Open main menu

Helen of Troy and Other Poems/On the Death of Swinburne

< Helen of Troy and Other Poems

ON THE DEATH OF SWINBURNE

HE trod the earth but yesterday,
And now he treads the stars.
He left us in the April time
He praised so often in his rhyme,
He left the singing and the lyre and went his way.


He drew new music from our tongue,
A music subtly wrought,
And moulded words to his desire,
As wind doth mould a wave of fire;
From strangely fashioned harps slow golden tones he wrung.


I think the singing understands
That he who sang is still,
And Iseult cries that he is dead,—
Does not Dolores bow her head
And Fragoletta weep and wring her little hands?


New singing now the singer hears
To lyre and lute and harp;
Catullus waits to welcome him,
And thro' the twilight sweet and dim,
Sappho's forgotten songs are falling on his ears.