Home  »  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895  »  Il Fior Degli Eroici Furori

Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

John Addington Symonds 1840–93

Il Fior Degli Eroici Furori


I BLOOM but once, and then I perish;

This plume of snow

No sun or soft south wind will cherish—

’T is drooping now.

Black streams beneath me foam and thunder;

Their icy breath,

There where the rocks are rent asuuder,

Wooes me with death.

Still like a fair imperial streamer

I float and flaunt;

I am no light luxurious dreamer,

Whom dangers daunt.

For me no delicate life-lover

Will dare to bow;

My pyramid of bloom shall cover

No craven’s brow.

But should some youth on whom the splendor

Of hope is high,

Who loves with love superb and tender

What cannot die,

Pass by this dark and awful dwelling,

He shall not shrink

From slippery rock or sick waves swelling

To the black brink;

But stoop and pluck the song I utter

Of death and joy:

Yea, my free plume of snow shall flutter

To great the boy.