Home  »  library  »  poem  »  In Memory of Walter Savage Landor

C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

In Memory of Walter Savage Landor

By Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837–1909)

BACK to the flower-town, side by side,

The bright months bring,

New-born, the bridegroom and the bride,

Freedom and spring.

The sweet land laughs from sea to sea,

Filled full of sun;

All things come back to her, being free—

All things but one.

In many a tender wheaten plot,

Flowers that were dead

Live, and old suns revive; but not

That holier head.

By this white wandering waste of sea,

Far north, I hear

One face shall never turn to me

As once this year;

Shall never smile and turn and rest

On mine as there,

Nor one most sacred hand be prest

Upon my hair.

I came as one whose thoughts half linger,

Half run before;

The youngest to the oldest singer

That England bore.

I found him whom I shall not find

Till all grief end,

In holiest age our mightiest mind,

Father and friend.

But thou, if anything endure,

If hope there be,

O spirit that man’s life left pure,

Man’s death set free,—

Not with disdain of days that were,

Look earthward now:

Let dreams revive the reverend hair,

The imperial brow:

Come back in sleep; for in the life

Where thou art not

We find none like thee. Time and strife

And the world’s lot

Move thee no more; but love at least

And reverent heart

May move thee, royal and released

Soul, as thou art.

And thou, his Florence, to thy trust

Receive and keep—

Keep safe his dedicated dust,

His sacred sleep.

So shall thy lovers, come from far,

Mix with thy name

As morning-star with evening-star

His faultless fame.