A New Century

A poem by Algernon Charles Swinburne

An age too great for thought of ours to scan,
A wave upon the sleepless sea of time
That sinks and sleeps for ever, ere the chime
Pass that salutes with blessing, not with ban,
The dark year dead, the bright year born for man,
Dies: all its days that watched man cower and climb,
Frail as the foam, and as the sun sublime,
Sleep sound as they that slept ere these began.
Our mother earth, whose ages none may tell,
Puts on no change: time bids not her wax pale
Or kindle, quenched or quickened, when the knell
Sounds, and we cry across the veering gale
Farewell, and midnight answers us, Farewell;
Hail, and the heaven of morning answers, Hail.

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