Algernon Charles Swinburn

Swan Song By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Swan Song By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Swan Song We are not sure of sorrow, And joy was never sure; To-day will die tomorrow; Time stoops to no man’s lure; And love grown faint and fretful, With lips but half regretful Sighs, and with eyes forgetful Weeps that no loves endure. From too much love of living, From hope and fear set free, We... »

On The Downs By Algernon Charles Swinburn

On The Downs By Algernon Charles Swinburn

On The Downs A faint sea without wind or sun; A sky like flameless vapour dun; A valley like an unsealed grave That no man cares to weep upon, Bare, without boon to crave, Or flower to save. And on the lip’s edge of the down, Here where the bent-grass burns to brown In the dry sea-wind, and th... »

In The Orchard By Algernon Charles Swinburn

In The Orchard By Algernon Charles Swinburn

In The Orchard LEAVE go my hands, let me catch breath and see; Let the dew-fall drench either side of me; Clear apple-leaves are soft upon that moon Seen sidelong like a blossom in the tree; Ah God, ah God, that day should be so soon. The grass is thick and cool, it lets us lie. Kissed upon either c... »

Epiloguexxi ‘tristram Of Lyonesse’ By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Epiloguexxi ‘tristram Of Lyonesse’ By Algernon Charles Swinburn

EpilogueXxi ‘Tristram Of Lyonesse’ OUR MOTHER, which wast twice, as history saith, Found first among the nations: once, when she Who bore thine ensign saw the God in thee Smite Spain, and bring forth Shakespeare: once, when death Shrank, and Rome’s bloodhounds cowered, at Milton’s breath... »

Ave Atque Vale (In Memory Of Charles Baudelaire) By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Ave Atque Vale (In Memory Of Charles Baudelaire) By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Ave Atque Vale (In Memory Of Charles Baudelaire) SHALL I strew on thee rose or rue or laurel,    Brother, on this that was the veil of thee?    Or quiet sea-flower moulded by the sea, Or simplest growth of meadow-sweet or sorrel,    Such as the summer-sleepy Dryads weave,    Waked up by snow-soft su... »

A Match By Algernon Charles Swinburn

A Match By Algernon Charles Swinburn

A Match If love were what the rose is, And I were like the leaf, Our lives would grow together In sad or singing weather, Blown fields or flowerful closes, Green pasture or gray grief; If love were what the rose is, And I were like the leaf. If I were what the words are, And love were like the tune,... »

Time And Life By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Time And Life By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Time And Life I. Time, thy name is sorrow, says the stricken Heart of life, laid waste with wasting flame Ere the change of things and thoughts requicken, Time, thy name. Girt about with shadow, blind and lame, Ghosts of things that smite and thoughts that sicken Hunt and hound thee down to death an... »

The Oblation By Algernon Charles Swinburn

The Oblation By Algernon Charles Swinburn

The Oblation Ask nothing more of me, sweet; All I can give you I give. Heart of my heart, were it more, More would be laid at your feet: Love that should help you to live, Song that should spur you to soar. All things were nothing to give Once to have sense of you more, Touch you and taste of you sw... »

Sestina By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Sestina By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Sestina I saw my soul at rest upon a day As a bird sleeping in the nest of night, Among soft leaves that give the starlight way To touch its wings but not its eyes with light; So that it knew as one in visions may, And knew not as men waking, of delight. This was the measure of my soul’s delig... »

May Janet By Algernon Charles Swinburn

May Janet By Algernon Charles Swinburn

May Janet “STAND UP, stand up, thou May Janet, And go to the wars with me.” He’s drawn her by both hands With her face against the sea. “He that strews red shall gather white, He that sows white reap red, Before your face and my daughter’s Meet in a marriage-bed. “Gold coin shall grow in the yellow ... »

Hymn Of Man By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Hymn Of Man By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Hymn Of Man In the grey beginning of years, in the twilight of things that began, The word of the earth in the ears of the world, was it God? was it man? The word of the earth to the spheres her sisters, the note of her song, The sound of her speech in the ears of the starry and sisterly throng, Was... »

Dedication By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Dedication By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Dedication THE SEA gives her shells to the shingle, The earth gives her streams to the sea; They are many, but my gift is single, My verses, the firstfruits of me. Let the wind take the green and the grey leaf, Cast forth without fruit upon air; Take rose-leaf and vine-leaf and bay-leaf Blown loose ... »

