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 Pipe-Player
 
Sir Edmund William Gosse (1849–1928)
 
 
COOL, and palm-shaded from the torrid heat,
The young brown tenor puts his singing by,
And sets the twin pipe to his lips to try
Some air of bulrush-glooms where lovers meet;
O swart musician, time and fame are fleet,        5
Brief all delight, and youth’s feet fain to fly!
Pipe on in peace! To-morrow must we die?
What matter, if our life to-day be sweet!
Soon, soon, the silver paper-reeds that sigh
Along the Sacred River will repeat        10
The echo of the dark-stoled bearers’ feet,
Who carry you, with wailing, where must lie
Your swarthed and withered body, by and by
In perfumed darkness with the grains of wheat.
 

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