But at her side
An angel doth abide,
With such a perfect joy
As no dim doubts alloy,
A glory, an amenity,
Passing the dark condition
Of blind humanity,
As if he surely knew
All the blest wonder should ensue,
Or he had lately left the upper sphere,
And had read all the sovran schemes and divine riddles there.
* * * * *
ON THE SAME.
Maternal lady with the virgin grace,
Heaven-born thy Jesus seemeth sure,
And thou a virgin pure.
Lady most perfect, when thy sinless face
Men look upon, they wish to be
A Catholic, Madonna fair, to worship thee.
* * * * * I.
TO MISS KELLY.
You are not, Kelly, of the common strain,
That stoop their pride and female honor down
To please that many-headed beast the town,
And vend their lavish smiles and tricks for gain;
By fortune thrown amid the actors’ train,
You keep your native dignity of thought;
The plaudits that attend you come unsought,
As tributes due unto your natural vein.
Your tears have passion in them, and a grace
Of genuine freshness, which our hearts avow;
Your smiles are winds whose ways we cannot trace,
That vanish and return we know not how—
And please the better from a pensive face,
A thoughtful eye, and a reflecting brow.
ON THE SIGHT OF SWANS IN KENSINGTON GARDEN.
Queen-bird that sittest on thy shining-nest,
And thy young cygnets without sorrow hatchest,
And thou, thou other royal bird, that watchest
Lest the white mother wandering feet molest:
Shrined are your offspring in a crystal cradle,
Brighter than Helen’s ere she yet had burst
Her shelly prison. They shall be born at first
Strong, active, graceful, perfect, swan-like able
To tread the land or waters with security.
Unlike poor human births, conceived in sin,
In grief brought forth, both outwardly and in
Confessing weakness, error, and impurity.
Did heavenly creatures own succession’s line,
The births of heaven like to yours would shine.
Was it some sweet device of Faery
That mock’d my steps with many a lonely glade,
And fancied wanderings with a fair-hair’d maid?
Have these things been? or what rare witchery,
Impregning with delights the charmed air,
Enlighted up the semblance of a smile
In those fine eyes? methought they spake the while
Soft soothing things, which might enforce despair
To drop the murdering knife, and let go by
His foul resolve. And does the lonely glade
Still court the footsteps of the fair-hair’d maid?
Still in her locks the gales of summer sigh?
While I forlorn do wander reckless where,
And ’mid my wanderings meet no Anna there.