William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898)
To a Rejected Sonnet
Poor child of sorrow! who didst boldly spring,
Like sapient Pallas, from thy parent's brain
All armed in mail of proof! and thou wouldst fain
Leap further yet, and on exulting wing
Rise to the summit of the printer's press!
But cruel hand hath nipped thy buds amain,
Hath fixed on thee the darkling inky stain,
Hath soiled thy splendour and defiled thy dress!
Where are thy "full-orbed moon" and "sky serene"?
And where thy "waving foam" and "foaming wave"?
All, all are blotted by the murderous pen
And lie unhonoured in their papery grave!
Weep, gentle sonnets! Sonneteers, deplore!
And vow--and keep your vow--you'll write no more!