The Vigil of Venus and Other Poems by "Q" eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 60 pages of information about The Vigil of Venus and Other Poems by "Q".

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 tranced 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?


Who lives in suit of armour pent
  And hides himself behind a wall,
For him is not the great event,
  The garland nor the Capitol. 
And is God’s guerdon less than they? 
  Nay, moral man, I tell thee Nay: 
Nor shall the flaming forts be won
  By sneaking negatives alone,
By Lenten fast or Ramazan;
  But by the challenge proudly thrown—­
Virtue is that becrowns a Man!

God, in His Palace resident
  Of Bliss, beheld our sinful ball,
And charged His own Son innocent
  Us to redeem from Adam’s fall.

“Yet must it be that men Thee slay.” 
“Yea, tho’ it must, must I obey,”
Said Christ; and came, His royal Son,
To die, and dying to atone
  For harlot, thief, and publican. 
Read on that rood He died upon—­
  Virtue is that becrowns a Man!

Beneath that rood where He was bent
  I saw the world’s great captains all
Pass riding home from tournament
  Adown the road from Roncesvalles—­
Lord Charlemagne, in one array
Lords Caesar, Cyrus, Attila,
Lord Alisaundre of Macedon ... 
With flame on lance and habergeon
  They passed, and to the rataplan
Of drums gave salutation—­
  "Virtue is that becrowns a Man!"
Had tall Achilles lounged in tent
  For aye, and Xanthus neigh’d in stall,
The towers of Troy had ne’er been shent,
  Nor stay’d the dance in Priam’s hall. 
Bend o’er thy book till thou be grey,
Read, mark, perpend, digest, survey,
Instruct thee deep as Solomon,
One only chapter thou canst con,
  One lesson learn, one sentence scan,
One title and one colophon—­
  Virtue is that becrowns a Man!

High Virtue’s best is eloquent
  With spur and not with martingall: 
Swear not to her thou’rt continent: 
God fashion’d thee of chosen clay
For service, nor did ever say,
“Deny thee this,” “Abstain from yon,”
But to inure thee, thew and bone. 
  To be confirmed of the clan
That made immortal Marathon—­
  Virtue is that becrowns a Man!


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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The Vigil of Venus and Other Poems by "Q" from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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