Century of Roundels cover

Century of Roundels

Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909)

1. Dedication to Christina G. Rossetti
2. In Harbour
3. The Way of the Wind
4. 'Had I Wist'
5. Recollections
6. Time and Life
7. A Dialogue
8. Plus Ultra
9. A Dead Friend
10. Past Days
11. Autumn and Winter
12. The Death of Richard Wagner
13. Two Preludes; Lohengrin & Tristan und Isolde
14. The Lute and the Lyre
15. Plus Intra
16. Change
17. A Baby's Death
18. One of Twain
19. Death and Birth
20. Birth and Death
21. Benediction
22. Etude Realiste
23. Babyhood
24. First Footsteps
25. A Ninth Birthday
26. Not a Child
27. To Dora Dorian
28. The Roundel
29. At Sea
30. Wasted Love
31. Before Sunset
32. A Singing Lesson
33. Flower-pieces; Love Lies Bleeding & Love in a Mist
34. Three Faces; Ventimiglia, Genoa & Venice
35. Eros
36. Sorrow
37. Sleep
38. On an Old Roundel
39. A Landscape by Courbet
40. A Flower-piece by Fantin
41. A Night-piece by Millet
42. Marzo Pazzo
43. Dead Love
44. Discord
45. Concord
46. Mourning
47. Aperotos Eros
48. To Catullus
49. Insularum Ocelle'
50. In Sark
51. In Guernsey
52. Envoi

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A roundel (not to be confused with the rondel) is a form of verse used in English language poetry devised by Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837–1909). It is a variation of the French rondeau form. It makes use of refrains, repeated according to a certain stylized pattern. A roundel consists of nine lines each having the same number of syllables, plus a refrain after the third line and after the last line. The refrain must be identical with the beginning of the first line: it may be a half-line, and rhymes with the second line. It has three stanzas and its rhyme scheme is as follows: A B A R ; B A B ; A B A R ; where R is the refrain. Swinburne had published a book A Century of Roundels. He dedicated these poems to his friend Christina Rossetti, who then started writing roundels herself, as evidenced by the following examples from her anthology of poetry: Wife to Husband; A Better Resurrection; A Life's Parallels; Today for me; It is finished; From Metastasio.