Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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"SHE WAS A PHANTOM OF DELIGHT"

 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; 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 way-lay. 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 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 Traveller between life and death; The reason firm, the temperate will, 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 1804. 


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