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 Swimmer
By Roden Berkeley Wriothesley Noel (1834–1894)
 
WHO would linger idle,
Dallying would lie,
When wind and wave, a bridal
Celebrating, fly?
Let him plunge among them,        5
Who hath woo’d enough,
Flirted with them, sung them!
In the salt sea-trough
He may win them, onward
On a buoyant crest,        10
Far to seaward, sunward,
Ocean-borne to rest!
Wild wind will sing over him,
And the free foam cover him,
Swimming seaward, sunward,        15
On a blithe sea-breast!
  On a blithe sea-bosom
Swims another too,
Swims a live sea-blossom,
A grey-wing’d seamew!        20
Grape-green all the waves are,
By whose hurrying line
Half of ships and caves are
Buried under brine;
Supple, shifting ranges        25
Lucent at the crest,
With pearly surface-changes
Never laid to rest:
Now a dripping gunwale
Momently he sees,        30
Now a fuming funnel,
Or red flag in the breeze.
Arms flung open wide,
Lip the laughing sea:
For playfellow, for bride,        35
Claim her impetuously!
 
 
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