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Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch

Envoy

Young Knight, the lists are set to-day!
Hereafter shall be time to pray
In sepulture, with hands of stone.
Ride, then! outride the bugle blown!
And gaily dinging down the van,
Charge with a cheer--'Set on! Set on!
Virtue is that becrowns a Man!'

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An Oath

A month ago Lysander pray'd
To Jove, to Cupid, and to Venus,
That he might die if he betray'd
A single vow that pass'd between us.
Ah, careless gods, to hear so ill
And cheat a maid on you relying!
For false Lysander's thriving still,
And 'tis Corinna lies a-dying.

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A Triolet

To commemorate the virtue of Homoeopathy in restoring one apparently drowned.

Love, that in a tear was drown'd,
Lives revived by a tear.
Stella heard them mourn around
Love that in a tear was drown'd,
Came and coax'd his dripping swound,
Wept 'The fault was mine, my dear!'
Love, that in a tear was drown'd,
Lives, revived by a tear.

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To A Friend

Here in the fairway
Fetching--foul of keel,
Long-stray but fortunate--
Out of the fogs, the vast
Atlantic solitudes.
Shall, by the hawser-pin
Waiting the signal
Leave--go--anchor!
Scent the familiar,
The unforgettable
Fragrance of home;
So in a long breath
Bless us unknowing:
Bless them, the violets,
Bless me, the gardener,
Bless thee, the giver.

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Upon Graciosa, Walking And Talking

When as abroad, to greet the morn,
I mark my Graciosa walk,
In homage bends the whisp'ring corn,
Yet to confess
Its awkwardness
Must hang its head upon the stalk.
And when she talks, her lips do heal
The wounds her lightest glances give:—
In pity then be harsh, and deal
Such wounds that I
May hourly die,
And, by a word restored, live.

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Written Upon Love’s Frontier-Post

Toiling love, loose your pack,
All your sighs and tears unbind:
Care's a ware will break a back,
Will not bend a maiden's mind.
In this State a man shall need
Neither priest nor law giver:
Those same lips that are his creed
Shall confess their worshipper.
All the laws he must obey,
Now in force and now repeal'd,
Shift in eyes that shift as they,
Till alike with kisses seal'd.

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Hesperus

Down in the street the last late hansoms go
Still westward, but with backward eyes of red
The harlot shuffles to her lonely bed;
The tall policeman pauses but to throw
A flash into the empty portico;
Then he too passes, and his lonely tread
Links all the long-drawn gas-lights on a thread
And ties them to one planet swinging low.
O Hesperus! O happy star! to bend
O'er Helen's bosom in the trancèd west--
To watch the hours heave by upon her breast
And at her parted lip for dreams attend:
If dawn defraud thee, how shall I be deem'd.
Who house within that bosom, and am dreamed?

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The Root

Deep, Love, yea, very deep.
And in the dark exiled,
I have no sense of light but still to creep
And know the breast, but not the eyes. Thy child
Saw ne'er his mother near, nor if she smiled;
But only feels her weep.

Yet clouds and branches green
There be aloft, somewhere,
And winds, and angel birds that build between,
As I believe--and I will not despair;
For faith is evidence of things not seen.
Love! if I could be there!

I will be patient, dear.
Perchance some part of me
Puts forth aloft and feels the rushing year
And shades the bird, and is that happy tree
Then were it strength to serve and not appear,
And bliss, though blind, to be.

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Tim The Dragoon

Be aisy an' list to a chune
That's sung of bowld Tim the Dragoon—
Sure, 'twas he'd niver miss
To be stalin' a kiss,
Or a brace, by the light of the moon—
Aroon—
Wid a wink at the Man in the Moon!
Rest his sowl where the daisies grow thick;
For he's gone from the land of the quick:
But he's still makin' love
To the leddies above,
An' be jabbers! he'll tache 'em the thrick—
Avick—
Niver doubt but he'll tache 'em the thrick!
'Tis by Tim the dear saints'll set sthore,
And 'ull thrate him to whisky galore:
For they 've only to sip
But the tip of his lip
An' bedad! they'll be askin' for more—
Asthore—

[...] Read more

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The Splendid Spur

NOT on the neck of prince or hound
Nor on a woman’s finger twin’d,
May gold from the deriding ground
Keep sacred that we sacred bind:
Only the heel
Of splendid steel
Shall stand secure on sliding fate,
When golden navies weep their freight.

The scarlet hat, the laurell’d stave
Are measures, not the springs, of worth;
In a wife’s lap, as in a grave,
Man’s airy notions mix with earth.
Seek other spur
Bravely to stir
The dust in this loud world, and tread
Alp-high among the whisp’ring dead.

Trust in thyself,—then spur amain:
So shall Charybdis wear a grace,

[...] Read more

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