Susanna Moodie (1803-1885)
Fancy and the Poet
1Enchanting spirit! -- at thy votive shrine
2I lowly bend a simple wreath to twine;
3O Come from the ideal world and fling
4Thy airy fingers o'er my rugged string;
5Sweep the dark chords of thought and give to earth
6The thrilling song that tells thy heavenly birth --
7Happiness when from earth she fled
8 I passed on her heavenward flight --
9"Take this crown," the spirit said
10 "Of heaven's own golden light --
11To the sons of sorrow the token give,
12And bid them follow my steps and live!" --
13I took the crown from the snowy hand,
14 It flashed like a living star;
15I turned this dark earth to a fairy land
16 When I hither drive my car;
17But I placed the crown round my tresses bright,
18And man only saw its reflected light --
19Many a lovely dream I've given,
20 And many a song divine;
21But never! -- oh never -- that gift of heaven
22 Shall mortals temples twine --
23Hope and love in the circlet glow!
24'Tis all too bright for a world of woe --
25Hist -- Beautiful spirit! -- why silent so soon?
26My ear drinks each word of thy magical tune;
27My lyre owns thy touch -- and its tremulous strings
28Vibrate beneath the soft play of thy wings;
29Resume thy sweet lay, and reveal, ere we part
30Thy home lovely spirit -- and say what thou art?" --
31The gleam of a star thou cans't not see --
32Of an eye 'neath its sleeping lid,
33The sound of a far off melody
34 The voice of a stream that's hid;
35Such must I still remain to thee
36A wonder and a mystery! --
37I live in the poet's dream
38 I flash on the painter's eye;
39I dwell in the moon's pale beam,
40 In the depths of the star lit sky;
41I traverse the earth, the air, the main,
42And bind young hearts in my magic chain --
43I float on the fleecy cloud
44 My voice is in ev'ry breeze;
45I speak in the tempest loud,
46 In the sigh of the waving trees --
47To the sons of earth -- in a mystic tone,
48I tell of a world more bright than their own! --
2] a: one 1831.
3] Come from the: come from thy 1831.
6] thrilling: wild sweet 1831.
9] crown: wreath 1831.
10] Of heaven's own golden light --: And bathe it in floods of light 1831.
13] crown from the snowy hand: wreath from her radiant hand 1831.
14] It flashed like a living star: Each flower was a silver star 1831.
17] placed the crown: wove the wreath 1831.
21] gift: wreath 1831.
24] circlet: chapet 1831.
26] ear: soul 1831.
28] Vibrate: Still vibrate 1831.
31] thou: which thou 1831.
33] sound: tune 1831.
42] magic: golden 1831.
43] fleecy: crimson 1831.
46] waving: wind-stirred 1831.
47] mystic: magic 1831.
Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department
of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services,
University of Toronto Libraries.
Original text: Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library MS. 3080, holograph collection of poems, "Written for Agnes Dunbar FitzGibbon, with the love and blessing of her old Mother Susanna Moodie -- March -- 6th -- 1866."
First publication date:
Publication date note: Susanna Strickland, Enthusiasm, And Other Poems (London: Smith and Elder, 1831).
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1999.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/4
Other poems by Susanna Moodie