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Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837 – 1909)


English poet.
Algernon Charles Swinburne
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,
These remain.
Swinburne quotes
Before the beginning of years
There came to the making of man
Time with a gift of tears,
Grief with a glass that ran,
Pleasure with pain for leaven,
Summer with flowers that fell,
Remembrance fallen from heaven,
And Madness risen from hell,
Strength without hands to smite,
Love that endures for a breath;
Night, the shadow of light,
And Life, the shadow of death.
Swinburne
Our way is where God knows
And Love knows where:
We are in Love’s hand to-day.




A crown and justice? Night and day
Shall first be yoked together.
Swinburne Algernon Charles
Villon, our sad bad glad mad brother's name.
The tadpole poet will never grow into anything bigger than a frog; not though in that stage of development he should puff and blow himself till he bursts with windy adulation at the heels of the laureled ox.
Algernon Charles Swinburne
What sentence shall be given on mine? Of man,
As ill or well God means me, well or ill
Shall judgment pass upon me : but of God,
If God himself be righteous or be God,
Who being unrighteous were but god of hell,
The sentence given shall judge me just...
Is not Precedent indeed a King of men?
Swinburne
Sins are sin-begotten, and their seed
Bred of itself and singly procreative;
Nor is God served with setting this to this
For evil evidence of several shame,
That one may say, Lo now! so many are they;
But if one, seeing with God-illumined eyes
In his full face the encountering face of sin,
Smite once the one high-fronted head, and slay,
His will we call good service. For myself,
If ye will make a counsellor of me,
I bid you set your hearts against one thing
To burn it up, and keep your hearts on fire,
Not seeking here a sign and there a sign,
Nor curious of all casual sufferances,
But steadfast to the undoing of that thing done
Whereof ye know the being, however it be,
And all the doing abominable of God.
Who questions with a snake if the snake sting?
Who reasons of the lightning if it burn?
While these things are, deadly will these things be;
And so the curse that comes of cursed faith.
Swinburne Algernon Charles
Farewell, and peace be with you if it may.
I have lost, ye have won this hazard: yet perchance
My loss may shine yet goodlier than your gain
When time and God give judgment. If there be
Truth, true is this, that I desired the right
And ye with hands as red sustain the wrong
As mine had been in triumph. Have your will:
And God send each no bitterer end than mine.
Algernon Charles Swinburne
Who knows but on their sleep may rise
Such light as never heaven let through
To lighten earth from Paradise?




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.
Algernon Charles Swinburne
I remember the way we parted,
The day and the way we met;
You hoped we were both broken-hearted
And knew we should both forget.
Swinburne quotes
Not from without us, only from within,
Comes or can ever come upon us light
Whereby the soul keeps ever truth in sight.
No truth, no strength, no comfort man may win,
No grace for guidance, no release from sin,
Save of his own soul's giving.
Swinburne Algernon Charles
Life is the lust of a lamp for the light that is dark till the dawn of the day that we die.
I attempt to describe Mr. Swinburne; and lo! the Bacchanal screams, the sterile Dolores sweats, serpents dance, men and women wrench, wriggle and foam in an endless alliteration of heated and meaningless words, the veriest garbage of Baudelaire flowered over with the epithets of the Della Cruscans.
Algernon Charles Swinburne
Before our lives divide for ever,
While time is with us and hands are free,
(Time, swift to fasten and swift to sever
Hand from hand, as we stand by the sea)
I will say no word that a man might say
Whose whole life's love goes down in a day;
For this could never have been; and never,
Though the gods and the years relent, shall be.
Thou hast conquered, O pale Galilean; the world has grown grey from thy breath;
We have drunken of things Lethean, and fed on the fullness of death.
Algernon Charles Swinburne
The sweetest flowers in all the world—
A baby's hands.
Swinburne Algernon Charles
We had stood as the sure stars stand, and moved
As the moon moves, loving the world; and seen
Grief collapse as a thing disproved,
Death consume as a thing unclean.
Twain halves of a perfect heart, made fast
Soul to soul while the years fell past;
Had you loved me once, as you have not loved;
Had the chance been with us that has not been.


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