She Was a Phantom of Delight

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She Was a Phantom of Delight – 23 June 2008

William Wordsworth and his friend Samuel Taylor Coleridge were English poets who published Lyrical Ballads, a book that critics judged harshly because of the use of simple words and commonplace subjects and characters. However, the great literary men of his time sang Wordsworth’s praises, and by 1830 even the critics recognized his genius. Considered the greatest poet of his time, in 1843 Queen Victoria appointed him Poet Laureate of England.

In 1802 William Wordsworth married Mary Hutchinson, whom he had known since boyhood. He wrote the following well-known poem about her:

She Was a Phantom of Delight
(Referring to the poet’s wife.)
William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850)

She was a phantom of delight
When first she gleamed upon my sight;
A lovely apparition, sent
To be a moment's ornament;
Her eyes as stars of twilight fair;
Like twilight's, too, her dusky hair;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful dawn;
A dancing shape, an image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and waylay.

I saw her upon nearer view,
A spirit, yet a woman too!
Her household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin-liberty;
A countenance in which did meet
Sweet records, promises as sweet;
A creature not too bright or good
For human nature's daily food;
For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.

And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine;
A being breathing thoughtful breath,
A traveller between life and death;
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;
A perfect woman, nobly planned
To warn, to comfort, and command;
And yet a spirit still, and bright
With something of angelic light.

For a large collection of poems and stories, visit:
http://www.all-creatures.org/poetrydir.html 
 


"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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