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

Sydney Dobell 1824–74

Home in War-Time


SHE turn’d the fair page with her fairer hand—

More fair and frail than it was wont to be—

O’er each remember’d thing he lov’d to see

She linger’d, and as with a fairy’s wand

Enchanted it to order. Oft she fann’d

New motes into the sun; and as a bee

Sings thro’ a brake of bells, so murmur’d she,

And so her patient love did understand

The reliquary room. Upon the sill

She fed his favorite bird. “Ah, Robin, sing!

He loves thee.” Then she touches a sweet string

Of soft recall, and towards the Eastern hill

Smiles all her soul—for him who cannot hear

The raven croaking at his carrion ear.