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

Algernon Charles Swinburne 1837–1909

The Roundel


A ROUNDEL is wrought as a ring or a sphere,

With craft of delight and with cunning of sound unsought,

That the heart of the hearer may smile if to pleasure his ear

A roundel is wrought.

Its jewel of music is carven of all or of aught—

Love, laughter or mourning, remembrance of rapture or fear—

That fancy may fashion to hang in the ear of thought.

As a bird’s quick song runs round, and the hearts in us hear

Pause answer to pause, and again the same strain caught,

So moves the device whence, round as a pearl or tear,

A roundel is wrought.