Algernon Charles Swinburne



In Memory of Charles Baudelaire.


Literatur: Swinburne
Literatur: Elegie
Literatur: The Fortnightly Review

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            "Nous devrions pourtant lui porter quelques fleurs;
                     Les morts, les pauvres morts, ont de grandes douleurs,
                     Et quand Octobre souffle, émondeur des vieux arbres,
                     Son vent mélancolique à l'entour de leurs marbres,
                     Certe, ils doivent trouver les vivants bien ingrats."
                                                                          Les Fleurs du Mal.


5                                         I.

SHALL I strew on thee rose or rue or laurel,
         Brother, on this that was the veil of thee?
         Or quiet sea-flower moulded by the sea,
Or simplest growth of meadow-sweet or sorrel,
         Such as the summer-sleepy Dryads weave,
10            Waked up by snow-soft sudden rains at eve?
Or wilt thou rather, as on earth before,
         Half-faded fiery blossoms, pale with heat
         And full of bitter summer, but more sweet
To thee than gleanings of a northern shore
15            Trod by no tropic feet?

For always thee the fervid languid glories
         Allured of heavier suns in mightier skies;
         Thine ears knew all the wandering watery sighs
Where the sea sobs round Lesbian promontories,
20            The barren kiss of piteous wave to wave
         That knows not where is that Leucadian grave
Which hides too deep the supreme head of song.
         Ah, salt and sterile as her kisses were,
         The wild sea winds her and the green gulfs bear
25   Hither and thither, and vex and work her wrong,
         Blind gods that cannot spare.

Thou sawest, in thine old singing season, brother,
         Secrets and sorrows unbeheld of us:
         Fierce loves, and lovely leaf-buds poisonous,
30   Bare to thy subtler eye, but for none other
         [72] Blowing by night in some unbreathed-in clime;
         The hidden harvest of luxurious time,
Sin without shape, and pleasure without speech;
         And where strange dreams in a tumultuous sleep
35            Make the shut eyes of stricken spirits weep;
And with each face thou sawest the shadow on each,
         Seeing as men sow men reap.

O sleepless heart and sombre soul unsleeping,
         That were athirst for sleep and no more life
40            And no more love, for peace and no more strife!
Now the dim gods of death have in their keeping
         Spirit and body and all the springs of song,
         Is it well now where love can do no wrong,
Where stingless pleasure has no foam or fang
45            Behind the unopening closure of her lips?
         Is it not well where soul from body slips
And flesh from bone divides without a pang
         As dew from flower-bell drips?

It is enough; the end and the beginning
50            Are one thing to thee, who art past the end.
         O hand unclasped of unbeholden friend,
For thee no fruits to pluck, no palms for winning,
         No triumph and no labour and no lust,
         Only dead yew leaves and a little dust.
55   O quiet eyes wherein the light saith nought,
         Whereto the day is dumb, nor any night
         With obscure finger silences your sight,
Nor in your speech the sudden soul speaks thought,
         Sleep, and have sleep for light.

Now all strange hours and all strange loves are over,
         Dreams and desires and sombre songs and sweet,
         Hast thou found place at the great knees and feet
Of some pale Titan-woman like a lover,
         Such as thy vision here solicited,
65            Under the shadow of her fair vast head,
[73] The deep division of prodigious breasts,
         The solemn slope of mighty limbs asleep,
         The weight of awful tresses that still keep
The savour and shade of old-world pine-forests
70            Where the wet hill-winds weep?

Hast thou found any likeness for thy vision?
         O gardener of strange flowers, what bud, what bloom,
         Hast thou found sown, what gathered in the gloom?
What of despair, of rapture, of derision,
75            What of life is there, what of ill or good?
         Are the fruits grey like dust or bright like blood?
Does the dim ground grow any seed of ours,
         The faint fields quicken any terrene root,
         In low lands where the sun and moon are mute
80   And all the stars keep silence?   Are there flowers
         At all, or any fruit?

Alas, but though my flying song flies after,
         O sweet strange elder singer, thy more fleet
         Singing, and footprints of thy fleeter feet,
85   Some dim derision of mysterious laughter
         From the blind tongueless warders of the dead,
         Some gainless glimpse of Proserpine's veiled head,
Some little sound of unregarded tears
         Wept by effaced unprofitable eyes,
90            And from pale mouths some cadence of dead sighs –
These only, these the hearkening spirit hears,
         Sees only such things rise.

