Matthew Arnold (1822–88). The Poems of Matthew Arnold, 1840–1867. 1909.New Poems, 1867
To watch this line of sand-hills run,
Along the never silent Strait,
To Calais glittering in the sun:
Across this wide aërial plain,
Which glows as if the Middle Age
Were gorgeous upon earth again.
I saw, upon the open sand,
Thy lovely presence at my side,
Thy shawl, thy look, thy smile, thy hand!
My darling, on this lonely air!
How sweetly would the fresh sea-breeze
Shake loose some lock of soft brown hair!
O’er Calais and its famous plain;
To England’s cliffs my gaze is turn’d,
O’er the blue Strait mine eyes I strain.
Hangs dark upon the rolling sea!—
Oh that yon seabird’s wings were mine
To win one instant’s glimpse of thee!
To woo thy smile, to seek thine eye;
But I may stand far off, and gaze,
And watch thee pass unconscious by,
Mixt with the idlers on the pier.—
Ah, might I always rest unseen,
So I might have thee always near!
Of Flanders to the storied Rhine!
To-night those soft-fringed eyes shall close
Beneath one roof, my queen! with mine.