Marfa lights glowing,
Fata Morgana maybe.
Darn dusty windows!
— Trucker Poet
Marfa Lights and William Wordsworth
Marfa Lights would certainly have inspired the English poet William Wordsworth. Together with Samuel Taylor Coleridge he helped launch the Romantic Age in English literature. They jointly published Lyrical Ballads in 1798. Wordsworth was Britain’s poet laureate from 1843 until his death from pleurisy on 23 April 1850.
She Was A Phantom Of Delight
She was a Phantom of delight
When first she gleam’d upon my sight;
A lovely Apparition, sent
To be a moment’s ornament;
Her eyes as stars of Twilight fair;
Like Twilight’s, too, her dusky hair;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the chearful Dawn;
A dancing Shape, an Image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and way-lay.
I saw her upon nearer view,
A Spirit, yet a Woman too!
Her household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin liberty;
A countenance in which did meet
Sweet records, promises as sweet;
A Creature not too bright or good
For human nature’s daily food;
For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.
And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine;
A Being breathing thoughtful breath;
A Traveller betwixt life and death;
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength and skill;
A perfect Woman; nobly plann’d,
To warn, to comfort, and command;
And yet a Spirit still, and bright
With something of an angel light.
Among All Lovely Things My Love Had Been
Among all lovely things my Love had been;
Had noted well the stars, all flowers that grew
About her home; but she had never seen
A Glow-worm, never one, and this I knew.
While riding near her home one stormy night
A single Glow-worm did I chance to espy;
I gave a fervent welcome to the sight,
And from my Horse I leapt; great joy had I.
Upon a leaf the Glow-worm did I lay,
To bear it with me through the stormy night:
And, as before, it shone without dismay;
Albeit putting forth a fainter light.
When to the Dwelling of my Love I came,
I went into the Orchard quietly;
And left the Glow-worm, blessing it by name,
Laid safely by itself, beneath a Tree.
The whole next day, I hoped, and hoped with fear;
At night the Glow-worm shone beneath the Tree:
I led my Lucy to the spot, “Look here!”
Oh! joy it was for her, and joy for me!