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

Robert Browning 1812–89



THIS is a spray the bird clung to,

Making it blossom with pleasure,

Ere the high tree-top she sprung to,

Fit for her nest and her treasure:

Oh, what a hope beyond measure

Was the poor spray’s, which the flying feet hung to,—

So to be singled out, built in, and sung to!

This is a heart the queen leant on,

Thrill’d a minute erratic,

Ere the true bosom she bent on,

Meet for love’s regal dalmatic.

Oh, what a fancy ecstatic

Was the poor heart’s, ere the wanderer went on,—

Love to be sav’d for it, proffer’d to, spent on!