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Autumn And Winter

 Three months bade wane and wax the wintering moon
Between two dates of death, while men were fain
Yet of the living light that all too soon
Three months bade wane.
Cold autumn, wan with wrath of wind and rain, Saw pass a soul sweet as the sovereign tune That death smote silent when he smote again.
First went my friend, in life's mid light of noon, Who loved the lord of music: then the strain Whence earth was kindled like as heaven in June Three months bade wane.
A herald soul before its master's flying Touched by some few moons first the darkling goal Where shades rose up to greet the shade, espying A herald soul; Shades of dead lords of music, who control Men living by the might of men undying, With strength of strains that make delight of dole.
The deep dense dust on death's dim threshold lying Trembled with sense of kindling sound that stole Through darkness, and the night gave ear, descrying A herald soul.
One went before, one after, but so fast They seem gone hence together, from the shore Whence we now gaze: yet ere the mightier passed One went before; One whose whole heart of love, being set of yore On that high joy which music lends us, cast Light round him forth of music's radiant store.
Then went, while earth on winter glared aghast, The mortal god he worshipped, through the door Wherethrough so late, his lover to the last, One went before.
A star had set an hour before the sun Sank from the skies wherethrough his heart's pulse yet Thrills audibly: but few took heed, or none, A star had set.
All heaven rings back, sonorous with regret, The deep dirge of the sunset: how should one Soft star be missed in all the concourse met? But, O sweet single heart whose work is done, Whose songs are silent, how should I forget That ere the sunset's fiery goal was won A star had set?

Poem by Algernon Charles Swinburne
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