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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

"HOW RICH THAT FOREHEAD'S CALM EXPANSE"

Written at Rydal Mount. Mrs. Wordsworth's impression is that the Poem was written at Coleorton: it was certainly suggested by a Print at Coleorton Hall.

HOW rich that forehead's calm expanse!
How bright that heaven-directed glance!
--Waft her to glory, winged Powers,
Ere sorrow be renewed,
And intercourse with mortal hours
Bring back a humbler mood!
So looked Cecilia when she drew
An Angel from his station;
So looked; not ceasing to pursue
Her tuneful adoration!
But hand and voice alike are still;
No sound 'here' sweeps away the will
That gave it birth: in service meek
One upright arm sustains the cheek,
And one across the bosom lies--
That rose, and now forgets to rise,
Subdued by breathless harmonies
Of meditative feeling;
Mute strains from worlds beyond the skies,
Through the pure light of female eyes,
Their sanctity revealing!

1824.