WHEN the hounds of spring are on winter’s traces,. The mother of months in meadow or plain. Fills the shadows and windy places. With lisp of leaves and ripple. Abstract. Algernon Charles Swinburne’s Atalanta in Calydon () is the finest example of Victorian ‘Greek’ tragedy, a genre of English poetry. 69] This story is used by Swinburne in “Itylus.” Returning to Thrace, King Tereus, husband of Procne, ravished her sister Philomela and cut out her tongue.

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Come with bows bent and with emptying of quivers. What do ye singing? Queen, but what is it that hath burnt thine heart? For thy speech flickers like a brown-out flame. Yet one doth well being patient of the gods. Yea, lest they smite us with some four-foot plague. But when time spreads find out some herb for it.

And with their healing herbs infect our blood. What ails thee to be jealous of their ways? What if they give us poisonous drinks for wine? They have their will; much talking mends it not. And gall for milk, and cursing for a prayer? Have they not given life, and the end of life? Small praise man gets dispraising the high gods: What have they falydon that thou dishonourest them? Which deed of these twain were not good to praise? What storm is this that tightens all our sail?

Love, a thwart sea-wind full of rain and un. Whence blown, and born under what stormier star? Southward across Euenuseue from the sea.

Thy speech turns toward Arcadia like blown wind.

Sharp as the north sets when the snows are out. Nay, for this maiden hath no touch of love. Who are these shining like one sundered star? Thy sister’s sons, a double flower of men. But who shows next an eagle wrought in gold?


But who girt round there roughly follows him? Love thou the law and cleave to things im. Law lives upon their lips whom these applaud. How sayest thou these? Zeus, who hath fear and custom under foot. But loves not laws thrown down and lives awry. Yet is not iin himself than his own law.

Nor shifts and shuffles old things up and down. But what he will remoulds and discreates. Much, but not this, that each thing live its life. Nor only live, but lighten and lift up higher.

Pride breaks itself, iin too much gained is gone. Things gained are gone, but great things done endure. Love thou such life and look for such a death. Who then sought to thee? But Fate is the name of her; and his name is Death. What ailed thee then to be born? Thou shouldst not so have been born: These things are spoken of thee. Cease, or talk still and slay thy boars at home. Peace, and be wise; no gods love idle speech.

Nor any man a man’s mouth woman-tongued.

Atalanta in Calydon/Text – Wikisource, the free online library

For my lips bite not sharper than mine hands. Nay, both bite soft, but no whit softly mine. Keep thine hands clean; they have time enough to stain. For thine shall rest and wax not red to-day. Have all thy will of words; talk out thine heart. Who hath given man speech? What shall be done with all these tears of ours? Therefore they thrust it from them, putting time away. What cheer, O herald of my lord the king? Lady, good cheer and great; the boar is slain.

Praised be all gods that look toward Calydon. Good news and brief; but by whose happier hand? A maiden’s and a prophet’s and thy son’s.

Well fare the spear that severed him and life. Twice be thou too for my sake blest and his. At the king’s word I rode afoam for thine.

Thou sayest he tarrieth till they bring the spoil? Hard by the quarry, where they breathe, O queen.


What new thing wolf-like lurks behind thy words? What snake’s tongue in thy lips? Atlannta me before the queen and I will speak. Lo, she comes forth as from thank-offering made. A barren offering for a bitter gift. Queen, thy twain brethren and thy mother’s sons. Weep if thou wilt, for these men shall no more. Nay, should thine own seed slay himself, Callydon queen? Thy double word brings forth a double death.

Know this then singly, by one hand they fell. What mutterest thou with thine ambiguous ib Slain by thy son’s hand; is that saying so hard?

Our time is come upon us: O miserable, and spoiled at thine own hand. Wert thou not calydoj Meleager from this womb? A grievous huntsman hath it bred to thee. Wert thou born fire, and shalt thou not devour? The fire thou madest, will atlata consume even thee? My dreams are fallen upon me; burn thou too. Not without God are visions born and die. The gods are many about me; I am one. She groans as men wrestling with heavier gods. They rend me, they divide me, they destroy.

Or one labouring in travail of strange births. They are strong, they are strong; I am broken, and these prevail. The god is great against her; she will die. Atalnta, but not now; for my heart too is great. I would I were not here in sight of the sun. But thou, speak all thou sawest, and I will die.

What say you, women?

Atalanta in Calydon/Text

No man doth well but God hath part in him. Who shall get brothers for me while I live? But I too living, how shall I now live?