XV
Sonnet: To the Insect of the Gossamer
Charlotte Smith

          Small viewless aeronaut, that by the line
     Of Gossamer suspended, in mid air
     Float’st on a sun-beam—Living atom, where
     Ends thy breeze-guided voyage? With what design

          In æther dost thou launch thy form minute,
     Mocking the eye? Alas! before the veil
     Of denser clouds shall hide thee, the pursuit
     Of the keen Swift may end thy fairy sail!

          Thus on the golden thread that Fancy weaves
     Buoyant, as Hope’s illusive flattery breathes,
     The young and visionary Poet leaves
     Life’s dull realities, while sevenfold wreaths

Of rainbow light around his head revolve.
Ah! soon at Sorrow’s touch the radiant dreams dissolve.

From Charlotte Smith, Conversations Introducing Poetry, chiefly on Subjects of Natural History, For the Use of Young Persons, Vol. 2 (London, 1819), 7-8.

Source: Women Writers Online