On the Death of Mrs. Lynn Linton

A poem by Algernon Charles Swinburne

Kind, wise, and true as truth's own heart,
A soul that here
Chose and held fast the better part
And cast out fear,
Has left us ere we dreamed of death
For life so strong,
Clear as the sundawn's light and breath,
And sweet as song.
We see no more what here awhile
Shed light on men:
Has Landor seen that brave bright smile
Alive again?
If death and life and love be one
And hope no lie
And night no stronger than the sun,
These cannot die.
The father-spirit whence her soul
Took strength, and gave
Back love, is perfect yet and whole,
As hope might crave.
His word is living light and fire:
And hers shall live
By grace of all good gifts the sire
Gave power to give.
The sire and daughter, twain and one
In quest and goal,
Stand face to face beyond the sun,
And soul to soul.
Not we, who loved them well, may dream
What joy sublime
Is theirs, if dawn through darkness gleam,
And life through time.
Time seems but here the mask of death,
That falls and shows
A void where hope may draw not breath:
Night only knows.
Love knows not: all that love may keep
Glad memory gives:
The spirit of the days that sleep
Still wakes and lives.
But not the spirit's self, though song
Would lend it speech,
May touch the goal that hope might long
In vain to reach.
How dear that high true heart, how sweet
Those keen kind eyes,
Love knows, who knows how fiery fleet
Is life that flies.
If life there be that flies not, fair
The life must be
That thrills her sovereign spirit there
And sets it free.

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