Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
 
Salopia Inhospitalis
 
Douglas B. W. Sladen (b. 1856)
 
 
TOUCH not that maid:
She is a flower, and changeth but to fade.
Fragrant is she, and fair
As any shape that haunts this lower air;
In form as graceful and as free        5
As honeysuckles and the lilies be;
Insensible, and shrinking from caress
As flowers, which you peril when you press.
Gaze not on her;
She is a being of another sphere.        10
Brilliant is she, and bright
As any star illuminate at night;
Of stuff as sober and as fine
As hers whose glory through the moon doth shine;
Unliker to come down to this thy love        15
Than any orb that ’s fixed for aye above.
Heed her no more:
She is a gem whose heart thou canst not bore;
Glistering is she, and grand
As any stone that decks a monarch’s hand;        20
In face as free from flaw or stain
As diamond from mine, or pearl from main:
But she thy fire and fever never felt,
For adamant can neither waste nor melt.
 

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