From The Bibelot, A Reprint of Poetry and Prose for Book Lovers, chosen in part from scarce editions and sources not generally known, Volume I, Number V, Testimonial Edition, Edited and Originally Published by Thomas B. Mosher, Portland, Maine; Wm. Wise & Co.; New York; 1895; p. 158.
Ah the singing, ah the delight, the passion!
All the Loves wept, listening; sick with anguish,
Stood the crowned nine Muses about Apollo;
Fear was upon them,
While the tenth sang wonderful things they knew
Ah the tenth, the Lesbian!
* * * * *
All withdrew long since, and the land was barren,
Full of fruitless women and music only.
Now perchance, when winds are assuaged at sunset,
Lulled at the dewfall,
By the grey sea-side, unassuaged, unheard of,
Unbeloved, unseen in the ebb of the twilight,
Ghost of outcast women return lamenting,
Purged not in Lethe,
Clothed about with flame and with tears, and singing
Songs that move the heart of the shaken heaven,
Songs that break the heart of the earth with pity,
Hearing, to hear them.
A. C. SWINBURNE.