Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
A Legend
May Kendall (b. 1861)
AY, an old story, yet it might
  Have truth in it—who knows?
Of the heroine’s breaking down one night
  Jnst ere the curtain rose.
And suddenly, when fear and doubt        5
  Had shaken every heart,
There stepped an unknown actress out
  To take the heroine’s part.
But oh the magic of her face,
  And oh the songs she sung,        10
And oh the rapture in the place,
  And oh the flowers they flung!
But she never stooped: they lay all night
  As when she turned away
And left them—and the saddest light        15
  Shone in her eyes of gray.
She gave a smile in glancing round,
  And sighed, one fancied, then—
But never they knew where she was bound,
  Or saw her face again.        20
But the old prompter, gray and frail,
  They heard him murmur low:
“It only could be Meg Coverdale,
  Died thirty years ago,
“In that old part who took the town;        25
  And she was fair, as fair
As when they shut the coffin down
  On the gleam of her golden hair;
“And it was n’t hard to understand
  How a lass so fair as she        30
Could never rest in the Promised Land
  Where none but angels be.”


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