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.
 
From ‘Teneriffe’
By Frederic William Henry Myers (1843–1901)
 
ATLANTID islands, phantom-fair,
  Throned on the solitary seas,
Immersed in amethystine air,
  Haunt of Hesperides!
Farewell! I leave Madeira thus        5
Drowned in a sunset glorious,
The Holy Harbour fading far
Beneath a blaze of cinnabar.
 
Then all is twilight; pile on pile
  The scattered flocks of cloudland close,        10
An alabaster wall, erewhile
  Much redder than the rose!—
Falls like a sleep on souls forspent
Majestic Night’s abandonment;
Wakes like a waking life afar        15
Hung o’er the sea one eastern star.
 
O Nature’s glory, Nature’s youth,
  Perfected sempiternal whole!
And is the World’s in very truth
  An impercipient Soul?        20
Or doth that Spirit, past our ken,
Live a profounder life than men,
Awaits our passing days, and thus
In secret places calls to us?
 
O fear not thou, whate’er befall        25
  Thy transient individual breath;—
Behold, thou knowest not at all
  What kind of thing is Death:
And here indeed might Death be fair,
If Death be dying into air,—        30
If souls evanish’d mix with thee,
Illumined Heaven, eternal Sea.
 
 
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