Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
By Edward Walsh (1805–1850)
WHEN the folk of my household
  Suppose I am sleeping,
On the cold sod that ’s o’er you
  The lone watch I’m keeping.
My fondest! my fairest!        5
  We may now sleep together!
I’ve the cold earth’s damp odour,
  And I’m worn from the weather.
Remember that lone night
  I last spent with you, Love,        10
Beneath the dark sloe-tree
  When the icy wind blew, Love.
High praise to thy Saviour
  No sin-stain had found you,
That your virginal glory        15
  Shines brightly around you!
The priests and the friars
  Are ceaselessly chiding
That I love a young maiden
  In life not abiding.        20
O! I’d shelter and shield you
  If wild storms were swelling—
And O, my wreck’d hope,
  That the cold earth ’s your dwelling!

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