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.
  
Robert Bridges. b. 1844
  
838. Pater Filio
  
SENSE with keenest edge unusèd, 
  Yet unsteel'd by scathing fire; 
Lovely feet as yet unbruisèd 
  On the ways of dark desire; 
Sweetest hope that lookest smiling         5
O'er the wilderness defiling! 
 
Why such beauty, to be blighted 
  By the swarm of foul destruction? 
Why such innocence delighted, 
  When sin stalks to thy seduction?  10
All the litanies e'er chaunted 
Shall not keep thy faith undaunted. 
 
I have pray'd the sainted Morning 
  To unclasp her hands to hold thee; 
From resignful Eve's adorning  15
  Stol'n a robe of peace to enfold thee; 
With all charms of man's contriving 
Arm'd thee for thy lonely striving. 
 
Me too once unthinking Nature, 
  —Whence Love's timeless mockery took me,—  20
Fashion'd so divine a creature, 
  Yea, and like a beast forsook me. 
I forgave, but tell the measure 
Of her crime in thee, my treasure. 
 
 
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