Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
Solitude and the Lily
By Richard Henry Hengist Horne (1802–1884)
The Lily:
    I BEND above the moving stream,
    And see myself in my own dream,—
      Heaven passing, while I do not pass.
    Something divine pertains to me,
    Or I to it;—reality        5
      Escapes me on this liquid glass.
    The changeful clouds that float or poise on high,
    Emblem earth’s night and day of history;
    Renew’d for ever, evermore to die.
      Thy life-dream is thy fleeting loveliness;        10
      But mine is concentrated consciousness,
      A life apart from pleasure or distress.
        The grandeur of the Whole
        Absorbs my soul,
      While my caves sigh o’er human littleness.        15
The Lily:
        Ah, Solitude,
      Of marble Silence fit abode!
    I do prefer my fading face,
    My loss of loveliness and grace,
      With cloud-dreams ever in my view;        20
    Also the hope that other eyes
    May share my rapture in the skies,
      And, if illusion, feel it true.

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