The Literary Maiden

A compendium of obscure 19th century writing.

Tag: John William Polidori

“Sonnet (I’m tir’d of this mortality…)” by John William Polidori

John W. Polidori
From Ximenes, the Wreathe, and Other Poems, pg. 165

I’m tir’d of this mortality—for years
I scorn’d this nature; for methought I saw
Nought but the marks of virtue caused by fears
Of what the stronger might make into law.
Methought that souls, like the cameleon’s skin,
Could every hue invest—the hero, knave,
Or any mask that could a purpose win,
Or help the various plot of passion’s slave.
And now that I have found some who perform
The noblest acts, not for the use alone,
But that their natures form’d in virtue’s mould.
I scorn mortality, which cannot form
A word worthy of virtue’s heavenly throne,
At such a sight my feeling’s to unfold.

“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.