Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
406. To Rosina Pico
 
By William Wilberforce
 
 
REGENT of song! who bringest to our shore
  Strains from the passionate land, where shapes of art
Make music of the wind that passes o’er,
  Thou even here hast found the human heart;
And in a thousand hearts thy songs repeat        5
Their echoes, like remembered poesy sweet,
Witching the soul to warble evermore.
 
First seen, it seemed as if thy sweetest strain
  Had taken shape, and stood before our sight;
Thy aspect filled the silence with sweet pain        10
  That made it long for death. O creature bright!
Or ere the trembling silence had ta’en flight
We listened to thy looks, in hushed delight,
And from thy motions sought a sound to gain.
 
Then on all hearts at once did pour a flood        15
  Of golden sound, in many an eddying tone,
As pours the wind into a breathless wood,
  Awakening in it music not its own;
Thy voice controlled all spirits to one mood,
Before all eyes one breathing image stood        20
  Beheld, as if to thee all eyes had grown.
 
Yet did I seem to be with thee alone,
  With thee to stand upon enchanted ground,
And gazed on thee, as if the sculptured stone
  Should live before me, (so thy magic bound        25
My soul, bewildered) while a cloud of sound,
Rising in wreaths, upon the air around
Lingered like incense from a censer thrown.
 

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