When Madre’s Island like a shadow lies
High up upon the ‘Iron Rock’—so clear,
Across the still grey water-flood, comes near
The phantom of the mountain—then mine eyes
Are gladdened by a tiny speck that flies
Forth from the myrtle: now it doth appear
A boat’s prow lantern, now a starry sphere
Fallen, but how swiftly, from the dusky skies.
I gaze perplexed; the pulses of its light
Beat, and with noiseless beauty move and move,
Then fade, or like a starry jewel burn
Upon the Nereid sitting at her urn,
Anon through sparkling dusk it takes its flight,
A creature made for wonder and for love.
(Sonnets in Switzerland and Italy, p. 56)