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

George Eliot 1819–80

Songs from “The Spanish Gypsy.” I. The Dark


SHOULD I long that dark were fair?

Say, O song,

Lacks my love aught, that I should long?

Dark the night, with breath all flow’rs,

And tender broken voice that fills

With ravishment the listening hours:

Whisperings, wooings,

Liquid ripples and soft ring-dove cooings

In low-ton’d rhythm that love’s aching stills.

Dark the night,

Yet is she bright,

For in her dark she brings the mystic star,

Trembling yet strong, as is the voice of love,

From some unknown afar.

O radiant Dark! O darkly-fostered ray!

Thou hast a joy too deep for shallow Day.