To Miss Susan Beckford


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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