Home  »  A Dictionary of Similes  »  Algernon Charles Swinburne

Frank J. Wilstach, comp. A Dictionary of Similes. 1916.

Algernon Charles Swinburne

Loathe worse than a leper’s mouth.

Adorable as is nothing save a child.

Adrift as a pinnace in peril.

Adrift as a spirit in doubt that dissembles
Still with itself, being sick of division and dimmed by dismay.

Ageless as the sun.

Thy lips are aglow
As a lover’s that kindle with kissing.

Alive as a vision of life to be.

Arise as the spring out of tempest and snow.

Aspire, as all the sea’s life toward the sun.

Aspires as a flame.

Babble like one mad with wine.

Bare as a beggar.

Bare as naked daylight.

Bare as shame.

Barren as crime.

Beard like foam swept off the broad blown sea.

Bereft as a man whom bitter time bereaves
Of blossom at once and hope of garnered sheaves,
Of April at once and August.

Bites like fire.

Bitter as a tear.

Bitter as harsh-lipped spring.

Bitter as the breaking down of love.

Thy speech is bitterer than the sea.

Bitter like blood.

Her heart within
Burnt bitter like an aftertaste of sin
To one whose memory drinks and loathes the lee
Of shame or sorrow deeper than the sea.

Black as the womb of darkness.

Black as crushed worms that sicken in the sense.

Black as thunderous night.

As midnight black.

Black as flameless brand.

Blind and stark as though the snows made numb all sense within it.

Blind as a pilot beaten blind with foam.

Blind as glass.

Blind as grief.

Blind as the night.

Blind and vain
As rain-stars blurred and marred by rain
To wanderers on a moonless main
Where night and day seem dead.

Blither than Spring’s when her flowerful tresses
Shake forth sunlight and shine with rain.

Bloomed, as new life might in a bloodless face.

Blue as plague.

Blurred like a lamp’s that when the night drops dead

Blushed as with bloodless passion, and its hue
Was as the life and love of hearts on flame.

Fast bound and free,
As all the world is girdled with the sea.

Fast bound as a frost-bound water.

Bound as the sun to the world’s wheel.

Like as thralls with links of iron fast in bonds of doom.

Bowed like a flowering weed when May’s wind heaves the reed-bed the stream kisses.

Bowed down as briars or palms
Even at the breathless blast as of a breeze
Fulfilled with clamour and clangour and storms of psalms.

Brave as winds that brave the sea.

Like jarring steel on ruining walls.

Break forth as laughter on lips that said nought till the pulse in them beat love’s march.

Breasts like spring.

As March breathes back the spirit of winter.

Breathless as the deer
Driven hard to bay.

Brief as a broken song.

Bright as a dew-drop engilt of the sun on the sedge.

Bright as all above.

Bright as a warrior’s belt.

Bright as burns at sunrise, heaven’s own.

Song bright as heaven above the mounting bird.

Bright as heaven’s bare brow with hope of gifts withholden.

Bright as hell-fire.

Bright as hope.

Bright as Maytime.

Bright as mercy.

Bright as the kindling dews when the dawn begins.

Bright as the night is dark on the world.

Bright as though death’s dim sunrise thrilled it there and life re-risen took comfort.

Bright like spring with flower-soft wealth of branching tracery.

Brighter than joy’s own tears.

As a forest with birds.

Brittle as glass that breaks with a touch.

As twilight brown.

Burn and bleed
Like that pale princess-priest of Priam’s seed.

Burn as if all the fires of the earth and air
Had laid strong hold upon his flesh and stung
The soul behind it as with a serpent’s tongue.

Burn as that beamless fire which fills the skies
With troubled stars and travailing things of flame.

Burning her like flame
That feeds on flowers in bloom.

Burns like joy.

Burns low as fire wherein no firebrands glow.

Changed as a cloud in the night.

Chatter like sick flies.

Clamorous like as wave to wave at sea.

Clean of cloud
As though day’s heart were proud
And heaven’s were glad.

Clear and fair as sunlight and the flowerful air.

Clear as a child’s own laughter.

Clear as heaven of the toils of time.

As clear as love.

Clear as mirth.

Clear as night beholds her crowning seven.

Clear as righteousness.

Soul as clear as sunlit dew.

Clear as the closest seen and kindly star
That marries morn and even and winter and spring with one love’s golden ring.

Clear as the cloudless hour.

