Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
 
The King on the Tower
By William Makepeace Thackeray (1811–1863)
 
From Uhland

‘Da liegen sie alle, die grauen Höhen.’

THE COLD grey hills they bind me around,
  The darksome valleys lie sleeping below,
But the winds as they pass o’er all this ground,
  Bring me never a sound of woe!
 
Oh! for all I have suffer’d and striven,        5
  Care has embitter’d my cup and my feast;
But here is the night and the dark blue heaven,
  And my soul shall be at rest.
 
O golden legends writ in the skies!
  I turn towards you with longing soul,        10
And list to the awful harmonies
  Of the Spheres as on they roll.
 
My hair is grey and my sight nigh gone;
  My sword it rusteth upon the wall;
Right have I spoken, and right have I done:        15
  When shall I rest me once for all?
 
O blessèd rest! O royal night!
  Wherefore seemeth the time so long
Till I see yon stars in their fullest light,
  And list to their loudest song?        20
 
 
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