Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
Thomas Hood. 1798–1845
650. Fair Ines
O SAW ye not fair Ines? 
  She 's gone into the West, 
To dazzle when the sun is down, 
  And rob the world of rest: 
She took our daylight with her,         5
  The smiles that we love best, 
With morning blushes on her cheek, 
  And pearls upon her breast. 
O turn again, fair Ines, 
  Before the fall of night,  10
For fear the Moon should shine alone, 
  And stars unrivall'd bright; 
And blessèd will the lover be 
  That walks beneath their light, 
And breathes the love against thy cheek  15
  I dare not even write! 
Would I had been, fair Ines, 
  That gallant cavalier, 
Who rode so gaily by thy side, 
  And whisper'd thee so near!  20
Were there no bonny dames at home, 
  Or no true lovers here, 
That he should cross the seas to win 
  The dearest of the dear? 
I saw thee, lovely Ines,  25
  Descend along the shore, 
With bands of noble gentlemen, 
  And banners waved before; 
And gentle youth and maidens gay, 
  And snowy plumes they wore:  30
It would have been a beauteous dream,— 
  If it had been no more! 
Alas, alas! fair Ines, 
  She went away with song, 
With Music waiting on her steps,  35
  And shoutings of the throng; 
But some were sad, and felt no mirth, 
  But only Music's wrong, 
In sounds that sang Farewell, farewell, 
  To her you've loved so long.  40
Farewell, farewell, fair Ines! 
  That vessel never bore 
So fair a lady on its deck, 
  Nor danced so light before,— 
Alas for pleasure on the sea,  45
  And sorrow on the shore! 
The smile that bless'd one lover's heart 
  Has broken many more! 
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