Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
The Pilgrim and the Herdboy
By Robert Buchanan (1841–1901)
          LITTLE Herdboy, sitting there,
          With the sunshine on thy hair,
          And thy flocks so white and still
          Spilt around thee on the hill,
          Tell me true, in thy sweet speech,        5
          Of the City I would reach.
          ’Tis a City of God’s Light
          Most imperishably bright,
          And its gates are golden all,—
          And at dawn and evenfall        10
          They grow ruby-bright and blest
          To the east and to the west.
          Here, among the hills it lies,
          Like a lamb with lustrous eyes
          Lying at the Shepherd’s feet;        15
          And the breath of it is sweet,
          As it rises from the sward
          To the nostrils of the Lord!
          Little Herdboy, tell me right,
          Hast thou seen it from thy height?        20
          For it lieth up this way,
          And at dawn or death of day
          Thou hast surely seen it shine
          With the light that is divine?
The little Herdboy:
          Where the buttercups so sweet
          Dust with gold my naked feet,
          Where the grass grows green and long,
          Sit I here and sing my song,
          And the brown bird cries ‘Cuckoo’
          Under skies for ever blue!        30
          Now and then, while I sing loud,
          Flits a little fleecy cloud,
          And uplooking I behold
          How it turns to rain of gold,
          Falling lightly, while around        35
          Comes the stir of its soft sound!
          Bright above and dim below
          Is the many-colour’d Bow;
          ’Tis the only light I mark,
          Till the mountain-tops grow dark,        40
          And uplooking I espy
          Shining glowworms in the sky;
          Then I hear the runlet’s call,
          And the voice o’ the waterfall
          Growing louder, and ’tis cold        45
          As I guide my flocks to fold;
          But no City, great or small,
          Have I ever seen at all!

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.