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.
 
Eden-gate
By Sydney Dobell (1824–1874)
 
THERE grew a lowly flower by Eden-gate
Among the thorns and thistles. High the palm
Branch’d o’er her, and imperial by her side
Upstood the sunburnt lily of the East.
 
The goodly gate swung oft, with many gods        5
Going and coming, and the spice-winds blew
Music and murmurings, and paradise
Well’d over and enrich’d the outer wild.
 
Then the palm trembled fast-bound by the feet,
And the imperial Lily bow’d her down        10
With yearning, but they could not enter in.
 
The lowly flower she look’d up to the palm
And lily, and at eve was full of dews,
And hung her head and wept and said, ‘Ah these
Are tall and fair, and shall I enter in?’        15
 
There came an angel to the gate at even,
A weary angel, with dishevell’d hair;
For he had wander’d far, and as he went,
The blossoms of his crown fell one by one
Thro’ many nights, and seem’d a falling star.        20
 
He saw the lovely flower by Eden-gate,
And cried, ‘Ah, pure and beautiful!’ and turn’d
And stoop’d to her and wound her in his hair,
And in his golden hair she enter’d in.
 
Husband! I was the weed at Eden-gate;        25
I look’d up to the lily and the palm
Above me, and I wept and said, ‘Ah these
Are tall and fair, and shall I enter in?’
 
And one came by me to the gate at even,
And stoop’d to me and wound me in his hair        30
And in his golden hair I enter’d in.
 
 
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