To Miss Susan Beckford
ON HER SINGING .
I MORE than once have heard at night
A song like those thy lip hath given,
And it was sung by shapes of light,
Who looked and breathed, like thee, of heaven.
But this was all a dream of sleep,
And I have said when morning shone: —
" Why should the night-witch, Fancy, keep
" These wonders for herself alone? "
I knew not then that fate had lent
Such tones to one of mortal birth;
I knew not then that Heaven had sent
A voice, a form like thine on earth.
And yet, in all that flowery maze
Through which my path of life has led,
When I have heard the sweetest lays
From lips of rosiest lustre shed;
When I have felt the warbled word
From Beauty's lip, in sweetness vying
With music's own melodious bird;
When on the rose's bosom lying;
Though form and song at once combined
Their loveliest bloom and softest thrill,
My heart hath sighed, my ear hath pined
For something lovelier, softer still: —
Oh, I have found it all, at last,
In thee, thou sweetest living lyre,
Through which the soul of song e'er past,
Or feeling breathed its sacred fire.
All that I e'er, in wildest flight
Of fancy's dreams could hear or see
Of music's sigh or beauty's light
Is realized, at once, in thee!
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