|This poem is from the collection Astrophel and Other Poems, Book I of The Collected Poetical Works of Algernon Charles Swinburne, Vol. VI.|
October 6, 1892
Life, sublime and serene when time had power upon it and ruled its
Changed it, bade it be glad or sad, and hear what change in the
world's ear saith,
Shines more fair in the starrier air whose glory lightens the dusk
Suns that sink on the wan sea's brink, and moons that kindle and
flame and fade,
Leave more clear for the darkness here the stars that set not and
see not shade
Rise and rise on the lowlier skies by rule of sunlight and
So, when night for his eyes grew bright, his proud head pillowed on
Hand in hand with him, soon to stand where shine the glories that
death loves best,
Passed the light of his face from sight, and sank sublimely to
Far above us and all our love, beyond all reach of its voiceless
Shines for ever the name that never shall feel the shade of the
Fall and chill the delight that still sees winter's light on it
shine like May's.
Strong as death is the dark day's breath whose blast has withered
the life we see
Here where light is the child of night, and less than visions or
dreams are we:
Strong as death; but a word, a breath, a dream is stronger than
death can be.
Strong as truth and superb in youth eternal, fair as the sundawn's
Seen when May on her first-born day bids earth exult in her radiant
Lives, clothed round with its praise and crowned with love that
dies not, his love-lit fame.
Fairer far than the morning star, and sweet for us as the songs
Loud through heaven from the choral Seven when all the stars of the
Shines the song that we loved so long--since first such love in us
flamed and sprang.
England glows as a sunlit rose from mead to mountain, from sea to
Bright with love and with pride above all taint of sorrow that
needs must be,
Needs must live for an hour, and give its rainbow's glory to lawn
Not through tears shall the new-born years behold him, crowned with
applause of men,
Pass at last from a lustrous past to life that lightens beyond
Glad and dead, and from earthward led to sunward, guided of Imogen.