Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
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Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
 
VIII. The Merchant
By Sir John Hanmer (1809–1881)
 
NAKED wast thou, at thy birth-time, utterly,
Merchant whose sails are furled; and now the birds
Build under thy broad cornices, and the herds
Sleep in the shadow of thy planted tree;
The waves have borne thee onward; thou mayst see        5
The stars in new perspective; the full thirds
Of thy great wealth no more are inky words,
Paper and trust, but woods and swelling lea.
Then wilt thou keep the balance in thine house,
Emblem of just seigniory, and the cause?        10
Or with those harlequin heralds poorly feign?
Keep it; for noble citizenship thus,
And truth, the fountain that doth never pause,
Free from the weeds of folly thou wilt maintain.
 
 
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