The Gold-Crested Wren

Original Text: 
Collected Sonnets Old and New (London: C. Kegan Paul & Co., 1880) : 184. PR 5699 T7 Robarts Library
1When my hand closed upon thee, worn and spent
2With idly dashing on the window-pane,
3Or clinging to the cornice -- I, that meant
4At once to free thee, could not but detain;
5I dropt my pen, I left th' unfinished lay,
6To give thee back to freedom; but I took --
7Oh, charm of sweet occasion! -- one brief look
8At thy bright eyes and innocent dismay;
9Then forth I sent thee on thy homeward quest,
10My lesson learnt -- thy beauty got by heart:
11And if, at times, my sonnet-muse would rest
12Short of her topmost skill, her little best,
13The memory of thy delicate gold crest
14Shall plead for one last touch, -- the crown of Art.
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
Sonnets (1868)
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: