Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, DE ROSIS HIBERNIS, by EDMUND WILLIAM GOSSE



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DE ROSIS HIBERNIS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Ambitious nile, thy banks deplore
Last Line: They cease to marvel at their own.
Subject(s): Caesar, Julius (100-44 B.c.); Egypt; Nile (River)


AMBITIOUS Nile, thy banks deplore
Their Flavian patron's deep decay;
Thy Memphic pilot laughs no more
To see the flower-boat float away;
Thy winter-roses once were twined
Across the gala-streets of Rome,
And thou, like Omphale, couldst bind
The vanquished victor in his home.

But if the barge that brought thy store
Had foundered in the Libyan deep,
It had not slain thy glory more,
Nor plunged thy rose in salter sleep;
Nor gods nor Caesars wait thee now,
No jealous Paestum dreads thy spring,
Thy flower enfolds no augur's brow,
Nor gives a poet strength to sing.

Yet, surely, when the winds are low,
And heaven is all alive with stars,
Thy conscious roses still must glow
Above thy dreaming nenuphars;
They recollect their high estate,
The Roman honours they have known,
And while they ponder Caesar's fate
They cease to marvel at their own.





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