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

George Meredith 1828–1909

R. B.


NOW dumb is he who waked the world to speak,

And voiceless hangs the world beside his bier;

Our words are sobs, our cry of praise a tear;

We are the smitten mortals, we the weak.

We see a spirit on earth’s loftiest peak

Shine and wing hence the way he makes more clear;

See a great tree of life, that never here

Dropped leaf for aught that rage of storms might wreak.

Such ending is not death, such living shows

What wide illumination brightness sheds

From one big heart to conquer man’s old foes,

The coward and the tyrant and the force

Of all these weedy monsters’ rising heads,

When song is talk from springs of turbid source.