Sonnet XXIII: Methought I Saw my Late Espoused Saint

Methought I saw my late espoused saint

Brought to me, like Alcestis, from the grave,

Whom Jove’s great son to her glad husband gave,

Rescu’d from death by force, though pale and faint.

Mine, as whom wash’d from spot of child-bed taint

Purification in the old Law did save,

And such as yet once more I trust to have

Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint,

Came vested all in white, pure as her mind;

Her face was veil’d, yet to my fancied sight

Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shin’d

So clear as in no face with more delight.

But Oh! as to embrace me she inclin’d,

I wak’d, she fled, and day brought back my night.