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.
 
Life
 
Lizzie M. Little
 
 
O LIFE! that mystery that no man knows,
And all men ask: the Arab from his sands,
The Cæsar’s self, lifting imperial hands,
And the lone dweller where the lotus blows;
O’er trackless tropics, and o’er silent snows,        5
She dumbly broods, that Sphinx of all the lands;
And if she answers, no man understands,
And no cry breaks the blank of her repose.
But a new form rose once upon my pain,
With grave, sad lips, but in the eyes a smile        10
Of deepest meaning dawning sweet and slow,
Lighting to service, and no more in vain
I ask of Life, “What art thou?”—as erewhile—
For since Love holds my hand I seem to know!
 

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