Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
 
Epitaph of Dionysia
Anonymous
 
HERE doth Dionysia lie:
  She whose little wanton foot
Tripping (ah, too carelessly!)
  Touch’d this tomb and fell into ’t.
 
Trip no more shall she, nor fall,        5
  And her trippings were so few!
Summers only eight in all
  Had the sweet child wander’d through.
 
But already life’s few suns
  Love’s strong seeds had ripen’d warm,        10
All her ways were winning ones,
  All her cunning was to charm.
 
And the fancy, in the flower
  While the flesh was in the blood,
Childhood’s dawning sex did dower        15
  With warm gusts of womanhood.
 
O what joys by hope begun,
  O what kisses kiss’d by thought,
What love-deeds by fancy done,
  Death to endless dust hath wrought!        20
 
Had the Fates been kind as thou,
  Who, till now, wast never cold,
Once Love’s aptest scholar, now
  Thou hadst been his teacher bold.
 
But if buried seeds upthrow        25
  Fruits and flowers; if flower and fruit
By their nature fitly show
  What the seeds are whence they shoot;
 
Dionysia, o’er this tomb,
  Where thy buried beauties be,        30
From their dust shall spring and bloom
  Loves and graces like to thee.
 
 
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