“Perfect Woman” by William Wordsworth

She was a phantom of delight
When first she gleam’d upon my sight;
A lovely apparition, sent
To be a moment’s ornament;
Her eyes as stars of twilight fair;
Like twilight’s, too, her dusky hair;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful dawn;
A dancing shape, an image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and waylay.

I saw her upon nearer view,
A Spirit, yet a Woman too!
Her household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin liberty;
A countenance in which did meet
Sweet records, promises as sweet;
A creature not too bright or good
For human nature’s daily food;
For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.

And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine;
A being breathing thoughtful breath,
A traveller between life and death;
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;
A perfect Woman, nobly plann’d,
To warn, to comfort, and command;
And yet a Spirit still, and bright
With something of angelic light.

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Rene Magritte, “Our Daily Bread”

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11 Responses to “Perfect Woman” by William Wordsworth

  1. “And yet a spirit still…” Indeed. This was/is a beautiful read and vision this morning, Monika. Thank you for sharing this selection.

  2. 1weaver says:

    yes, for sure Wordsworth was a very smart guy… 🙂

  3. Dewin Nefol says:

    Hey Monika,

    Ah, Wordsworth’s beautifully evocative delineation of love and marriage promotes such tender thoughts. Magritte’s dreamlike observation is inspired, the perfect accompaniment for such contemplative romanticism.

    Namaste

    DN – 18/02/2016

  4. Love the layers of clouds in Magritte & layers of observation in Wordsworth. Very much in sync. Unusual in terms of shifting ages, eras, but beautifully so in the juxtaposition.

  5. Jeff Japp says:

    Thanks for sharing, Monika! I love the English Romantics. I actually visited Wordsworth’s cottage while touring through the Lake District in England.

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