Dysthanatos

Algernon Charles Swinburne 1837 (London) – 1909 (London)



BY no dry death another king goes down
The way of kings. Yet may no free man’s voice,
For stern compassion and deep awe, rejoice
That one sign more is given against the crown,
That one more head those dark red waters drown
Which rise round thrones whose trembling equipoise
Is propped on sand and bloodshed and such toys
As human hearts that shrink at human frown.
The name writ red on Polish earth, the star
That was to outshine our England’s in the far
East heaven of empire where is one that saith
Proud words now, prophesying of this White Czar?
‘In bloodless pangs few kings yield up their breath,
Few tyrants perish by no violent death,’

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

36 sec read
99

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABBAABCADDEDEE
Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 646
Words 121
Stanzas 1
Stanza Lengths 14

Algernon Charles Swinburne

Algernon Charles Swinburne was an English poet, playwright, novelist, and critic. He wrote several novels and collections of poetry such as Poems and Ballads, and contributed to the famous Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. Swinburne wrote about many taboo topics, such as lesbianism, cannibalism, sado-masochism, and anti-theism. His poems have many common motifs, such as the ocean, time, and death. Several historical people are featured in his poems, such as Sappho ("Sapphics"), Anactoria ("Anactoria"), Jesus ("Hymn to Proserpine": Galilaee, La. "Galilean") and Catullus ("To Catullus"). more…

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