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On a Thought of Wordsworth's

by Théophile Gautier, 1903

I've read no line of Wordsworth whom the steven
   Of Byron hath assailed with bitterest gall,
   Save this I came upon, a fragment small
In a romance pseudonymously given,
From Apuleius filched, "Louisa,"—leaven
   Of thought impure and pictures passional.
   How well the flash of beauty I recall,
The "Spires whose silent finger points to heaven!"

A white dove's feather down the darkness strayed,
   A lovely flower abloom in some foul nook.
      And now when riming halts and fancy tires,
And Prospero is of Ariel unobeyed,
   I over all the margin of my book
      Trace group on group of heavenward-pointing spires.


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