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

Aubrey Thomas De Vere b. 1814

The Queen’s Vespers

HALF kneeling yet, and half reclining,

She held her harp against her knees:

Aloft the ruddy roofs were shining,

And sunset touch’d the trees.

From the gold border gleam’d like snow

Her foot: a crown enrich’d her brow:

Dark gems confin’d that crimson vest

Close-moulded on her neck and breast.

In silence lay the cloistral court

And shadows of the convent towers:

Well order’d now in stately sort

Those royal halls and bowers.

The choral chaunt had just swept by;

Bright arms lay quivering yet on high:

Thereon the warriors gaz’d, and then

Glanced lightly at the Queen again.

While from her lip the wild hymn floated,

Such grace in those uplifted eyes

And sweet, half absent looks, they noted

That, surely, through the skies

A Spirit, they deem’d, flew forward ever

Above that song’s perpetual river,

And, smiling from its joyous track,

Upon her heavenly face look’d back.