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.
 
V. Poets of the Olden Time
By Paul Hamilton Hayne (1830–1886)
 
THE BRAVE old poets sing of nobler themes
  Than the weak griefs that haunt our coward souls;
  The torrent of their lusty music rolls,
  Not through dark valleys of distempered dreams,
But murmurous pastures, lit by sunny streams;        5
  Or, rushing from some mountain-height of thought,
  Swells to strange meaning that our minds have sought
  Vainly to gather from the doubtful gleams
Of our more gross perceptions. O, their strains
  Nerve and ennoble manhood!—no shrill cry,        10
  Set to a treble, tells of querulous woe;—
Yet numbers deep-voiced as the mighty main’s
  Merge in the ring-dove’s plaining, or the sigh
  Of lovers whispering where sweet streamlets flow!
 
 
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