Sonnet LXX:

On Being Cautioned against
Walking on an Headland
Overlooking the Sea,
because It Was
Frequented by a Lunatic.

Charlotte Smith

Edited by Jack Lynch

The text comes from Elegiac Sonnets (1797-1800), vol. 2.

Is there a solitary wretch who hies
   To the tall cliff, with starting pace or slow,
And, measuring, views with wild and hollow eyes
   Its distance from the waves that chide below;
Who, as the sea-born gale with frequent sighs
   Chills his cold bed upon the mountain turf,
With hoarse, half-utter'd lamentation, lies
   Murmuring responses to the dashing surf?
In moody sadness, on the giddy brink,
   I see him more with envy than with fear;
He has no nice felicities that shrink
   From giant horrors; wildly wandering here,
He seems (uncursed with reason) not to know
The depth or the duration of his woe.