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.
 
From “The Paradise of Birds.” I. Birdcatcher’s Song
 
William John Courthope (b. 1842)
 
 
WHEN at close of winter’s night
  All the insect world’s a-wing;
When anemones are white;
  When the first Lent lilies spring;
When the birds their troths do plight,        5
  And all feather’d lovers sing;
Eggs of golden plovers reach
In London town a shilling each.
 
Sweet it is to see the gold
  Brightening on the cowslip tall;        10
Sweet to hear on lonely wold
  Birds by dawn their lovers call;
Sweet to smell the freshening mould;
  But far sweeter than them all,
Flowers, sweet breath, or songs of lovers,        15
Are shilling eggs of golden plovers.
 
Bid them pay, and men will buy
  For their palate magic taste;
Shift the prices, woman’s eye
  Leaves the diamond, likes the paste;        20
If the market run not high,
  Heavenly nectar may go waste;
But each shilling paid discovers
Fresh flavor in the eggs of plovers.
 

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