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“Angels’ Heads”

From a picture by Sir Joshua Reynolds

Angels’ heads! oh, blessed vision
   That would picture things so fair,
Lead us to that world Elysian,
   For awhile to linger there.

Here the blue transparent sky
   Circles round a face divine,
There the gaze of that soft eye
   Purely, brilliantly doth shine.

<<85>>We long to pierce the pale blue ether,
   That in mystery doth fling
Its shadow on the radiant feather,
   Of that gentle angel’s wing.

With eyes upturned, and looks of wonder,
   Is that little seraph mute?
Or, with rosy lips asunder,
   Sings he to some unseen lute?

One bows down in meek submission,
   Love that little soul doth fill!
Love, that seeks in heavenly mission,
   To obey its Maker’s will.

Have those golden locks been ever
   Made the theme of earthly love?
Were fond parents doomed to sever
   From such blessed one above?

No, methinks those beauteous heads,
   Ne’er were tossed by earthly billows,
Clouds of heaven their only beds,
   Sunshine, thro’ those clouds, their pillows.

R. E. S.