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

Theodore Watts-Dunton 1832–1914



I SEE thee pine like her in golden story

Who, in her prison, woke and saw, one day,

The gates thrown open—saw the sunbeams play,

With only a web ’tween her and summer’s glory;

Who, when that web—so frail, so transitory

It broke before her breath—had fallen away,

Saw other webs and others rise for aye

Which kept her prison’d till her hair was hoary.

These songs half-sung that yet were all-divine—

That woke Romance, the queen, to reign afresh—

Had been but preludes from that lyre of thine,

Could thy rare spirit’s wings have pierced the mesh

Spun by the wizard who compels the flesh,

But lets the poet see how heav’n can shine.