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

Agnes Mary Frances Darmesteter b. 1857

Celia’s Home-Coming

MAIDENS, kilt your skirts and go

Down the stormy garden-ways,

Pluck the last sweet pinks that blow,

Gather roses, gather bays,

Since our Celia comes to-day

That has been too long away.

Crowd her chamber with your sweets—

Not a flower but grows for her!

Make her bed with linen sheets

That have lain in lavender;

Light a fire before she come

Lest she find us chill at home.

Ah, what joy when Celia stands

By the leaping blaze at last,

Stooping down to warm her hands

All benumbèd with the blast,

While we hide her cloak away

To assure us she shall stay.

Cyder bring and cowslip wine,

Fruits and flavors from the East,

Pears and pippins too, and fine

Saffron loaves to make a feast:

China dishes, silver cups,

For the board where Celia sups!

Then, when all the feasting’s done,

She shall draw us round the blaze,

Laugh, and tell us every one

Of her far triumphant days—

Celia, out of doors a star,

By the hearth a holier Lar!