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

Arthur William Edgar O’Shaughnessy 1844–81

At Her Grave


I HAVE stay’d too long from your grave, it seems;

Now I come back again.

Love, have you stirr’d down there in your dreams

Through the sunny days or the rain?

Ah, no! the same peace: you are happy so;

And your flowers, how do they grow?

Your rose has a bud: is it meant for me?

Ah, little red gift put up

So silently, like a child’s present, you see

Lying beside your cup!

And geranium leaves,—I will take, if I may,

Two or three to carry away.

I went not far. In yon world of ours

Grow ugly weeds. With my heart,

Thinking of you and your garden of flowers,

I went to do my part,

Plucking up, where they poison the human wheat,

The weeds of cant and deceit.

’T is a hideous thing I have seen, and the toil

Begets few thanks, much hate;

And the new crop only will find the soil

Less foul,—for the old ’t is too late.

I come back to the only spot I know

Where a weed will never grow.