Thou art far too far for wings of words to follow,
         Far too far off for thought or any prayer.
95            What ails us with thee, who art wind and air?
What ails us gazing where all seen is hollow?
         Yet with some fancy, yet with some desire,
         Dreams pursue death as winds a flying fire,
Our dreams pursue our dead and do not find.
100            Still, and more swift than they, the thin flame flies,
         The low light fails us in elusive skies,
Still the foiled earnest ear is deaf, and blind
         Are still the eluded eyes.

[74] Not thee, O never thee, in all time's changes,
105            Not thee, but this the sound of thy sad soul,
         The shadow of thy swift spirit, this shut scroll
I lay my hand on, and not death estranges
         My spirit from communion of thy song –
         These memories and these melodies that throng
110   Veiled porches of a Muse funereal –
         These I salute, these touch, these clasp and fold
         As though a hand were in my hand to hold,
Or through mine ears a mourning musical
         Of many mourners rolled.

I among these, I also, in such station
         As when the pyre was charred, and piled the sods,
         And offering to the dead made, and their gods,
The old mourners had, standing to make libation,
         I stand, and to the gods and to the dead
120            Do reverence without prayer or praise, and shed
Offering to these unknown, the gods of gloom,
         And what of honey and spice my seedlands bear,
         And what I may of fruits in this chilled air,
And lay, Orestes-like, across the tomb
125            A curl of severed hair.

But by no hand nor any treason stricken,
         Not like the low-lying head of Him, the King,
         The flame that made of Troy a ruinous thing,
Thou liest, and on this dust no tears could quicken
130            There fall no tears like theirs that all men hear
         Fall tear by sweet imperishable tear
Down the opening leaves of holy poets' pages.
         Thee not Orestes, not Electra mourns;
         But bending us-ward with memorial urns
135   The most high Muses that fulfil all ages
         Weep, and our God's heart yearns.

For, sparing of his sacred strength, not often
         Among us darkling here the lord of light
         Makes manifest his music and his might
140   In hearts that open and in lips that soften
         [75] With the soft flame and heat of songs that shine.
         Thy lips indeed he touched with bitter wine,
And nourished them indeed with bitter bread;
         Yet surely from his hand thy soul's food came,
145            The fire that scarred thy spirit at his flame
Was lighted, and thine hungering heart he fed
         Who feeds our hearts with fame.

Therefore he too now at thy soul's sunsetting,
         God of all suns and songs, he too bends down
150            To mix his laurel with thy cypress crown,
And save thy dust from blame and from forgetting.
         Therefore he too, seeing all thou wert and art,
         Compassionate, with sad and sacred heart,
Mourns thee of many his children the last dead,
155            And hallows with strange tears and alien sighs
         Thine unmelodious mouth and sunless eyes,
And over thine irrevocable head
         Sheds light from the under skies.

And one weeps with him in the ways Lethean,
160            And stains with tears her changing bosom chill:
         That obscure Venus of the hollow hill,
That thing transformed which was the Cytherean,
         With lips that lost their Grecian laugh divine
         Long since, and face no more called Erycine;
165   A ghost, a bitter and luxurious god.
         Thee also with fair flesh and singing spell
         Did she, a sad and second prey, compel
Into the footless places once more trod,
         And shadows hot from hell.

And now no sacred staff shall break in blossom,
         No choral salutation lure to light
         A spirit sick with perfume and sweet night
And love's tired eyes and hands and barren bosom.
         [76] There is no help for these things; none to mend,
175            And none to mar; not all our songs, O friend,
Will make death clear or make life durable.
         Howbeit with rose and ivy and wild vine
         And with wild notes about this dust of thine
At least I fill the place where white dreams dwell
180            And wreathe an unseen shrine.

Sleep; and if life was bitter to thee, pardon,
         If sweet, give thanks; thou hast no more to live;
         And to give thanks is good, and to forgive.
Out of the mystic and the mournful garden
185            Where all day through thine hands in barren braid
         Wove the sick flowers of secrecy and shade,
Green buds of sorrow and sin, and remnants grey,
         Sweet-smelling, pale with poison, sanguine-hearted,
         Passions that sprang from sleep and thoughts that started,
190   Shall death not bring us all as thee one day
         Among the days departed?

For thee, O now a silent soul, my brother,
         Take at my hands this garland, and farewell.
         Thin is the leaf, and chill the wintry smell,
195   And chill the solemn earth, a fatal mother,
         With sadder than the Niobean womb,
         And in the hollow of her breasts a tomb.
Content thee, howsoe'er, whose days are done;
         There lies not any troublous thing before,
           Nor sight nor sound to war against thee more,
For whom all winds are quiet as the sun,
         All waters as the shore.





