Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
To My Tortoise [Anagki]
By Eugene Lee-Hamilton (1845–1907)
SAY it were true that thou outliv’st us all,
  O footstool once of Venus; come, renew
  Thy tale of old Greek isles, where thy youth grew
In myrtle shadow, near her temple wall;
Or tell me how the eagle let thee fall        5
  Upon the Greek bard’s head from heaven’s blue,
  And Apathy killed Song. And is it true
That thy domed shell would bear a huge stone ball?
O Tortoise, Tortoise, there are weights, alack!
  Heavier than stone, and viewless as the air,        10
    Which none have ever tried upon thy back;
Which, ever and anon, we men must bear—
  Weights which would make thy solid cover crack
    And how we bear them, let those ask who care!

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