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 a Meadow
By John Swinnerton Phillimore (1873–1926)
 
      THIS is the place
Where far from the unholy populace
The daughter of Philosophy and Sleep
      Her court doth keep,
Sweet Contemplation. To her service bound        5
      Hover around
The little amiable summer airs,
      Her courtiers.
 
      The deep black soil
Makes mute her palace-floors with thick trefoil;        10
The grasses sagely nodding overhead
      Curtain her bed;
And lest the feet of strangers overpass
      Her walls of grass,
Gravely a little river goes his rounds        15
      To beat the bounds.
 
      —No bustling flood
To make a tumult in her neighbourhood,
But such a stream as knows to go and come
      Discreetly dumb.        20
Therein are chambers tapestried with weeds
      And screen’d with reeds;
For roof the waterlily-leaves serene
      Spread tiles of green.
 
      The sun’s large eye        25
Falls soberly upon me where I lie;
For delicate webs of immaterial haze
      Refine his rays.
The air is full of music none knows what,
      Or half-forgot;        30
The living echo of dead voices fills
      The unseen hills.
 
      I hear the song
Of cuckoo answering cuckoo all day long;
And know not if it be my inward sprite        35
      For my delight
Making remember’d poetry appear
      As sound in the ear:
Like a salt savour poignant in the breeze
      From distant seas.        40
 
      Dreams without sleep,
And sleep too clear for dreaming and too deep;
And Quiet very large and manifold
      About me roll’d;
Satiety, that momentary flower,        45
      Stretch’d to an hour:
These are her gifts which all mankind may use,
      And all refuse.
 
 
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