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.
 
In Romney Marsh
By John Davidson (1857–1909)
 
AS I went down to Dymchurch Wall,
  I heard the South sing o’er the land;
I saw the yellow sunlight fall
  On knolls where Norman churches stand.
 
And ringing shrilly, taut and lithe,        5
  Within the wind a core of sound,
The wire from Romney town to Hythe
  Alone its airy journey wound.
 
A veil of purple vapour flowed
  And trail’d its fringe along the Straits;        10
The upper air like sapphire glow’d;
  And roses fill’d Heaven’s central gates.
 
Masts in the offing wagg’d their tops;
  The swinging waves peal’d on the shore;
The saffron beach, all diamond drops        15
  And beads of surge, prolong’d the roar.
 
As I came up from Dymchurch Wall,
  I saw above the Downs’ low crest
The crimson brands of sunset fall,
  Flicker and fade from out the west.        20
 
Night sank: like flakes of silver fire
  The stars in one great shower came down;
Shrill blew the wind; and shrill the wire
  Rang out from Hythe to Romney town.
 
The darkly shining salt sea drops        25
  Streamed as the waves clashed on the shore;
The beach, with all its organ stops
  Pealing again, prolong’d the roar.
 
 
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