Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909)
In Memory of Walter Savage Landor
1 Back to the flower-town, side by side,
2 The bright months bring,
3New-born, the bridegroom and the bride,
4 Freedom and spring.
5 The sweet land laughs from sea to sea,
6 Filled full of sun;
7All things come back to her, being free;
8 All things but one.
9 In many a tender wheaten plot
10 Flowers that were dead
11Live, and old suns revive; but not
12 That holier head.
13 By this white wandering waste of sea,
14 Far north, I hear
15One face shall never turn to me
16 As once this year:
17 Shall never smile and turn and rest
18 On mine as there,
19Nor one most sacred hand be prest
20 Upon my hair.
21 I came as one whose thoughts half linger,
22 Half run before;
23The youngest to the oldest singer
24 That England bore.
25 I found him whom I shall not find
26 Till all grief end,
27In holiest age our mightiest mind,
28 Father and friend.
29 But thou, if anything endure,
30 If hope there be,
31O spirit that man's life left pure,
32 Man's death set free,
33 Not with disdain of days that were
34 Look earthward now;
35Let dreams revive the reverend hair,
36 The imperial brow;
37 Come back in sleep, for in the life
38 Where thou art not
39We find none like thee. Time and strife
40 And the world's lot
41 Move thee no more; but love at least
42 And reverent heart
43May move thee, royal and released,
44 Soul, as thou art.
45 And thou, his Florence, to thy trust
46 Receive and keep,
47Keep safe his dedicated dust,
48 His sacred sleep.
49 So shall thy lovers, come from far,
50 Mix with thy name
51As morning-star with evening-star
52 His faultless fame.
1] Walter Savage Landor, born 1775, died 1864.
Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department
of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services,
University of Toronto Libraries.
Original text: Swinburne's Collected Poetical Works, 2 vols. (London: William Heinemann, 1924): 134-36.
First publication date:
Publication date note: Poems and Ballads (1866).
RPO poem editor: J. D. Robins
RP edition: 2RP 2.626.
Recent editing: 2:2002/5/2
Other poems by Algernon Charles Swinburne