Sonnet to Zoë King

   Leaf after life, like a magician’s book,
Unfolds the Universe, and needs we now,
   Cousin of mine (while the whole world doth look
Our shoulders over with its rocky brow),
   In turn our living story must transact
Upon the surface of its earthen pages;
   Whence the still shade of our most needless act
Shall paint itself with iron syllables
   In the arched sight of unawakened ages;
Therefore ’tis ours, and his who with us dwells
   Beneath the roof of the same starry hour,
Both in his own and in the general mind,
Which is the world, all truth and good to find,
   And finding practise to his end of power.

         Feb. 29, 1824.

[Gosse, 1890]