Sonnets on English Dramatic Poets (1590-1650): Beaumont and Fletcher

A poem by Algernon Charles Swinburne

An hour ere sudden sunset fired the west,
Arose two stars upon the pale deep east.
The hall of heaven was clear for night’s high feast,
Yet was not yet day’s fiery heart at rest
Love leapt up from his mother’s burning breast
To see those warm twin lights, as day decreased,
Wax wider, till when all the sun had ceased
As suns they shone from evening’s kindled crest
Across them and between, a quickening fire,
Flamed Venus, laughing with appeased desire.
Their dawn, scarce lovelier for the gleam of tears,
Filled half the hollow shell ’twixt heaven and earth
With sound like moonlight, mingling moan and mirth,
Which rings and glitters down the darkling years.

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