Erstdruck und Druckvorlage

The Fortnightly Review.
Bd. 3, New Series, 1868, Nr. 13, 1. Januar, S. 71-76.

Die Textwiedergabe erfolgt nach dem ersten Druck

The Fortnightly Review   online

The Fortnightly Review   inhaltsanalytische Bibliographie
The Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, 1824-1900.
Hrsg. von Walter E. Houghton. Bd. 2. Toronto 1972.





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Kommentierte Ausgaben






Shepherd, Richard Herne: The Bibliography of Swinburne.
A Bibliographical List, Arranged in Chronological Order, of the Published Writings in Verse and Prose of Algernon Charles Swinburne (1857-1887).
New Edition. London: Redway 1887.

Wise, Thomas J.: A Bibliography of the Writings in Prose and Verse of Algernon Charles Swinburne.
Vol. 1. London: Clay 1919.

Wise, Thomas J.: A Bibliography of the Writings in Prose and Verse of Algernon Charles Swinburne.
Vol. 2. London: Clay 1920.

Wise, Thomas J.: A Bibliography of the Writings in Prose and Verse of Algernon Charles Swinburne.
London: Heinemann; New York: Wells 1927 (= The Complete Works of Algernon Charles Swinburne, Bd. 20).

Swinburne, Algernon Charles: Mr. George Meredith's "Modern Love:" –
(Letter to the Editor).
In: The Spectator.
Nr. 1771, 1862, 7. Juni, S. 998-632-633.

Swinburne, Algernon Charles: Baudelaire. Les Fleurs du mal.
In: The Spectator.
Nr. 1784, 1862, 6. September, S. 998-1000 (Ungezeichnet). [PDF]

Swinburne, Algernon Charles: Poems and Ballads.
London: Hotten 1866.
S. 65-76: Anactoria.
S. 340-344: Dedication.

Swinburne, Algernon Charles: Notes on Poems and Reviews.
London: Hotten 1866.
URL:   [New York u. London 1866]

Swinburne, Algernon Charles: Mr. Arnold's New Poems.
In: The Fortnightly Review.
Bd. 2, New Series, 1867, 1. Oktober, S. 414-445.

Notes on the Royal Academy exhibition, 1868.
Part I. by Wm. Michael Rossetti.
Part II. by Algernon C. Swinburne.
London: Hotten o.J. [1868].

Swinburne, Algernon Charles: William Blake. A Critical Essay.
London: Hotten 1868.

Swinburne, Algernon Charles: AVE ATQUE VALE.
In Memory of Charles Baudelaire.
In: The Fortnightly Review.
Bd. 3, New Series, 1868, Nr. 13, 1. Januar, S. 71-76.

Swinburne, Algernon Charles: The Poems of Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
In: The Fortnightly Review.
Bd. 7, New Series, 1870, 1. Mai, S. 551-579.

Swinburne, Algernon Charles: Under the Microscope.
London: White 1872.
URL:   [Portland, Maine 1899].

Swinburne, Algernon Charles: Victor Hugo: L'Année Terrible.
In: The Fortnightly Review.
Bd. 12, New Series, 1872, 1. September, S. 243-267.

Swinburne, Algernon Charles: Essays and Studies.
London: Chatto u. Windus 1875.
S. 128-133: Matthew Arnold's New Poems.

Swinburne, Algernon Charles: Songs of the Springtides.
London: Chatto u. Windus 1880.
S. 37-64: On the Cliffs.

Swinburne, Algernon Charles: A Century of English Poetry.
In: The Fortnightly Review.
Bd. 28, New Series, 1880, 1. Oktober, S. 422-437.
Algernon Charles Swinburne: Miscellanies.
London: Chatto u. Windus 1886, S. 25-49.

Swinburne, Algernon Charles: Short Notes on English Poets:
Chaucer; Spenser; the Sonnets of Shakespeare; Milton.
In: The Fortnightly Review.
Bd. 28, New Series, 1880, 1. Dezember, S. 708-721.
Algernon Charles Swinburne: Miscellanies.
London: Chatto u. Windus 1886, S. 1-24.

Swinburne, Algernon Charles: Tennyson and Musset.
In: The Fortnightly Review.
Bd. 136, New Series, 1881, 1. Februar, S. 129-153.

Swinburne, Algernon Charles: Wordsworth and Byron.
In: The Nineteenth Century.
Bd. 15, 1884: April, S. 583-609; Mai, S. 764-790.

Swinburne, Algernon Charles: A Study of Victor Hugo.
London: Chatto u. Windus 1886.

