Anna Seward

Sonnet 29. If Genius has its danger, grief and pain


If Genius has its danger, grief and pain,
    That Common-Sense escapes, yet who wou'd change
    The Powers, thro' Nature, and thro' Art that range,
    To keep the bounded, tho' more safe domain
Of moderate Intellect, where all we gain
    Is cold approvance? where the sweet, the strange,
    Soft, and sublime, in vivid interchange,
    Nor glad the spirit, nor enrich the brain.
Destructive shall we deem yon noon-tide blaze
    If transiently the eye, o'er-power'd, resign
    Distinct perception?—Shall we rather praise
The Moon's wan light?—with owlish choice incline
    That Common-Sense her lunar lamp shou'd raise
    Than that the solar fires of Genius shine?

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