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Here death may deal not again for ever ; 65

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,

69 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

75 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.

80 A. C. SWINBURNE.

395

OLIVE

Addressed to Olive Miranda Watts, aged nine years

1

Who may praise her ?
Eyes where midnight shames the sun,
Hair of night and sunshine spun,
Woven of dawn's or twilight's loom,
Radiant darkness, lustrous gloom,
Godlike childhood's flowerlike bloom,
None may praise aright, nor sing
Half the grace wherewith like spring

Love arrays her.

5

10

2
Love untold
Sings in silence, speaks in light
Shed from each fair feature, bright
Still from heaven, whence toward us, now
Nine years since, she deigned to bow
Down the brightness of her brow,
Deigned to pass through mortal birth :
Reverence calls her, here on earth,

Nine years old.

15

20

3
Love's deep duty,
Even when love transfigured grows
Worship, all too surely knows
How, though love may cast out fear,
Yet the debt divine and dear
Due to childhood's godhead here
May by love of man be paid
Never; never song be made

Worth its beauty.

25

30

Nought is all
Sung or said or dreamed or thought
Ever, set beside it ; nought
All the love that man may give
Love whose prayer should be, ' Forgive !'
Heaven, we see, on earth may live ;
Earth can thank not heaven, we know,
Save with songs that ebb and flow,

Rise and fall.

35

5
No man living,
No man dead, save haply one
Now gone homeward past the sun

40

Ever found such grace as might
Tune his tongue to praise aright
Children, flowers of love and light,
Whom our praise dispraises : we
Sing, in sooth, but not as he

Sang thanksgiving.

45

6
Hope that smiled,
Seeing her new-born beauty, made
Out of heaven's own light and shade,
Smiled not half so sweetly: love,
Seeing the sun, afar above,
Warm the nest that rears the dove,
Sees, more bright than moon or sun,
All the heaven of heavens in one

Little child.

50

55

7
Who may sing her ?
Wings of angels when they stir
Make no music worthy her :
Sweeter sound her shy soft words
Here than songs of God's own birds
Whom the fire of rapture girds
Round with light from love's face lit :
Hands of angels find no fit

Gifts to bring her.

60

65

8
Babes at birth
Wear as raiment round them cast,
Keep as witness toward their past,
Tokens left of heaven ; and each,
Ere its lips learn mortal speech,
Ere sweet heaven pass on pass reach,
Bears in undiverted eyes
Proof of unforgotten skies

Here on earth.

70

9 Quenched as embers Quenched with flakes of rain or snow Till the last faint flame burns low, 75 All those lustrous memories lie Dead with babyhood gone by : Yet in her they dare not die : Others fair as heaven is, yet, Now they share not heaven, forget : 80 She remembers.

A. C. SWINBURNE.

5

10

396

ODE
We are the music-makers,

And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,

And sitting by desolate streams ;World-losers and world-forsakers,

On whom the pale moon gleams :
Yet we are the movers and shakers

Of the world for ever, it seems.
With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world's great cities,

And out of a fabulous story

We fashion an empire's glory : One man with a dream, at pleasure,

forth and conquer a crown ; And three with a new song's measure

Can trample a kingdom down. We, in the ages lying

In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,

And Babel itself in our mirth ;
And o’erthrew them with prophesying

To the old of the new world's worth ;
For each age is a dream that is dying,

Or one that is coming to birth.

Shall go

15

20

A breath of our inspiration

25 Is the life of each generation ;

A wondrous thing of our dreaming,

Unearthly, impossible seemingThe soldier, the king, and the peasant Are working together in one,

30 Till our dream shall become their present,

And their work in the world be done.

They had no vision amazing
Of the goodly house they are raising ;
They had no divine foreshowing

35 Of the land to which they are going : But on one man's soul it hath broken,

A light that doth not depart ;
And his look, or a word he hath spoken,

Wrought flame in another man's heart. And therefore to-day is thrilling

41 With a past day's late fulfilling ;

And the multitudes are enlisted

In the faith that their fathers resisted, And, scorning the dream of to-morrow, 45

Are bringing to pass, as they may, In the world, for its joy or its sorrow,

The dream that was scorned yesterday.

But we, with our dreaming and singing,
Ceaseless and sorrowless we !

50 The glory about us clinging

Of the glorious futures we see, Our souls with high music ringing :

O men ! it must ever be That we dwell, in our dreaming and singing, , A little apart from ye.

56 For we are afar with the dawning

And the suns that are not yet high, And out of the infinite morning Intrepid you hear us cry

60

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