To The Eye

Felicia Dorothea Hemans 1793 (Liverpool, Lancashire) – 1835 (Dublin, County Dublin)

THRONE of expression! whence the spirit's ray
Pours forth so oft the light of mental day,
Where fancy's fire, affection's melting beam,
Thought, genius, passion, reign in turn supreme,
And many a feeling, words can ne'er impart,
Finds its own language to pervade the heart;
Thy power, bright orb, what bosom hath not felt,
To thrill, to rouse, to fascinate, to melt!
And by some spell of undefined control,
With magnet-influence touch the secret soul!

Light of the features! in the morn of youth
Thy glance is nature, and thy language truth;
And ere the world, with all-corrupting sway,
Hath taught e'en thee to flatter and betray,
The ingenuous heart forbids thee to reveal,
Or speak one thought that interest would conceal;
While yet thou seem'st the cloudless mirror, given
But to reflect the purity of heaven;
O! then how lovely, there unveil'd, to trace
The unsullied brightness of each mental grace!

When Genius lends thee all his living light,
Where the full beams of intellect unite;
When love illumes thee with his varying ray,
Where trembling Hope and tearful Rapture play;
Or Pity's melting cloud thy beam subdues,
Tempering its lustre with a veil of dews;
Still does thy power, whose all-commanding spell
Can pierce the mazes of the soul so well,
Bid some new feeling to existence start,
From its deep slumbers in the inmost heart.

And O! when thought, in ecstacy sublime,
That soars triumphant o'er the bounds of time,
Fires thy keen glance with inspiration's blaze,
The light of heaven, the hope of nobler days,
(As glorious dreams, for utterance far too high,
Flash through the mist of dim mortality
Who does not own, that through thy lightning-beams
A flame unquenchable, unearthly, streams?
That pure, though captive effluence of the sky,
The vestal-ray, the spark that cannot die!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Felicia Dorothea Hemans

Felicia Dorothea Hemans was an English poet. Two of her opening lines, "The boy stood on the burning deck" and "The stately homes of England", have acquired classic status. more…

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"To The Eye" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 13 Aug. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/13651/to-the-eye>.

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