To a Face Beloved

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To a Face Beloved  (1837) 
by Nathaniel Parker Willis

  The music of the waken'd lyre
    Dies not upon the quivering strings,
  Nor burns alone the minstrel's fire
    Upon the lip that trembling sings;
  Nor shines the moon in heaven unseen,
    Nor shuts the flower its fragrant cells,
  Nor sleeps the fountain's wealth, I ween,
    Forever in its sparry wells;
  The spells of the enchanter lie
Not on his own lone heart, his own rapt ear and eye.

  I look upon a face as fair
    As ever made a lip of heaven
  Falter amid its music-prayer!
    The first-lit star of summer even
  Springs not so softly on the eye,
    Nor grows, with watching, half so bright,
  Nor, mid its sisters of the sky,
    So seems of heaven the dearest light;
  Men murmur where that face is seen—
My youth's angelic dream was of that look and mien.

  Yet, though we deem the stars are blest,
    And envy, in our grief, the flower
  That bears but sweetness in its breast,
    And fear'd the enchanter for his power,
  And love the minstrel for his spell
  He winds out of his lyre so well;
  The stars are almoners of light,
    The lyrist of melodious air,
  The fountain of its waters bright,
    And every thing most sweet and fair
  Of that by which it charms the ear,
  The eye of him that passes near;
  A lamp is lit in woman's eye
That souls, else lost on earth, remember angels by.