Algernon Charles Swinburne

Here you will find the Poem A Clasp Of Hands of poet Algernon Charles Swinburne

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.