Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
Mater Desiderata
By Winthrop Mackworth Praed (1802–1839)
I CANNOT guess her face or form;
  But what to me is form or face?
I do not ask the weary worm
  To give me back each buried grace
Of glistening eyes or trailing tresses.        5
  I only feel that she is here,
    And that we meet, and that we part;
  And that I drink within mine ear,
    And that I clasp around my heart
Her sweet still voice and soft caresses.        10
Not in the waking thought by day,
  Nor in the sightless dream by night,
Do the mild tones and glances play
  Of her who was my cradle’s light!
But in some twilight of calm weather        15
  She glides by fancy dimly wrought,
    A glittering cloud, a darkling beam,
  With all the quiet of a thought
    And all the passion of a dream
Link’d in a golden spell together.        20

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