Get Your Premium Membership

Algernon Charles Swinburne Short Poems

Famous Short Algernon Charles Swinburne Poems. Short poetry by famous poet Algernon Charles Swinburne. A collection of the all-time best Algernon Charles Swinburne short poems

by Algernon Charles Swinburne
 Love lies bleeding in the bed whereover
Roses lean with smiling mouths or pleading:
Earth lies laughing where the sun's dart clove her:
Love lies bleeding.
Stately shine his purple plumes, exceeding Pride of princes: nor shall maid or lover Find on earth a fairer sign worth heeding.
Yet may love, sore wounded scarce recover Strength and spirit again, with life receding: Hope and joy, wind-winged, about him hover: Love lies bleeding.

by Algernon Charles Swinburne
 Reconciled by death's mild hand, that giving
Peace gives wisdom, not more strong than mild,
Love beholds them, each without misgiving
Each on earth alike of earth reviled, Hated, feared, derided, and forgiving, Each alike had heaven at heart, and smiled.
Both bright names, clothed round with man's thanksgiving, Shine, twin stars above the storm-drifts piled, Dead and deathless, whom we saw not living Reconciled.

by Algernon Charles Swinburne
 Low lies the mere beneath the moorside, still
And glad of silence: down the wood sweeps clear
To the utmost verge where fed with many a rill
Low lies the mere.
The wind speaks only summer: eye nor ear Sees aught at all of dark, hears aught of shrill, From sound or shadow felt or fancied here.
Strange, as we praise the dead man's might and skill, Strange that harsh thoughts should make such heavy cheer, While, clothed with peace by heaven's most gentle will, Low lies the mere.

At Sea  Create an image from this poem
by Algernon Charles Swinburne
 'Farewell and adieu' was the burden prevailing
Long since in the chant of a home-faring crew;
And the heart in us echoes, with laughing or wailing,
Farewell and adieu.
Each year that we live shall we sing it anew, With a water untravelled before us for sailing And a water behind us that wrecks may bestrew.
The stars of the past and the beacons are paling, The heavens and the waters are hoarier of hue: But the heart in us chants not an all unavailing Farewell and adieu.

by Algernon Charles Swinburne
 Heart's ease or pansy, pleasure or thought,
Which would the picture give us of these?
Surely the heart that conceived it sought
Heart's ease.
Surely by glad and divine degrees The heart impelling the hand that wrought Wrought comfort here for a soul's disease.
Deep flowers, with lustre and darkness fraught, From glass that gleams as the chill still seas Lean and lend for a heart distraught Heart's ease.

by Algernon Charles Swinburne
 Dead love, by treason slain, lies stark,
White as a dead stark-stricken dove:
None that pass by him pause to mark
Dead love.
His heart, that strained and yearned and strove As toward the sundawn strives the lark, Is cold as all the old joy thereof.
Dead men, re-risen from dust, may hark When rings the trumpet blown above: It will not raise from out the dark Dead love.

by Algernon Charles Swinburne
 The wind's way in the deep sky's hollow
None may measure, as none can say
How the heart in her shows the swallow
The wind's way.
Hope nor fear can avail to stay Waves that whiten on wrecks that wallow, Times and seasons that wane and slay.
Life and love, till the strong night swallow Thought and hope and the red last ray, Swim the waters of years that follow The wind's way.

by Algernon Charles Swinburne
 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 and death.

by Algernon Charles Swinburne
 Love's twilight wanes in heaven above,
On earth ere twilight reigns:
Ere fear may feel the chill thereof,
Love's twilight wanes.
Ere yet the insatiate heart complains 'Too much, and scarce enough,' The lip so late athirst refrains.
Soft on the neck of either dove Love's hands let slip the reins: And while we look for light of love Love's twilight wanes.

by Algernon Charles Swinburne
 Blest in death and life beyond man's guessing
Little children live and die, possest
Still of grace that keeps them past expressing
Each least chirp that rings from every nest, Each least touch of flower-soft fingers pressing Aught that yearns and trembles to be prest, Each least glance, gives gifts of grace, redressing Grief's worst wrongs: each mother's nurturing breast Feeds a flower of bliss, beyond all blessing Blest.

by Algernon Charles Swinburne
 Mad March, with the wind in his wings wide-spread,
Leaps from heaven, and the deep dawn's arch
Hails re-risen again from the dead
Mad March.
Soft small flames on rowan and larch Break forth as laughter on lips that said Nought till the pulse in them beat love's march.
But the heartbeat now in the lips rose-red Speaks life to the world, and the winds that parch Bring April forth as a bride to wed Mad March.

by Algernon Charles Swinburne
 Soul within sense, immeasurable, obscure,
Insepulchred and deathless, through the dense
Deep elements may scarce be felt as pure
Soul within sense.
From depth and height by measurers left immense, Through sound and shape and colour, comes the unsure Vague utterance, fitful with supreme suspense.
All that may pass, and all that must endure, Song speaks not, painting shews not: more intense And keen than these, art wakes with music's lure Soul within sense.

