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.
 
The Temple of Chastity
By Mrs. Mary Darby Robinson (1757?–1800)
 
HIGH 1 on a rock coeval with the skies,
  A temple stands, reared by immortal powers
  To Chastity divine! Ambrosial flowers,
  Twining round icicles, in columns rise,
Mingling with pendent gems of orient dyes.        5
  Piercing the air, a golden crescent towers,
  Veiled by transparent clouds; while smiling hours
  Shake from their varying wings celestial joys!
The steps of spotless marble, scattered o’er
  With deathless roses armed with many a thorn,        10
Lead to the altar. On the frozen floor,
  Studded with tear-drops petrified by scorn,
Pale vestals kneel, the goddess to adore,
  While Love, his arrows broke, retires forlorn.
 
Note 1. Earliest known mistress of George IV.; a circumstance from which the sonnet, which is not without merit in itself, derives a melancholy interest. It is extracted from the Rev. Mr. Dyce’s “Specimens of British Poetesses.” [back]
 
 
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