To Caroline, Viscountess Valletort.

A poem by Thomas Moore

WRITTEN AT LACOCK ABBEY, JANUARY, 1832.


When I would sing thy beauty's light,
Such various forms, and all so bright,
I've seen thee, from thy childhood, wear,
I know not which to call most fair,
Nor 'mong the countless charms that spring
For ever round thee, which to sing.

When I would paint thee as thou art,
Then all thou wert comes o'er my heart--
The graceful child in Beauty's dawn
Within the nursery's shade withdrawn,
Or peeping out--like a young moon
Upon a world 'twill brighten soon.
Then next in girlhood's blushing hour,
As from thy own loved Abbey-tower
I've seen thee look, all radiant, down,
With smiles that to the hoary frown
Of centuries round thee lent a ray,
Chasing even Age's gloom away;--
Or in the world's resplendent throng,
As I have markt thee glide along,
Among the crowds of fair and great
A spirit, pure and separate,
To which even Admiration's eye
Was fearful to approach too nigh;--
A creature circled by a spell
Within which nothing wrong could dwell;
And fresh and clear as from the source.
Holding through life her limpid course,
Like Arethusa thro' the sea,
Stealing in fountain purity.

Now, too, another change of light!
As noble bride, still meekly bright
Thou bring'st thy Lord a dower above
All earthly price, pure woman's love;
And showd'st what lustre Rank receives,
When with his proud Corinthian leaves
Her rose this high-bred Beauty weaves.

Wonder not if, where all's so fair,
To choose were more than bard can dare;
Wonder not if, while every scene
I've watched thee thro' so bright hath been,
The enamored muse should, in her quest
Of beauty, know not where to rest,
But, dazzled, at thy feet thus fall,
Hailing thee beautiful in all!

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