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

John Addington Symonds 1840–93



GIVE me thyself! It were as well to cry:

Give me the splendor of this night of June!

Give me yon star upon the swart lagoon

Trembling in unapproach’d serenity!

Our gondola, that four swift oarsmen ply,

Shoots from the darkening Lido’s sandy dune,

Splits with her steel the mirrors of the moon,

Shivers the star-beams that before us fly.

Give me thyself! This prayer is even a knell,

Warning me back to mine own impotence.

Self gives not self; and souls sequester’d dwell

In the dark fortalice of thought and sense,

Where, though life’s prisoners call from cell to cell,

Each pines alone and may not issue thence.