Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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"SHE WAS A PHANTOM OF DELIGHT"

          SHE was a Phantom of delight
          When first she gleamed upon my sight;
          A lovely Apparition, sent
          To be a moment's ornament;
          Her eyes as stars of Twilight fair;
          Like Twilight's, too, her dusky hair;
          But all things else about her drawn
          From May-time and the cheerful Dawn;
          A dancing Shape, an Image gay,
          To haunt, to startle, and way-lay.                          10

          I saw her upon nearer view,
          A Spirit, yet a Woman too!
          Her household motions light and free,
          And steps of virgin-liberty;
          A countenance in which did meet
          Sweet records, promises as sweet;
          A Creature not too bright or good
          For human nature's daily food;
          For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
          Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.             20

          And now I see with eye serene
          The very pulse of the machine;
          A Being breathing thoughtful breath,
          A Traveller between life and death;
          The reason firm, the temperate will,
          Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;
          A perfect Woman, nobly planned,
          To warn, to comfort, and command;
          And yet a Spirit still, and bright
          With something of angelic light.                            30
                                                              1804.


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