Home  »  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895  »  The Passing of the Elder Bards

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

William Wordsworth 1770–1850

The Passing of the Elder Bards


THE MIGHTY Minstrel breathes no longer,

Mid mouldering ruins low he lies;

And death upon the braes of Yarrow

Has closed the Shepherd-poet’s eyes:

Nor has the rolling year twice measured,

From sign to sign, its steadfast course,

Since every mortal power of Coleridge

Was frozen at its marvellous source;

The ’rapt One, of the godlike forehead,

The heaven-eyed creature sleeps in earth:

And Lamb, the frolic and the gentle,

Has vanished from his lonely hearth.

Like clouds that rake the mountain-summits,

Or waves that own no curbing hand,

How fast has brother followed brother,

From sunshine to the sunless land!

Yet I, whose lids from infant slumber

Were earlier raised, remain to hear

A timid voice, that asks in whispers,

“Who next will drop and disappear?”

November, 1835.