Charles Edwin Markham

"Magazine Contributor." (Sharp)

return to sonnet central return to 19th century Americans

After Reading Shakespeare

Blithe fancy lightly builds with airy hands
Or on the edges of the darkness peers
Breathless and frightened at the Voice she hears:
Imagination (lo! the sky expands)
Travels the blue arch and Cimmerian sands,--
Homeless on earth, the pilgrim of the spheres,
The rush of light before the hurrying years,
The Voice that cries in unfamiliar lands.

Men weigh the moons that flood with eerie light
The dusky vales of Saturn--wood and stream--
But who shall follow on the awful sweep
Of Neptune through the dim and dreadful deep?
Onward he wanders in the unknown night,
And we are shadows moving in a dream.

(Text from American Sonnets)