Skillz

Don't exercise only at leisure:
Make rigor and vigor your pleasure:
   Develop a passion
   For clean intonassion 
And scales too even to measure.

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The Recently Discovered Lost Section of Algernon Charles Swinburne’s “Étude Réaliste”

A baby's cheeks, creamy and soft,
      Would tempt the angel who seeks
To touch a heaven 'neath her loft—
         A baby's cheeks.

A plumpness puffs the chubby peaks
      Where roses bloom as oft
As streak their slopes with runny creeks.

Kissing the cheeks with peach-fuzz puffed
      That near speech with the weeks
Will send the spirit's soar aloft
         A baby's cheeks.

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Étude Réaliste by Algernon Charles Swinburne 1837-1909

I.
A baby's feet, like sea-shells pink,
      Might tempt, should heaven see meet,
An angel's lips to kiss, we think,
         A baby's feet.

Like rose-hued sea-flowers toward the heat
      They stretch and spread and wink
Their ten soft buds that part and meet.

No flower-bells that expand and shrink
      Gleam half so heavenly sweet
As shine on life's untrodden brink
         A Baby's feet.

II.
A baby's hands, like rosebuds furled
      Whence yet no leaf expands,
Ope if you touch, though close upcurled,
         A baby's hands.

Then, fast as warriors grip their brands
      When battle's bolt is hurled,
They close, clenched hard like tightening bands.

No rosebuds yet by dawn impearled
      Match, even in loveliest lands,
The sweetest flowers in all the world—
         A baby's hands.

III.
A baby's eyes, ere speech begin,
      Ere lips learn words or sighs,
Bless all things bright enough to win
         A baby's eyes.

Love, while the sweet thing laughs and lies,
      And sleep flows out and in,
Sees perfect in them Paradise.

Their glance might cast out pain and sin,
      Their speech make dumb the wise,
By mute glad godhead felt within
         A baby's eyes.

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Monolith

Though wondrous are the monuments of stone
That yet enjoy the splendor of a prime
Lasting for ages—spanning lengths of time
Wherein were seeded, birthed, and fully grown
Great nations, cultures long since buried, gone—
And stand them still (sides slanted as a rhyme)
In total rapture when the arid clime
Around them swirls a storm of dust hard-blown,
When these have worn to so much desert sand
The greatest of Man’s achievements will be extinct,
Not because these will henceforth cease to stand,
But since the kosmos will have forgotten the tinct
And brittle leaves with hieroglyphics inked,—
The works that Beethoven scribbled out by hand.

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