That the True Structure of the Sonnet Should Be Observ'd by Authors of Genius Who Thus Entitle Their Poems (addressed to Henry Kirke White)

Ye, whose aspirings court the Muse of lays
"Severest of those orders which belong
Distinct and separate to Delphic song"
Why shun the sonnet's undulating maze?
Or why its name, boast of Petrarcan days,
Assume, its rules disown'd?--whom from the throng
The Muse selects, their ear the charm obeys
Of its full harmony:--they fear to wrong
The sonnet by adorning with a name
Of that distinguisht import, lays, though sweet,
Yet not in magic texture taught to meet
Of that so varied and peculiar frame.
O think, to vindicate its genuine praise
Those it becomes whose lyre a favouring impulse sways.

Capel Lofft (1753-1824)


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2014 Selected Poetry
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