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Anna Jane Vardill


A Fragment

Spirit beyond the world’s controul,
 What art thou, Happiness, and where?
Thou, pure and viewless as the soul,
 Canst only with the soul compare.

Thou are like Beauty, for no tongue
 Thy mystic essence can explain;
Thou art like Time, for Time is dumb
 And leaves no trace, till trace is vain.

Like Beauty and like Time thou fliest
 Thyself of Beauty’s train a part;
Yet not like Time; for tho’ thou diest
 Hope may recall thee to the heart.

He knows thee not who strives to tell
 Thy secret feast to babbling Fame;
No eloquence with thee can dwell—
 Scarce language yet affords thy name.

Spirit beyond the world’s controul
 Hear, if you canst, a mortal’s pray’r—
Be mute, be secret as the soul,
 But keep thy hallow’d temple there!


The European Magazine, Vol. 70, October 1816, p. 362