The Water Lady by Thomas Hood

The Water Lady.[1]

[Footnote 1: Suggested, according to Hood’s son, by a water-color drawing by Keats’s friend Severn.]

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,
Daintily spread.

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!

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