Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
The Dragon-fly
By Walter Savage Landor (1775–1864)
LIFE (priest and poet say) is but a dream;
    I wish no happier one than to be laid
    Beneath a cool syringa’s scented shade,
Or wavy willow, by the running stream,
    Brimful of moral, where the dragon-fly,        5
    Wanders as careless and content as I.
Thanks for this fancy, insect king,
Of purple crest and filmy wing,
Who with indifference givest up
The water-lily’s golden cup,        10
To come again and overlook
What I am writing in my book.
Believe me, most who read the line
Will read with hornier eyes than thine;
And yet their souls shall live for ever,        15
And thine drop dead into the river!
God pardon them, O insect king,
Who fancy so unjust a thing!

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