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.
Henry Charles Beeching. 1859–1919
856. Going down Hill on a Bicycle
WITH lifted feet, hands still, 
I am poised, and down the hill 
Dart, with heedful mind; 
The air goes by in a wind. 
Swifter and yet more swift,         5
Till the heart with a mighty lift 
Makes the lungs laugh, the throat cry:— 
'O bird, see; see, bird, I fly. 
'Is this, is this your joy? 
O bird, then I, though a boy  10
For a golden moment share 
Your feathery life in air!' 
Say, heart, is there aught like this 
In a world that is full of bliss? 
'Tis more than skating, bound  15
Steel-shod to the level ground. 
Speed slackens now, I float 
Awhile in my airy boat; 
Till, when the wheels scarce crawl, 
My feet to the treadles fall.  20
Alas, that the longest hill 
Must end in a vale; but still, 
Who climbs with toil, wheresoe'er, 
Shall find wings waiting there. 
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