Thursday, August 16, 2018
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Light: an Epicede Sketched portrait of 23-year-old Algernon Charles Swinburne, poet and author. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)       To Philip Bourke Marston Love will not weep because the seal is broken That sealed upon a life beloved and brief Darkness, and let but song break through for token How deep, too far for even thy song’s relief, Slept in thy soul the secret springs of grief. Thy song may soothe full many a soul hereafter, As tears, if tears will come, dissolve despair; As here but late, with smile more bright than laughter, Thy sweet strange yearning eyes would seem to bear Witness... (Read More ...)

Life in Death  A woodblock from a photograph of Algernon Swinburne, aged 52. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)     He should have followed who goes forth before us, Last born of us in life, in death first-born: The last to lift up eyes against the morn, The first to see the sunset. Life, that bore us Perchance for death to comfort and restore us, Of him hath left us here awhile forlorn, For him is as a garment overworn, And time and change, with suns and stars in chorus, Silent. But if, beyond all change or time, A law more just, more equal, more sublime Than sways the surge of life’s loud sterile... (Read More ...)

My Soul is Sorrowful unto Death (Photo credit: Wikipedia)  Intercession Ave Caesar Imperator, moriturum te saluto. 1 O Death, a little more, and then the worm; A little longer, O Death, a little yet, Before the grave gape and the grave-worm fret; Before the sanguine-spotted hand infirm Be rottenness, and that foul brain, the germ Of all ill things and thoughts, be stopped and set; A little while, O Death, ere he forget, A small space more of life, a little term; A little longer ere he and thou be met, Ere in that hand that fed thee to thy mind The poison-cup of life be overset; A little respite... (Read More ...)

In Time of Mourning   Mourning dress, circa 1867 Museum of Funeral Customs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Would cry from hearts that yearn: Love dares not bid our dead again “Return,” we dare not as we fain Would cry from hearts that yearn: Love dares not bid our dead again Return. O hearts that strain and burn As fires fast fettered burn and strain! Bow down, lie still, and learn. The heart that healed all hearts of pain No funeral rites inurn: Its echoes, while the stars remain, Return. Extra Info: May 1885. From “Poems and Ballads (Third Series) Taken from The Collected... (Read More ...)

River Lethe in the Valley of 10,000 Smokes (Photo credit: Wikipedia) In Harbour I.   Goodnight and goodbye to the life whose signs denote us As mourners clothed with regret for the life gone by; To the waters of gloom whence winds of the dayspring float us Goodnight and goodbye. A time is for mourning, a season for grief to sigh; But were we not fools and blind, by day to devote us As thralls to the darkness, unseen of the sundawn’s eye? We have drunken of Lethe at length, we have eaten of lotus; What hurts it us here that sorrows are born and die? We have said to the dream that caressed... (Read More ...)

Baby garden spider on a stamen of lacy phacelia (Photo credit: Wikipedia) In a Garden  Baby, see the flowers! – Baby sees Fairer things than these, Fairer though they be than dreams of ours. Baby, hear the birds! – Baby knows Better songs than those, Sweeter though they sound than sweetest words. Baby, see the moon! – Baby’s eyes Laugh to watch it rise, Answering light with love and night with noon. Baby, hear the sea! – Baby’s face Takes a graver grace, Touched with wonder what the sound may be. Baby, see the star! – Baby’s hand Opens, warm and... (Read More ...)

Spices (food, spice, Morocco) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Ilicet There is an end of joy and sorrow; Peace all day long, all night, all morrow, But never a time to laugh or weep. The end is come of pleasant places, The end of tender words and faces, The end of all, the poppied sleep. No place for sound within their hearing, No room to hope, no time for fearing, No lips to laugh, no lids for tears. The old years have run out all their measure; No chance of pain, no chance of pleasure, No fragment of the broken years. Outside of all the worlds and ages, There where the fool is as the sage is, There... (Read More ...)

Birth and Death Large black basalt figure of a nude, sleeping infant representing Somnus, God of Sleep, son of Night and twin brother of Death (Photo credit: Wikipedia) 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 beneath. Smiles may lighten tears, and tears may smother Smiles, for all that joy or sorrow saith: Joy nor sorrow knows not from each other Birth... (Read More ...)

White violets A white variant of the common dog violet (Viola riviniana). (Photo credit: Wikipedia) At a Dog’s Grave I Good night, we say, when comes the time to win The daily death divine that shuts up sight, Sleep, that assures for all who dwell therein Good night. The shadow shed round those we love shines bright As love’s own face, when death, sleep’s gentler twin, From them divides us even as night from light. Shall friends born lower in life, though pure of sin, Though clothed with love and faith to usward plight, Perish and pass unbidden of us, their kin, Good night? II To... (Read More ...)

Algernon Swinburne (1837-1909), Portrait by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Source : (Photo credit: Wikipedia) After Sunset – Sonnets ‘Si quis piorum Manibus locus.’ I. Straight from the sun’s grave in the deep clear west A sweet strong wind blows, glad of life: and I, Under the soft keen stardawn whence the sky Takes life renewed, and all night’s godlike breast Palpitates, gradually revealed at rest By growth and change of ardours felt on high, Make onward, till the last flame fall and die And all the world by night’s broad hand lie blest. Haply,... (Read More ...)