Clear as the flame from the pyres of the dead.

Clear as the plume of a bright black bird.

Clear as the tocsin from the steeple.

Clear as thy song’s words or the live sun’s light.

Clove as a ploughshare cleaves the field.

Cold as blight of dew.

Cold as … dawn.

Cold as the cast-off garb that is cold as clay.

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.

Cold as fears.

Cold as rains in autumn.

Coloured as the moon.

Confused as a soul heavy-laden with trouble that will not depart.

Crowned, as day crowned the dawn-enkindled wave.

Cruel as love or life.

Crumble as a crown,
Till Cæsar driven to lair and hounded Pope
Reel breathless and drop heartless out of hope.

Dark as a cloud that the moon turns bright.

Dark as fate.

Dark as fear.

Dark in her sight
As her measureless measure of shadowless pleasure was bright.

Dark as the heart of time.

Galleons dark as the helmsman’s bark of old that ferried to hell the dead.

Dark as the sire that begat her, Despair.

More dark than the dead world’s tomb.

Darkened as one that wastes by sorcerous art and knows not whence it withers.

Dark as a land’s decline.

Silent dark as shame.

Dead as night when stars wax dim.

Dead as dreams of days that were
Before the new-born world lay bare
In heaven’s wide eye.

Dead as the carver’s figured throng.

Dead as the dawn’s grey dew
At high midnoon of the mounting day that mocks the might of the dawn it slew.

Dead as yesterday.

Deaf as fire.

Deathless as love.

Deep as deep in water sinks a stone.

Deep as music’s heart.

Deep as the clear unsounded sea.

Deep as the deep dim soul of a star.

Deep as the depths unsought
Whence faith’s own hope may redeem us naught.

Deep as the pit of hell.

Deeper than men’s dreams of hell are deep.

Deeper than the green sea’s grass.

Deep as hate.

Deep as the grave.

Deeper than time or space.

Hold delight as grape-flowers hold their wine.

Delight as the wind’s in the billow.

Delight as a wave in the wind.

Delight as in freedom won.

Dense as the fumes of ascending hell.

Dense as the walls that fence the secret darkness of unknown time.

Dense as darkness.

Dies as dreams that die with the sleep they feed.

As a star feels the sun and falters,
Touched to death by diviner eyes—
As on the old gods’ untended altars
The old fire of withered worship dies.

Die as a leaf that dies in a day.

Different as dark eyes from golden hair.

Dire as the face disfeatured of a dream.

And flesh from bone divides without a pang
As dew from flower-bell drips.

Divine as dreams lit by fire of appeased desire which sounds the secret of all that seems.

Draped round her pallid brow like seaweed on a clam.

Dreamy like dim skies.

Like foam or sandPast swamp and sallow.

Like mists before the blasts of dawn.

As foam before the wind that wakes
With the all-awakening sun, and breaks
Strong ships that rue the mirth it makes
When grace to slay is given.

Drop as a leaf drops dead.

Dropping like flies, devoured
By winter as if by fire, starved, frozen, blind,
Maimed, mad with torment, dying in hell.

Dull as the dead fume of a fallen fire.

Dumb as a dream.

Flapping ears like water-flags.

At ease
As a flower of the springtime of corn.

Eat up like fire the ashen autumn days.

Ebb like hopes that wither.

Ecstatic and inviolate as the red glad mouth of morn.

Elate as Heaven.

As the strong star smiles that lets no mourner mourn.

Exulted as the sunrise in its might.

Eyes as glad as summer.

Gold-eyed as the shore-flower shelterless
Whereon the sharp-breathed sea blows bitterness,
A storm-star that the seafarers of love
Strain their wind-wearied eyes for glimpses of.

Your grave majestic eyes
Like a bird’s warbled words
Speak, and sorrow dies.

Thy face
Was as a water’s wearied with wind.

Faded, as fields that withering winds leave dry.

Fade like flame.

Fade as leaves when the woods wax hoary.

Fain of the wild glad weather
As famine is fain of feast.

Faint as the moon if the sundawn gleam.

Faint as the shadows of ages
That sunder their season and ours.

Fair as a fairy.

Fair as a field in flower.

Fair as all that the world may call most fair, save only the sea’s own face.

Fair as any poison-flower
Whose blossom blights the withering bower
Whereon its blasting breath has power.

Fair as a star-shaped flower.

Fair as dawn.

Fair as dreams that die and know not what they were.

