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.
 
Vita Nuova
By William Watson (1858–1935)
 
LONG hath she slept, forgetful of delight:
At last, at last, the enchanted princess, Earth,
Claim’d with a kiss by Spring the adventurer,
In slumber knows the destined lips, and thrilled
Through all the deeps of her unageing heart        5
With passionate necessity of joy,
Wakens, and yields her loveliness to love.
 
  O ancient streams, O far-descended woods
Full of the fluttering of melodious souls;
O hills and valleys that adorn yourselves        10
In solemn jubilation; winds and clouds,
Ocean and land in stormy nuptials clasp’d,
And all exuberant creatures that acclaim
The Earth’s divine renewal: lo, I too
With yours would mingle somewhat of glad song.        15
I too have come through wintry terrors,—yea,
Through tempest and through cataclysm of soul
Have come, and am deliver’d. Me the Spring,
Me also, dimly with new life hath touch’d,
And with regenerate hope, the salt of life;        20
And I would dedicate these thankful tears
To whatsoever Power beneficent,
Veil’d though his countenance, undivulged his thought,
Hath led me from the haunted darkness forth
Into the gracious air and vernal morn,        25
And suffers me to know my spirit a note
Of this great chorus, one with bird and stream
And voiceful mountain,—nay, a string, how jarr’d
And all but broken! of that lyre of life
Whereon himself, the master harp-player,        30
Resolving all its mortal dissonance
To one immortal and most perfect strain,
Harps without pause, building with song the world.
 
 
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