Home  »  Familiar Quotations  »  Algernon Charles Swinburne 1837-1909 John Bartlett

John Bartlett (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.

Algernon Charles Swinburne 1837-1909 John Bartlett

    Before the beginning of years
  There came to the making of man
Time with a gift of tears,
  Grief with a glass that ran,
Pleasure with pain for leaven,
  Summer with flowers that fell,
Remembrance fallen from heaven,
  And Madness risen from hell,
Strength without hands to smite,
  Love that endures for a breath;
Night, the shadow of light,
  And Life, the shadow of death.
          Atalanta in Calydon. Chorus.
    His speech is a burning fire.
          Atalanta in Calydon. Chorus.
    His life is a watch or a vision
  Between a sleep and a sleep.
          Atalanta in Calydon. Chorus.
    At the door of life by the gate of breath,
There are worse things waiting for men than death.
          The Triumph of Time.
    And lo, between the sundawn and the sun
His day’s work and his night’s work are undone:
And lo, between the nightfall and the light,
He is not, and none knoweth of such an one.
          Laus Veneris.
    Ah, yet would God this flesh of mine might be
Where air might wash and long leaves cover me;
Where tides of grass break into foam of flowers,
Or where the wind’s feet shine along the sea.
          Laus Veneris.
    Marvellous mercies and infinite love.
          Les Noyades.
    Forget that I remember
  And dream that I forget.
    Our way is where God knows
  And Love knows where:
We are in Love’s hand to-day.
          Love at Sea.
    Despair the twin-born of devotion.
    From too much love of living,
  From hope and fear set free,
We thank with brief thanksgiving
  Whatever gods may be
That no man lives forever,
That dead men rise up never;
That even the weariest river
  Winds somewhere safe to sea.
          The Garden of Proserpine.
    For in the days we know not of
    Did fate begin
Weaving the web of days that wove
    Your doom.
    I remember the way we parted,
  The day and the way we met;
You hoped we were both broken-hearted
  And knew we should both forget.
          An Interlude.
    And the best and the worst of this is
  That neither is most to blame,
If you have forgotten my kisses
  And I have forgotten your name.
          An Interlude.
    Change lays not her hand upon truth.
    Stately, kindly, lordly friend
Here to sit by me.
          To a Cat.
    Not with dreams, but with blood and with iron,
  Shall a nation be moulded at last.
          A Word for the Country.
    Who knows but on their sleep may rise
Such light as never heaven let through
To lighten earth from Paradise?
          A Baby’s Death.
    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.
          Etude réalistique.
    Like rose-hued sea-flowers toward the heat,
  They stretch and spread and wink
Their ten soft buds that part and meet.
          Etude réalistique.
    The sweetest flowers in all the world—
  A baby’s hands.
          Etude réalistique.
            Though our works
Find righteous or unrighteous judgment, this
At least is ours, to make them righteous.
          Marini Faliero. Act iii. Sc. 1.
    My loss may shine yet goodlier than your gain
When Time and God give judgment.
          Marini Faliero. Act. v. Sc. 2.
    Is not Precedent indeed a King of men?
          A Word from the Psalmist.
    Fear that makes faith may break faith.
          Bothwell. Act i. Sc. 3.
          There grows
No herb of help to heal a coward heart.
          Bothwell. Act ii. Sc. 13.
    The thorns he spares when the rose is taken;
  The rocks are left when he wastes the plain;
The wind that wanders, the weeds wind-shaken,
      These remain.
          A forsaken Garden.
    Though one were fair as roses
His beauty clouds and closes.
          The Garden of Proserpine.
    Gone deeper than all plummets sound.
    Ah that such sweet things should be fleet,
Such fleet things sweet!
    Those eyes the greenest of things blue
  The bluest of things grey.
      It is long since Mr. Carlyle expressed his opinion that if any poet or other literary creature could really be “killed off by one critique” or many, the sooner he was so despatched the better; a sentiment in which I for one humbly but heartily concur.
          Under the Microscope.
      A blatant Bassarid of Boston, a rampant Maenad of Massachusetts.
          Under the Microscope.
      To wipe off the froth of falsehood from the foaming lips of inebriated virtue, when fresh from the sexless orgies of morality and reeling from the delirious riot of religion, may doubtless be a charitable office.
          Under the Microscope.
      The more congenial page of some tenth-rate poeticule worn out with failure after failure and now squat in his hole like the tailless fox, he is curled up to snarl and whimper beneath the inaccessible vine of song.
          Under the Microscope.
      The tadpole poet will never grow into anything bigger than a frog; not though in that stage of development he should puff and blow himself till he bursts with windy adulation at the heels of the laureled ox.
          Under the Microscope.