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How hast thou heart to be glad thereof yet? For where thou fliest I shall not follow, Till life forget and death remember,
Till thou remember and I forget.
Swallow, my sister, O singing swallow,
Hast thou the heart? is it all past over?
But what wilt thou say to the spring thy lover? O swallow, sister, O fleeting swallow, My heart in me is a molten ember
And over my head the waves have met. But thou wouldst tarry or I would follow, Could I forget or thou remember,
Couldst thou remember and I forget.
O sweet stray sister, O shifting swallow,
Thy heart is light as a leaf of a tree;
The feast of Daulis, the Thracian sea.
Are not the roofs and the lintels wet?
Can I remember if thou forget? O sister, sister, thy first-begotten! The hands that cling and the feet that follow,
The voice of the child's blood crying yet, Who hath remembered me? who hath forgotten? Thou hast forgotten, O summer swallow, But the world shall end when I forget.
A. C. Swinburne
A FORSAKEN GARDEN
In a coign of the cliff between lowland and highland,
At the sea-down's edge between windward and lee, Walled round with rocks as an inland island,
The ghost of a garden fronts the sea.
The steep square slope of the blossomless bed Where the weeds that grew green from the graves of its roses
Now lie dead.
The fields fall southward, abrupt and broken,
To the low last edge of the long lone land. If a step should sound or a word be spoken, Would a ghost not rise at the strange guest's
hand? So long have the grey bare walks lain guestless,
Through branches and briers if a man make way He shall find no life but the sea-wind's, restless
Night and day.
The dense hard passage is blind and stified
That crawls by a track none turn to climb To the strait waste place that the years have rifled Of all but the thorns that are touched not of
time. The thorns he spares when the rose is taken;
The rocks are left when he wastes the plain. The wind that wanders, the weeds wind-shaken,
Not a flower to be pressed of the foot that falls not;
As the heart of a dead man the seed-plots are dry; From the thicket of thorns whence the nightingale
Could she call, there were never a rose to reply.
Over the meadows that blossom and wither
Rings but the note of a sea-bird's song; Only the sun and the rain come hither
All year long.
The sun burns sere and the rain dishevels
One gaunt bleak blossom of scentless breath. Only the wind here hovers and revels
In a round where life seems barren as death. Here there was laughing of old, there was weeping,
Haply, of lovers none ever will know, Whose eyes went seaward a hundred sleeping
Heart handfast in heart as they stood, 'Look
thither,' Did he whisper? 'look forth from the flowers to
For the foam-flowers endure when the rose
blossoms wither, And men that love lightly may die—but we?' And the same wind sang and the same waves
whitened, And or ever the garden's last petals were shed, In the lips that had whispered, the eyes that had lightened,
Love was dead.
Or they loved their life through, and then went
whither? And were one to the end-but what end who
knows? Love deep as the sea as a rose must wither,
As the rose-red seaweed that mocks the rose. Shall the dead take thought for the dead to love
them? What love was ever as deep as a grave? They are loveless now as the grass above them,
Or the wave.
All are at one now, roses and lovers,
Not known of the cliffs and the fields and the sea. Not a breath of the time that has been hovers
In the air now soft with a summer to be. Not a breath shall there sweeten the seasons
hereafter Of the flowers or the lovers that laugh now or weep When as they that are free now of weeping and laughter
We shall sleep.
Here death may deal not again for ever;
Here change may come not till all change end. From the graves they have made they shall rise up
never, Who have left nought living to ravage and rend. Earth, stones, and thorns of the wild ground
growing, While the sun and the rain live, these shall be; Till a last wind's breath upon all these blowing
Roll the sea.
Till the slow sea rise and the sheer cliff crumble,
Till terrace and meadow the deep gulfs drink, Till the strength of the waves of the high tides
humble The fields that lessen, the rocks that shrink; Here now in his triumph where all things falter, Stretched out on the spoils that his own hand
spread, As a god self-slain on his own strange altar,
Death lies dead.
A. C. Swinburne
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate : I am the captain of my soul.
W. E. Henley
Where the thistle lifts a purple crown
Six foot out of the turf, And the harebell shakes on the windy hill,
O the breath of the distant surf !
The hills look over on the South,
And southward dreams the sea; And with the sea-breeze hand in hand
Came innocence and she.
Where 'mid the gorse the raspberry
Red for the gatherer springs, Two children did we stray and talk
Wise, idle, childish things.
She listened with big-lipped surprise,
Breast-deep mid flower and spine: Her skin was like a grape, whose veins
Run snow instead of wine.