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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Visions
By Charles Stuart Calverley (1831–1884)
 
From ‘Fly-Leaves’

She was a phantom—” etc.

IN lone Glenartney’s thickets lies couched the lordly stag,
The dreaming terrier’s tail forgets its customary wag;
And plodding plowmen’s weary steps insensibly grow quicker,
As broadening casements light them on toward home, or home-brewed liquor.
 
It is—in brief—the evening: that pure and pleasant time,        5
When stars break into splendor, and poets into rhyme;
When in the glass of Memory the forms of loved ones shine—
And when, of course, Miss Goodchild is prominent in mine.
 
Miss Goodchild—Julia Goodchild!—how graciously you smiled
Upon my childish passion once, yourself a fair-haired child:        10
When I was (no doubt) profiting by Dr. Crabb’s instruction,
And sent those streaky lollipops home for your fairy suction.
 
“She wore” her natural “roses, the night when first we met,”—
Her golden hair was gleaming ’neath the coercive net:
“Her brow was like the snawdrift,” her step was like Queen Mab’s,        15
And gone was instantly the heart of every boy at Crabb’s.
 
The parlor-boarder chasséed tow’rds her on graceful limb;
The onyx decked his bosom—but her smiles were not for him:
With me she danced—till drowsily her eyes “began to blink,”
And I brought raisin wine, and said, “Drink, pretty creature, drink!”        20
 
And evermore, when winter comes in his garb of snows,
And the returning schoolboy is told how fast he grows;
Shall I—with that soft hand in mine—enact ideal Lancers,
And dream I hear demure remarks, and make impassioned answers.
 
I know that never, never may her love for me return—        25
At night I muse upon the fact with undisguised concern—
But ever shall I bless that day!—I don’t bless, as a rule,
The days I spent at “Dr. Crabb’s Preparatory School.”
 
And yet we two may meet again,—(Be still, my throbbing heart!)
Now rolling years have weaned us from jam and raspberry-tart.        30
One night I saw a vision—’twas when musk-roses bloom,
I stood—we stood—upon a rug, in a sumptuous dining-room:
 
One hand clasped hers—one easily reposed upon my hip—
And “Bless ye!” burst abruptly from Mr. Goodchild’s lip:
I raised my brimming eye, and saw in hers an answering gleam—        35
My heart beat wildly—and I woke, and lo! it was a dream.
 
 
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