Page:Oxford Book of English Verse 1250-1918.djvu/1018

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ALGERNON CHARLES SWINBURNE

I among these, I also, in such station

As when the pyre was charr'd, and piled the sods, And offering to the dead made, and their gods,

The old mourners had, standing to make libation, I stand, and to the Gods and to the dead Do reverence without prayer or praise, and shed

Offering to these unknown, the gods of gloom,

And what of honey and spice my seed-lands bear, And what I may of fruits in this chill'd air,

And lay, Orestes-like, across the tomb A curl of severed hair.

��But by no hand nor any treason stricken,

Not like the low-lying head of Him, the King, The flame that made of Troy a ruinous thing,

Thou liest and on this dust no tears could quicken.

There fall no tears like theirs that all men hear Fall tear by sweet imperishable tear

Down the opening leaves of holy poet's pages. Thee not Orestes, not Elcctra mourns; But bending us-ward with memorial urns

The most high Muses that fulfil all ages Weep, and our God's heart yearns.

��For, sparing of his sacred strength, not often Among us darkling here the lord of light Makes manifest his music and his might

In hearts that open and in lips that soften

With the soft flame and heat of songs that shine. Thy lips indeed he touch'd with bitter wine,

�� �