Oft upon the twilight plain,
Circled with thy shadowy train,
While the dove at distance coo'd,
Have I met thee, Solitude!
Then was loneliness to me
Best and true society,
But ah! how alter'd is thy mien
In this sad deserted scene!
Here all thy classic pleasures cease,
Musing mild, and thoughtful peace;
Here thou com'st in sullen mood,
Not with thy fantastic brood
Of magic shapes and visions airy
Beckon'd from the land of Fairy:
'Mid the melancholy void
Not a pensive charm enjoy'd!
No poetic being here
Strikes with airy sounds mine ear;
No converse here to fancy cold
With many a fleeting form I hold,
Here all inelegant and rude
Thy presence is, sweet Solitude.
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Thomas Warton (1728 - 1790) was a British poet who attended Oxford, was a professor of poetry there for many years, and twice served as the school's poet laureate. His talent for poetry revealed itself at an early age and, in fact, the bulk of Warton's poems were written before he was thirty. Partial to sonnets, he is credited with rekindling enthusiasm for that form at a time when both writers and readers had lost interest in it.
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