Joseph Rodman Drake (1795-1820)

From The Sonnet in American Literature

No sonnets by Joseph Rodman Drake are found in The Culprit and Other Poems, which purports to be Drake's complete verse. The sonnet reprinted here is quoted by Duyckinck [Duyckinck: "Cyclopedia of American Literature," Phila., 1881, Vol. I, p. 930] as by Drake, with the note that this and several other poems were not included in the 1835 edition. Thorough search has revealed no earlier source.


Is thy heart weary of unfeeling men,
And chilled with the world's ice? Then come with me,
And I will bring thee to a pleasant glen
Lovely and lonely. There we'll sit, unviewed
By scoffing eye; and let our hearts beat free
With their own mutual throb. For wild and rude
The access is, and none will there intrude,
To poison our free thoughts, and mar our solitude!
Such scenes move not their feelings--for they hold
No fellowship with nature's loneliness;
The frozen wave reflects not back the gold
And crimson flushes of the sunset hour;
The rock lies cold in sunshine--not the power
Of heaven's bright orb can clothe its barrenness.

return to sonnet central return to American 19th century sonnets