Algernon Charles Swinburne

  • Today will die tomorrow

    Algernon Charles Swinburne
  • From too much love of livingFrom hope and fear set free,We thank with brief thanksgivingWhatever gods may beThat no life lives for ever;That dead men rise up never;That even the weariest riverWinds somewhere safe to sea.Then star nor sun shall waken,Nor any change of light:Nor sound of waters shaken,Nor any sound or sight:Nor wintry leaves nor vernal,Nor days nor things diurnal;Only the sleep eternalIn an eternal night

    Algernon Charles Swinburne
  • Before the beginning of yearsThere came to the making of manTime, 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

    Algernon Charles Swinburne
  • Sweet for a little even to fear, and sweet,O love, to lay down fear at love’s fair feet;Shall not some fiery memory of his breathLie sweet on lips that touch the lips of death?Yet leave me not; yet, if thou wilt, be free;Love me no more, but love my love of thee.Love where thou wilt, and live thy life; and I,One thing I can, and one love cannot—die.Pass from me; yet thine arms, thine eyes, thine hair,Feed my desire and deaden my despair.Yet once more ere time change us, ere my cheekWhiten, ere hope be dumb or sorrow speak,Yet once more ere thou hate me, one full kiss;Keep other hours for others, save me this.Yea, and I will not (if it please thee) weep,Lest thou be sad; I will but sigh, and sleep.Sweet, does death hurt? thou canst not do me wrong:I shall not lack thee, as I loved thee, long.Hast thou not given me above all that liveJoy, and a little sorrow shalt not give?What even though fairer fingers of strange girlsPass nestling through thy beautiful boy’s curlsAs mine did, or those curled lithe lips of thineMeet theirs as these, all theirs come after mine;And though I were not, though I be not, best,I have loved and love thee more than all the rest.O love, O lover, loose or hold me fast,I had thee first, whoever have thee last;Fairer or not, what need I know, what care?To thy fair bud my blossom once seemed fair.Why am I fair at all before thee, whyAt all desired? seeing thou art fair, not I.I shall be glad of thee, O fairest head,Alive, alone, without thee, with thee, dead;I shall remember while the light lives yet,And in the night-time I shall not forget.Though (as thou wilt) thou leave me ere life leave,I will not, for thy love I will not, grieve;Not as they use who love not more than I,Who love not as I love thee though I die;And though thy lips, once mine, be oftener prestTo many another brow and balmier breast,And sweeter arms, or sweeter to thy mind,Lull thee or lure, more fond thou wilt not find

    Algernon Charles Swinburne
  • For the crown of our life as it closesIs darkness, the fruit there of dust;No thorns go as deep as the rose's,And love is more cruel than lust.Time turns the old days to derision,Our loves into corpses or wives;And marriage and death and divisionMake barren our lives

    Algernon Charles Swinburne
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