Anonymous Plays Xvii By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Anonymous Plays Xvii By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Anonymous Plays Xvii YE TOO, dim watchfires of some darkling hour, Whose fame forlorn time saves not nor proclaims For ever, but forgetfulness defames And darkness and the shadow of death devour, Lift up ye too your light, put forth your power, Let the far twilight feel your soft small flames And sm... »

A Clasp Of Hands By Algernon Charles Swinburn

A Clasp Of Hands By Algernon Charles Swinburn

A Clasp Of Hands SOFT, small, and sweet as sunniest flowers That bask in heavenly heat When bud by bud breaks, breathes, and cowers, Soft, small, and sweet. A babe’s hands open as to greet The tender touch of ours And mock with motion faint and fleet The minutes of the new strange hours That e... »

The Masque Of Queen Bersabe A Miracle-Play By Algernon Charles Swinburn

The Masque Of Queen Bersabe A Miracle-Play By Algernon Charles Swinburn

The Masque Of Queen Bersabe A Miracle-Play KING DAVID. Knights mine, all that be in hall, I have a counsel to you all, Because of this thing God lets fall Among us for a sign. For some days hence as I did eat From kingly dishes my good meat, There flew a bird between my feet As red as any wine. This... »

Plus Ultra By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Plus Ultra By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Plus Ultra Far beyond the sunrise and the sunset rises Heaven, with worlds on worlds that lighten and respond: Thought can see not thence the goal of hope’s surmises Far beyond. Night and day have made an everlasting bond Each with each to hide in yet more deep disguises Truth, till souls of m... »

Let Us Go By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Let Us Go By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Let Us Go Let us go hence, my songs; she will not hear. Let us go hence together without fear; Keep silence now, for singing-time is over, And over all old things and all things dear. She loves not you nor me as all we love her. Yea, though we sang as angels in her ear, She would not hear. Let us ri... »

Had I Wist By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Had I Wist By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Had I Wist Had I wist, when life was like a warm wind playing Light and loud through sundawn and the dew’s bright trust, How the time should come for hearts to sigh in saying ‘Had I wist’ – Surely not the roses, laughing as they kissed, Not the lovelier laugh of seas in sunsh... »

Blessed Among Women –To The Signora Cairoli By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Blessed Among Women –To The Signora Cairoli By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Blessed Among Women –To The Signora Cairoli Blessed was she that bare, Hidden in flesh most fair, For all men’s sake the likeness of all love; Holy that virgin’s womb, The old record saith, on whom The glory of God alighted as a dove; Blessed, who brought to gracious birth The swee... »

A Watch In The Night By Algernon Charles Swinburn

A Watch In The Night By Algernon Charles Swinburn

A Watch In The Night Watchman, what of the night? – Storm and thunder and rain, Lights that waver and wane, Leaving the watchfires unlit. Only the balefires are bright, And the flash of the lamps now and then From a palace where spoilers sit, Trampling the children of men. Prophet, what of the... »

A Baby’s Death By Algernon Charles Swinburn

A Baby’s Death By Algernon Charles Swinburn

A Baby’s Death A little soul scarce fledged for earth Takes wing with heaven again for goal Even while we hailed as fresh from birth A little soul. Our thoughts ring sad as bells that toll, Not knowing beyond this blind world’s girth What things are writ in heaven’s full scroll. Ou... »

Super Flumina Babylonis By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Super Flumina Babylonis By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Super Flumina Babylonis By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept, Remembering thee, That for ages of agony hast endured, and slept, And wouldst not see. By the waters of Babylon we stood up and sang, Considering thee, That a blast of deliverance in the darkness rang, To set thee free. And with ... »

On Lamb’s Specimens Of Dramatic Poets Sonnets By Algernon Charles Swinburn

On Lamb’s Specimens Of Dramatic Poets Sonnets By Algernon Charles Swinburn

On Lamb’s Specimens Of Dramatic Poets Sonnets I. IF ALL the flowers of all the fields on earth By wonder-working summer were made one, Its fragrance were not sweeter in the sun, Its treasure-house of leaves were not more worth Than those wherefrom thy light of musing mirth Shone, till each leaf wher... »

