by Algernon Charles Swinburne

Spring, and the light and sound of things on earth
Requickening, all within our green sea's girth;
A time of passage or a time of birth
   Fourscore years since as this year, first and last.

The sun is all about the world we see,
The breath and strength of very spring; and we
Live, love, and feed on our own hearts; but he
   Whose heart fed mine has passed into the past.

Past, all things born with sense and blood and breath;
The flesh hears nought that now the spirit saith.
If death be like as birth and birth as death,
   The first was fair — more fair should be the last.

Fourscore years since, and come but one month more
The count were perfect of his mortal score
Whose sail went seaward yesterday from shore
   To cross the last of many an unsailed sea.

Light, love and labour up to life's last height,
These three were stars unsetting in his sight;
Even as the sun is life and heat and light
   And sets not nor is dark when dark are we.

The life, the spirit, and the work were one
That here — ah, who shall say, that here are done?
Not I, that know not; father, not thy son,
   For all the darkness of the night and sea.

      March 5, 1877

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