Studies in Song

The Fourteenth of July

Algernon Charles Swinburne

(On the refusal by the French Senate of the plenary amnesty demanded by Victor Hugo, in his speech of July 3rd, for the surviving exiles of the Commune.)

THOU shouldst have risen as never dawn yet rose,
    Day of the sunrise of the soul of France,
    Dawn of the whole world’s morning, when the trance
Of all the world had end, and all its woes
Respite, prophetic of their perfect close.
    Light of all tribes of men, all names and clans,
    Dawn of the whole world’s morning and of man’s,
Flower of the heart of morning’s mystic rose,
Dawn of the very dawn of very day,
    When the sun brighter breaks night’s ruinous prison,
    Thou shouldst have risen as yet no dawn has risen,
Evoked of him whose word puts night away,
    Our father, at the music of whose word
    Exile had ended, and the world had heard.

           July 5, 1880.

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