In Sark By Algernon Charles Swinburn

In Sark By Algernon Charles Swinburn

In Sark Abreast and ahead of the sea is a crag’s front cloven asunder With strong sea-breach and with wasting of winds whence terror is shed As a shadow of death from the wings of the darkness on waters that thunder Abreast and ahead. At its edge is a sepulchre hollowed and hewn for a lone man... »

Epilogue By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Epilogue By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Epilogue Between the wave-ridge and the strand I let you forth in sight of land, Songs that with storm-crossed wings and eyes Strain eastward till the darkness dies; Let signs and beacons fall or stand, And stars and balefires set and rise; Ye, till some lordlier lyric hand Weave the beloved brows t... »

Autumn And Winter By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Autumn And Winter By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Autumn And Winter Three months bade wane and wax the wintering moon Between two dates of death, while men were fain Yet of the living light that all too soon Three months bade wane. Cold autumn, wan with wrath of wind and rain, Saw pass a soul sweet as the sovereign tune That death smote silent when... »

A Litany By Algernon Charles Swinburn

A Litany By Algernon Charles Swinburn

A Litany FIRST ANTIPHONE. ALL the bright lights of heaven I will make dark over thee; One night shall be as seven That its skirts may cover thee; I will send on thy strong men a sword, On thy remnant a rod; Ye shall know that I am the Lord, Saith the Lord God. SECOND ANTIPHONE. All the bright lights... »

Thomas Middleton Ix By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Thomas Middleton Ix By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Thomas Middleton Ix A WILD MOON riding high from cloud to cloud, That sees and sees not, glimmering far beneath, Hell’s children revel along the shuddering heath With dirge-like mirth and raiment like a shroud: A worse fair face than witchcraft’s, passion-proud, With brows blood-flecked behind their... »

The Sea-Swallows By Algernon Charles Swinburn

The Sea-Swallows By Algernon Charles Swinburn

The Sea-Swallows THIS FELL when Christmas lights were done, Red rose leaves will never make wine; But before the Easter lights begun; The ways are sair fra’ the Till to the Tyne. Two lovers sat where the rowan blows And all the grass is heavy and fine, By the gathering-place of the sea-swallows When... »

Sapphics By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Sapphics By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Sapphics All the night sleep came not upon my eyelids, Shed not dew, nor shook nor unclosed a feather, Yet with lips shut close and with eyes of iron Stood and beheld me. Then to me so lying awake a vision Came without sleep over the seas and touched me, Softly touched mine eyelids and lips; and I t... »

Messidor By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Messidor By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Messidor Put in the sickles and reap; For the morning of harvest is red, And the long large ranks of the corn Coloured and clothed as the morn Stand thick in the fields and deep For them that faint to be fed. Let all that hunger and weep Come hither, and who would have bread Put in the sickles and r... »

Hesperia By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Hesperia By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Hesperia OUT OF the golden remote wild west where the sea without shore is, Full of the sunset, and sad, if at all, with the fulness of joy, As a wind sets in with the autumn that blows from the region of stories, Blows with a perfume of songs and of memories beloved from a boy, Blows from the capes... »

Cor Cordium By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Cor Cordium By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Cor Cordium O heart of hearts, the chalice of love’s fire, Hid round with flowers and all the bounty of bloom; O wonderful and perfect heart, for whom The lyrist liberty made life a lyre; O heavenly heart, at whose most dear desire Dead love, living and singing, cleft his tomb, And with him ri... »

Anima Anceps By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Anima Anceps By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Anima Anceps TILL death have broken Sweet life’s love-token, Till all be spoken That shall be said, What dost thou praying, O soul, and playing With song and saying, Things flown and fled? For this we know not— That fresh springs flow not And fresh griefs grow not When men are dead; When strange yea... »

A Christmas Carol By Algernon Charles Swinburn

A Christmas Carol By Algernon Charles Swinburn

A Christmas Carol THREE DAMSELS in the queen’s chamber, The queen’s mouth was most fair; She spake a word of God’s mother As the combs went in her hair. Mary that is of might, Bring us to thy Son’s sight. They held the gold combs out from her, A span’s length off her head; She sang this song of God’... »

The Halt Before Rome–September 1867 By Algernon Charles Swinburn

The Halt Before Rome–September 1867 By Algernon Charles Swinburn

The Halt Before Rome–September 1867 Is it so, that the sword is broken, Our sword, that was halfway drawn? Is it so, that the light was a spark, That the bird we hailed as the lark Sang in her sleep in the dark, And the song we took for a token Bore false witness of dawn? Spread in the sight o... »

