Thomas Decker by Algernon Charles Swinburne

Out of the depths of darkling life where sin
Laughs piteously that sorrow should not know
Her own ill name, nor woe be counted woe;
Where hate and craft and lust make drearier din
Than sounds through dreams that grief holds revel in;
What charm of joy-bells ringing, streams that flow,
Winds that blow healing in each note they blow,
Is this that the outer darkness hears begin?

O sweetest heart of all thy time save one,
Star seen for love’s sake nearest to the sun,
Hung lamplike o’er a dense and doleful city,
Not Shakespeare’s very spirit, howe’er more great,
Than thine toward man was more compassionate,
Nor gave Christ praise from lips more sweet with pity.

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