Algernon Charles Swinburne

(5 April 1837 - 10 April 1909 / London)

Lines On The Death Of Edward John Trelawny - Poem by Algernon Charles Swinburne

LAST high star of the years whose thunder
Still men’s listening remembrance hears,
Last light left of our fathers’ years,
Watched with honour and hailed with wonder
Thee too then have the years borne under,
Thou too then hast regained thy peers.

Wings that warred with the winds of morning,
Storm-winds rocking the red great dawn,
Close at last, and a film is drawn
Over the eyes of the storm-bird, scorning
Now no longer the loud wind’s warning,
Waves that threaten or waves that fawn.

Peers were none of thee left us living,
Peers of theirs we shall see no more.
Eight years over the full fourscore
Knew thee: now shalt thou sleep, forgiving
All griefs past of the wild world’s giving,
Moored at last on the stormless shore.

Worldwide liberty’s lifelong lover,
Lover no less of the strength of song,
Sea-king, swordsman, hater of wrong,
Over thy dust that the dust shall cover
Comes my song as a bird to hover,
Borne of its will as of wings along.

Cherished of thee were this brief song’s brothers
Now that follows them, cherishing thee.
Over the tides and the tideless sea
Soft as a smile of the earth our mother’s
Flies it faster than all those others,
First of the troop at thy tomb to be.

Memories of Greece and the mountain’s hollow
Guarded alone of thy loyal sword
Hold thy name for our hearts in ward:
Yet more fain are our hearts to follow
One way now with the southward swallow
Back to the grave of the man their lord.

Heart of hearts, art thou moved not, hearing
Surely, if hearts of the dead may hear,
Whose true heart it is now draws near?
Surely the sense of it thrills thee, cheering
Darkness and death with the news now nearing
Shelley, Trelawny rejoins thee here.


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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010



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