Plus Intra By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Plus Intra By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Plus Intra Soul within sense, immeasurable, obscure, Insepulchred and deathless, through the dense Deep elements may scarce be felt as pure Soul within sense. From depth and height by measurers left immense, Through sound and shape and colour, comes the unsure Vague utterance, fitful with supreme su... »

Love At Sea By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Love At Sea By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Love At Sea WE ARE in love’s land to-day; Where shall we go? Love, shall we start or stay, Or sail or row? There’s many a wind and way, And never a May but May; We are in love’s hand to-day; Where shall we go? Our landwind is the breath Of sorrows kissed to death And joys that were; Our ballast is a... »

First Footsteps By Algernon Charles Swinburn

First Footsteps By Algernon Charles Swinburn

First Footsteps A little way, more soft and sweet Than fields aflower with May, A babe’s feet, venturing, scarce complete A little way. Eyes full of dawning day Look up for mother’s eyes to meet, Too blithe for song to say. Glad as the golden spring to greet Its first live leaflet’... »

Birth And Death By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Birth And Death By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Birth And Death Birth and death, twin-sister and twin-brother, Night and day, on all things that draw breath, Reign, while time keeps friends with one another Birth and death. Each brow-bound with flowers diverse of wreath, Heaven they hail as father, earth as mother, Faithful found above them and b... »

A Swimmer’s Dream By Algernon Charles Swinburn

A Swimmer’s Dream By Algernon Charles Swinburn

A Swimmer’s Dream Somno mollior unda I Dawn is dim on the dark soft water, Soft and passionate, dark and sweet. Love’s own self was the deep sea’s daughter, Fair and flawless from face to feet, Hailed of all when the world was golden, Loved of lovers whose names beholden Thrill men... »

Wasted Love By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Wasted Love By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Wasted Love What shall be done for sorrow With love whose race is run? Where help is none to borrow, What shall be done? In vain his hands have spun The web, or drawn the furrow: No rest their toil hath won. His task is all gone thorough, And fruit thereof is none: And who dare say to-morrow What sh... »

The Complaint Of Lisa By Algernon Charles Swinburn

The Complaint Of Lisa By Algernon Charles Swinburn

The Complaint Of Lisa There is no woman living who draws breath So sad as I, though all things sadden her. There is not one upon life’s weariest way Who is weary as I am weary of all but death. Toward whom I look as looks the sunflower All day with all his whole soul toward the sun; While in t... »

Ode On The Insurrection In Candia By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Ode On The Insurrection In Candia By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Ode On The Insurrection In Candia STR. 1 I laid my laurel-leaf At the white feet of grief, Seeing how with covered face and plumeless wings, With unreverted head Veiled, as who mourns his dead, Lay Freedom couched between the thrones of kings, A wearied lion without lair, And bleeding from base woun... »

Insularum Ocelle By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Insularum Ocelle By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Insularum Ocelle Sark, fairer than aught in the world that the lit skies cover, Laughs inly behind her cliffs, and the seafarers mark As a shrine where the sunlight serves, though the blown clouds hover, Sark. We mourn, for love of a song that outsang the lark, That nought so lovely beholden of Sirm... »

Dickens Sonnets By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Dickens Sonnets By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Dickens Sonnets CHIEF in thy generation born of men Whom English praise acclaimed as English-born, With eyes that matched the worldwide eyes of morn For gleam of tears or laughter, tenderest then When thoughts of children warmed their light, or when Reverence of age with love and labour worn, Or god... »

August By Algernon Charles Swinburn

August By Algernon Charles Swinburn

August THERE WERE four apples on the bough, Half gold half red, that one might know The blood was ripe inside the core; The colour of the leaves was more Like stems of yellow corn that grow Through all the gold June meadow’s floor. The warm smell of the fruit was good To feed on, and the split green... »

A Leave-Taking By Algernon Charles Swinburn

A Leave-Taking By Algernon Charles Swinburn

A Leave-Taking A Leave-Taking Let us go hence, my songs; she will not hear. Let us go hence together without fear; Keep silence now, for singing?time is over, And over all old things and all things dear. She loves not you nor me as we all love her. Yea, though we sang as angels in her ear, She would... »

