William Alexander

Advice To Sonnet Writers 1

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If thou canst mould thy work as Winter does,
Who helps, not hides, its beauty line on line,
Intricately maintaining his design
Through all the infinite intaglios
Pent on a narrow pane; if to a rose
A diamond thou canst cut—it may be thine
The sonnet's subtle secret to divine.
Chiefly if thou thy central thought dispose
So that through words by brevity made pale
They who look studiously shall see at last
Thy thought grow large—as in a misty zone
At sea through the grey gazed-on grows a mast
Obscurely carring noble heights of sail
Miles through the dim magnificent unknown;

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