Victor Hugo: L’archipel de la Manche

A poem by Algernon Charles Swinburne

Sea and land are fairer now, nor aught is all the same,
Since a mightier hand than Time’s hath woven their votive wreath.
Rocks as swords half drawn from out the smooth wave’s jewelled sheath,
Fields whose flowers a tongue divine hath numbered name by name,
Shores whereby the midnight or the noon clothed round with flame
Hears the clamour jar and grind which utters from beneath
Cries of hungering waves like beasts fast bound that gnash their teeth,
All of these the sun that lights them lights not like his fame;
None of these is but the thing it was before he came
Where the darkling overfalls like dens of torment seethe,
High on tameless moorlands, down in meadows bland and tame,
Where the garden hides, and where the wind uproots the heath,
Glory now henceforth for ever, while the world shall be,
Shines, a star that keeps not time with change on earth and sea.

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