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.
 
John the Pilgrim
 
Theodore Watts-Dunton (1832–1914)
 
 
The Mirage. A.D. 1249
 
 
BENEATH the sand-storm John the Pilgrim prays;
But when he rises, lo! an Eden smiles,
Green leafy slopes, meadows of camomiles,
Clasp’d in a silvery river’s winding maze:
“Water, water! Blessed be God!” he says,        5
And totters gasping toward those happy isles.
Then all is fled! Over the sandy piles
The bald-ey’d vultures come and stand at gaze.
“God heard me not,” says he, “blessed be God,”
And dies. But as he nears the pearly strand,        10
Heav’n’s outer coast where waiting angels stand,
He looks below: “Farewell, thou hooded clod,
Brown corpse the vultures tear on bloody sand,
God heard my prayer for life—blessed be God!”
 

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