The Castle of Otranto

by Horace Walpole

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Sonnet to the Right Honourable Lady Mary Coke

The gentle maid, whose hapless tale
   These melancholy pages speak;
Say, gracious lady, shall she fail
   To draw the tear adown thy cheek?

No; never was thy pitying breast
   Insensible to human woes;
Tender, tho’ firm, it melts distrest
   For weaknesses it never knows.

Oh! guard the marvels I relate
Of fell ambition scourg’d by fate,
   From reason’s peevish blame.
Blest with thy smile, my dauntless sail
I dare expand to Fancy’s gale,
   For sure thy smiles are Fame.

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