The Roundel

By Algernon Charles Swinburne 1837–1909
A roundel is wrought as a ring or a starbright sphere,
      With craft of delight and with cunning of sound unsought,
That the heart of the hearer may smile if to pleasure his ear
      A roundel is wrought.

Its jewel of music is carven of all or of aught—
      Love, laughter, or mourning—remembrance of rapture or fear—
That fancy may fashion to hang in the ear of thought.

As a bird's quick song runs round, and the hearts in us hear
      Pause answer to pause, and again the same strain caught,
So moves the device whence, round as a pearl or tear,
      A roundel is wrought.

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Poet Algernon Charles Swinburne 1837–1909

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 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, Poetry & Poets

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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