Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
Sir Edmund William Gosse (1849–1928)
THE POPLARS and the ancient elms
  Make murmurous noises high in air;
The noon-day sunlight overwhelms
  The brown cicalas basking there;
But here the shade is deep, and sweet        5
  With new-mown grass and lentisk-shoots,
And far away the shepherds meet
        With noisy fifes and flutes.
Their clamor dies upon the ear;
  So now bring forth the rolls of song,        10
Mouth the rich cadences, nor fear
  Your voice may do the poet wrong;
Lift up the chalice to our lips,—
  Yet see, before we venture thus,
A stream of red libation drips        15
        To great Theocritus.
We are in Sicily to-day;
  And, as the honeyed metre flows,
Battos and Corydon, at play,
  Will lose the syrinx, gain the rose;        20
Soft Amaryllis, too, will bind
  Dark violets round her shining hair,
And in the fountain laugh to find
        Her sun-browned face so fair.
We are in Sicily to-day;        25
  Ah! foolish world, too sadly wise,
Why didst thou e’er let fade away
  Those ancient, innocent ecstasies?
Along the glens, in checkered flight,
  Hither to-day the nymphs shall flee,        30
And Pan forsake for our delight
        The tomb of Helice.


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