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.
 
Unwelcome
By Mary Elizabeth Coleridge (1861–1907)
 
WE were young, we were merry, we were very very wise,
      And the door stood open at our feast,
When there pass’d us a woman with the West in her eyes,
      And a man with his back to the East.
 
O, still grew the hearts that were beating so fast,        5
      The loudest voice was still.
The jest died away on our lips as they pass’d,
      And the rays of July struck chill.
 
The cups of red wine turn’d pale on the board,
      The white bread black as soot.        10
The hound forgot the hand of her lord,
      She fell down at his foot.
 
Low let me lie, where the dead dog lies,
      Ere I sit me down again at a feast,
When there passes a woman with the West in her eyes,        15
      And a man with his back to the East.
 
 
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