“Sonnet (I know not how it is…)” by John William Polidori
John William Polidori (author of “The Vampyre”)
From Ximenes, the Wreath, and Other Poems, Pg. 164
*Written in the Album, at Costessey, after [Polidori’s] recovery from an accident, 1817.
I know not how it is—you gave me life!
Yet, can’t my heart find words my lips may speak,
In thanks for such a gift?—vain, vain’s the strife!
The feeling’s strong!—for it words are weak.—
No muse of Helicon can here avail—
No muse-inspiring god can help me now!
They only aid when fiction forms her tale,
Or give a verse when all but feelings flow.—
Then where to look, if not to him alone,
Who touch’d Isaiah’s mouth with burning coal,
If thus he deign’d to touch my lips with fire—
Not then as now—I’d seem a breathing stone;—
But as I feel would speak, and show my soul
Well knows what all your kindness should inspire.