Sonnet LXIII: The Gossamer

Charlotte Smith

Edited by Jack Lynch

The text comes from Elegiac Sonnets (1797–1800), vol. 2.

O’er faded heath-flowers spun, or thorny furze,
   The filmy Gossamer is lightly spread;
Waving in every sighing air that stirs,
   As Fairy fingers had entwined the thread:
A thousand trembling orbs of lucid dew
   Spangle the texture of the fairy loom,
As if soft Sylphs, lamenting as they flew,
   Had wept departed Summer’s transient bloom:
But the wind rises, and the turf receives
   The glittering web: — So, evanescent, fade
Bright views that Youth with sanguine heart believes:
   So vanish schemes of bliss, by Fancy made;
Which, fragile as the fleeting dews of morn,
Leave but the wither’d heath, and barren thorn!