Mary Tighe Poems >>
Psyche ; or, the Legend of Love: Canto V.

Delightful visions of my lonely hours!
 Charm of my life and solace of my care!
 Oh! would the muse but lend proportioned powers,
 And give me language, equal to declare
 The wonders which she bids my fancy share,
 When rapt in her to other worlds I fly,
 See angel forms unutterably fair,
 And hear the inexpressive harmony
 That seems to float on air, and warble through the sky.
 Might I the swiftly glancing scenes recal!
 Bright as the roseate clouds of summer's eve,
 The dreams which hold my soul in willing thrall,
 And half my visionary days deceive,
 Communicable shape might then receive,
 And other hearts be ravished with the strain:
 But scarce I seek the airy threads to weave,
 When quick confusion mocks the fruitless pain,
 And all the fairy forms are vanished from my brain.

 Fond dreamer! meditate thine idle song!
 But let thine idle song remain unknown:
 The verse, which cheers thy solitude, prolong;
 What, though it charm no moments but thine own,
 Though thy loved Psyche smile for thee alone,
 Still shall it yield thee pleasure, if not fame,
 And when, escaped from tumult, thou hast flown
 To thy dear silent hearth's enlivening flame,
 There shall the tranquil muse her happy votary claim!

 My Psyche's wanderings then she loves to trace;
 Unrols the glowing canvas to my sight;
 Her chaste calm eye, her soft attractive grace,
 The lightning of her heavenly smile so bright,
 All yield me strange and unconceived delight:
 Even now entranced her journey I pursue,
 And gaze enraptured on her matchless knight;
 Visions of love, pure, innocent and true!
 Oh! may your graceful forms for ever bless my view!

 See as they tread the green, soft-levelled plain,
 Where never weed, nor noxious plant was found!
 Psyche, enchanted, bids her knight explain
 Who rules that lovely and well cultured ground,
 Where fairest flowers and purest springs abound:
 "Oh! object of my anxious cares," (he cried,
 As with a half-breathed sigh he gazed around)
 "A stranger here, full oft I vainly tried
 "Admittance to obtain, and sooth the sovereign's pride.

 "Here Castabella reigns, whose brow severe
 "Oft chilled my sanguine spirit by its frown;
 "Yet have I served her with adoring fear,
 "Though her ungrateful scorn will oft disown
 "The faithful homage by her servant shown;
 "Me she hath banished from her fair domain,
 "For crimes my loyal heart had never known;
 "While thus excluded vainly I complain,
 "And feel another's guilt my injured honour stain.

 "With false assumption of my arms and name,
 "Knight of the Bleeding Heart miscalled too long,
 "A vile impostor has disgraced my fame,
 "And much usurped by violence and wrong,
 "Which to the virgin queen by right belong;
 "On me her irritated vengeance falls,
 "On me, repulsed by force of arms so strong
 "That, never suffered to approach her walls,
 "Unheard, indignant truth in vain for justice calls.

 "Yet she alone our progress can assist,
 "And thou, Oh Psyche! must her favour gain;
 "Nor from thy soft entreaties e'er desist
 "Till thou free entrance for thy knight obtain;
 "Here let his faithful services remain
 "Fixed on thy grateful heart! nor thou consent,
 "Nor let their force thy gentleness constrain
 "To leave him, thus disgraced, yet innocent,
 "Thine undeserved neglect forsaken to lament."

 While yet he speaks, before her ravished eyes
 The brilliant towers of Castabella shine:
 The sun that views them from unclouded skies
 Sheds not through heaven a radiance more divine;
 The adamantine walls with strength combine
 Inimitable lustre ever clear;
 Celestial temple!