William Wordsworth, Scorn Not the Sonnet (1827)

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Scorn not the Sonnet; Critic, you have frowned,
Mindless of its just honours; with this key
Shakspeare unlocked his heart; the melody
Of this small lute gave ease to Petrarch's wound;
A thousand times this pipe did Tasso sound;
With it Camoens soothed an exile's grief;
The Sonnet glittered a gay myrtle leaf
Amid the cypress with which Dante crowned
His visionary brow: a glow-worm lamp,
It cheered mild Spenser, called from Faery-land
To struggle through dark ways; and when a damp
Fell round the path of Milton, in his hand
The Thing became a trumpet; whence he blew
Soul-animating strains--alas, too few!

Critical Edition

William Wordsworth. "Scorn Not the Sonnet [1827]." Last Poems 1821-1850. Ed. Jared Curtis. Ithaca, London: Cornell University Press, 1999. 82.

Further Reading

  • Jackson, Geoffrey (ed.). Sonnet Series and Itinerary Poems, 1820-1845 by William Wordsworth. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 2004.

External Links