By Charles Sangster



Off through the world with the lightning’s velocity,
     Darting through space with electrical speed,
Loosed are the reins of thy impetuosity,
     Roam where thou wilt, then, my beautiful steed.
Fleeter art thou than the fairest of Araby’s


     High-mettled, swift-footed steeds of the plain,
Perfect as theirs is thy beautiful symmetry,
     Petulant, fanciful steed of my brain.
Regions more wild than the sun ever shone upon,
     Cycles and worlds of unbounded delight,


Andes of Thought, towering grandly-majestical,
     Reaching to heaven’s indefinite height;
Swiftly ascending some Alpine acclivity,
     Plunging, unscathed, to the abyss below,
Thence to the fields where the sword of the conqueror


     Reddens the soil with the blood of the foe;
Mounting again on the breath of the hurricane,
     Upward and onward, through tempest and storm;
Thus, wheresoever abideth sublimity,
     There shalt thou wander, thou beautiful form.


Maid of my soul! though my thoughts were Ubiquitous,
     Ranging unshackled through earth, air and sea,
Fancy were swayed in its wildest imaginings,
     Evermore, evermore turning to THEE.

Breasting the ocean, high-heaving, tempestuous,


     Down through its deepest and costliest cell, [Page 210]
Where the fair Nymphs in their crystalline palaces,
     Where the bright Naiads harmoniously dwell.
Threading, unseen, its dark caves subterranean,
     Glowing with coral, and gleaming with gems,


Forests of sea-weed, and groves, where the emerald
     Lieth half hidden beneath the green stems.
Upward and off on some billowy mountain-top,
     Heavenward borne where the thunderstorm sings,
Tracking the lightning, and finding its dwelling-place


     Cradled to sleep on the proud eagles’ wings.
Awed by the psalm of some deep-toned Niagara,
     Scorched by the flashes from Etna’s red flame,
Rising again in thy flight subitaneous,
     Shouting aloud an ecstatic acclaim:


Thus my fond steed, with the lightning’s velocity,
     Dart’st thou through space like the beam of a star,
Loosed are the reins of thy impetuosity,
     Roam where thou wilt, with thy glittering car.

Maid of my soul! though my thoughts were Ubiquitous,


     Ranging forever unshackled and free,
Still would they turn in their highest imaginings,
     Hurrying evermore downward to THEE.

Circling the Night, when Darkness is hovering
     Over the world, like a spirit astray,


Thy presence illumines each dark-seeming labyrinth,
     Shedding around it perpetual Day.
Making one moment a glowing millennium, [Page 211]
     Brimming with pleasures untasted and pure,
Crowding millenniums into moments of ecstacy,


     Brief as the lightning’s flash over the moor.
Upwards, through worlds that no mortal e’er looked upon,
     Upwards, all gracefully, speedily on;
Up through the stars with thy wondrous celerity,
     Travelling restlessly up to the sun.


Sweeping across the deep void of the universe,
     The ether thy robe, and a star for thy bark,
Backward to earth, to thy dwelling mysterious,
     Gently, but swift, like the dove to its ark.

Maid of my soul! though my thoughts were Ubiquitous,


     Swift as the thunderbolt, deep as the sea,
Fancy were reined in its boldest imaginings,
     Tremblingly, joyfully hast’ning to THEE. [Page 212]