Submitted by Ann Neilson

Soft moonlight bathes mine muse’s form, his
Dignified gaze approvingly peering
O’er feeble lines, lithe fingers sifting the
Runic words of mine poem, careering.
A hushéd murmur invades mine mind,
Delicate critique avec pensive hum—
Palpitating heartbeats quiver and pine
For him, whose own heart recalls to the drum.
I beg of God to find mine muse, whether
Entrapped in the shroud of Heaven’s graces,
Or, if, on his native streets he may walk there,
I pray to embrace his ghostly, echoed traces.
In dreams, in dreams we are ne’er to part—
Behold me, muse! blood of my beating heart.*

*This line is derived from poet Charles Fenno Hoffman’s translation of “Indian Serenade,” published in A Winter in the West, 1835.

Photo credit: Carvaggio – boy with basket

3 thoughts

  1. I think what really makes this sonnet shine is the highly ungrammatical use of “mine,” as in “mine mind.” Correct grammatical usage, in archaic construction, of mine + noun is only appropriate when the noun begins with a vowel (as in “Mine eyes have seen the glory”); similar to the rule of when to use “a” (before a noun beginning with a consonant) or “an” (before a noun beginning with a vowel. Kudos for daring to break the rules!

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