Charlotte Smith

4 May 1749 – 28 October 1806 / London

Sonnet Lxxxiii. The Sea View

THE upland shepherd, as reclined he lies
On the soft turf that clothes the mountain brow,
Marks the bright sea-line mingling with the skies;
Or from his course celestial, sinking slow,
The summer-sun in purple radiance low,
Blaze on the western waters; the wide scene
Magnificent, and tranquil, seems to spread
Even o'er the rustic's breast a joy serene,
When, like dark plague-spots by the demons shed,
Charged deep with death, upon the waves, far seen,
Move the war-freighted ships; and fierce and red,
Flash their destructive fires--The mangled dead
And dying victims then pollute the flood.
Ah, thus man spoils Heaven's glorious works with blood!
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