Algernon Charles Swinburne

(5 April 1837 - 10 April 1909 / London)

A Clasp Of Hands


SOFT, small, and sweet as sunniest flowers
That bask in heavenly heat
When bud by bud breaks, breathes, and cowers,
Soft, small, and sweet.

A babe's hands open as to greet
The tender touch of ours
And mock with motion faint and fleet

The minutes of the new strange hours
That earth, not heaven, must mete;
Buds fragrant still from heaven's own bowers,
Soft, small, and sweet.

A velvet vice with springs of steel
That fasten in a trice
And clench the fingers fast that feel
A velvet viceÑ

What man would risk the danger twice,
Nor quake from head to heel?
Whom would not one such test suffice?

Well may we tremble as we kneel
In sight of Paradise,
If both a babe's closed fists conceal
A velvet vice.

Two flower-soft fists of conquering clutch,
Two creased and dimpled wrists,
That match, if mottled overmuch,
Two flower-soft fists---

What heart of man dare hold the lists
Against such odds and such
Sweet vantage as no strength resists?

Our strength is all a broken crutch,
Our eyes are dim with mists,
Our hearts are prisoners as we touch
Two flower-soft fists.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: flower, strength, heaven, heart, spring

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (A Clasp Of Hands by Algernon Charles Swinburne )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. OUR CURRENT SITUATION, MOHAMMAD SKATI
  2. A Candid Portrait Of War, Dilantha Gunawardana
  3. An Apparatus, Keith Waldrop
  4. Advances, Keith Waldrop
  5. Majesty, Keith Waldrop
  6. In a Spring Still Not Written Of, Robert Wallace
  7. Giacometti's Dog, Robert Wallace
  8. Dearest Sister, Kaila George
  9. Wounded for me, Royston Allen
  10. A Soldiers Lament, Phil Soar

Poem of the Day

poet Wilfred Owen

All sounds have been as music to my listening:
Pacific lamentations of slow bells,
The crunch of boots on blue snow rosy-glistening,
Shuffle of autumn leaves; and all farewells:

...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]