She Was a Phantom of Delight
William Wordsworth, Poems in Two Volumes (1807). See The Manuscript of William Wordsworth's Poems, in Two Volumes (1807): A Facsimile (London: British Library, 1984). bib MASS (Massey College Library, Toronto).
1 She was a Phantom of delight
2When first she gleamed upon my sight;
3A lovely Apparition, sent
4To be a moment's ornament;
5Her eyes as stars of Twilight fair;
6Like Twilight's, too, her dusky hair;
7But all things else about her drawn
8From May-time and the cheerful Dawn;
9A dancing Shape, an Image gay,
10To haunt, to startle, and way-lay.
11I saw her upon nearer view,
12A Spirit, yet a Woman too!
13Her household motions light and free,
14And steps of virgin-liberty;
15A countenance in which did meet
16Sweet records, promises as sweet;
17A Creature not too bright or good
18For human nature's daily food;
19For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
20Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.
21And now I see with eye serene
22The very pulse of the machine;
23A Being breathing thoughtful breath,
24A Traveller between life and death;
25The reason firm, the temperate will,
26Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;
27A perfect Woman, nobly planned,
28To warn, to comfort, and command;
29And yet a Spirit still, and bright
30With something of angelic light.
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RPO poem Editors:
J. D. Robins