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways"
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW
  Mezzo Cammin
  The Cross of Snow
  Milton
  The Poets
JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER
  Forgiveness
  Godspeed
CHARLES TENNYSON TURNER
  The Buoy-Bell
  Orion
"ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON"
  "If I were loved, as I desire to be"
  Poets and Their Bibliographies
EDGAR ALAN POE
  To Science
  Silence
WILLIAM BELL SCOTT
  My Mother
  A Garland for Advancing Years
JONES VERY
  The Columbine
  The Fair Morning
  The Clouded Morning
JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL
  The Street
FREDERICK GODDARD TUCKERMAN
  "An upper chamber in a darkened house"
  "Last night I dreamed we parted once again"
MATTHEW ARNOLD
  Shakespeare
  West London
GEORGE MEREDITH
  Lucifer in Starlight
  "By this he knew she wept with waking eyes"
  "In our old shipwrecked days there was an hour"
  "Thus piteously Love closed what he begat"
DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI
  A Sonnet
  Silent Noon
  A Superscription
  The One Hope
CHRISTINA ROSSETTI
  Rest
  Youth Gone
  After Death
  Remember
THEODORE WATTS-DUNTON
  The Sonnet's Voice
  Coleridge
WILLIAM MORRIS
  Summer Dawn
ALGERNON CHARLES SWINBURNE
  Love and Sleep
JOHN ADDINGTON SYMONDS
  The Sonnet (III)
  Lux Est Umbra Dei
WILFRID SCAWEN BLUNT
  On Her Vanity
  As to His Choice of Her
  TO One Who Would Make a Confession
THOMAS HARDY
  Hap
  Often When Warring
MATHILDE BLIND
  The Dead
EDWARD DOWDEN
  "Leonardo's "Mona Lisa"
  Two Infinities
ROBERT BRIDGES
  "While yet we wait for spring, and from the dry"
  "In autumn moonlight, when the white air wan"
GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS
  God's Grandeur
  Spring
  [Carrion Comfort]
  "No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief"
EUGENE LEE-HAMILTON
  What the Sonnet Is
  Sunken Gold
ALICE MEYNELL
  Renouncement
  Changeless
EMMA LAZARUS
  The New Colossus
  Echoes
JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY
  Silence
  Eternity
PHILIP BOURKE MARSTON
  Love's Music
  A Vain Wish
OSCAR WILDE
  Hélas
  E Tenebris
CHARLES G. D. ROBERTS
  Burnt Lands
  The Night Sky
WILLIAM BUTLER YEARTS
  Leda and the Swan
  Meru
ERNEST DOWSON
  To One in Bedlam
  A Last Word
EDWIN ARLINGTON ROBINSON
  Reuben Bright
  How Annandale Went Out
LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS
  The Dead Poet
  To Sleep
PAUL LAURENCE DUNBAR
  Douglass
  Slow Through the Dark
ROBERT FROST
  Once by the Pacific
  Acquainted with the Night
  The Oven Bird
  Acceptance
SIEGFRIED SASSOON
  Dreamers
RUPERT BROOKE
  The Soldier
EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY
  "Oh, sleep forever in the Latmian cave"
  "Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink"
  "What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why"
  "Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare"
ARCHIBARD MACLEISH
  The End of the World
WILFRED OWEN
  Anthem for Doomed Youth
  On Seeing a Piece of Our Artillery Brought into Action
Alphabetical List of Titles and First Lines
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2002

    quick collection of sonnets

    this isn't an exhaustive collection of sonnets, nor a serious study. it is simply what it is: a short collection of sonnets that can be purchased cheaply. there are many great sonnets not included and no contemporary sonnets. but it isn't meant to be anything more than what it is. and if you love the sonnet, it's a good collection.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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