Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
1657. Romance
 
By Mildred Howells
 
 
DOWN from a sunken doorstep to the road,
  Through a warm garden full of old-time flowers,
Stretches a pathway, where the wrinkled toad
  Sits lost in sunlight through long summer hours.
 
Ah, little dream the passers in the street        5
  That there, a few yards from the old house door,
Just where the apple and the pear trees meet,
  The noble deeds of old are lived once more!—
 
That there, within the gold-lit wavering shade,
  To Joan of Arc angelic voices sing,        10
And once again the brave inspired maid
  Gives up her life for France and for her king.
 
Or, now no more the fields of France are seen,
  They change to England’s rougher, colder shore,
Where rules Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen,        15
  Or where King Arthur holds his court once more.
 
The stupid village folk they cannot see;
  Their eyes are old, and as they pass their way,
It only seems to them beneath the tree
  They see a little dark-eyed girl at play.        20
 

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