Tristram of Lyonesse and Other Poems



εὖ μὴν ᾖ τιμὴν ἐδἒδου νικηφόρος ἀλκὴ
ἐκ νίκης ὄνομ’ ἔσχε φόβου κέαρ αἰὲν ἅθικτος.

Algernon Charles Swinburne

A YEAR ago red wrath and keen despair
    Spake, and the sole word from their darkness sent
    Laid low the lord not all omnipotent
Who stood most like a god of all that were
As gods for pride of power, till fire and air
    Made earth of all his godhead. Lightning rent
    The heart of empire’s lurid firmament,
And laid the mortal core of manhood bare.
But when the calm crowned head that all revere
For valour higher than that which casts out fear,
    Since fear came near it never, comes near death,
Blind murder cowers before it, knowing that here
    No braver soul drew bright and queenly breath
    Since England wept upon Elizabeth.

        March 8, 1882.

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