Charlotte Smith

4 May 1749 – 28 October 1806 / London

Sonnet Lvi.

IF, by his torturing, savage foes untraced,
The breathless captive gain some trackless glade,
Yet hears the war-whoop howl along the waste,
And dreads the reptile-monsters of the shade;
The giant reeds that murmur round the flood,
Seem to conceal some hideous form beneath;
And every hollow blast that shakes the wood,
Speaks to his trembling heart of woe and death.
With horror fraught, and desolate dismay,
On such a wanderer falls the starless night;
But if, far streaming, a propitious ray
Leads to some amicable fort his sight,
He hails the beam benign that guides his way,
As I, my Harriet, bless thy friendship's cheering light.
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