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.
 
The Water-Nymph and the Boy
By Roden Berkeley Wriothesley Noel (1834–1894)
 
I FLUNG me round him,
I drew him under;
I clung, I drown’d him,
My own white wonder!..
 
  Father and mother,        5
  Weeping and wild,
  Came to the forest,
  Calling the child,
  Came from the palace,
  Down to the pool,        10
  Calling my darling,
  My beautiful!
  Under the water,
  Cold and so pale!
  Could it be love made        15
  Beauty to fail?
 
  Ah me for mortals!
  In a few moons,
  If I had left him,
  After some Junes        20
  He would have faded,
  Faded away,
  He, the young monarch, whom
  All would obey,
  Fairer than day;        25
  Alien to springtime,
  Joyless and gray,
  He would have faded,
  Faded away,
  Moving a mockery,        30
  Scorn’d of the day!
  Now I have taken him
  All in his prime,
  Saved from slow poisoning
  Pitiless Time,        35
  Fill’d with his happiness,
  One with the prime,
  Saved from the cruel
  Dishonour of Time.
  Laid him, my beautiful,        40
  Laid him to rest,
  Loving, adorable,
  Softly to rest,
  Here in my crystalline,
  Here in my breast!        45
 
 
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