Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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SONNETS

VI. TO ------

                "Miss not the occasion: by the forelock take
                 That subtile Power, the never-halting Time,
                 Lest a mere moment's putting-off should make
                 Mischance almost as heavy as a crime."

          "WAIT, prithee, wait!" this answer Lesbia threw
          Forth to her Dove, and took no further heed;
          Her eye was busy, while her fingers flew
          Across the harp, with soul-engrossing speed;
          But from that bondage when her thoughts were freed
          She rose, and toward the close-shut casement drew,
          Whence the poor unregarded Favourite, true
          To old affections, had been heard to plead
          With flapping wing for entrance. What a shriek!
          Forced from that voice so lately tuned to a strain          10
          Of harmony!--a shriek of terror, pain,
          And self-reproach! for, from aloft, a Kite
          Pounced,--and the Dove, which from its ruthless beak
          She could not rescue, perished in her sight!
                                                              1835.


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