The Gold-Crested Wren

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When my hand closed upon thee, worn and spentWith idly dashing on the window-pane,Or clinging to the cornice -- I, that meantAt once to free thee, could not but detain;I dropt my pen, I left th' unfinished lay,To give thee back to freedom; but I took --Oh, charm of sweet occasion! -- one brief lookAt thy bright eyes and innocent dismay;Then forth I sent thee on thy homeward quest,My lesson learnt -- thy beauty got by heart:And if, at times, my sonnet-muse would restShort of her topmost skill, her little best,The memory of thy delicate gold crestShall plead for one last touch, -- the crown of Art.

© Turner Charles (Tennyson)