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.
 
Renunciants
 
Edward Dowden (1843–1913)
 
 
SEEMS not our breathing light?
  Sound not our voices free?
Bid to Life’s festal bright
  No gladder guests there be.
 
Ah stranger, lay aside        5
  Cold prudence! I divine
The secret you would hide,
  And you conjecture mine.
 
You too have temperate eyes,
  Have put your heart to school,        10
Are prov’d. I recognize
  A brother of the rule.
 
I knew it by your lip,
  A something when you smil’d,
Which meant “close scholarship,        15
  A master of the guild.”
 
Well, and how good is life;
  Good to be born, have breath,
The calms good, and the strife,
  Good life, and perfect death.        20
 
Come, for the dancers wheel,
  Join we the pleasant din,—
Comrade, it serves to feel
  The sackcloth next the skin.
 

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