Home  »  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895  »  From “Modern Love.” IV. One Twilight Hour

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

George Meredith 1828–1909

From “Modern Love.” IV. One Twilight Hour


WE saw the swallows gathering in the sky,

And in the osier-isle we heard their noise.

We had not to look back on summer joys,

Or forward to a summer of bright dye;

But in the largeness of the evening earth

Our spirits grew as we went side by side.

The hour became her husband, and my bride.

Love that had robb’d us so, thus bless’d our dearth!

The pilgrims of the year wax’d very loud

In multitudinous chatterings, as the flood

Full brown came from the west, and like pale blood

Expanded to the upper crimson cloud.

Love, that had robb’d us of immortal things,

This little moment mercifully gave,

And still I see across the twilight wave

The swan sail with her young beneath her wings.