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.
 
To My Mistress
 
Frederick Locker-Lampson (1821–95)
 
 
COUNTESS, I see the flying year,
And feel how Time is wasting here:
Ay, more, he soon his worst will do,
And garner all your roses too.
 
It pleases Time to fold his wings        5
Around our best and fairest things;
He’ll mar your blooming cheek, as now
He stamps his mark upon my brow.
 
The same mute planets rise and shine
To rule your days and nights as mine:        10
Once I was young and gay, and, see…
What I am now you soon will be.
 
And yet I boast a certain charm
That shields me from your worst alarm;
And bids me gaze, with front sublime,        15
On all these ravages of Time.
 
You boast a gift to charm the eyes,
I boast a gift that Time defies:
For mine will still be mine, and last
When all your pride of beauty’s past.        20
 
My gift may long embalm the lures
Of eyes—ah, sweet to me as yours!
For ages hence the great and good
Will judge you as I choose they should.
 
In days to come, the peer or clown,        25
With whom I still shall win renown,
Will only know that you were fair
Because I chanced to say you were.
 
Proud Lady! Scornful beauty mocks
At aged heads and silver locks;        30
But think awhile before you fly,
Or spurn a poet such as I.
 

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