Jane Wilde

27 December 1821 – 3 February 1896

Opportunity.From The Italian Of Machiavelli

Who art thou, glorious Form, flashing by me,
So beautiful, so Godlike—wilt thou fly me?
Why o’er thy face and bosom fall thy tresses streaming?
And why the airy pinions on thy white feet gleaming?
My name is Opportunity. Pause or rest I never:
Mortals rarely know me till I’m gone for ever.
To seize me passing on to few is granted;
Therefore one foot upon a wheel is planted
Therefore the light wings bound on them, to make me
So quick in flight that none shall overtake me.
Down fall my tresses, face and bosom veiling,
That none may know me ’till to know be unavailing;
Then, mockingly, I fling aside the veil, and please me
With their vain hope, and vainer haste to seize me.
And who is this dark form that follows thee with weeping,
Ever as a shadow on thy bright track keeping?
Her name’s Repentance. When I fleet quickly by them,
She stoppeth weeping, vainly weeping nigh them.
But thou, poor mortal, precious moments wasting,
Idly thou dreamest while I’m onwards hasting.
Wilt thou not wake? Alas! weep now, I’ve passed for ever.
Weep, for Repentance henceforth leaves thee never.
180 Total read