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Poems and ballads (1885)

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Poems and ballads (1885)

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    Available in PDF Format | Poems and ballads (1885).pdf | Unknown
    Algernon Charles Swinburne
Excerpt from book: LES NOYADES. Whatever a man of the sons of men Shall say to his heart of the lords above, They have shown man verily, once and again, Marvellous mercies and infinite love. In the wild fifth year of the change of things, When France was glorious and blood-red, fair With dust of battle and deaths of kings, A queen of men, with helmeted hair: Carrier came down to the Loire and slew, Till all the ways and the waves waxed red : Bound and drowned, slaying two by two, Maidens and young men, naked and wed. They brought on a day to his judgment-place One rough with labour and red with fight, And a lady noble by name and face, Faultless, a maiden, wonderful, white. She knew not, being for shame's sake blind, If his eyes were hot on her face hard by. And the judge bade strip and ship them, and bind Bosom to bosom, to drown and die. The white girl winced and whitened : but he Caught fire, waxed bright as a great bright flam:' Seen with thunder far out on the sea, Laughed hard as the glad blood went and came. Twice his lips quailed with delight, then said, " I have but a word to you all, one word Bear with me : surely I am but dead :" And all they laughed and mocked him and heard, "Judge, when they open the judgment-roll, I will stand upright before God and pray : ' Lord God, have mercy on one man's soul, For his mercy was great upon earth, I say. "' Lord, if I loved thee—Lord, if I served— If these who darkened thy fair Son's face I fought with, sparing not one, nor swerved A hand's-breadth, Lord, in the perilous place— "' I pray thee say to 'this man, O Lord, Sit thoufor him at my feet on a throne. 1 will face thy wrath, though it bite as a sword, And rny soul shall burn for his soul, and atone. "' For Lor...   show more
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