Edward Cracroft Lefroy (1855-1891)

"This gentleman, whom delicate health has prevented pursuing further the clerical profession, may be considered the living poetical brother of Hartley Coleridge and Mr. Charles Tennyson-Turner: to the work of the latter his sonnets bear an especial affinity. They are simple in language, genuine in feeling, and poetic in expression, but they do not invariably fulfil the technical requirements of the legitimate sonnet. Of one thing it seems to me Mr. Lefroy has need to beware--that he does not lapse into the fatal Wordsworthian habit of rhyming upon everything he sees or thinks of: as yet his bark is sailing safely enough in that disastrous neighborhood, but once caught in the current--and there is an end of 'pure gems of white-heat thought carved delicately!'" (Sharp)

return to sonnet central return to the Victorian Era

Suburban Meadows

How calmly drops the dew on tree and plant,
While round each pendulous leaf the cool airs blow!
The neighbour city has no sign to show
Of all its grim machines that toil and pant,
Except a sky that coal makes confidant:
But there the human rivers ebb and flow,
And thither was I wonted once to go
With heart not ill at ease or recusant.
Here now I love to wander morn and eve,
Till oaks and elms have grown oracular;
Yet conscious that my soberest thoughts receive
A tinge of tumult from the smoke afar;
And scarcely know to which I most belong--
The simple fields or that unsimple throng.

On the Beach in November

My heart's Ideal, that somewhere out of sight
Art beautiful and gracious and alone,--
Haply, where blue Saronic waves are blown
On shores that keep some touch of old delight,--
How welcome thy memory, and how bright,
To one who watches over leagues of stone
These chilly northern waters creep and moan
From weary morning unto weary night.
O Shade-form, lovelier than the living crowd,
So kind to votaries, yet thyself unvowed,
So free to human fancies, fancy-free,
My vagrant thought goes out to thee, to thee,
As wandering lonelier than the Poet's cloud,
I listen to the wash of this dull sea.

(Texts from Sonnets of This Century.)