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 Man to the Angel
By ‘A. E.’ (George William Russell) (1867–1935)
 
I HAVE wept a million tears;
  Pure and proud one, where are thine?
What the gain tho’ all thy years
  In unbroken beauty shine?
 
All your beauty cannot win        5
  Truth we learn in pain and sighs:
You can never enter in
  To the circle of the wise.
 
They are but the slaves of light
  Who have never known the gloom,        10
And between the dark and light
  Will’d in freedom their own doom.
 
Think not, in your pureness there,
  That our pain but follows sin;
There are fires for those who dare        15
  Seek the throne of might to win.
 
Pure one, from your pride refrain:
  Dark and lost amid the strife,
I am myriad years of pain
  Nearer to the fount of life.        20
 
When defiance fierce is thrown
  At the God to whom you bow,
Rest the lips of the Unknown
  Tenderest upon my brow.
 
 
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