Sonnet xii. Written on the Sea Shore. – October, 1784

On some rude fragment of the rocky shore
         Where on the fractur’d cliff, the billows break,
         Musing, my solitary seat I take,
And listen to the deep and solemn roar.

O’er the dark waves the winds tempestuous howl;
         The screaming sea-bird quits the troubled sea:
         But the wild gloomy scene has charms for me,
And suits the mournful temper of my soul.

Already shipwreck’d by the storms of Fate,
         Like the poor mariner methinks I stand,
         Cast on a rock; who sees the distant land
From whence no succour comes – or comes too late.
Faint and more faint are heard his feeble cries,
’Till in the rising tide, the exhausted sufferer dies.

[SOURCE: Charlotte Smith, Elegiac Sonnets, 6th edn (London: T. Cadell, 1792)]

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