Sonnets on English Dramatic Poets (1590-1650): Thomas Decker

A poem by Algernon Charles Swinburne

Out of the depths of darkling life where sin
Laughs piteously that sorrow should not know
Her own ill name, nor woe be counted woe;
Where hate and craft and lust make drearier din
Than sounds through dreams that grief holds revel in;
What charm of joy-bells ringing, streams that flow,
Winds that blow healing in each note they blow,
Is this that the outer darkness hears begin?
O sweetest heart of all thy time save one,
Star seen for love’s sake nearest to the sun,
Hung lamplike o’er a dense and doleful city,
Not Shakespeare’s very spirit, howe’er more great,
Than thine toward man was more compassionate,
Nor gave Christ praise from lips more sweet with pity.

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