Fair as even the wakening skies.

Fair as flame.

Fair as fled foam.

Fair as heaven in spring.

Fair as hope divines.

Fair as life.

Fair as peace.

Clean and fair
As sunlight and the flowerful air.

Fair as the ambient gold of wall-flowers.

Fair as the eyes are fair.

Fair as the face of the star-clothed night.

Fair as the frondage each fleet year sees fade.

Fair as the morning.

Fair as the sunbright air.

Fair as the sundawn’s flame
Seen when May on her first-born day bids earth exult in her radiant name.

Fair as the world’s old faith of flowers.

Fair as thine eye’s beam
Hidden and shown in heaven.

Fair as thought could dream.

Fair as youth.

Fall as a slaughtered beast headless.

Fallen as leaves by the storms in their season thinned.

False and foul as fear.

Fragrant his fame as flowers that close not.

Far as heaven’s red labouring eye could glance.

Far as hope from joy or sleep from truth.

Far from earth as heaven.

Fast as autumn days toward winter.

Fast as fire on earth devours.

Fast as the gin’s grip of a wayfarer.

Fast as warriors grip their brands when battle’s bolt is hurled.

Made fast as with anchors to land.

Fast in bondage as herded beasts.

Fast as storm could speed.

Faultless as a flower.

Bred him fearless, like a sea-mew reared
In rocks of man’s foot feared,
Where nought of wingless life may sing or shine.

A baby’s feet, like sea-shells pink,
Might tempt, should heaven see meet,
An angel’s lips to kiss, we think,
A baby’s feet.
Like rose-hued sea-flowers toward the heat
They stretch and spread and wink
Their ten soft buds that part and meet.

Fell as falls an ember from forth a flameless pile.

Fervent as fiery moon.

Fierce as a blast of hate from hell.

Fierce as the fervid eyes of lions.

Filled as cloud with fire.

More fine than moonbeams.

Firm as dust and fixed as shadows.

Fitful as the sea.

Fixed like a sea-rock.

Flames like morn.

Flares like an angered and storm-redding morn.

Flash and toss
Like plumes in battle’s blithest charge.

As dead sands be at utmost ebb that drink
The drainèd salt o’ the sea.

As clouds and winds and rays across the sea.

Fleet as light.

Fleet as the lightning’s laugh.

As words of men or snowflakes on the wind.

Flickers like a blown-out flame.

Flickering like a wind-bewildered leaf.

Flicker like fire.

Fluctuated as flowers in rain
That bends them and they tremble and rise again
And heave and straighten and quiver all through with bliss
And turn afresh their mouths up for a kiss,
Amorous, athirst of that sweet influent love.

Flushed as one afire with wine.

Like snow-coloured petals
Of blossoms that flee
From storm that unsettles
The flower as the tree
They flutter.

Fluttering like spent fire.

Eyelids folded like a white-rose leaf.

Forged like steel and tempered thought.

Forgotten as changes of dreams.

Forgotten like spilt wine.

Forked like the loveliest lightnings.

Foul as plague-polluted gloom.

Fragrant as the dewfall.

As birds that breast and brave the sea.

Free as the circling sea.

Free as heaven.

Free-born as winds and stars and waves are free.

Freer than birds or dreams are free.

Fresh as the spirit of sunrise.

Fresh as a sea-flower.

Fruitful as a sheltering palm.

Full as a feaster’s hand
Fills full with bloom of bland
Bright wine his cup.

Gathering … As broken breakers rally and roar
The loud wind down that drives off shore.

Gather … like flies in the sun.

Gay as April ere he dreams of May.

Glad as a bird whose flight is impelled and sustained by love.

Glad as the golden spring to greet
Its first live leaflet’s play.

Glance and gleam like the green heights of sunset heaven.

Gleams as a ghost’s glory in dreams.

Gleam broad as the brows of the billows that brighten the storm with their crests.

Gleam like a cloud the westering sun stains red
Till all the blood of day’s blithe heart be bled
And all night’s heart requickened.

Gleams like spring’s green bloom on boughs all gaunt and gnarry.

Like the green heights of sunset heaven.

Glittering as the wine-bright jacinth-stone.

Glittering as wine.

Sweet and glorious as compassion.

Glorious as the sea.

Rose glorious as with gleam of gold unpriced.

As a heart burns with some divine thing done.

Gnaw like fire.

Gold as golden as the gold of hives.

