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The Oblation -- Algernon Charles Swinburne

Guest poem submitted by Deepak Ramachandran
(Poem #1703) The Oblation
 Ask nothing more of me, sweet,
 All I can give you I give
 Heart of my heart, were it more,
 More would be laid at your feet:
 Love that should help you to live,
 Song that should spur you to soar.

 All things were nothing to give
 Once to have sense of you more,
 Touch you and taste of you, sweet,
 Think you and breathe you and live,
 Swept of your wings as they soar,
 Trodden by chance of your feet.

 I that have love and no more
 Give you but love of you, sweet;
 He that hath more, let him give;
 He that hath wings, let him soar;
 Mine is the heart at your feet
 Here, that must love you to live
-- Algernon Charles Swinburne
I've been lurking on the minstrels list for a long time, and I never thought
my first submission would be a Swinburne. I usually don't like his poems
cause they seem florid and sentimental. But this one I like because it's
elegant and has balance.

I came across it while rereading Joyce's Ulysses. Buck Mulligan sings lines
3 and 4 mockingly to his milklady after paying part of his bill.  Elsewhere
in the Telemachus chapter, Mulligan asks "Isn't the sea what Algy calls it?
A grey sweet mother?" (a reference to Swinburne's Triumph of Time).  I like
to think that in having a pompous dislikable character like Mulligan quote
Swinburne so much, Joyce was expressing his opinion on Algy's poetry.

I'd like to dedicate this submission to two people: Jacob, my roommate who
can find it in his cynical heart to like Swinburne's poems after sniggering
at pretty much everything else, and Kamalika, who coerced me into making a
submission, and suggesting that I use the Ulysses reference as an excuse for
submitting sappy love poetry.


30 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Anustup Datta said...


These could be the very lines William Butler Yeats addressed to Maud his unrequited passion, don't you think? Purely in spirit, of
course: sums up their relationship beautifully.


viagra online said...

Excellent, nice poem, thanks for sharing.
Just for lovers.
Good luck

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