Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
An Even-song
By Sydney Dobell (1824–1874)
IN the spring twilight, in the colour’d twilight
Whereto the latter primroses are stars,
And early nightingale
Letteth her love adown the tender wind,
That thro’ the eglantine        5
In mixed delight the fragrant music bloweth
On to me,
Where in the twilight, in the colour’d twilight,
I sit beside the thorn upon the hill.
The mavis sings upon the old oak tree        10
Sweet and strong,
Strong and sweet,
Soft, sweet, and strong,
And with his voice interpreteth the silence
Of the dim vale when Philomel is mute!        15
The dew lies like a light upon the grass,
The cloud is as a swan upon the sky,
The mist is as a brideweed on the moon.
The shadows new and sweet
Like maids unwonted in the dues of joy        20
Play with the meadow flowers,
And give with fearful fancies more and less,
And come, and go, and flit
A brief emotion in the moving air,
And now are stirr’d to flight, and now are kind,        25
Unset, uncertain, as the cheek of Love.
As tho’ amid the eve
Stood Spring with fluttering breast,
And like a butterfly upon a flower,
Spreading and closing with delight’s excess,        30
A-sudden fann’d and shut her tinted wings.
In the spring twilight, in the colour’d twilight,
Ere Hesper, eldest child of Night, run forth
On mountain-top to see
If Day hath left the dale,        35
And hears, well-pleased, the dove
From ancient elm and high
In murmuring dreams still bid the sun good night,
And sound of lowing kine,
And echoes long and clear,        40
And herdsman’s evening call,
And bells of penning folds,
Sweet and low;
O maid, as fair as thou
Behold the young May moon!        45
O, happy, happy maid!
With love as young as she
In the spring twilight, in the colour’d twilight,
Meet, meet me, by the thorn upon the hill!

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