Golden as water kindled with presage of dawn or night.

Gracious as the golden maiden morn
When darkness craves her blessing.

Grey as a flower ruined.

Green as summer.

Was as a last year’s leaf
Blown dead far down the wind’s way.

Grim as dreams that quicken from dead men’s graves.

Grim as hell.

Grows great as the moon through the month.

Haggard as crime.

Haggard as fear.

Haggard as hell.

Haggard as the face of night.

A baby’s hands, like rosebuds furled.

Hard as the push of death.

Harmless as my life’s first day.

Harmless as the lightning life of song.

Harsh as the bitterness of death.

Like a jagged shell’s lips, harsh.

Hateful as the grave.

Heart heaved as a man’s death-smitten with a dart
That smites him sleeping, warm and full of life.

Held you …
As flesh holds flesh, and the soul the soul.

Hewn as if with stroke of swords in tempest steeled.

High as the sunniest heights of kindliest thought.

Hisses as with mouths of snakes and wolves at bay.

Hoary as ashes that show not a gleam.

Hoar as the hawthorn blossom in spring.

Hoary as weeds cast up from the hoary sea.

Hot as hell.

Hot like Mars.

Hot and close as fire.

Strives and hovers
As a bird above the brood her bosom covers.

Hovers as birds that impend on the sea.

Hungering hard as frost that feeds on flowers.

Hushed soft as the leaves and the grasses
Are hushed if the storm’s foot draws near.

Immense as the sea.

Immortal as air or as fire is.

Immortal as art and as love.

Imperceptible as the spots on the sun or the shadows on a sunlit seat.

Incarnate, as all summer in flower.

Increased as the chant of the dawn that the choir of the noon outsings.

Joyful as the sea.

Jubilant as earth.

Keen as a sword’s edge.

Keen as burns the passion of the rose.

Keen as death to smite.

Keen as flame.

Keen as hate.

Keen as iron in the flesh.

Keen as lightning’s life.

Eyes as keen as pain.

Keen as sleep and strife.

Keen as the fire’s own fang.

Keen as the heart of Mars.

Keen as hunger.

Keen as the heart’s desire.

Keen as the manslayer’s knife.

Keen as the sea’s thrill towards a kindling star.

Like the sunlight kind.

Kind as harvest in autumn.

Kind as the fostering air.

Kind as the sun in heaven.

Kindled like as heaven in June.

Heart kindling as the heart of heaven.

Kindling, as dawn a frost-bound precipice.

Kindling as a rose at breath of sunrise.

Soft laughter as of light that stirs the sea
With darkling sense of dawn ere dawn may be.

Laughter soft as tears.

Lead as a mother.

Led lovingly like hound in huntsman’s leash
Or child by finger.

Leaps clear as a flame from the pyres of the dead.

Leaps like fire.

Leap up
As red wine mantling in a royal cup.

Leaps up as the foe’s heart leaps.

Light as a laugh of glee.

Heart is as light as a leaf on a tree.

Light as a spring south-wind.

Light as foam.

Light as laugh of flame.

Light as riotous insolence.

A hand at the door taps light as the hand of my heart’s delight.

Light as the spray that disperses.

Listless as the summer-stricken air.

Lithe as lips
That curl in touching you.

Locked as in a wrestle together.

Her sorrow as long
As the passage of numberless ages in slumberless song.

Loose as the petals of roses discrowned.

Loud as the winds when stormy spring
Makes all the woodland rage and ring.

Loud as when the storm at ebb-tide rends the beach.

Love him as Frenchmen love Napoleon.

Low as broken crown.

Lowering as a storm-flushed moon.

Lurid as anguish.

Lustrous as laughter.

Masterful as fate.

Mild as the murmuring of Hymettian bees
And honied as their harvest.

Mild as very sleep.

Mocks as whom the fen-fire leads
By the creed-wrought faith of faithless souls that mock their doubts with creeds.

Moist as a desert with dew.

Molten as lead.

Mourn like a boy beaten.

Mouth tremulous light as a sea-bird’s motion oversea.

Her mouth
Was as a rose athirst that pants for drouth.

Red mouth like a venomous flower.

Mouth sweeter than cherries.

Murmurs as who talks in dreams with death.

Mutable as sand.

Mute as a maiden.

Mute as the mouth which felt death’s wave o’erflow it.

Muttering like smoked bees.

In one,
As all the stars found utterance through the sun.

