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.

1 thought on “Ave Atque Vale

  1. 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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