Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
II. Pursuit and Possession
By Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836–1907)
WHEN I behold what pleasure is Pursuit,
  What life, what glorious eagerness it is;
  Then mark how full Possession falls from this,
How fairer seems the blossom than the fruit,—
I am perplext, and often stricken mute,        5
  Wondering which attained the higher bliss,
  The wingéd insect, or the chrysalis
It thrust aside with unreluctant foot.
Spirit of verse which still eludes my art,
  You shapes of loveliness that still do haunt me,        10
O never, never rest upon my heart,
  If when I have thee I shall little want thee!
Still flit away in moonlight, rain, and dew,
Wills o’ the wisp, that I may still pursue!

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