[This Sonnet was written when the Balloon enthusiasm was at its height. — author’s note]

From Possibility's dim chaos sprung,
    High o'er its gloom the Aërostatic Power
    Arose!—Exulting Nations hail'd the hour,
    Magnific boast of Science!—Loud they sung
Her victory o'er the element, that hung,
    Pressing to earth the Beings, who now soar
    Aerial heights;—but Wisdom bids explore
    This vaunted skill;—if, tides of air among,
We know to steer our bark.—Here Science finds
    Her buoyant hopes burst, like the bubble vain,
    Type of this art;—guilty, if still she blinds
The sense of Fear; persists thy flame to fan,
    Sky-vaulting Pride, that to the aweless winds
    Throws, for an idle Show, the Life of Man!


Seward, Anna. Original Sonnets on Various Subjects and Odes Paraphrased from Horace. London: G. Sael, 1799. Project Gutenberg EBook #27663 produced by Michael Roe and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team, 2008.

Last modified 22 August 2018