Cor Cordium

By Algernon Charles Swinburne 1837–1909
O heart of hearts, the chalice of love's fire,
       Hid round with flowers and all the bounty of bloom;
       O wonderful and perfect heart, for whom
The lyrist liberty made life a lyre;
O heavenly heart, at whose most dear desire
       Dead love, living and singing, cleft his tomb,
       And with him risen and regent in death's room
All day thy choral pulses rang full choir;
O heart whose beating blood was running song,
       O sole thing sweeter than thine own songs were,
               Help us for thy free love's sake to be free,
True for thy truth's sake, for thy strength's sake strong,
       Till very liberty make clean and fair
               The nursing earth as the sepulchral sea.

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Poet Algernon Charles Swinburne 1837–1909

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Living, Sorrow & Grieving, Death, Poetry & Poets

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 Algernon Charles Swinburne

Biography

Swinburne was one of the most accomplished lyric poets of the Victorian era and was a preeminent symbol of rebellion against the conservative values of his time. The explicit and often pathological sexual themes of his most important collection of poetry, Poems and Ballads (1866), delighted some, shocked many, and became the dominant feature of Swinburne's image as both an artist and an individual. Nevertheless, critics have . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Living, Sorrow & Grieving, Death, Poetry & Poets

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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