Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
By James Stephens (1882–1950)
MY enemy came nigh,
And I
Stared fiercely in his face.
My lips went writhing back in a grimace,
And stern I watch’d him with a narrow eye.        5
Then, as I turn’d away, my enemy,
That bitter heart and savage, said to me:
‘Some day, when this is past,
When all the arrows that we have are cast,
We may ask one another why we hate,        10
And fail to find a story to relate.
It may seem to us then a mystery
That we could hate each other.’
                    Thus said he,
And did not turn away,
Waiting to hear what I might have to say,        15
But I fled quickly, fearing if I stay’d
I might have kiss’d him as I would a maid.

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