Studies in Song

For a Portrait of Felice Orsini

Algernon Charles Swinburne

STEADFAST as sorrow, fiery sad, and sweet
    With underthoughts of love and faith, more strong
    Than doubt and hate and all ill thoughts which throng,
Haply, round hope’s or fear’s world-wandering feet
That find no rest from wandering till they meet
    Death, bearing palms in hand and crowns of song;
    His face, who thought to vanquish wrong with wrong,
Erring, and make rage and redemption greet,
Havoc and freedom; weaving in one weft
Good with his right hand, evil with his left;
    But all a hero lived and erred and died;
Looked thus upon the living world he left
    So bravely that with pity less than pride
    Men hail him Patriot and Tyrannicide

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