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 the House of Idiedaily
By Bliss Carman (1861–1929)
 
O, but life went gaily, gaily,
In the house of Idiedaily!
 
There were always throats to sing
Down the river-banks with spring,
 
When the stir of heart’s desire        5
Set the sapling’s heart on fire.
 
Bob-o-lincolns in the meadows,
Leisure in the purple shadows,
 
Till the poppies without number
Bow’d their heads in crimson slumber,        10
 
And the twilight came to cover
Every unreluctant lover.
 
Not a night but some brown maiden
Better’d all the dusk she stray’d in,
 
While the roses in her hair        15
Bankrupted oblivion there.
 
O, but life went gaily, gaily,
In the house of Idiedaily!
 
But this hostelry, The Barrow,
With its chambers, bare and narrow,        20
 
Mean, ill-window’d, damp, and wormy,
Where the silence makes you squirmy,
 
And the guests are never seen to,
Is a vile place, a mere lean-to,
 
Not a traveller speaks well of;        25
Even worse than I heard tell of,
 
Mouldy, ramshackle, and foul—
What a dwelling for a soul!
 
O, but life went gaily, gaily,
In the house of Idiedaily!        30
 
There the hearth was always warm
From the slander of the storm.
 
There your comrade was your neighbour,
Living on to-morrow’s labour.
 
And the board was always steaming,        35
Though Sir Ringlets might be dreaming.
 
Not a plate but scoff’d at porridge,
Not a cup but floated borage.
 
There were always jugs of sherry
Waiting for the makers merry,        40
 
And the dark Burgundian wine
That would make a fool divine.
 
O, but life went gaily, gaily,
In the house of Idiedaily!
 
 
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