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

Richard Le Gallienne 1866–1947

The Passionate Reader to His Poet


DOTH it not thrill thee, Poet,

Dead and dust though thou art,

To feel how I press thy singing

Close to my heart?

Take it at night to my pillow,

Kiss it before I sleep,

And again when the delicate morning

Beginneth to peep?

See how I bathe thy pages

Here in the light of the sun,

Through thy leaves, as a wind among roses,

The breezes shall run.

Feel how I take thy poem

And bury within it my face

As I pressed it last night in the heart of a flower,

Or deep in a dearer place.

Think, as I love thee, Poet,

A thousand love beside,

Dear women love to press thee too

Against a sweeter side.

Art thou not happy, Poet?

I sometimes dream that I

For such a fragrant fame as thine

Would gladly sing and die.

Say, wilt thou change thy glory

For this same youth of mine?

And I will give my days i’ the sun

For that great song of thine.