Re: Swinburne, Algernon Charles

Note: I’m a big fan of Swinburne’s poetry. This poem is more of a commentary on something I’ve seen growing like a cancer in today’s society, which is outright criticism of events and people without proper knowledge, and the extremely shallow and biased assumptions made about people, places, things, without prior research or experience. The second stanza of “The Garden of Proserpine”, when taken out of context, Swinburne’s (or the narrator’s) expression of his views are similar to those I’ve seen in the media/society lately. So…that’s what’s been on my mind lately, and here ’tis. 🙂

Immerse yourself in your slumber,

You’ve grown tired of this place,

You ignore those that bleed and hunger

after what you have disgraced,

Your days and hours would better serve

the dying men whose lives

were all spent providing

for their children and their wives.

Have you grown sick of the weeping children,

the ones who lost their mothers?

Or the kidnapped children of Africa,

who are forced to kill their brothers?

You write too much of consequence,

yet little do you do,

If talking of hereafter,

What, do you think, waits for you?

You don’t like emotion,

it seems that much is plain,

But to cause such commotion,

You prove yourself only vain.

I have seen, however,

that often, what I desire

is quickly chased by fire,

and that which fills my sleeping head,

is often painful, out of bed.

And Power is demonic,

when possessed by Godless men

But if the world were purely logic,

I dare not wake again.

Poet, do not forget the balance,

It is there for you to see,

Where, in the world, there is darkness,

Light will also be.

Separate the brothers, Good and Evil,  no more

For hand in hand they walk as equals

Not as adversaries in folklore.

And by worldly depression do not be bested,

For the world is a tool God made to test (us) with,

I do not know your faith,

But do good by God and, it’s true,

that good, in turn, will come to you.

Nesha Usmani

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