Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
Roden Berkeley Wriothesley Noel. 1834–1894
803. The Water-Nymph and the Boy
I FLUNG me round him, 
I drew him under; 
I clung, I drown'd him, 
My own white wonder!... 
  Father and mother,         5
  Weeping and wild, 
  Came to the forest, 
  Calling the child, 
  Came from the palace, 
  Down to the pool,  10
  Calling my darling, 
  My beautiful! 
  Under the water, 
  Cold and so pale! 
  Could it be love made  15
  Beauty to fail? 
  Ah me for mortals! 
  In a few moons, 
  If I had left him, 
  After some Junes  20
  He would have faded, 
  Faded away, 
  He, the young monarch, whom 
  All would obey, 
  Fairer than day;  25
  Alien to springtime, 
  Joyless and gray, 
  He would have faded, 
  Faded away, 
  Moving a mockery,  30
  Scorn'd of the day! 
  Now I have taken him 
  All in his prime, 
  Saved from slow poisoning 
  Pitiless Time,  35
  Fill'd with his happiness, 
  One with the prime, 
  Saved from the cruel 
  Dishonour of Time. 
  Laid him, my beautiful,  40
  Laid him to rest, 
  Loving, adorable, 
  Softly to rest, 
  Here in my crystalline, 
  Here in my breast!  45
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