Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
 
Extract from Erechtheus: Chthonia to Athens
By Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837–1909)
 
I LIFT up mine eyes from the skirts of the shadow,
  From the border of death to the limits of light;
O streams and rivers of mountain and meadow,
  That hallow the last of my sight,
O father that wast of my mother,        5
Cephisus, O thou too his brother
From the bloom of whose banks as a prey
Winds harried my sister away,
O crown on the world’s head lying
  Too high for its waters to drown,        10
Take yet this one word of me dying—
  O city, O crown.
 
Though land-wind and sea-wind with mouths that blow slaughter
  Should gird them to battle against thee again,
New-born of the blood of a maiden thy daughter,        15
  The rage of their breath shall be vain.
For their strength shall be quenched and made idle,
And the foam of their mouths find a bridle,
And the height of their heads bow down
At the foot of the towers of the town.        20
Be blest and beloved as I love thee
  Of all that shall draw from thee breath;
Be thy life as the sun’s is above thee;
  I go to my death.
 
 
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