Thomas Heywood X By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Thomas Heywood X By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Thomas Heywood X TOM, if they loved thee best who called thee Tom. What else may all men call thee, seeing thus bright Even yet the laughing and the weeping light That still thy kind old eyes are kindled from? Small care was thine to assail and overcome Time and his child Oblivion: yet of right Thy ... »

The Salt Of The Earth By Algernon Charles Swinburn

The Salt Of The Earth By Algernon Charles Swinburn

The Salt Of The Earth IF childhood were not in the world, But only men and women grown; No baby-locks in tendrils curled, No baby-blossoms blown; Though men were stronger, women fairer, And nearer all delights in reach, And verse and music uttered rarer Tones of more godlike speech; Though the utmos... »

Rondel By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Rondel By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Rondel THESE many years since we began to be, What have the gods done with us? what with me, What with my love? they have shown me fates and fears, Harsh springs, and fountains bitterer than the sea, Grief a fixed star, and joy a vane that veers, These many years. With her, my love, with her have th... »

Mater Dolorosa By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Mater Dolorosa By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Mater Dolorosa Who is this that sits by the way, by the wild wayside, In a rent stained raiment, the robe of a cast-off bride, In the dust, in the rainfall sitting, with soiled feet bare, With the night for a garment upon her, with torn wet hair? She is fairer of face than the daughters of men, and ... »

Hope And Fear By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Hope And Fear By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Hope And Fear Beneath the shadow of dawn’s aërial cope, With eyes enkindled as the sun’s own sphere, Hope from the front of youth in godlike cheer Looks Godward, past the shades where blind men grope Round the dark door that prayers nor dreams can ope, And makes for joy the very darkness... »

Comparisons By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Comparisons By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Comparisons CHILD, when they say that others Have been or are like you, Babes fit to be your brothers, Sweet human drops of dew, Bright fruit of mortal mothers, What should one say or do? We know the thought is treason, We feel the dream absurd; A claim rebuked of reason, That withers at a word: For... »

Anactoria By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Anactoria By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Anactoria MY LIFE is bitter with thy love; thine eyes Blind me, thy tresses burn me, thy sharp sighs Divide my flesh and spirit with soft sound, And my blood strengthens, and my veins abound. I pray thee sigh not, speak not, draw not breath; Let life burn down, and dream it is not death. I would the... »

A Child’s Laughter By Algernon Charles Swinburn

A Child’s Laughter By Algernon Charles Swinburn

A Child’s Laughter ALL the bells of heaven may ring, All the birds of heaven may sing, All the wells on earth may spring, All the winds on earth may bring All sweet sounds together— Sweeter far than all things heard, Hand of harper, tone of bird, Sound of woods at sundawn stirred, Wellin... »

The Higher Pantheism In A Nutshell By Algernon Charles Swinburn

The Higher Pantheism In A Nutshell By Algernon Charles Swinburn

The Higher Pantheism In A Nutshell One, who is not, we see; but one, whom we see not, is; Surely this is not that; but that is assuredly this. What, and wherefore, and whence? for under is over and under; If thunder could be without lightning, lightning could be without thunder. Doubt is faith in th... »

Prelude – Tristan And Isolde By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Prelude – Tristan And Isolde By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Prelude – Tristan And Isolde Fate, out of the deep sea’s gloom, When a man’s heart’s pride grows great, And nought seems now to foredoom Fate, Fate, laden with fears in wait, Draws close through the clouds that loom, Till the soul see, all too late, More dark than a dead worl... »

Lines On The Death Of Edward John Trelawny By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Lines On The Death Of Edward John Trelawny By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Lines On The Death Of Edward John Trelawny LAST high star of the years whose thunder Still men’s listening remembrance hears, Last light left of our fathers’ years, Watched with honour and hailed with wonder Thee too then have the years borne under, Thou too then hast regained thy peers. Wings that ... »

Etude Realiste By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Etude Realiste By Algernon Charles Swinburn

Etude Realiste A Baby’s feet, like sea-shells pink, Might tempt, should heaven see meet, An angel’s lips to kiss, we think, A baby’s feet. Like rose-hued sea-flowers toward the heat They stretch and spread and wink Their ten soft buds that part and meet. No flower-bells that expand... »