Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
  
Wilfrid Scawen Blunt. b. 1840
  
822. Written at Florence
  
O WORLD, in very truth thou art too young; 
When wilt thou learn to wear the garb of age? 
World, with thy covering of yellow flowers, 
Hast thou forgot what generations sprung 
Out of thy loins and loved thee and are gone?         5
Hast thou no place in all their heritage 
Where thou dost only weep, that I may come 
Nor fear the mockery of thy yellow flowers? 
  O world, in very truth thou art too young. 
The heroic wealth of passionate emprize  10
Built thee fair cities for thy naked plains: 
How hast thou set thy summer growth among 
The broken stones which were their palaces! 
Hast thou forgot the darkness where he lies 
Who made thee beautiful, or have thy bees  15
Found out his grave to build their honeycombs? 
 
O world, in very truth thou art too young: 
They gave thee love who measured out thy skies, 
And, when they found for thee another star, 
Who made a festival and straightway hung  20
The jewel on thy neck. O merry world, 
Hast thou forgot the glory of those eyes 
Which first look'd love in thine? Thou hast not furl'd 
One banner of thy bridal car for them. 
  O world, in very truth thou art too young.  25
There was a voice which sang about thy spring, 
Till winter froze the sweetness of his lips, 
And lo, the worms had hardly left his tongue 
Before thy nightingales were come again. 
O world, what courage hast thou thus to sing?  30
Say, has thy merriment no secret pain, 
No sudden weariness that thou art young? 
 
 
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