Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO VIRTUE, by ARISTOTLE



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TO VIRTUE, by            
First Line: Virtue, so hardly pursued by men
Last Line: Stayed firm to the end.
Subject(s): Virtue


VIRTUE, so hardly pursued by men,
so glorious to possess, --
O Virgin Goddess,
to die for thy beauty's sake
or to endure,
ravaged by unending hardship,
in Greece is accounted great;
so strong is the love of thee,
subjecting the soul
and holding it always.
No gold is so precious,
no gems, nor the richness
of Sleep's melting eye.

For thy sake Herakles, son to Zeus,
for thy sake Leda's pair
endured much labour, and in their deeds
proclaimed thy mastery.
For love of thee Achilles, Ajax,
went both to the House of Death;
and now for thee and thy beauty
the Man of Atarneus
has lost the sun's light.
Therefore singers shall praise his works,
and Muses, daughters of Memory,
lift him to immortal life.
They shall tell, with beauty of song,
how Zeus the god of Hospitage
was held in honour,
and friendship, nobly given,
stayed firm to the end.





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