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.
 
Christie’s Portrait
 
Gerald Massey (b. 1828)
 
 
YOUR tiny picture makes me yearn;
  We are so far apart!
My darling, I can only turn
  And kiss you in my heart.
A thousand tender thoughts a-wing        5
  Swarm in a summer clime,
And hover round it murmuring
  Like bees at honey-time.
 
Upon a little girl I look
  Whose pureness makes me sad;        10
I read as in a holy book,
  I grow in secret glad.
It seems my darling comes to me
  With something I have lost
Over life’s toss’d and troubled sea,        15
  On some celestial coast.
 
I think of her when spirit-bow’d;
  A glory fills the place!
Like sudden light on swords, the proud
  Smile flashes in my face:        20
And others see, in passing by,
  But cannot understand
The vision shining in mine eye,
  My strength of heart and hand.
 
That grave content and touching grace        25
  Bring tears into mine eyes;
She makes my heart a holy place
  Where hymns and incense rise.
Such calm her gentle spirit brings
  As, smiling overhead,        30
White-statued saints with peaceful wings
  Shadow the sleeping dead.
 
Our Christie is no rosy Grace
  With beauty all may see,
But I have never felt a face        35
  Grow half so dear to me.
No curling hair about her brows,
  Like many merry girls;
Well, straighter to my heart it goes,
  And round it curls and curls.        40
 
Meek as the wood anemone glints
  To see if heaven be blue,
Is my pale flower with her sweet tints
  Of heaven shining through.
She will be poor and never fret,        45
  Sleep sound and lowly lie;
Will live her quiet life, and let
  The great world-storm go by.
 
Dear love! God keep her in his grasp,
  Meek maiden, or brave wife,        50
Till his good angels softly clasp
  Her closed book of life!
And this fair picture of the sun,
  With birthday blessings given,
Shall fade before a glorious one        55
  Taken of her in heaven.
 

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