Songs Before Sunrise

“Non Dolet”

Algernon Charles Swinburne

IT does not hurt. She looked along the knife
    Smiling, and watched the thick drops mix and run
    Down the sheer blade; not that which had been done
Could hurt the sweet sense of the Roman wife,
But that which was to do yet ere the strife
    Could end for each for ever, and the sun:
    Nor was the palm yet nor was peace yet won
While pain had power upon her husband’s life.

It does not hurt, Italia. Thou art more
    Than bride to bridegroom; how shalt thou not take
    The gift love’s blood has reddened for thy sake?
Was not thy lifeblood given for us before?
    And if love’s heartblood can avail thy need,
    And thou not die, how should it hurt indeed?

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