Charles Tennyson Turner

The Process of Composition: An Illustration

Oft in our fancy an uncertain thought
Hangs colourless, like dew on bents of grass,
Before the morning o'er the field doth pass;
But soon it glows and brightens; all unsought
A sudden glory flashes through the dream,
Our purpose deepens and our wit grows brave,
The thronging hints a richer utterance crave,
And tongues of fire approach the new-won theme;
A subtler process now begins--a claim
Is urged for order, a well-balanced scheme
Of words and numbers, a consistent aim;
The dew dissolves before the warming beam;
But that fair thought consolidates its flame,
And keeps its colours, hardening to a flame.

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