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In Harbour



I.

Goodnight and goodbye to the life whose signs denote us
As mourners clothed with regret for the life gone by;
To the waters of gloom whence winds of the dayspring float us
Goodnight and goodbye.

A time is for mourning, a season for grief to sigh;
But were we not fools and blind, by day to devote us
As thralls to the darkness, unseen of the sundawn's eye?

We have drunken of Lethe at length, we have eaten of lotus;
What hurts it us here that sorrows are born and die?
We have said to the dream that caressed and the dread that smote us
Goodnight and goodbye.

II.

Outside of the port ye are moored in, lying
Close from the wind and at ease from the tide,
What sounds come swelling, what notes fall dying
Outside?

They will not cease, they will not abide:
Voices of presage in darkness crying
Pass and return and relapse aside.

Ye see not, but hear ye not wild wings flying
To the future that wakes from the past that died?
Is grief still sleeping, is joy not sighing
Outside?

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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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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    "In Harbour" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 7 Dec. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/1334/in-harbour>.

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