Pale and pure as a maiden secluded in secret and cherished in fear.

Pale and sweet as a dream’s delight.

Pale as grass or later flowers.

Pale as the duskiest lily’s leaf.

Pale as the front of oblivion.

Pale as the glimmer of stars on moorland meres.

Pale as the moon in star-forsaken skies.

Pale … as twilight.

Paler than young snow.

Pallid and pink as the palm of the flag-flower that flickers with fear of the flies as they float.

Palpitant as men’s pulses palpitate
Between the flowing and ebbing tides of fate
That wash their lifelong waifs of weal and woe
Through night and light and twilight to and fro.

Panting, and swept as by the sense of death.

Panted like a sick man’s fitful breath.

And pass as love and sorrow pass,
As shadows flashing down a glass,
As dew-flowers blowing in flowerless grass.

Passes as the grey dew from the morning mountain grasses.

Pass as the flight of a year.

Patient as the hours.

Perfect as a flame
That springs and spreads, till each glad limb became
A note of rapture in the tune of life.

Perish, as haze in sunrise on the red sea-line.

Perish as the snow built up of sleep.

Pinches like a trap that shuts.

Pitiful as he that’s hired for death
And loves the slaying yet better than the hire.

Pleasant as a scented mouth to kiss.

Pure and painless as a virgin’s dreams.

Pure as at the daydawn of the world.

Pure as faith.

Pure as Eden’s dew.

Desire pure as babe’s that nestles toward the breast.

Pure as fire or flowers or snows.

Pure as heaven.

Pure as love’s heart is.

Pure as one purged of pain that passion bore.

Pure as the dawn and the dew.

Pure as the depth of pain.

Pure as the wind and the sun.

Pure as truth.

Purges as with fire of purgatory.

Quenched as a flame.

Quiet as the sun.

Quivering as when life is hard on death.

Races as dust and surf of the sea.

Rapture like the rage of hate allayed
With ruin and ravin that its might hath made.

Ravenous as the fitful sea.

Readily as condemned men take reprieve.

Recedes as a dream recedes.

Recoils, and climbs and closes,
As a wave of the sea turned back.

Red as dawn.

Red as hate.

Red as hot brows of shame.

Red as love or shame.

Lips red as morning’s rise.

Red as the rains of hell.

Reeked as a wet red grave.

Reeked as fumes from hell.

Reels as any reed under the wind.

As waves wind-thwarted on the sea.

Is rent as carrion by the vulturous beaks
That feed on fame and soil it.

Righteous as redemption.

Ring as trumpets blown for battle.

Rings as the blast of martial mirth when trumpets fire men’s hearts for fray.

Rings clean as the clear wind’s cry through the roar of the surge on the rocks.

The peril ripens like a wound o’ the flesh
That gathers poison.

Rising as a shoreward sea.

Roam as wolves in a wolfish horde.

As waves that race and find no goal.

Rot as corn ungarnered.

Round as a pearl or tear.

Rous’d like a huntsman to the chase.

Routed … like a lost army.

His lips waxed ruddy as light.

Run ravening as the Gadarean swine.

Sad as a soul estranged.

Sad as a wintry withering moon.

Bare and sad as banishment.

Sad as doom.

Sapped as weak sand by water.

Scattered them as crows.

Scatter as wild swans parting adrift on the wan green waste.

Sealed as the voice of a frost-bound stream.

Shakes like flame.

Shaken like spray from the sea.

Shamed as a Mayflower shames an autumn leaf.

Shapeless as a shadow.

Sharp as the north sets when the snows are out.

More sharp than is the naked side of war.

Shattered, like a stranded bark
On the wrathful woful marge of earth and sea.

Shed loose as the petals of roses discrowned
On the floors of the forest.

The rays run sheer as fire from the sun through the dusk of the pine-wood.

Shone and shivered like wings of angels blown by the sun’s breath.

Shines as a cloud-constraining star.

Shone like a burning brand.

Shone like a drop of dew.

Shining like all April in one day.

Shining like a sunbeam-smitten tear.

Shone like the star that shines down storm.

Shine sweet like stars when darkness feels them strong.

Shone like suns aglow.

Shoots, as a fire to smite some towering town.

Shriek like a storm-wind.

Shrinks, as might love from scorn.

Shrouded as a corpse with storm’s grey shroud.

Shuddering like a shot bird.

My heart is shut
As a sealed spring of fire.

