Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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"LYRE! THOUGH SUCH POWER DO IN THY MAGIC LIVE"

          LYRE! though such power do in thy magic live
            As might from India's farthest plain
            Recall the not unwilling Maid,
                  Assist me to detain
                  The lovely Fugitive:
          Check with thy notes the impulse which, betrayed
          By her sweet farewell looks, I longed to aid.
          Here let me gaze enrapt upon that eye,
          The impregnable and awe-inspiring fort
          Of contemplation, the calm port                             10
          By reason fenced from winds that sigh
          Among the restless sails of vanity.
          But if no wish be hers that we should part,
          A humbler bliss would satisfy my heart.
                  Where all things are so fair,
          Enough by her dear side to breathe the air
                  Of this Elysian weather;
          And, on or in, or near, the brook, espy
            Shade upon the sunshine lying
                  Faint and somewhat pensively;                       20
            And downward Image gaily vying
                  With its upright living tree
          'Mid silver clouds, and openings of blue sky
          As soft almost and deep as her cerulean eye.

          Nor less the joy with many a glance
          Cast up the Stream or down at her beseeching,
          To mark its eddying foam-balls prettily distrest
          By ever-changing shape and want of rest;
                  Or watch, with mutual teaching,
                  The current as it plays                             30
                  In flashing leaps and stealthy creeps
                  Adown a rocky maze;
          Or note (translucent summer's happiest chance!)
          In the slope-channel floored with pebbles bright,
          Stones of all hues, gem emulous of gem,
          So vivid that they take from keenest sight
          The liquid veil that seeks not to hide them.
                                                              1842.


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