John Albee (1833-1915)
"Born in 1833, he now resides in New Castle, N.H. He has
published few sonnets in his book. The first of those selected will remind
one, by its wide horizon, of the natural effect in Keats's sonnet on Chapman's
P. Putnam's Sons.)" (Crandall)
Read Albee's Confessions of Boyhood (Project Gutenberg).
If I have ever told you all my heart
Was yours, and perfect was the love it bore,
Believe it not! For in the time past o'er
I, like some world-wide traveler, would start
And gaze astonished where the mountains part,
Thinking of mountain peaks beyond no more,
As dimly climbing from the heaven's blue shore
On loftier heights the splendor falls athwart.
So while I dream all perfect is the bliss
Which years have added to my soul in thine,
And say, here must be the eternal bound,
Lo, in my heart some thought of thee doth kiss
Into clear light that undetermined line
Which hovers on the heaven of love profound.
Recreation in Love
That thou art high above me I have found
Full oft; when all alone my heavy brain
Turns from itself to thee, my thoughts regain
A place so far beyond their usual bound
I know they climb of other stairs the round
Than those which their aspiring flights restrain
In this dull house of clay. Come, not in vain
Thy height shall raise me from this lifeless ground.
Let me from thine my lampless way rewin;
Usurp this empty-falling tenement
With ruin underset, o'erhung by night;
Replenish it with all that once has been,
When all it had or wished thy presence lent,
And love trimmed fresh the intellectual light.
Rest, hunted spirit! Canst thou never sleep?
Ah, when the ghouls and vampires of the Press
Vex all thy tender soul in wantonness,
Canst thou know aught of peace, but still must weep!
What! shall thy heart's rich blood, poured out so deep,
Be made a merchandise without redress,
Nor any voice the world's base deed confess
Which prints and sells a poet's love so cheap?
My curse upon this prying, prurient age!
And curst the eyes not closed in angry shame!
For him whom English air and critic pen
Twice baffled ere his splendid, youthful gage
Had measured half the heaven of love and fame,
This shameless book has murdered once again!
(Texts from Representative Sonnets by American Poets)