Verse > Anthologies > Robert Bridges, ed. > The Spirit of Man: An Anthology
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Robert Bridges, ed. (1844–1930).  The Spirit of Man: An Anthology.  1916.
 
From The Wanderer

Richard Watson Dixon (1833–1900)
 
OFT 1 by the marsh’s quaggy edge
  I heard the wind-swept rushes fall;
Where through an overgrowth of sedge
  Rolled the slow mere funereal:
I heard the music of the leaves        5
  Unto the night-wind’s fingering,
I saw the dropping forest-eaves
  Make in the mere their water-ring …
 
But, day by day about the marge
  Of this slow-brooding dreaminess,        10
The shadow of the past lay large,
  And brooded low and lustreless;
Then vanished as I looked on it,
  Yet back returned with wider sweep,
And broad upon my soul would sit,        15
  Like a storm-cloud above the deep …
 
‘I see (I cried) the waste of waves,
  That shifts from out the western tracts;
I see the sun that ever laves
  With liquid gold their cataracts;        20
And night by night I see the moon
  Career and thwart the waves of cloud;
I see great nature burgeon
  Through all her seasons, laughter-browed.
 
But what are these things unto me?        25
  They lack not me, they are full-planned:
I must have love in my degree,
  A human heart, a human hand.
For oh! ’tis better far to share,
  Tho’ life all dark, all bitter be,        30
With human bosoms human care.’—
  I launched my boat upon the sea.
 
Note 1. Dixon. From The Wanderer. ‘Christ’s Comp.’, p. 65. [back]
 
 
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