Young men should not write sonnets, if they dream
Some day to reach the bright bare seats of fame:
To such, sweet thoughts and mighty feelings seem
As though, like foreign things, they rarely came.
Eager as men, when haply they have heard
Of some new songster, some gay-feathered bird,
That hath o’er blue seas strayed in hope to find
In our thin foliage here a summer home,
Fain would they catch the bright things in their mind,
And cage them into sonnets as they come.
No: they should serve their wants most sparingly,
Till the ripe time of song, when young thoughts fail,
Then the sad sonnets, like old bards, might be
Merry as youth, and yet grey-haired and hale.