William Crowe (1745-1829)

Merlin's Glass

Ah! where is hid, if still it may survive
The cankered tooth of age and time's despite,
Ah! where is hid that orb of glass so bright
That Merlin for King Ryence did contrive?
That wondrous orb so bright wherein did live,
Or ere time had brought them into light,
The forms of things unborn, which to the sight
Its high-enchanted power would strangely give!

For hope, with counterfeit of this true glass,
Doth so beguile the lover's easy mind,
Still turning it to fancy's idiot eye,
That reason's self forgets her majesty
To join the gaze; till the fond phantoms pass,
And grief and stern repentance rise behind.