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Susanna Moodie (1803-1885)

Fancy and the Poet


                     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 --

                      Fancy --
              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 --

                        Poet --
            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?" --

                        Fancy --
            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! --

Notes

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: 1831
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

Rhyme: ababcc


Other poems by Susanna Moodie