Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
Hymn: ‘When by the marbled lake I lie and listen’
By Wathen Marks Wilks Call (1817–1890)
WHEN by the marbled lake I lie and listen
  To one sweet voice that sings to me alone,
Veil’d by green leaves whose silver faces glisten
  In breezy light down the blue summer blown,
                        I praise thee, God.        5
When her white ivory fingers twine and quiver,
  Twinkling thro’ mine, and when her golden hair
Flows down her neck, like sunlight down a river,
  And half she is, and half she is not there,
                        I praise thee, God.        10
When I can look from my proud height above her,
  In her quaint faëry face, or o’er her bend,
And know I am her friend but not her lover,
  That she is not my lover but my friend,
                        I praise thee, God.        15
When I have heard the imprison’d echoes breaking
  From rolling clouds, like shouts of gods in fight,
Or armies calling armies, when awaking,
  They rise all breathless from too large delight,
                        I praise thee, God.        20
When I have seen the scarlet lightnings falling
  From cloudy battlements, like throneless kings;
Have seen great angels that, to angels calling,
  Open and shut their gold and silver wings,
                        I praise thee, God.        25
When I have passed a nobler life in sorrow:
  Have seen rude masses grow to fulgent spheres;
Seen how To-day is father of To-morrow,
  And how the Ages justify the Years,
                        I praise thee, God.        30

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