"Mezzotinto" (fl. 1850)

From Notes and Queries, Dec. 14, 1850.

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Sonnet: Attempting to prove that Black is White

"It has been said of many, they were quite
Prepared to prove (I do not mean in fun)
That white was really black, and black was white;
But I believe it has not yet been done.
Black (Saxon, Blac) in any way to liken
With candour may seem almost out of reach;
Yet whiten is in kindred German bleichen,
Undoubtedly identical with bleach:
This last verb's cognate adjective is bleak--
Reverting to the Saxon, bleak is blæk.*
A semivowel is, at the last squeak,
All that remains such difference wide to make--
The hostile terms of keen antithesis
Brought to an E plus ultra all but kiss!"

*Pronounced (as black was anciently written) blake