The Political Animal

Ave Atque Vale

from Ave Atque Vale

by Algernon Charles Swinburne


For thee, O now a silent soul, my brother,
      Take at my hands this garland, and farewell.
      Thin is the leaf, and chill the wintry smell,
And chill the solemn earth, a fatal mother,
      With sadder than the Niobean womb,
      And in the hollow of her breasts a tomb.
Content thee, howsoe’er, whose days are done;
      There lies not any troublous thing before,
      Nor sight nor sound to war against thee more,
For whom all winds are quiet as the sun,
      All waters as the shore.

One reply on “Ave Atque Vale”

It may be worth mentioning that the title of this poem is a reference to Catullus’ Poem 101. I’m also fond of Swinburne’s sonnets myself, especially in comparison to his spiraling, long poems, which aren’t as tightly structured or as punchy.

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