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Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
 
Evanescence
By Frederic William Henry Myers (1843–1901)
 
I SAW, I saw the lovely child
  I watch’d her by the way,
I learnt her gestures sweet and wild,
  Her loving eyes and gay.
 
Her name?—I heard not, nay, nor care;        5
  Enough it was for me
To find her innocently fair
  And delicately free.
 
O cease and go ere dreams be done,
  Nor trace the angel’s birth,        10
Nor find the Paradisal one
  A blossom of the earth!
 
Thus is it with our subtlest joys,—
  How quick the soul’s alarm!
How lightly deed or word destroys        15
  That evanescent charm!
 
It comes unbidden, comes unbought,
  Unfetter’d flees away;
His swiftest and his sweetest thought
  Can never poet say.        20
 
 
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