Eurydice - To Victor Hugo

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



Orpheus, the night is full of tears and cries,
  And hardly for the storm and ruin shed
  Can even thine eyes be certain of her head
Who never passed out of thy spirit's eyes,
But stood and shone before them in such wise
  As when with love her lips and hands were fed,
  And with mute mouth out of the dusty dead
Strove to make answer when thou bad'st her rise.

Yet viper-stricken must her lifeblood feel
  The fang that stung her sleeping, the foul germ
  Even when she wakes of hell's most poisonous worm,
Though now it writhe beneath her wounded heel.
  Turn yet, she will not fade nor fly from thee;
  Wait, and see hell yield up Eurydice.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

37 sec read
129

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABBAABBA CDDCXA
Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 639
Words 122
Stanzas 2
Stanza Lengths 8, 6

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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