Sonnet To George Romney, Esq. On His Picture Of Me In Crayons,

A poem by William Cowper

Drawn at Eartham in the 61st year of my age, and in the months of August and September 1792.


Romney, expert infallibly to trace
On chart or canvas, not the form alone
And semblance, but however faintly shown,
The mind’s impression too on every face—
With strokes that time ought never to erase,
Thou hast so pencill’d mine, that though I own
The subject worthless, I have never known
The artist shining with superior grace.


But this I mark—that symptoms none of woe
In thy incomparable work appear.
Well—I am satisfied it should be so,
Since, on maturer thought, the cause is clear;


For in my looks what sorrow couldst thou see
When I was Hayley’s guest, and sat to thee?

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