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

Aubrey Thomas De Vere b. 1814


SEEK not the tree of silkiest bark

And balmiest bud,

To carve her name while yet ’t is dark

Upon the wood!

The world is full of noble tasks

And wreaths hard won:

Each work demands strong hearts, strong hands,

Till day is done.

Sing not that violet-veined skin,

That cheek’s pale roses,

The lily of that form wherein

Her soul reposes!

Forth to the fight, true man! true knight!

The clash of arms

Shall more prevail than whisper’d tale,

To win her charms.

The warrior for the True, the Right,

Fights in Love’s name;

The love that lures thee from that fight

Lures thee to shame:

That love which lifts the heart, yet leaves

The spirit free,—

That love, or none, is fit for one

Man-shap’d like thee.