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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Michael Field

An Æolian Harp


DOST thou not hear? Amid dun, lonely hills

Far off a melancholy music shrills,

As for a joy that no fruition fills.

Who live in that far country of the wind?

The unclaimed hopes, the powers but half-divined,

The shy, heroic passions of mankind.

And all are young in those reverberant bands;

None marshals them, no mellow voice commands;

They whirl and eddy as the shifting sands.

There, there is ruin, and no ivy clings;

There pass the mourners for untimely things,

There breaks the stricken cry of crownless kings.

But ever and anon there spreads a boom

Of wonder through the air, arraigning doom

With ineffectual plaint as from a tomb.