Books: The Tadpole Poet

THE NOVELS OF A. C. SWINBURNE (377 pp.)—Edited by Edmund Wilson—Farrar, Straus & Cudahy ($6.50).

By the ravenous teeth that have smitten

Through the kisses that blossom and


By the lips intertwisted and bitten

Till the foam has a savor of blood

By the pulse as it rises and falters,

By the hands as they slacken and strain,

I adjure thee, respond from thine altars,

Our Lady of Pain.

Verses like this, which today would hardly cause a raised eyebrow were they to appear in the Sweet Briar College literary magazine, burst like a sinful star shell in the stodgy gloom of Victorian England. Mothers clutched...

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