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

Richard Garnett 1835–1906

To America


WHAT though thy Muse the singer’s art essay

With lip now over-loud, now over-low?

’T is but the augury that makes her so

Of the high things she hath in charge to say.

How shall the giantess of gold and clay,

Girt with two oceans, crown’d with Arctic snow,

Sandall’d with shining seas of Mexico,

Be par’d to trim proportion in a day?

Thou art too great! Thy million-billow’d surge

Of life bewilders speech, as shoreless sea

Confounds the ranging eye from verge to verge

With mazy strife or smooth immensity.

Not soon or easily shall thence emerge

A Homer or a Shakespeare worthy thee.