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 Heather
By Neil Munro (18648–1930)
 
IF I were King of France, that noble fine land,
And the gold was elbow deep within my chests,
And my castles lay in scores along the wine-land
With towers as high as where the eagle nests;
If harpers sweet, and swordsmen stout and vaunting,        5
My history sang, my stainless tartan wore,
Was not my fortune poor, with one thing wanting,—
      The heather at my door.
 
My galleys might be sailing every ocean,
Robbing the isles, and sacking hold and keep,        10
My chevaliers go prancing at my notion,
To bring me back of cattle, horse and sheep;
Fond arms be round my neck, the young heart’s tether,
And true love-kisses all the night might fill,
But oh! mochree, if I had not the heather,        15
      Before me on the hill!
 
A hunter’s fare is all I would be craving,
A shepherd’s plaiding and a beggar’s pay,
If I might earn them where the heather, waving,
Gave fragrance to the day.        20
The stars might see me, homeless one and weary,
Without a roof to fend me from the dew,
And still content, I’d find a bedding cheery
      Where’er the heather grew!
 
 
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