Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ALCAICS: TO H. F. BROWN, by ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON



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ALCAICS: TO H. F. BROWN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Brave lads in olden musical centuries
Last Line: Dear to me here in my alpine exile.
Alternate Author Name(s): Stevenson, Robert Lewis Balfour
Subject(s): Brown, Horatio Forbes (1854-1926); Poetry & Poets


Brave lads in olden musical centuries
Sang, night by night, adorable choruses,
Sat late by alehouse doors in April
Chaunting in joy as the moon was rising.
Moon-seen and merry, under the trellises,
Flush-faced they play'd with old polysyllables
Spring scents inspired, old wine diluted:
Love and Apollo were there to chorus.
Now these, the songs, remain to eternity,
Those, only those, the bountiful choristers
Gone -- those are gone, those unremember'd
Sleep and are silent in earth for ever.
So man himself appears and evanishes,
So smiles and goes; as wanderers halting at
Some green-embower'd house, play their music,
Play and are gone on the windy highway.
Yet dwells the strain enshrined in the memory
Long after they departed eternally,
Forth-faring tow'rd far mountain summits,
Cities of men or the sounding Ocean.
Youth sang the song in years immemorial:
Brave chanticleer, he sang and was beautiful;
Bird-haunted green tree-tops in springtime
Heard, and were pleased by the voice of singing.
Youth goes and leaves behind him a prodigy --
Songs sent by thee afar from Venetian
Sea-grey lagunes, sea-paven highways,
Dear to me here in my Alpine exile.





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