Swinburne, Algernon Charles: Miscellanies.
London: Chatto u. Windus 1886.

Swinburne, Algernon Charles: Whitmania.
In: The Fortnightly Review.
Bd. 42, New Series, 1887, 1. August, S. 170-176.

Swinburne, Algernon Charles: Mr. Whistler's Lecture on Art.
In: The Fortnightly Review.
Bd. 43, New Series, 1888, 1. Juni, S. 745-751.

Swinburne, Algernon Charles: Studies in Prose and Poetry.
London: Chatto u. Windus 1894.

Swinburne, Algernon Charles: Les Fleurs Du Mal and Other Studies.
Hrsg. von Edmund Gosse.
London: Printed for Private Circulation 1913.

Lang, Cecil Y. (Hrsg.): The Swinburne Letters.
6 Bde. New Haven: Yale University Press 1959/62.

Swinburne, Algernon Charles: New Writings by Swinburne or Miscellanea Nova et Curiosa.
Being a Medley of Poems, Critical Essays, Hoaxes and Burlesques.
Hrsg. von Cecil Y. Lang.
Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press 1964.

Hyder, Clyde K. (Hrsg.): Swinburne Replies.
Notes on Poems and Reviews. Under the Microscope. Dedicatory Epistle.
Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press. 1966.

Swinburne, Algernon Charles: Major Poems and Selected Prose.
Hrsg. von Jerome McGann u. Charles L. Sligh.
New Haven u. London: Yale University Press 2004.

Swinburne, Algernon Charles: Uncollected Letters.
Hrsg. von Terry L. Meyers.
3 Bde. London: Pickering & Chatto, 2005.

Swinburne, Algernon Charles: Selected Writings.
Hrsg. von Francis O'Gorman.
Oxford: Oxford University Press 2020.




Literatur: Swinburne

Apel, Friedmar: Konkurrenz im Traumland. Algernon Charles Swinburne bei Stefan George, Hugo von Hofmannsthal und Rudolf Borchardt. In: George-Jahrbuch 11 (2016/17), S. 13-26.

Behlman, Lee / Loksing Moy, Olivia (Hrsg.): Victorian Verse. The Poetics of Everyday Life. Cham 2023.

Brandmeyer, Rudolf: Poetologische Lyrik. In: Handbuch Lyrik. Theorie, Analyse, Geschichte. Hrsg. von Dieter Lamping. 2. Aufl. Stuttgart 2016, S. 164-168.

Brennan, Thomas J.: Creating from Nothing. Swinburne and Baudelaire in "Ave Atque Vale". In: Victorian Poetry 44.3 (2006), S. 251-271.

Desmarais, Jane / Weir, David (Hrsg.): The Oxford Handbook of Decadence. Oxford 2022.

Evangelista, Stefano: Swinburne's French Voice. Cosmopolitanism and Cultural Mediation in Aesthetic Criticism. In: Algernon Charles Swinburne. Unofficial Laureate. Hrsg. von Catherine Maxwell u.a. Manchester 2013, S. 15-32.

Garland, Tony W.: Brothers in paradox. Swinburne, Baudelaire, and the paradox of sin. In: Victorian Poetry 47 (2009), S. 633-645.

Gymnich, Marion / Müller-Zettelmann, Eva: Metalyrik: Gattungsspezifische Besonderheiten, Formenspektrum und zentrale Funktionen. In: Metaisierung in Literatur und anderen Medien. Theoretische Grundlagen – Historische Perspektiven – Metagattungen – Funktionen. Hrsg. von Janine Hauthal u.a. Berlin u.a. 2007 (= spectrum Literaturwissenschaft / spectrum Literature, 12), S. 65-91.

Helsinger, Elizabeth K.: Poetry and the Thought of Song in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Charlottesville u. London 2015.

Higgins, Jennifer: English Responses to French Poetry 1880-1940. Translation and Mediation. Leeds 2011.

Kilbride, L. M.: Swinburne's Style. An Experiment in Verse History. Cambridge 2018.

Potolsky, Matthew: The Decadent Republic of Letters. Taste, Politics, and Cosmopolitan Community from Baudelaire to Beardsley. Philadelphia 2013.
S. 45-69: The politics of appreciation. Gautier and Swinburne on Baudelaire.

Ribeyrol, Charlotte: A Channel Passage: Swinburne and France. In: A. C. Swinburne and the Singing Word. New Perspectives on the Mature Work. Hrsg. von Yisrael Levin. Farnham 2010, S. 107-125.

Scarpa, Sébastien u.a. (Hrsg.): Swinburne and France. Paris 2012.

