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.
 
Going down Hill on a Bicycle
By Henry Charles Beeching (1859–1919)
 
A Boy’s Song

WITH lifted feet, hands still,
I am poised, and down the hill
Dart, with heedful mind;
The air goes by in a wind.
 
Swifter and yet more swift,        5
Till the heart with a mighty lift
Makes the lungs laugh, the throat cry:—
‘O bird, see; see, bird, I fly!
 
‘Is this, is this your joy?
O bird, then I, though a boy,        10
For a golden moment share
Your feathery life in air!’
 
Say, heart, is there aught like this
In a world that is full of bliss?
’Tis more than skating, bound        15
Steel-shod to the level ground.
 
Speed slackens now, I float
Awhile in my airy boat;
Till, when the wheels scarce crawl,
My feet to the treadles fall.        20
 
Alas, that the longest hill
Must end in a vale; but still,
Who climbs with toil, wheresoe’er,
Shall find wings waiting there.
 
 
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