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Read on the Scribd mobile app Download the free Scribd mobile app to read anytime, anywhere. Swinburne died on April 10th, at the age of seventy-two. Winter in Northumberland II. Spring in Tuscany III. Summer in Auvergne IV. Dark the shrine and dumb the fount of song thence welling, Save for words more sad than tears of blood, that said: Tell the king, on earth has fallen the glorious dwelling, And the watersprings that spake are quenched and dead. Not a cell is left the God, no roof, no cover In his hand the prophet laurel flowers no more.
And the great king's high sad heart, thy true last lover, Felt thine answer pierce and cleave it to the core.
And he bowed down his hopeless head In the drift of the wild world's tide, And dying, Thou hast conquered, he said, Galilean; he said it, and died. And the world that was thine and was ours When the Graces took hands with the Hours Grew cold as a winter wave In the wind from a wide-mouthed grave, As a gulf wide open to swallow The light that the world held dear. O father of all of us, Paian, Apollo, Destroyer and healer, hear! Age on age thy mouth was mute, thy face was hidden, And the lips and eyes that loved thee blind and dumb; Song forsook their tongues that held thy name forbidden, Light their eyes that saw the strange God's kingdom come.
Yea, not yet we see thee, father, as they saw thee, They that worshipped when the world was theirs and thine, They whose words had power by thine own power to draw thee Down from heaven till earth seemed more than heaven divine. For the shades are about us that hover When darkness is half withdrawn And the skirts of the dead night cover The face of the live new dawn.
For the past is not utterly past Though the word on its lips be the last, And the time be gone by with its creed When men were as beasts that bleed, As sheep or as swine that wallow, In the shambles of faith and of fear. Yet it may be, lord and father, could we know it, We that love thee for our darkness shall have light More than ever prophet hailed of old or poet Standing crowned and robed and sovereign in thy sight.
To the likeness of one God their dreams enthralled thee, Who wast greater than all Gods that waned and grew; Son of God the shining son of Time they called thee, Who wast older, O our father, than they knew. For no thought of man made Gods to love or honour Ere the song within the silent soul began, Nor might earth in dream or deed take heaven upon her Till the word was clothed with speech by lips of man. Songs of the Springtides reached a third edition only in , and Studies in Song was not reprinted until Selections may partly have been directed at a wider readership with the aim of stimulating interest in Swinburne's poetry.
Algernon Charles Swinburne
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