Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
The Settlers
By Laurence Housman (1865–1959)
HOW green the earth, how blue the sky,
  How pleasant all the days that pass,
Here where the British settlers lie
  Beneath their cloaks of grass!
Here ancient peace resumes her round,        5
  And rich from toil stand hill and plain;
Men reap and store; but they sleep sound,
  The men who sow’d the grain.
Hard to the plough their hands they put,
  And wheresoe’er the soil had need        10
The furrow drave, and underfoot
  They sow’d themselves for seed.
Ah! not like him whose hand made yield
  The brazen kine with fiery breath,
And over all the Colchian field        15
  Strew’d far the seeds of death;
Till, as day sank, awoke to war
  The seedlings of the dragon’s teeth,
And death ran multiplied once more
  Across the hideous heath.        20
But rich in flocks be all these farms,
  And fruitful be the fields which hide
Brave eyes that loved the light, and arms
  That never clasp’d a bride!
O willing hearts turn’d quick to clay,        25
  Glad lovers holding death in scorn,
Out of the lives ye cast away
  The coming race is born.

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