Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
Of Three Damsels in a Meadow
By John Payne (1842–1916)
ABOUT a well-spring, in a little mead,
  Of tender grasses full and flow’rets fair,
  There sat three youngling angels as it were
Their loves recounting; and for each, indeed,
Her sweet face shaded, ’gainst the noonday need,        5
  A spray of green, that bound her golden hair;
  Whilst, in and out by turns, a frolic air
The two clear colours blended at its heed.
And one, after a little, thus heard I
  Say to her mates, ‘Lo, if by chance there lit        10
The lovers of each one of us hereby,
  Should we flee hence for fear or quiet sit?’
Whereto the twain made answer, ‘Who should fly
  From such a fortune sure were scant of wit.’

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