Sick as Lent.

Spread sideways like a drawing net.

Went sideways as a big fish flaps
And shoves with head and body.

Silent as a mountain lawn.

Silent as time.

Silent as a stooping cloud.

Single as the sun.

Sink down as a sunset in sea-mist.

Sinless as the spring.

Skulk … like a dog shivering.

Slays as plague’s blind breath.

Sleep as a slain man sleeps.

Sleepless of soul as wind or wave or fire.

Slight as indeed a dew-drop.

Slight as the sea’s sight of the sea-mew,
Slight as the sun’s sight of the star.

Slowlier than life into breath … it moves.

Smiles more sweet than flowers.

Smiled as dawn on the spirit of man.

Smiled as one living even on craft and hate.

Smiling dim
As the smile on a lip still fearful.

As though the spirit and sense unreconciled
Sank laughing back, and would not ere its hour
Let life put forth the irrevocable flower.

Smiled … like song’s triumphant breath.

Smiling, like a star in the blackest night.

Soft and listless as the slumber-stricken air.

Soft as a low long sigh.

Soft as lip is soft to lip.

Soft as at noon the slow sea’s rise and fall.

Soft … as desire that prevails and fades.

Soft as fire in dew.

Soft as hate speaks within itself apart.

Soft as heaven the stream that girdles hell.

Soft as lips that laugh.

Soft as o’er her babe the smile of Mary.

Soft as a weak wind blows.

Soft as sleep sings in a tired man’s ear.

Soft as snow lights on her snow-soft flesh.

Soft as swan’s plumes are.

Borne soft as the babe from the bearing-bed.

Soft …
As the clouds and beams of night.

Soft as the least wave’s lapse in a still small reach.

Soft as the loosening of wound arms in sleep.

Sorrow, like cloud that flies,
Like a cloud in clearing skies,
Passed away.

As who bids dead men wake.

Swift with speech like fire in fiery lands
To melt the steel’s edge in the headsman’s hands.

Splendid as the limbs of that supreme incarnate beauty through men’s visions gleam,
Whereof all fairest things are even but shadow or dream.

Cold and splendid as death if dawn be bright.

Splendid and strange as the sea that upbears as an ark.

The soul squats down in the flesh, like a tinker drunk in a ditch.

Steadfast as a sea-mew’s wing.

Steadfast as clouds or hours in flight.

Stern and still
As hours and years that change and anguish fill.

Stern as Medea in her dragon car.

Still as fair shapes fixed on some wondrous wall
Of minster-aisle or cloister-close or hall
To take even time’s eye prisoner with delight.

Stung like fire.

Stirred like springtide waters.

And with such song the hollow ways were stirred
As of a god’s heart hidden in a bird,
Or as the whole soul of the sun in spring
Should find full utterance in one flower-soft word.

Straight as thought could span.

One great strain of joy as the sea breaking.

Strange as are night and morning, stars and sun.

Strange as chance or doom.

Strange as hope’s green blossom touched with time’s harsh rust.

Strange as life.

Strange as light
That cleaves in twain the shadow of night
Before the wide-winged world takes flight
That thunder speaks to depth and height
And quells the quiet hour with sound.

Strange as sleep.

Strange as heaven.

Strange as fate.

Strange as the sea.

Dark with strife,
Like heaven’s own sun that storming clouds bedim.

As toward the sundawn strives the lark.

Strove as in toils.

Strove … like song’s triumphant breath.

Strong as a wild swan’s pinions.

Strong as grows the yearning of the blossom toward the fruit.

Strong as love.

Strong as the seas.

Strong as the worldwide sun.

Strong as sheer truth.

Strong as time.

Strong like fate.

As faith sublime.

Sublime and triumphant as fire or as lightning.

As God were man, to spare or to forget.

Sublime as storm or sorrow.

Sublime as truth.

Subtle as thin water.

Sudden as a flame.

Sure as night is known from day.

Sure as present pain is.

Sure as truth.

Sure as sense of beast or bird.

Surely as the day-star loves the sun.

As storm across his soul that kept
Wild watch, and watched not well.

Sweet-hearted as a bird that takes the sun
With clear strong eyes and feels the glad god run
Bright through his blood and wide rejoicing wings,
And opens all himself to heaven and sings.

Sweet as April-clouded skies.

Sweet as a child’s heart-lightening laugh to hear.

Sweet-souled as a dove.

