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.
 
The Queen’s Vespers
 
Aubrey Thomas De Vere (b. 1814)
 
 
HALF kneeling yet, and half reclining,
  She held her harp against her knees:
Aloft the ruddy roofs were shining,
  And sunset touch’d the trees.
From the gold border gleam’d like snow        5
Her foot: a crown enrich’d her brow:
Dark gems confin’d that crimson vest
Close-moulded on her neck and breast.
 
In silence lay the cloistral court
  And shadows of the convent towers:        10
Well order’d now in stately sort
  Those royal halls and bowers.
The choral chaunt had just swept by;
Bright arms lay quivering yet on high:
Thereon the warriors gaz’d, and then        15
Glanced lightly at the Queen again.
 
While from her lip the wild hymn floated,
  Such grace in those uplifted eyes
And sweet, half absent looks, they noted
  That, surely, through the skies        20
A Spirit, they deem’d, flew forward ever
Above that song’s perpetual river,
And, smiling from its joyous track,
Upon her heavenly face look’d back.
 

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