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

Walter Savage Landor 1775–1864

The One White Hair


THE WISEST of the wise

Listen to pretty lies

And love to hear them told;

Doubt not that Solomon

Listen’d to many a one,—

Some in his youth, and more when he grew old.

I never was among

The choir of Wisdom’s song,

But pretty lies lov’d I

As much as any king,

When youth was on the wing,

And (must it then be told?) when youth had quite gone by.

Alas! and I have not

The pleasant hour forgot

When one pert lady said,

“O Walter! I am quite

Bewilder’d with affright!

I see (sit quiet now) a white hair on your head!”

Another more benign

Snipp’d it away from mine,

And in her own dark hair

Pretended it was found…

She leap’d, and twirl’d it round…

Fair as she was, she never was so fair!