Home  »  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895  »  The Pipe-Player

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

Sir Edmund William Gosse 1849–1928

The Pipe-Player


COOL, and palm-shaded from the torrid heat,

The young brown tenor puts his singing by,

And sets the twin pipe to his lips to try

Some air of bulrush-glooms where lovers meet;

O swart musician, time and fame are fleet,

Brief all delight, and youth’s feet fain to fly!

Pipe on in peace! To-morrow must we die?

What matter, if our life to-day be sweet!

Soon, soon, the silver paper-reeds that sigh

Along the Sacred River will repeat

The echo of the dark-stoled bearers’ feet,

Who carry you, with wailing, where must lie

Your swarthed and withered body, by and by

In perfumed darkness with the grains of wheat.