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.
 
Art
By James Thomson (1834–1882)
 
WHAT precious thing are you making fast
  In all these silken lines?
And where and to whom will it go at last?
  Such subtle knots and twines!
 
I am tying up all my love in this,        5
  With all its hopes and fears,
With all its anguish and all its bliss,
  And its hours as heavy as years.
 
I am going to send it afar, afar,
  To I know not where above;        10
To that sphere beyond the highest star
  Where dwells the soul of my Love.
 
But in vain, in vain, would I make it fast
  With countless subtle twines;
For ever its fire breaks out at last,        15
  And shrivels all the lines.
 
 
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