Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
A Pastoral
J. B. B. Nichols
MY love and I among the mountains strayed
  When heaven and earth in summer heat were still,
Aware anon that at our feet were laid
  Within a sunny hollow of the hill
A long-haired shepherd-lover and a maid.        5
They saw nor heard us, who a space above,
  With hands clasped close as here were clasped in his,
Marked how the gentle golden sunlight strove
  To play about their leaf-crowned curls, and kiss
Their burnished slender limbs, half-bared to his love.        10
But grave or pensive seemed thy boy to grow,
  For while upon the grass unfingered lay
The slim twin-pipes, he ever watched with slow
  Dream-laden looks the ridge that far away
Surmounts the sleeping midsummer with snow.        15
These things we saw; moreover we could hear
  The girl’s soft voice of laughter, grown more bold
With the utter noonday silence, sweet and clear:
  “Why dost thou think? By thinking one grows old;
Wouldst thou for all the world be old, my dear?”        20
Here my love turned to me, but her eyes told
  Her thought with smiles before she spake a word;
And being quick their meaning to behold
  I could not choose but echo what we heard:
“Sweet heart, wouldst thou for all the world be old?”        25


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