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

Ford Madox Brown 1821–93

O. M. B.


AS one who strives from some fast steamer’s side

To note amid the backward-spinning foam

And keep in view some separate wreath therefrom,

That cheats him even the while he views it glide

(Merging in other foam-tracks stretching wide),

So strive we to keep clear that day our home

First saw you riven—a memory thence to roam,

A shatter’d blossom on the eternal tide!

O broken promises that show’d so fair!

O morning sun of wit set in despair!

O brows made smooth as with the Muse’s chrism!

O Oliver! ourselves Death’s cataclysm

Must soon o’ertake—but not in vain—not where

Some vestige of your thought outspans the abysm!