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.
  
Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy. 1844–1881
  
828. Ode
  
WE are the music-makers, 
  And we are the dreamers of dreams, 
Wandering by lone sea-breakers, 
  And sitting by desolate streams; 
World-losers and world-forsakers,         5
  On whom the pale moon gleams: 
Yet we are the movers and shakers 
  Of the world for ever, it seems. 
 
With wonderful deathless ditties 
We build up the world's great cities,  10
  And out of a fabulous story 
  We fashion an empire's glory: 
One man with a dream, at pleasure, 
  Shall go forth and conquer a crown; 
And three with a new song's measure  15
  Can trample an empire down. 
 
We, in the ages lying 
  In the buried past of the earth, 
Built Nineveh with our sighing, 
  And Babel itself with our mirth;  20
And o'erthrew them with prophesying 
  To the old of the new world's worth; 
For each age is a dream that is dying, 
  Or one that is coming to birth. 
 
 
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