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6007

D783




Drew

The passing of the Master-
Singer




THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY
OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES






THE PASSING OF THP:
MASTER-SINGER



/I Threnody on t *.c of

Algernon Charles



BERNARD DREW



XonDon :

PUBLISHED BY DAVID NUTT
57-59 LONG ACRE



THE PASSING OF THE
MASTER-SINGER



A Threnody on the Death of

Algernon Charles Swinburne



BERtf&fflD DREW



'



Xon&on :

PUBLISHED BY DAVID NUTT
57-59 LONG ACRE



The
Passing of the Master-Singer

SLEEP falls upon him, and his crown of
IT

life

Slips from his brow, and only that remains
Which song most mighty and most godlike

gains,

Of greener laurel than the Olympic strife
Gave to the victors. His are ageless bays
That nothing reck nor know of earthly days
His the eternal aureole of the sun,
From out whose flaming palaces there stream
Life and the light thereof, that ceaseless

run
Unseen beneath the current of each year,

960S08



And suddenly and terribly appear

In some great dreamer of a mighty dream.

Mourn, let us mourn with bitterness and tears,

Because across his years

Whose voice sang all the splendour of the sea,

Night falls in sudden onslaught. O lament

Because his day is spent,

His little day of temporal life and breath ;

Yet here alone, O Grave, thy victory,

And here thy utmost triumphing O Death !

For round that lofty head

Are woven laurels nothing can untwine,

Fresh from the dwelling of the sacred Nine,

Who leave no priest of theirs among the dead

With feet unshod and brow ungarlanded,

But o'er him breathe a spell whose potent

weight

Storms Time's relentless adamantine gate,
O'erthrows his hoary tower, and on its site
Kindles a beacon through the dusky night.



Now as the breath of Spring awakes and

thrills

To sudden beauty every leafy dell,
And every lane and meadow swiftly fills
With crocus blooms, and primroses aflame
Proclaim the lovely fitness of their name-
Now as these hasten forth they hear the knell
Of him who loved them well,
Of him whose life was fashioned of pure song,
Fulfilling all his days with one great spell
Of perfect beauty, that nor years nor long
Reiterate beating of the waves of Time
Can anyway efface, whose reign shall be
One with the ancient tumult of the sea,
One with the fathomless reverberate chime
To which the white waves list, as they advance
In leashless congregation o'er the deep,
That knows no rune of slumber nor of sleep.
Nay, though in moon-led trance,
Its hidden fountains seem awhile at rest
Beneath the ageless breast,



Flows on, unheeding, the unbridled sea ;
And thus for ever changelessly shall be
His fame for whom we shed our tears to-day,
And mingle cypress with the unfading bay
That crowns him in his immortality.

Now he lies wrapped in sleep,

With sea-born dreams afloat upon the breeze,

Unslumbering vigil let the ocean keep

O'er him who chanted of its mysteries ;

And with the voice of many waters falling,

Let him for ever be encompassed round :

With music like to his the soul enthralling

With sweet and subtle sound.

Be this the only dirge or note of sorrow

Poured out for him, though all seem

wrapped in gloom,

And dead all hope of any bright to-morrow,
And Song asleep within his silent tomb.

Now thou art gone from hence

Master, what can we say of thee and thine



Those magic goblets of enchanted wine

That showed thee filled with all omnipotence

To bind our every sense ?

What part is left unto us but to weep,

For in our heaven of song a star goes out,

And thou unto the inviolate silence, deep

As Night or Death returnest, and about

Thy head the shadows throng.

Hushed is thy harp ; no more in wondrous

song

Its chords shall tremble, and the music roll
Resistlessly upon the listening soul,
For thou hast launched upon that darkling

sea

Where Time is not, but dread Eternity.
Now to thy brother art thou gone whose spell
Bade thee acclaim thy kinship with his race :
Sweet-tongued Catullus looking on thy face,
Shall breathe no more his piteous farewell,
For in that clime where thou art gone apart
Two brethren he has clasped unto his heart.



8

O regal in the largesse of thy praise,
Master and lord that raised'st to the skies
Paeans of glory, wondrous symphonies,
For those who through Life's many-winding

maze

Held splendid and inimitable state,
How shall we dare or hope to emulate
Thy everlasting and immortal strain
In rendering thee the guerdon of thy due ?
Save we might once again
His voice awake, his glorious tongue renew,
His magic learn, who as a flaming star
Flashing a fiery course in Attic skies,
And thence enkindling universal heaven,
Hymned in majestic utterance the proud

car,
Whether from his own Thebes, whose portals

seven

Rang to the din of fratricidal war,
Or from whatever citadels still rise
In golden song athwart Time's dusky night,



9

That down the Olympic course hurled first in

flight !

But since the ruthless and unheeding years
Awake no more a voice that once is still,
We, blinded with the tumult of our tears,
Yet strive to sing thy laud now thou art gone,
That as a flaming son of morning shone
Till thou of song and fame hadst drunk thy

fill.

So, master, through the night that now is ours,
Since thy sweet Even chimed her vesper-bell,
We, through the gloom of all our sunless hours,
Breathe unto thee a piteous, long farewell !

April May, 1909.



BY THE SAME AUTHOR

" Cassandra and other Poems "

2nd Edition
//- net.



PUBLISHED BY DAVID NUTT
57-59 LONG ACRE, LONDON, W.C.






UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY

Los Angeles
This book is DUE on the last date stamped below.



Form L9-50m-4,'61(B8994s4)444



PR

6007 Drew -
D?83p Passinp of the
master-sinper




PR

6007

D783P





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Online LibraryBernard DrewThe passing of the master-singer; a threnody on the death of Algernon Charles Swinburne → online text (page 1 of 1)