Cordula's Web. ONMT. Tichka Street, High Atlas, Morocco.
ONMT. Tichka Street, High Atlas, Morocco. HiRes. Gallery 33
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Atalanta in Calydon (II)

Algernon Charles Swinburne

Before the beginning of years
There came to the making of man
Time, with a gift of tears;
Grief, with a glass that ran;

Pleasure, with pain for leaven;
Summer, with flowers that fell;
Remembrance fallen from heaven,
And madness risen from hell;

Strength without hands to smite;
Love that endures for a breath;
Night, the shadow of light,
And life, the shadow of death.

And the high gods took in hand
Fire, and the falling of tears,
And a measure of sliding sand
From under the feet of the years;

And froth and drift of the sea;
And dust of the labouring earth;
And bodies of things to be
In the houses of death and of birth;

And wrought with weeping and laughter,
And fashioned with loathing and love
With life before and after
And death beneath and above,

For a day and a night and a morrow,
That his strength might endure for a span
With travail and heavy sorrow,
The holy spirit of man.

From the winds of the north and the south
They gathered as unto strife;
They breathed upon his mouth,
They filled his body with life;

Eyesight and speech they wrought
For the veils of the soul therein,
A time for labour and thought,
A time to serve and to sin;

They gave him light in his ways,
And love, and a space for delight,
And beauty and length of days,
And night, and sleep in the night.

His speech is a burning fire;
With his lips he travaileth;
In his heart is a blind desire,
In his eyes foreknowledge of death;

He weaves, and is clothed with derision;
Sows, and he shall not reap;
His life is a watch or a vision
Between a sleep and a sleep.

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