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A Baby's Death - Poem by Algernon Charles Swinburne

A little soul scarce fledged for earth
Takes wing with heaven again for goal
Even while we hailed as fresh from birth
A little soul.

Our thoughts ring sad as bells that toll,
Not knowing beyond this blind world's girth
What things are writ in heaven's full scroll.

Our fruitfulness is there but dearth,
And all things held in time's control
Seem there, perchance, ill dreams, not worth
A little soul.



The little feet that never trod
Earth, never strayed in field or street,
What hand leads upward back to God
The little feet?

A rose in June's most honied heat,
When life makes keen the kindling sod,
Was not so soft and warm and sweet.

Their pilgrimage's period
A few swift moons have seen complete
Since mother's hands first clasped and shod
The little feet.



The little hands that never sought
Earth's prizes, worthless all as sands,
What gift has death, God's servant, brought
The little hands?

We ask: but love's self silent stands,
Love, that lends eyes and wings to thought
To search where death's dim heaven expands.

Ere this, perchance, though love know nought,
Flowers fill them, grown in lovelier lands,
Where hands of guiding angels caught
The little hands.



The little eyes that never knew
Light other than of dawning skies,
What new life now lights up anew
The little eyes?

Who knows but on their sleep may rise
Such light as never heaven let through
To lighten earth from Paradise?

No storm, we know, may change the blue
Soft heaven that haply death descries
No tears, like these in ours, bedew
The little eyes.



Was life so strange, so sad the sky,
So strait the wide world's range,
He would not stay to wonder why
Was life so strange?

Was earth's fair house a joyless grange
Beside that house on high
Whence Time that bore him failed to estrange?

That here at once his soul put by
All gifts of time and change,
And left us heavier hearts to sigh
'Was life so strange?'



Angel by name love called him, seeing so fair
The sweet small frame;
Meet to be called, if ever man's child were,
Angel by name.

Rose-bright and warm from heaven's own heart he came,
And might not bear
The cloud that covers earth's wan face with shame.

His little light of life was all too rare
And soft a flame:
Heaven yearned for him till angels hailed him there
Angel by name.



The song that smiled upon his birthday here
Weeps on the grave that holds him undefiled
Whose loss makes bitterer than a soundless tear
The song that smiled.

His name crowned once the mightiest ever styled
Sovereign of arts, and angel: fate and fear
Knew then their master, and were reconciled.

But we saw born beneath some tenderer sphere
Michael, an angel and a little child,
Whose loss bows down to weep upon his bier
The song that smiled.


Comments about A Baby's Death by Algernon Charles Swinburne

  • Rookie - 178 Points Mark Jackson (9/12/2018 10:02:00 AM)

    it was a very good poem (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Rookie - 141 Points Shah Imran (10/24/2017 9:49:00 AM)

    I wish I could see that baby! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Vinicius Bittencourt (12/28/2011 2:04:00 AM)

    I cryed... too much.

    god

    B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L-! (Report) Reply

Read all 4 comments »

Poems About Death

  1. 1. Let Me Die A Youngman's Death , Roger McGough
  2. 2. And Death Shall Have No Dominion , Dylan Thomas
  3. 3. Death Be Not Proud , John Donne
  4. 4. Death Is Nothing At All , Henry Scott Holland
  5. 5. Because I Could Not Stop For Death , Emily Dickinson
  6. 6. A Refusal To Mourn The Death, By Fire, O.. , Dylan Thomas
  7. 7. Nothing But Death , Pablo Neruda
  8. 8. A Dream Of Death , William Butler Yeats
  9. 9. Father Death Blues , Allen Ginsberg
  10. 10. A Poet's Death Is His Life Iv , Khalil Gibran
  11. 11. An Irish Airman Forsees His Death , William Butler Yeats
  12. 12. Death Wants More Death , Charles Bukowski
  13. 13. Death , Rainer Maria Rilke
  14. 14. A Death Blow Is A Life Blow To Some , Emily Dickinson
  15. 15. The Death Of The Ball Turret Gunner , Randall Jarrell
  16. 16. A City's Death By Fire , Derek Walcott
  17. 17. First Death In Nova Scotia , Elizabeth Bishop
  18. 18. The Beauty Of Death Xiv , Khalil Gibran
  19. 19. After Death , Sara Teasdale
  20. 20. Death Xxvii , Khalil Gibran
  21. 21. On The Death Of A Young Lady Of Five Yea.. , Phillis Wheatley
  22. 22. The Death Of Joy Gardner , Benjamin Zephaniah
  23. 23. A Funeral Poem On The Death Of C. E. An .. , Phillis Wheatley
  24. 24. Go Down, Death , James Weldon Johnson
  25. 25. The Death Of The Hired Man , Robert Frost
  26. 26. Death Leaves Us Homesick, Who Behind , Emily Dickinson
  27. 27. Gacela Of The Dark Death , Federico García Lorca
  28. 28. A Thought For A Lonely Death-Bed , Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  29. 29. A Ballad Of Death , Algernon Charles Swinburne
  30. 30. Holy Sonnet X: Death Be Not Proud , John Donne
  31. 31. On The Death Of That Most Excellent Lady, , Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz
  32. 32. Death &Amp; Fame , Allen Ginsberg
  33. 33. On The Death Of Anne Brontë , Charlotte Brontë
  34. 34. For The Anniversary Of My Death , William Stanley Merwin
  35. 35. Death Fugue , Paul Celan
  36. 36. If Death Is Kind , Sara Teasdale
  37. 37. On Death , Anne Killigrew
  38. 38. I Have A Rendezvous With Death , Alan Seeger
  39. 39. Love &Amp; Fame &Amp; Death , Charles Bukowski
  40. 40. Death , William Butler Yeats
  41. 41. Death , Heinrich Heine
  42. 42. Fugue Of Death , Paul Celan
  43. 43. The Death Of The Flowers , William Cullen Bryant
  44. 44. On Hearing Of A Death , Rainer Maria Rilke
  45. 45. As At Thy Portals Also Death , Walt Whitman
  46. 46. An Elegy On The Death Of Kenneth Patchen , Lawrence Ferlinghetti
  47. 47. On Death , Percy Bysshe Shelley
  48. 48. The Dance Of Death , Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  49. 49. The Death Of Santa Claus , Charles Harper Webb
  50. 50. Ode On The Death Of A Favourite Cat Drow.. , Thomas Gray
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