Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
The Splendid Spur
Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch (1863–1944)
NOT on the neck of prince or hound
  Nor on a woman’s finger twin’d,
May gold from the deriding ground
  Keep sacred that we sacred bind:
        Only the heel        5
        Of splendid steel
  Shall stand secure on sliding fate,
  When golden navies weep their freight.
The scarlet hat, the laurell’d stave
  Are measures, not the springs, of worth;        10
In a wife’s lap, as in a grave,
  Man’s airy notions mix with earth.
        Seek other spur
        Bravely to stir
The dust in this loud world, and tread        15
Alp-high among the whisp’ring dead.
Trust in thyself,—then spur amain:
  So shall Charybdis wear a grace,
Grim Ætna laugh, the Libyan plain
  Take roses to her shrivell’d face.        20
        This orb—this round
        Of sight and sound—
  Count it the lists that God hath built
  For haughty hearts to ride a-tilt.


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