He chanced upon a volume of Swinburne and began reading steadily, forgetful of where he was, his face glowing.
She might well be sung by that chap, Swinburne. Perhaps he had had somebody like her in mind when he painted that girl, Iseult, in the book there on the table.
"You was saying that this man Swinburne failed bein' a great poet because - an' that was as far as you got, miss," he prompted, while to himself he seemed suddenly hungry, and delicious little thrills crawled up and down his spine at the sound of her laughter.
"Swinburne fails, when all is said, because he is, well, indelicate.
He was defeated in several battles by the celebrated Arnhold brothers--the three guerrilla patriots to whom Swinburne wrote a poem, you remember:
After this, Ludwig, the one genuine hero among Mr Swinburne's heroes, was killed, sword in hand, in the capture of the city; and the third, Heinrich, who, though not a traitor, had always been tame and even timid compared with his active brothers, retired into something like a hermitage, became converted to a Christian quietism which was almost Quakerish, and never mixed with men except to give nearly all he had to the poor.
He raised his head irritably when his sister Janey entered, and then quickly bent over his book (Swinburne
's "Chastelard"--just out) as if he had not seen her.
As he had read pessimism into Omar, so now he read triumph, stinging triumph and exultation, into Swinburne
Doesn't Matthew Arnold say that somewhere--or is it Swinburne
, or Pater?
"Well, as I lay awake that night, two more lines of Swinburne came into my head, and came to stay:
I forget how well you know your Swinburne, Bunny; but don't you run away with the idea that there was anything else in common between his Faustine and mine.
What a genius we should think Swinburne
if he had perished on the day the first series of Poems and Ballads was published!"