Alas, the moon should ever beam
To show what man should never see! —
I saw a maiden on a stream,
And fair was she!
I staid awhile, to see her throw
Her tresses black, that all beset
The fair horizon of her brow
With clouds of jet.
I staid a little while to view
Her cheek, that wore in place of red
The bloom of water, tender blue,
I staid to watch, a little space,
Her parted lips if she would sing;
The waters closed above her face
With many a ring.
And still I staid a little more,
Alas! she never comes again!
I throw my flowers from the shore,
And watch in vain.
I know my life will fade away,
I know that I must vainly pine,
For I am made of mortal clay,
But she’s divine!
† Suggested, according to Hood’s son, by a water-color drawing by Keats’s friend Severn.
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:09