Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
 
Imperator Augustus
 
Rennell Rodd (b. 1858)
 
 
IS this the man by whose decree abide
The lives of countless nations, with the trace
Of fresh tears wet upon the hard cold face?
—He wept, because a little child had died.
They set a marble image by his side,        5
A sculptured Eros, ready for the chase;
It wore the dead boy’s features, and the grace
Of pretty ways that were the old man’s pride.
And so he smiled, grown softer now, and tired
Of too much empire, and it seemed a joy        10
Fondly to stroke and pet the curly head,
The smooth round limbs so strangely like the dead,
To kiss the white lips of his marble boy
And call by name his little heart’s-desired.
 

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