Sweet as all the wide sweet south.

Sweet as death-annihilating song.

Sweet as dream’s delight.

Sweet and comely as a dove’s throat strained out to sing.

Sweet as early kisses of a mouth
Scented like honey.

Sweet as hope’s first note of jubilation.

Sweet as life or death can be.

Sweet as rest.

As running streams to men’s way-wearied feet.

Sweet as sleep on sorrow shed.

Sweet as sound the moving wings of night.

Sweet and good as summer air.

Sweet as forgiveness.

Sweet as night’s dim dawn to weariness.

Sweet as the balm of sleep.

Sweet as the change that leaves the world in flower when spring laughs winter down to deathward.

Sweet as the dewfall.

Sweet as the flower that itself is May.

Sweet as the kiss wherewith sleep kisses pain.

Sweet as the spasm of erotic emotional error.

Sweet as the winds that beat
Round banks where Tyne is born.

Sweet as when earth was new.

Sweet as when
Laughs a child of seven.

A sound more sweet than April’s flower-sweet rain.

Sweeter than joy-bells ringing.

Swift and steadfast as a sea-mew’s wing.

Swift as a shadow.

Made my blood burn and swoon
Like a flame rained upon.

Taps light
As the hand of my heart’s delight.

Grasp tenacious as a viper’s.

Tender as a hurt bird’s note.

Tender as tears.

Tender as sun-smitten dew.

Tender as the inside of the eyelid.

Tense as a war-steed girth.

Tense as wire.

Terrible as fire.

Thick as buds in April.

Thick as the darkness of leaf-shadowed spring is encumbered with flowers.

Lie thick as the blades of the grasses
The dead in their graves.

Thick as grave-worms.

Thinned, as the shades in a vision of spirits that sinned.

Thrill as a theatre thronged at appeal of an actor’s appalled agitation.

Thrilled as by the clangorous call
Of storm’s blown trumpets from the core of night.

Like the whole world’s heart, with warm new life and gladdening flame.

Thronged, as to storm sweet heaven’s triumphal gate.

Time is as wind, and as waves are we.

With tongue is like a sword’s point.

Tongueless as she whom a man-snake stung.

Transformed as night or as day by the kindling year.

Transforming sleep, like that of the chrysalis.

Transient as faith or as terror that bows men’s knees.

Tremble as with love that casts out fear.

Trembled like a stricken thrall.

Tremble like lute-strings.

Tremulous like fire.

Triumph like the bitterness of death.

Triumphant as the sun.

Trodden as grapes in the wine-press of lust.

True as truth’s own heart.

Turning as a turning wave
Against the land-wind.

All undone,
As earth from her bright body casts off night.

Uplift as the hearts and the mouths of the singers, on the leaside and lawn.

Upright as a sheer cliff’s wall.

Vain as a dead man’s vision.

Valor higher than that which casts out fear.

Vast as the mid bulk of a roof-tree’s beam.

As the storm shifts of the tempestuous year.

Voice like quiring waves.

Voice …
That rings athwart the sea whence no man steers
Like joy-bells crossed with death-bells in our ears.

Wailed as in some flooded cave
Sobs the strong broken spirit of a wave.

Wail … as one making moan for her child.

As a dead face wan and dun.

Wan as foam blown up by the sunburnt sands.

As a dream dies down and is dead.

Warm and soft as the dome aloft.

Glow warm as the thyme.

Like an ember among the fallen embers.

Waste like death.

Wave as with swing of the sea
When the mid tide sways at its height.

His face waxed like as sunburnt grass.

Weak as foam on the sands.

Weak as hearts made sick with hope deferred.

Weak as snow.

Repentance … weak as night devoured by day.

Weaker than the worm.

White as dead stark-stricken dove.

White as faith’s and age’s hue.

White as moonlight snows.

White as the live heart of light.

White as the sparkle of snow-flowers in the sun.

White as the unfruitful thorn-flower.

Wide as life.

Willing as the springtide sea gives up
Her will to the eastern sea-wind’s.

Withered all our strength like flame.

Withheld as things forbidden.

Wizen, like a small dry tree.

My words are like spoken roses.

With all the rhymes like stars above you,
And all the words like flowers.

Words like swords and thunderclouded creeds.

Worthless all as sands.

Woven as raiment.

Yearning as with child of death.

Yelled as beasts of ravin.

Yellow as pestilence.

Young as dawn.