By Charles Sangster



Beautiful, and spirit-like,
     She stands before me now,
An infantine intelligence,
     With sweetness on her brow.
Her bright-blue eyes Elysian


Sparkle with some gentle vision
Of earliest human sinlessness,
Such as spirit forms might press,
With a soft and sweet caress,
To their souls of light and love,


In the heaven of heavens above.
Now these flashing orbs are swimming
     In a calmy sea of Thought,
     With a mystic glory fraught,
Silently but sweetly hymning


Many an anthem mild and holy,
Many a song, divine and lowly—
Hymns and anthems deeply teaching
     How immortal is the soul;
Thoughts, that are intently preaching


     Truths, as vast as those that roll
     Ceaselessly from pole to pole,
On the meteoric pinions
That spread light through night’s dominions.

Here and there golden ringlets shadow


     Her fair brow with witching grace, [Page 81]
Like the sunlight on the meadow
     Beautifying nature’s face,
When the fleecy clouds are sporting
     With the sunbeams as they fall,


Now athwart, now downward glancing,
     ’Mongst the rich grain, ripe and tall.
I love the silken ringlets
     That kiss her snowy neck,
Like sun-flecks on a lily’s leaf,


     A moral in each speck!
And her teeth of milky whiteness
     Peeping out between her lips,
Where they lie in playful ambush,
     Ever ready to reveal


Their intense and pearly brightness,
     Which the budding lips conceal,
     Lest their beauty should eclipse
The dimples on her cheeks that linger,
Pressed by nature’s rosy finger.


Say not that the Fairy race
     Has disappearéd from earth;
Many a truly Fairy face
     Gladdens the domestic hearth.—
Household Fairies, gentle creatures,


Fairies both in mind and features:
Good and lovely Fairies they,
Leading us from day to day
Along earth’s dazzling milky way— [Page 82]
The blushing, rose-strew’n path of love,


     Which Fairies are forever treading,
     Step by step our fancies leading
To the milky way above:
Up and on above the stars—
Charming Venus—stately Mars,


To the realms that stretch eternal,
To the Throne of the Supernal!

     Such a Fairy is Amelia,
Such the gifted, fair Aurelia,
Fair and intellectual


As one on whom is set the seal
Of the Power Omnipotent,
On some useful mission sent:
     Such is Libby, in whose eye
Dwells the spirit of Ideality,


Sitting lost in deepest thought,
As if her young mind had caught
The spirit of a Guardian-angel
Claiming her for an Evangel,
Passing her pearly-fingers fair


Through each tress of golden hair:
     Such is Hetty, midnight-eyed,
Nestling closely to my side,
Knowing that my heart must bless her,
Smiling if I once caress her;


Gazing on my studious face,
As I mark each separate grace,
From the boy-curls on her head, [Page 83]
To her lips, and all they said,
Every word an angel-lyric


Falling on my ears empiric:
     Such the pleasing, fond Louisa,
With her God-like memory,
And her gentle words and ways,
And her voice attuned to praise,


Setting the pulses of the heart
Throbbing, like a star at eve,
As its silver glances cleave
The dreamy quiet of the air;
And her soft cheeks’ health tinge fair:


     Such the thoughtful Annie, too,
With her laughing eye of blue,
Dimpled cheek of healthy hue,
And her forehead, sculptor-like,
An eternal Truth, deep-set,


On a Thought-browed statuette,
Which its lips will never speak:
     Such is darling Caroline,
Through whose cheeks life’s richest wine
Spreads like sunset’s rosy glow


O’er some Alpine brow of snow;
One than whom no fairer—purer,
     Ever had a mortal birth,
Whose death would enrich heaven,
     And beggar earth:


These among the household train,
     Neriads from the deeps of love, [Page 84]
     Guests from starry realms above,
     Are so many Fairies sent,
     Filled with love, and innocent,


     Down to earth, to bless and gladden
     Homes that sin and strife would sadden
With a more than earthly pain.

Fair Aurelia! bright Aurelia!
     Favorite of the sunny brow,


An infantine Intelligence,
     A child of light, art thou.
A spirit of the ærial Morn,
     Or of Evening, bland with glory,
     Like some Fairy Queen of story,


For whom Nature’s hand had shorn
     The bright locks from the glowing sun,
And stol’n the softness of the moon,
     As their skyward course they run
At dewy midnight and at golden noon,


Giving to each an extra grace
For thy tresses and thy face.
Ha! a tear-drop in thine eye!
Like a star upon the sky,
Like a clear stalactité


Pendent o’er a summer sea,
Like a trembling dew-drop set
In an opening violet!
Not the Naiads of the Rivers,
     Not the Fairies of the Hills, [Page 85]


Not the Nymph, whose sharp glance quivers
     From the leaflets and the rills,
Where the golden-manéd Rhine
Winds along its length supine,
Have a livelier glance than thine.


Come, then, to my heart’s embrace,
Infant of the smiling face,
Come, with thy accents soft and winning,
That keep the human mind from sinning,
Give me back the love you stole,


And let me clasp thee to my soul! [Page 86]