Hall Caine (1853-?)

return to sonnet central return to the Victorian period

"Where Lies the Land"

Where lies the land to which thy soul would go?--
Beyond the wearied wold, the songless dell,
The purple grape and golden asphodel,
Beyond the zone where streams baptismal flow.
Where lies the land of which thy soul would know?--
There where the unvexed senses darkling dwell,
Where never haunting, hurrying footfall fell,
Where toil is not, nor builded hope laid low.

Rest! Rest! to thy hushed realm how one by one
Old Earth's tired ages steal away and weep
Forgotten or unknown, long duty done!
Ah God, when death in seeming peace shall steep
Life's loud turmoil and Time his race hath run
Shall heart of man at length find rest and sleep?

(Text from The Book of Sorrow)

After Sunset

Vocal yet voiceless, lingering, lambent, white
With the wide wings of evening on the fell,
The tranquil vale, the enchanted citadel,--
Another day swoons to another night.
Speak low: from bare Blencathra's purple height
The sound o' the ghyll falls furled; and, loath to go,
A continent of cloud its plaited snow
Wears far away athwart a lake of light.

Is it the craft of hell that while we lie
Enshaded, lulled, beneath heaven's breezeless sky,
The garrulous clangours and assoilëd shows
Of London's burrowing mazes haunt us yet?
City, forgive me: mother of joys and woes
Thy shadow is here, and lo, our eyes are wet.

(Text from Sonnets of This Century)