Sonnets on English Dramatic Poets (1590-1650): James Shirley

A poem by Algernon Charles Swinburne

The dusk of day’s decline was hard on dark
When evening trembled round thy glowworm lamp
That shone across her shades and dewy damp
A small clear beacon whose benignant spark
Was gracious yet for loiterers’ eyes to mark,
Though changed the watchword of our English camp
Since the outposts rang round Marlowe’s lion ramp,
When thy steed’s pace went ambling round Hyde Park.
And in the thickening twilight under thee
Walks Davenant, pensive in the paths where he,
The blithest throat that ever carolled love
In music made of morning’s merriest heart,
Glad Suckling, stumbled from his seat above
And reeled on slippery roads of alien art.

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