Algernon Charles Swinburne

(5 April 1837 - 10 April 1909 / London)

A Dialog


I.

Death, if thou wilt, fain would I plead with thee:
Canst thou not spare, of all our hopes have built,
One shelter where our spirits fain would be,
Death, if thou wilt?

No dome with suns and dews impearled and gilt,
Imperial: but some roof of wildwood tree,
Too mean for sceptre's heft or swordblade's hilt.

Some low sweet roof where love might live, set free
From change and fear and dreams of grief or guilt;
Canst thou not leave life even thus much to see,
Death, if thou wilt?

II.

Man, what art thou to speak and plead with me?
What knowest thou of my workings, where and how
What things I fashion? Nay, behold and see,
Man, what art thou?

Thy fruits of life, and blossoms of thy bough,
What are they but my seedlings? Earth and sea
Bear nought but when I breathe on it must bow.

Bow thou too down before me: though thou be
Great, all the pride shall fade from off thy brow,
When Time and strong Oblivion ask of thee,
Man, what art thou?

III.

Death, if thou be or be not, as was said,
Immortal; if thou make us nought, or we
Survive: thy power is made but of our dread,
Death, if thou be.

Thy might is made out of our fear of thee:
Who fears thee not, hath plucked from off thine head
The crown of cloud that darkens earth and sea.

Earth, sea, and sky, as rain or vapour shed,
Shall vanish; all the shows of them shall flee:
Then shall we know full surely, quick or dead,
Death, if thou be.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: death, sea, fear, grief, pride, change, power, tree, rain, sky, life, hope, dream

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (A Dialog by Algernon Charles Swinburne )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Life, Proud SugarBoe
  2. When You Had Left, Poetic Lilly Emery
  3. A riddle poem, DEEPAK KUMAR PATTANAYAK
  4. Help me please, Nassy Fesharaki
  5. Math Love, Jack Spurlock
  6. PH: Nature: Canoeing the Mississippi #13, Brian Johnston
  7. More Precious Than Gold, Erato
  8. PH: Nature: Canoeing the Mississippi #12, Brian Johnston
  9. The Thatch Hut., Tony Adah
  10. This Creature is So Strange, Rohit Sapra

Poem of the Day

poet George Gordon Byron

It is the hour when from the boughs
The nightingale's high note is heard;
It is the hour -- when lover's vows
Seem sweet in every whisper'd word;
And gentle winds and waters near,
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet May Swenson

 

Member Poem

Trending Poems

  1. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  2. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  3. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  4. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  5. The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe
  6. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  7. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  8. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  9. No Man Is An Island, John Donne
  10. It Is the Hour, George Gordon Byron

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]