Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
The Lamp
By Charles Whitehead (1804–1862)
AS yonder lamp in my vacated room
  With arduous flame disputes the darksome night,
  And can, with its involuntary light,
But lifeless things, that near it stand, illume;
Yet all the while it doth itself consume,        5
  And, ere the sun begins its heavenly height
  With courier beams that meet the shepherd’s sight,
There, whence its life arose, shall be its tomb—
So wastes my light away. Perforce confined
  To common things, a limit to its sphere,        10
It shines on worthless trifles undesign’d
  With fainter ray each hour imprison’d here.
Alas! to know that the consuming mind
  Shall leave its lamp cold, ere the sun appear.

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