Bessie Gray

"Contributor to Magazines." (Sharp)

return to sonnet central return to 19th century Americans

Morning in Venice

'Gainst the dusk gold of morn's candescent sky
Strike dome and campanile, sharp and clear,
Jangling sweet bells on the still city's ear.
Strange scents of musk and myrtle hover nigh;
The frail pomegranate-blossoms, hanging high
Above the dark canal, drop straight and sheer,
Drift on, a crimson fleet, then disappear.
High-heap'd with sun-kiss'd fruits, the boats go by
With cadenc'd oar to the gay market-place,
Where purple, bloomy grapes, for very stress
Of swollen sweetness, burst and spill their wine;
Where bronzéd melons lie, in shade and shine,
And the Sea City's definite impress
Glows in swart splendour from each dusky face.

(Text from American Sonnets)