Zeiger, Melissa: "A Muse Funereal": The Critique of Elegy in Swinburne's "Ave Atque Vale". In: Victorian Poetry 24.2 (1986), S. 173-188.



Literatur: Elegie

Buffet, Thomas: Le Renouvellement de l’écriture élégiaque Chez Friedrich Hölderlin et André Chénier. Paris 2020.

Fuchs, Britta A.: Poetologie elegischen Sprechens. Das lyrische Ich und der Engel in Rilkes "Duineser Elegien". Würzburg 2009.

Görner, Rüdiger: Art. Elegie. In: Handbuch der literarischen Gattungen. Hrsg. von Dieter Lamping. Stuttgart 2009, S. 170-175.

Komura, Toshiaki: Lost Loss in American Elegiac Poetry. Tracing Inaccessible Grief from Stevens to Post-9/11. Lanham u.a. 2020.

Loubier, Pierre: La voix plaintive. Sentinelles de la douleur. Élégie, histoire et société sous la Restauration. Paris 2013.

Maulpoix, Jean-Michel: Une histoire de l'élégie. Poétique, histoire, anthologie. Paris 2018.

Mußgnug, Carl-Philipp: "Enge der Ordnungen" und "Ingrimm der Zeichen". Die Elegie in der zeitgenössischen deutschsprachigen Lyrik seit den 1990er Jahren. Diss. Bielefeld 2021.

Penzenstadler, Franz: Romantische Lyrik und klassizistische Tradition. Ode und Elegie in der französischen Romantik. Stuttgart 2000.

Perry, Seamus: Elegy. In: A Companion to Victorian Poetry. Hrsg. von Richard Cronin u.a. Malden, MA 2002, S. 115-133.

Reibaud, Laetitia: L'élégie européenne au XXe siècle. Persistance et métamorphoses d'un genre poétique antique. Paris 2022.

Ressel, Andrea (Hrsg.): Trauerpoetik. Die Elegie im Kontext von deutsch-britischen Literaturbeziehungen, 1750 -1850. Göttingen 2015.

Schuster, Jörg: Poetologie der Distanz. Die 'klassische' deutsche Elegie 1750 – 1800. Freiburg i.Br. 2002 (= Rombach Wissenschaften; Reihe Cultura, 25).

Thorsen, Thea S. (Hrsg.): The Cambridge Companion to Latin Love Elegy. Cambridge u.a. 2013.

Weisman, Karen (Hrsg.): The Oxford Handbook of the Elegy. Oxford u.a. 2010.

Ziolkowski, Theodore: The Classical German Elegy. Princeton, N.J. 1980.



Literatur: The Fortnightly Review

Brake, Laurel: The "Wicked Westminster", "The Fortnightly" and Walter Pater's "Renaissance".  In: Literature in the Marketplace. Nineteenth-Century British Publishing and Reading Practices.  Hrsg. von John O'Jordan u. Robert L. Patten. Cambridge 1995, S. 289-305.

Freedman, Linda: Prophecy, Poetry, and Democracy: Teaching through the International Lens of the Fortnightly Review In: Teaching Transatlanticism. Resources for Teaching Nineteenth-Century Anglo-American Print Culture. Hrsg. von Linda K. Hughes u.a. Edinburgh 2015, S. 195-208.

King, Andrew / Plunkett, Andrew (Hrsg.): Victorian Print Media. A Reader. Oxford 2005.

King, Andrew u.a. (Hrsg.): The Routledge Handbook to Nineteenth-Century British Periodicals and Newspapers. London u. New York 2019.

Small, Helen: Liberal Editing in the Fortnightly Review and the Nineteenth Century. In: Authorship in Context. From the Theoretical to the Material. Hrsg. von Kyriaki Hadjiafxendi and Polina Mackay. Basingstoke u.a. 2007, S. 56-71.

Morrisson, Mark S.: The Public Face of Modernism. Little Magazines, Audiences, and Reception, 1905-1920. Madison, Wis. u.a. 2001.
Kap 1: The Myth of the Whole and Ford's English Review: Edwardian Monthlies, the Mercure de France, and Early British Modernism (S. 17-53); hier: S. 39-48: The Edwardian Reviews: The English Review and the Fortnightly Review.

Palmegiano, E. M.: Perceptions of the Press in Nineteenth-Century British Periodicals. A Bibliography. London u.a. 2012.

Stead, Évanghélia / Védrine, Hélène (Hrsg.): L'Europe des revues II (1860-1930). Réseaux et circulations des modèles. Paris 2018.



Lyriktheorie » R. Brandmeyer