Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors.
Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.

Download links will be available after you disable the ad blocker and reload the page.

Poems & Ballads (Second Series) Swinburne's Poems Volume III

Download options:

  • 159.74 KB
  • 122.83 KB
  • 233.63 KB



THE LAST ORACLE (A.D. 361)   Years have risen and fallen in darkness or in twilight,   Ages waxed and waned that knew not thee nor thine,While the world sought light by night and sought not thy light,   Since the sad last pilgrim left thy dark mid shrine.Dark the shrine and dumb the fount of song thence welling,   Save for words more sad than tears of blood, that said:Tell the king, on earth has fallen the glorious dwelling,   And the watersprings that spake are quenched and dead.Not a cell is left the God, no roof, no cover   In his hand the prophet laurel flowers no more.And the great king's high sad heart, thy true last lover,   Felt thine answer pierce and cleave it to the core.         And he bowed down his hopeless head            In the drift of the wild world's tide,         And dying, Thou hast conquered, he said,            Galilean; he said it, and died.          And the world that was thine and was ours         When the Graces took hands with the Hours         Grew cold as a winter wave         In the wind from a wide-mouthed grave,         As a gulf wide open to swallow            The light that the world held dear.   O father of all of us, Paian, Apollo,            Destroyer and healer, hear!Age on age thy mouth was mute, thy face was hidden,   And the lips and eyes that loved thee blind and dumb;Song forsook their tongues that held thy name forbidden,   Light their eyes that saw the strange God's kingdom come.Fire for light and hell for heaven and psalms for pæans   Filled the clearest eyes and lips most sweet of song,When for chant of Greeks the wail of Galileans   Made the whole world moan with hymns of wrath and wrong.Yea, not yet we see thee, father, as they saw thee,   They that worshipped when the world was theirs and thine,They whose words had power by thine own power to draw thee   Down from heaven till earth seemed more than heaven divine.         For the shades are about us that hover            When darkness is half withdrawn         And the skirts of the dead night cover            The face of the live new dawn.          For the past is not utterly past         Though the word on its lips be the last,         And the time be gone by with its creed         When men were as beasts that bleed,         As sheep or as swine that wallow,            In the shambles of faith and of fear.   O father of all of us, Paian, Apollo,            Destroyer and healer, hear!Yet it may be, lord and father, could we know it,   We that love thee for our darkness shall have lightMore than ever prophet hailed of old or poet   Standing crowned and robed and sovereign in thy sight.To the likeness of one God their dreams enthralled thee,   Who wast greater than all Gods that waned and grew;Son of God the shining son of Time they called thee,   Who wast older, O our father, than they knew....