Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PERFECT WOMAN, by WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

PERFECT WOMAN, by         Recitation     Poem Explanation     Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: She was a phantom of delight
Last Line: With something of angelic light.
Variant Title(s): "a Portrait;seen, Loved, Wedded;""she Was A Phantom Of Delight"";
Subject(s): Death; Hutchinson, Mary; Love; Marriage; Women; Dead, The; Weddings; Husbands; Wives

SHE was a phantom of delight
When first she gleamed 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 planned
To warn, to comfort, and command;
And yet a spirit still, and bright
With something of angelic light.

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