Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
Doris: A Pastoral
Arthur Joseph Munby (b. 1828)
I SAT with Doris, the shepherd-maiden;
  Her crook was laden with wreathed flowers:
I sat and woo’d her, through sunlight wheeling
  And shadows stealing, for hours and hours.
And she, my Doris, whose lap encloses        5
  Wild summer-roses of sweet perfume,
The while I sued her, kept hush’d and hearken’d,
  Till shades had darken’d from gloss to gloom.
She touch’d my shoulder with fearful finger;
  She said, “We linger, we must not stay:        10
My flock ’s in danger, my sheep will wander;
  Behold them yonder, how far they stray!”
I answer’d bolder, “Nay, let me hear you,
  And still be near you, and still adore!
No wolf nor stranger will touch one yearling:        15
  Ah! stay, my darling, a moment more!”
She whisper’d, sighing, “There will be sorrow
  Beyond to-morrow, if I lose to-day;
My fold unguarded, my flock unfolded,
  I shall be scolded and sent away.”        20
Said I, denying, “If they do miss you,
  They ought to kiss you when you get home;
And well rewarded by friend and neighbor
  Should be the labor from which you come.”
“They might remember,” she answer’d meekly,        25
  “That lambs are weakly, and sheep are wild;
But if they love me, it ’s none so fervent:
  I am a servant, and not a child.”
Then each hot ember glow’d within me,
  And love did win me to swift reply:        30
“Ah! do but prove me; and none shall bind you,
  Nor fray nor find you, until I die.”
She blush’d and started, and stood awaiting,
  As if debating in dreams divine;
But I did brave them; I told her plainly        35
  She doubted vainly, she must be mine.
So we, twin-hearted, from all the valley
  Did rouse and rally her nibbling ewes;
And homeward drave them, we two together,
  Through blooming heather and gleaming dews.        40
That simple duty fresh grace did lend her,
  My Doris tender, my Doris true;
That I, her warder, did always bless her,
  And often press her to take her due.
And now in beauty she fills my dwelling,        45
  With love excelling, and undefil’d;
And love doth guard her, both fast and fervent,
  No more a servant, nor yet a child.


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