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Poem by Algernon Charles Swinburne

The Salt of the Earth

IF childhood were not in the world,
But only men and women grown;
No baby-locks in tendrils curled,
No baby-blossoms blown;

Though men were stronger, women fairer,
And nearer all delights in reach,
And verse and music uttered rarer
Tones of more godlike speech;

Though the utmost life of lifes best hours
Found, as it cannot now find, words;
Though desert sands were sweet as flowers
And flowers could sing like birds,

But children never heard them, never
They felt a childs foot leap and run:
This were a drearier star than ever
Yet looked upon the sun. 

Algernon Charles Swinburne

Algernon Charles Swinburne's other poems:
  1. Hendecasyllabics
  2. Ave Atque Vale
  3. Dickens
  4. On the Russian Persecution of the Jews
  5. Sonnet for a Picture

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