- Hymn to Proserpine
"Hymn to Proserpine" is a
poemby Algernon Charles Swinburne, published in 1866. The poem is addressed to the goddess Proserpina, the Roman equivalent of Persephone.
The poem opens with the words "Vicisti, Galilæe",
Latinfor "You have conquered, O Galilean," the apocryphal of the Emperor Julian. He had tried to reverse the official endorsement of Christianityby the Roman Empire. The poem is cast in the form of a lamentby a person professing the paganismof classical antiquityand lamenting its passing, and expresses regret at the rise of Christianity. Lines 35 and 36 express this best:
:"Thou hast conquered, O pale Galilean; the world has grown grey from thy breath;":"We have drunken of things
Lethean, and fed on the fullness of death."
The line "Time and the Gods are at strife" inspired the title of
Lord Dunsany's "Time and the Gods".
The poem is quoted by Sue Bridehead in
Thomas Hardy's 1895 novel, " Jude the Obscure" and also by Edward Ashburnham in Ford Madox Ford's " The Good Soldier".
* [http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/poem/2088.html Full text]
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