Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
Nuptial Song
By Lord de Tabley (John Byrne Leicester Warren) (1835–1895)
SIGH, heart, and break not; rest, lark, and wake not!
  Day I hear coming to draw my Love away.
As mere-waves whisper, and clouds grow crisper,
  Ah, like a rose he will waken up with day!
In moon-light lonely, he is my Love only,        5
  I share with none when Luna rides in grey.
As dawn-beams quicken, my rivals thicken,
  The light and deed and turmoil of the day.
To watch my sleeper to me is sweeter,
  Than any waking words my Love can say;        10
In dream he finds me and closer winds me!
  Let him rest by me a little more and stay.
Ah, mine eyes, close not: and, tho’ he knows not,
  My lips, on his be tender while you may;
Ere leaves are shaken, and ring-doves waken,        15
  And infant buds begin to scent new day.
Fair Darkness, measure thine hours, as treasure
  Shed each one slowly from thine urn, I pray;
Hoard in and cover each from my lover;
  I cannot lose him yet; dear night, delay!        20
Each moment dearer, true-love lie nearer,
  My hair shall blind thee lest thou see the ray;
My locks encumber thine ears in slumber,
  Lest any bird dare give thee note of day.
He rests so calmly; we lie so warmly;        25
  Hand within hand, as children after play;—
In shafted amber on roof and chamber
  Dawn enters; my Love wakens; here is day.

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