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.
 
I. Youth Unexpectedly Smitten by Love
By William Drummond, of Hawthornden (1585–1649)
 
AS the young fawn, when winter’s gone away
  (Unto a sweeter season granting place),
  More wanton grown by smiles of heaven’s fair face,
  Leaveth the silent woods at break of day,
And now on hills and now by brooks doth prey        5
  On tender flowers, secure and solitar, 1
  Far from all cabins, and where shepherds are;
  Where his desire him guides, his foot doth stray;
He feareth not the dart, nor other arms,
  Till he be shot into the noblest part        10
  By cunning archer who in dark bush lies:
So innocent, not fearing coming harms,
  Wandering was I that day when your fair eyes,
  World-killing shafts, gave death-wounds to my heart. 2
 
Note 1. Solitary,—a Scotticism, from the French solitaire; that is to say, from the ordinary pronunciation of that word;—solitary itself having come from the older poetical pronunciation solitair. [back]
Note 2. This appears to have been one of the earliest productions of Drummond. It is translated from a sonnet of Bembo, which is printed with it in the edition of Drummond’s poems published by the Maitland Club (Edinburgh, 1832); and it is there accompanied by two variations of itself, which look like poetical studies. One is in couplets, which he calls “freer sort of rhyme,”—or in his older northern spelling, “frier sort of rime.” The other is “paraphrasticalie translated.” The study seems to lie chiefly in the versification; and he is so bent on giving variety to the experiments, that the stricken deer is a “fawn” in the first effusion, a “stag” in the second, and a “hart” in the third. It thus appears that Drummond did not get his reputation as a versifier for nothing. The sonnet is very pleasing and graceful. [back]
 
 
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