Late I a visionary form beheld,
As airy forms of youthful poets bright;
In each warm tint of colour it excelled,
Love might have used it to inspire delight.
Gay fancy shaped it as a blooming maid
Of mind and manners gentle, high of birth;
And still this sportive image I portrayed
Oft as I heard fame spread of Ella's worth.
But now no more my wanton fancy roves;
Deludes no more the fairy form I made;
Truth, with grave matron air, before me moves,
And fiction's powers at Ella's presence fade.
Yet lives that form which once my fancy drew,
And Ella but restores it to my view.
William Beloe (1756-1817)
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