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.
 
Autochthon
 
Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts (1860–1943)
 
 
    I AM the spirit astir
      To swell the grain,
    When fruitful suns confer
      With laboring rain;
    I am the life that thrills        5
      In branch and bloom;
I am the patience of abiding hills,
      The promise masked in doom.
 
    When the sombre lands are wrung,
      And storms are out,        10
    And giant woods give tongue,
      I am the shout;
    And when the earth would sleep,
      Wrapped in her snows,
I am the infinite gleam of eyes that keep        15
      The post of her repose.
 
    I am the hush of calm,
      I am the speed,
    The flood-tide’s triumphing psalm,
      The marsh-pool’s heed;        20
    I work in the rocking roar
      Where cataracts fall;
I flash in the prismy fire that dances o’er
      The dew’s ephemeral ball.
 
    I am the voice of wind        25
      And wave and tree,
    Of stern desires and blind,
      Of strength to be;
    I am the cry by night
      At point of dawn,        30
The summoning bugle from the unseen height,
      In cloud and doubt withdrawn.
 
    I am the strife that shapes
      The stature of man,
    The pang no hero escapes,        35
      The blessing, the ban;
    I am the hammer that moulds
      The iron of our race,
The omen of God in our blood that a people beholds,
      The foreknowledge veiled in our face.        40
 

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