Youth and Change

29 Oct

“A Sonnet is a moment’s monument”

 A Sonnet is a moment’s monument,

Memorial from the Soul’s eternity

To one dead deathless hour. Look that it be,

Whether for lustral rite or dire portent,

Of its own arduous fulness reverent:

Carve it in ivory or in ebony,

As Day or Night may rule; and let Time see

Its Powering crest impearled and orient.

A Sonnet is a coin: its face reveals

The soul,–its converse, to what Power ’tis due:–

Whether for tribute to the august appeals

Of Life, or dower in Love’s high retinue,

It serve, or, ‘mid the dark wharf’s cavernous breath,

In Charon’s palm it pay the toll to Death.

from the House of Life .
George P. Landow’s commentary on The House of Life is available at The Victorian Web.


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