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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Frederic William Henry Myers 1843–1901

I Saw, I Saw the Lovely Child


I SAW, I saw the lovely child,

I watch’d her by the way,

I learnt her gestures sweet and wild,

Her loving eyes and gay.

Her name?—I heard not, nay, nor care;

Enough it was for me

To find her innocently fair

And delicately free.

Oh, cease and go ere dreams be done,

Nor trace the angel’s birth,

Nor find the Paradisal one

A blossom of the earth!

Thus is it with our subtlest joys,—

How quick the soul’s alarm!

How lightly deed or word destroys

That evanescent charm!

It comes unbidden, comes unbought,

Unfetter’d flees away;

His swiftest and his sweetest thought

Can never poet say.