Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
The Gypsies’ Road
By Dora Sigerson Shorter (1866–1918)
I SHALL go on the gypsies’ road,
  The road that has no ending;
For the sedge is brown on the lone lake side,
  The wild geese eastward tending.
I shall go as the unfetter’d wave,        5
  From shore to shore, forgetting
The grief that lies ’neath a roof-tree’s shade,
  The years that bring regretting.
No law shall dare my wandering stay,
  No man my acres measure;        10
The world was made for the gypsies’ feet,
  The winding road for pleasure.
And I shall drift as the pale leaf stray’d,
  Whither the wild wind listed,
I shall sleep in the dark of the hedge,        15
  ’Neath rose and thorn entwisted.
This was a call in the heart of the night,
  A whispering dream’s dear treasure:
‘The world was made for the nomads’ feet,
  The winding road for pleasure.’        20
I stole at dawn from my roof-tree’s shade,
  And the cares that it did cover;
I flew to the heart of the fierce north wind,
  As a maid will greet her lover.
But a thousand hands did draw me back        25
  And bid me to their tending;
I may not go on the gypsies’ road—
  The road that has no ending.

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