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Poems, now first collected/Proem to a Victorian Anthology

< Poems, now first collected

PROEM TO A VICTORIAN ANTHOLOGY

England! since Shakespeare died no loftier day
For thee than lights herewith a century's goal,—
Nor statelier exit of heroic soul
Conjoined with soul heroic,—nor a lay
Excelling theirs who made renowned thy sway
Even as they heard the billows which outroll
Thine ancient sea, and left their joy and dole
In song, and on the strand their mantles gray.
Star-rayed with fame thine Abbey windows loom
Above his dust, whom the Venetian barge
Bore to the main; who passed the twofold marge
To slumber in thy keeping,—yet make room
For the great Laurifer, whose chanting large
And sweet shall last until our tongue's far doom.

1895