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.
 
Actea
 
Rennell Rodd (b. 1858)
 
 
WHEN the last bitterness was past, she bore
Her singing Cæsar to the Garden Hill,
Her fallen pitiful dead emperor.
She lifted up the beggar’s cloak he wore
—The one thing living that he would not kill—        5
And on those lips of his that sang no more,
That world-loathed head which she found lovely still,
Her cold lips closed, in death she had her will.
Oh wreck of the lost human soul left free
To gorge the beast thy mask of manhood screened!        10
Because one living thing, albeit a slave,
Shed those hot tears on thy dishonored grave,
Although thy curse be as the shoreless sea,
Because she loved, thou art not wholly fiend.
 

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