To M. W.

There’s something in thy lightest mirth1
That’s like an angel’s sadness,2
A dim soft pathos overflows 3
Thy wildest voice of gladness.4
I, with a poet’s insight, see5
How feelings true enhance 6
The finer impulses that stir7
Thy leaf-like elegance.8
And, Marg’ret, when I look on thee,9
Are swept away the fears,10
Which whisper beauty is a thing 11
Of peril and of tears.12
For, like a sainted virtue, Thou 13
Art lifted o’er the day ; 14
God’s shadow on thy face is laid 15
In sanctity for aye. 16
Mix with the vulgar and the vain, 17
There’s nothing to condemn ; 18
A charm is hung around thee—Thou 19
Canst ne’er be one of them. 20
Then go—nor fear to move amidst 21
Our earth’s most tainted air, 22
Go, like a sea-bird in the gloom, 23
As fearless and as fair !24