Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
On Calais Sands
Andrew Lang (1844–1912)
ON Calais Sands the gray began,
  Then rosy red above they gray;
The morn with many a scarlet van
  Leaped, and the world was glad with May!
The little waves along the bay        5
  Broke white upon the shelving strands;
The sea-mews flitted white as they
        On Calais Sands!
On Calais Sands must man with man
  Wash honor clean in blood to-day;        10
On spaces wet from waters wan
  How white the flashing rapiers play,—
Parry, riposte! and lunge! The fray
  Shifts for a while, then mournful stands
The Victor: life ebbs fast away        15
        On Calais Sands!
On Calais Sands a little space
  Of silence, then the plash and spray,
The sound of eager waves that ran
  To kiss the perfumed locks astray,        20
To touch these lips that ne’er said “Nay,”
  To dally with the helpless hands,
Till the deep sea in silence lay
        On Calais Sands!
Between the lilac and the may        25
  She waits her love from alien lands;
Her love is colder than the clay
        On Calais Sands!


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