Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON THE PHOENIX, by JEAN ADAMS

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ON THE PHOENIX, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Come, phoenix, come, if such a bird there be
Last Line: Except at pindar's well.
Alternate Author Name(s): Adam, Jean
Subject(s): Phoenix (mythical Bird)

COME, Phoenix, come, if such a bird there be,
Point me out the happy tree,
Whose boughs can boast they bear the nest
Wherein thou lov'st to rest:
O lead me to the envied place,
Which thou dost with thy presence grace.

Arabia boasts she is the spot of earth
Wherein thou first got birth.
Dost thou never change thy clime
In so vast a space of time?
What entertainment hast thou there,
That is not any other where?
Come westward, noble bird, and see
What homage we will pay to thee.

But hark! I hear Arabia's sons reply:
'We enjoy tranquillity
In a more enlarged extent
Than any other continent;
We possess a richer soil,
With less labour and less toil,
Than any men below,
And live at greater distance from a foe.

'Our stately trees all kinds of spices bear,
Our fountains gratify the ear,
Each leaf in consort joins to please
With the soft whispers of the evening breeze.
Here doth Phoebus make his bed,
'Tis by him she's hither led:
Why should not we the honour have
To her a residence to give?

'To our blest land did Nature send the fire
In which her mother did expire:
Five hundred years she lived a chaste exile,
Then died upon the funeral pile;
Out of her fragrant ashes came
This exalted bird of fame;
To Phoebus' burning rays she owes her life;
In his chaste arms her mother died, ere she was made a wife.'

Such fables oft are told of thee,
Yet I confess thou seems to me
A bird begot by Poetry.
Thousands have beheld thee on
The fabled mountain Helicon:
'Tis there thou loves to dwell.
Nay, I myself have seen thee there,
But never any other where,
Except at Pindar's well.

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