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

Charles Whitehead 1804–62

As Yonder Lamp

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;

And, ere the sun begin its heavenly height

With courier beams that meet the shepherd’s sight,

There, whence its life arose, shall be its tomb:—

So wastes my life away. Perforce confin’d

To common things, a limit to its sphere,

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!