Charlotte Smith

4 May 1749 – 28 October 1806 / London

Sonnet Lvii. To Dependence

DEPENDENCE! heavy, heavy are thy chains,
And happier they who from the dangerous sea,
Or the dark mine, procure with ceaseless pains
A hard-earn'd pittance--than who trust to thee!
More blest the hind, who from his bed of flock
Starts--when the birds of morn their summons give,
And waken'd by the lark--' the shepherd's clock,'
Lives but to labour--labouring but to live.
More noble than the sycophant, whose art
Must heap with tawdry flowers thy hated shrine;
I envy not the meed thou canst impart
To crown his service--while, tho' pride combine
With Fraud to crush me--my unfetter'd heart
Still to the Mountain Nymph may offer mine.
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