Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PARNASSUS, by ALFRED TENNYSON



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

PARNASSUS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: What be those crowned forms high over the sacred fountain?
Last Line: Let the golden iliad vanish, homer here is homer there.
Alternate Author Name(s): Tennyson, Lord Alfred; Tennyson, 1st Baron; Tennyson Of Aldworth And Farringford, Baron
Subject(s): Homer (10th Century B.c.); Poetry & Poets; Iliad; Odyssey


I

WHAT be those crown'd forms high over the sacred fountain?
Bards, that the mighty Muses have raised to the heights of
the mountain,
And over the flight of the Ages! O Goddesses, help me up thither!
Lightning may shrivel the laurel of Caesar, but mine would not wither.
Steep is the mountain, but you, you will help me to overcome it,
And stand with my head in the zenith, and roll my voice
from the summit,
Sounding for ever and ever thro' Earth and her listening nations,
And mixt with the great sphere-music of stars and of constellations.

II

What be those two shapes high over the sacred fountain,
Taller than all the Muses, and huger than all the mountain?
On those two known peaks they stand ever spreading and heightening;
Poet, that evergreen laurel is blasted by more than lightning!
Look, in their deep double shadow the crown'd ones all disappearing!
Sing like a bird and be happy, nor hope for a deathless hearing!
'Sounding for ever and ever?' pass on! the sight confuses --
These are Astronomy and Geology, terrible Muses!

III

If the lips were touch'd with fire from off a pure Pierian altar,
Tho' their music here be mortal need the singer greatly care?
Other songs for other worlds! the fire within him would not falter;
Let the golden Iliad vanish, Homer here is Homer there.







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