Change  Create an image from this poem
by Algernon Charles Swinburne
 But now life's face beholden
Seemed bright as heaven's bare brow
With hope of gifts withholden
But now.
From time's full-flowering bough Each bud spake bloom to embolden Love's heart, and seal his vow.
Joy's eyes grew deep with olden Dreams, born he wist not how; Thought's meanest garb was golden; But now!

by Algernon Charles Swinburne
 Death and birth should dwell not near together:
Wealth keeps house not, even for shame, with dearth:
Fate doth ill to link in one brief tether
Death and birth.
Harsh the yoke that binds them, strange the girth Seems that girds them each with each: yet whether Death be best, who knows, or life on earth? Ill the rose-red and the sable feather Blend in one crown's plume, as grief with mirth: Ill met still are warm and wintry weather, Death and birth.

by Algernon Charles Swinburne
 What shall be done for sorrow
With love whose race is run?
Where help is none to borrow,
What shall be done?

In vain his hands have spun
The web, or drawn the furrow:
No rest their toil hath won.
His task is all gone thorough, And fruit thereof is none: And who dare say to-morrow What shall be done?

by Algernon Charles Swinburne
 Strong as death, and cruel as the grave,
Clothed with cloud and tempest's blackening breath,
Known of death's dread self, whom none outbrave,
Strong as death,

Love, brow-bound with anguish for a wreath,
Fierce with pain, a tyrant-hearted slave,
Burns above a world that groans beneath.
Hath not pity power on thee to save, Love? hath power no pity? Nought he saith, Answering: blind he walks as wind or wave, Strong as death.

Envoi  Create an image from this poem
by Algernon Charles Swinburne
 Fly, white butterflies, out to sea,
Frail pale wings for the winds to try,
Small white wings that we scarce can see
Here and there may a chance-caught eye Note in a score of you twain or three Brighter or darker of tinge or dye.
Some fly light as a laugh of glee, Some fly soft as a low long sigh: All to the haven where each would be Fly.

by Algernon Charles Swinburne
 Blessed was she that bare,
Hidden in flesh most fair,
For all men's sake the likeness of all love;
Holy that virgin's womb,
The old record saith, on whom
The glory of God alighted as a dove;
Blessed, who brought to gracious birth
The sweet-souled Saviour of a man-tormented earth.

by Algernon Charles Swinburne
 Alas my brother! the cry of the mourners of old
That cried on each other,
All crying aloud on the dead as the death-note rolled,
Alas my brother!

As flashes of dawn that mists from an east wind smother
With fold upon fold,
The past years gleam that linked us one with another.
Time sunders hearts as of brethren whose eyes behold No more their mother: But a cry sounds yet from the shrine whose fires wax cold, Alas my brother!

by Algernon Charles Swinburne
 Wind and sea and cloud and cloud-forsaking
Mirth of moonlight where the storm leaves free
Heaven awhile, for all the wrath of waking
Wind and sea.
Bright with glad mad rapture, fierce with glee, Laughs the moon, borne on past cloud's o'ertaking Fast, it seems, as wind or sail can flee.
One blown sail beneath her, hardly making Forth, wild-winged for harbourage yet to be, Strives and leaps and pants beneath the breaking Wind and sea.

Sorrow  Create an image from this poem
by Algernon Charles Swinburne
 SORROW, on wing through the world for ever,
Here and there for awhile would borrow
Rest, if rest might haply deliver
One thought lies close in her heart gnawn thorough With pain, a weed in a dried-up river, A rust-red share in an empty furrow.
Hearts that strain at her chain would sever The link where yesterday frets to-morrow: All things pass in the world, but never Sorrow.

by Algernon Charles Swinburne
 Fate, out of the deep sea's gloom,
When a man's heart's pride grows great,
And nought seems now to foredoom

Fate, laden with fears in wait,
Draws close through the clouds that loom,
Till the soul see, all too late,

More dark than a dead world's tomb,
More high than the sheer dawn's gate,
More deep than the wide sea's womb,

by Algernon Charles Swinburne
 Love, out of the depth of things,
As a dewfall felt from above,
From the heaven whence only springs

Love, heard from the heights thereof,
The clouds and the watersprings,
Draws close as the clouds remove.
And the soul in it speaks and sings, A swan sweet-souled as a dove, An echo that only rings Love.

Sleep  Create an image from this poem
by Algernon Charles Swinburne
 Sleep, when a soul that her own clouds cover
Wails that sorrow should always keep
Watch, nor see in the gloom above her

Down, through darkness naked and steep,
Sinks, and the gifts of his grace recover
Soon the soul, though her wound be deep.
God beloved of us, all men's lover, All most weary that smile or weep Feel thee afar or anear them hover, Sleep.

by Algernon Charles Swinburne
 Child of two strong nations, heir
Born of high-souled hope that smiled,
Seeing for each brought forth a fair

By thy gracious brows, and wild
Golden-clouded heaven of hair,
By thine eyes elate and mild,

Hope would fain take heart to swear
Men should yet be reconciled,
Seeing the sign she bids thee bear,