Eugene Lee-Hamilton

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Eugene Lee-Hamilton

Eugene Lee-Hamilton (18451907) was a late Victorian English poet. His work includes some notable sonnets in the style of Petrarch.


  • Fourteen small broidered berries on the hern
    Of Circe's mantle, each of magic gold;
    Fourteen of lone Calypso's tears that rolled
    Into the sea, for pearls to come to them;
    Fourteen clear signs of omen in the gem
    With which Medea human fate foretold
    Fourteen small drops, which Fautus, growing old,
    Craved of the Fiend, to water Life's stem
    • From What the Sonnet Is.
  • The hollow sea-shell, which for years hath stood
    On dusty shelves, when held against the ear
    Proclaims its stormy parent, and we hear
    The faint, far murmur of the breaking flood.
    We hear the sea. The Sea? It is the blood
    In our own veins, impetuous and near.
    • Sonnet. Sea-shell Murmurs, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919). Compare: "Gather a shell from the strewn beach / And listen at its lips: they sigh / The same desire and mystery, / The echo of the whole sea's speech", Dante Gabriel Rossetti, The Sea Hints; "I send thee a shell from the ocean-beach; But listen thou well, for my shell hath speech. Hold to thine ear / And plain thou'lt hear / Tales of ships", Charles Henry Webb, With a Nantucket Shell.

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