Home  »  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895  »  The Sibyl

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

Thomas Gordon Hake 1809–94

The Sibyl

A MAID who mindful of her playful time

Steps to her summer, bearing childhood on

To woman’s beauty, heedless of her prime:

The early day but not the pastime gone:

She is the Sibyl, uttering a doom

Out of her spotless bloom.

She is the Sibyl; seek not, then, her voice;—

A laugh, a song, a sorrow, but thy share,

With woes at hand for many who rejoice

That she shall utter; that shall many hear;

That warn all hearts who seek of her their fates,

Her love but one awaits.

She is the Sibyl; days that distant lie

Bend to the promise that her word shall give;

Already has she eyes that prophesy,

For of her beauty shall all beauty live:

Unknown to her, in her slow opening bloom,

She turns the leaves of doom.