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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
She Was a Phantom of Delight
By William Wordsworth (1770–1850)
 
SHE was a phantom of delight
When first she gleamed upon my sight;
A lovely apparition, sent
To be a moment’s ornament;
Her eyes as stars of twilight fair;        5
Like twilight’s, too, her dusky hair;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful dawn:
A dancing shape, an image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and waylay.        10
 
I saw her upon nearer view,
A spirit, yet a woman too!
Her household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin liberty;
A countenance in which did meet        15
Sweet records, promises as sweet:
A creature not too bright or good
For human nature’s daily food;
For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.        20
 
And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine:
A being breathing thoughtful breath,
A traveler between life and death;
The reason firm, the temperate will,        25
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;
A perfect woman, nobly planned,
To warn, to comfort, and command;
And yet a spirit still, and bright
With something of angelic light.        30
 
 
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