The Lute And The Lyre

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



Deep desire, that pierces heart and spirit to the root,
Finds reluctant voice in verse that yearns like soaring fire,
Takes exultant voice when music holds in high pursuit
  Deep desire.

Keen as burns the passion of the rose whose buds respire,
Strong as grows the yearning of the blossom toward the fruit,
Sounds the secret half unspoken ere the deep tones tire.

Slow subsides the rapture that possessed love's flower-soft lute,
Slow the palpitation of the triumph of the lyre:
Still the soul feels burn, a flame unslaked though these be mute,
  Deep desire.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 14, 2023

29 sec read
107

Quick analysis:

Scheme abaB bab abaB
Closest metre Iambic hexameter
Characters 557
Words 97
Stanzas 3
Stanza Lengths 4, 3, 4

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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