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Edmund William Gosse

Villanelle:

WOULDST thou not be content to die
When low-hung fruit is hardly clinging,
And golden Autumn passes by?

Beneath this delicate rose-gray sky,
While sunset bells are faintly ringing,
Wouldst thou not be content to die?

For wintry webs of mist on high
Out of the muffled earth are springing,
And golden Autumn passes by.

O now when pleasures fade and fly,
And Hope her southward flight is winging,
Wouldst thou not be content to die?

Lest Winter come, with wailing cry
His cruel icy bondage bringing,
When golden Autumn hath passed by.

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Philomel in London

Not within a granite pass,
Dim with flowers and soft with grass--
Nay, but doubly, trebly sweet
In a poplared London street,
While below my windows go
Noiseless barges, to and fro,
Through the night's calm deep,
Ah! what breaks the bonds of sleep?

No steps on the pavement fall,
Soundless swings the dark canal;
From a church-tower out of sight
Clangs the central hour of night.
Hark! the Dorian nightingale!
Pan's voice melted to a wail!
Such another bird
Attic Tereus never heard.

Hung above the gloom and stain--
London's squalid cope of pain--

[...] Read more

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