Republican, pagan, a sensualist alive to pleasure and to pain, Swinburne flouted the rules of Victorian decorum and morality in his life and work. He created a unique means of expression through what Tennyson called his 'wonderful rhythmic invention', and yet his verse was influenced by poets from numerous periods and countries. Many of his poems are opulent hymns to sensual love, in all its aspects, and to death and to the loss of love. Swinburne's verse is immensely diverse in form: together these two works demonstrate its rich complexity and variety. As T.S. Eliot remarked, there is no reason to call his power over words anything but genius.