Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE ARGO'S CHANTY, by WILLIAM ROSE BENET



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THE ARGO'S CHANTY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Orpheus hath harped her
Last Line: And our golden captain, jason, in glory put to sea!
Subject(s): Argo (ship); Jason


Orpheus hath harped her,
Her prow hath drunk the sea.
Fifty haughty heroes at her golden rowlocks be!
His fingers sweep the singing strings,
Her forefoot white before she flings,
Out from the shore she strains -- she swings --
And lifts, oh, gallantly!

Orpheus shall harp for her,
The Talking Head speak wise for her,
Lynceus gaze sharp for her
And Tiphys search the skies for her!
May Colchis curse the dawn o' day when first she thundered free
And our golden captain, Jason, in glory put to sea!

Lovely Atalanta
The buskined huntress maid;
The lad who stretched Procrustes on the racking bed he laid;
And Hercules, whose infant thew
The hissing snakes of Hera slew;
And Nestor, strong to dare and do,
Bring home each dripping blade!

Castor, aye, and Pollux
Who boxed Bebrycia's king, --
Warriors, seers and mages at the rowlocks reach and swing;
But, heirs to winds uproarious,
The Twain, sons of Boreas,
With furled wings white and glorious,
Most magic are to sing!

Lemnos lies behind us
And ladies of good grace.
Home, bring home the oars again and lift the coasts o' Thrace!
Nor yet the Clashing Islands find,
Nor stark Promethean highlands find,
But here, of far or nigh lands, find
Adventure's very place --
Adventure's splendid, terrible and dear and dafting face!

Then, Orpheus, strike harp for us!
Oh, Talking Head, speak true for us!
Lynceus, look you sharp for us!
And, Tiphys, steer her through for us!
May Colchis curse the dawn o' day when first she thundered free
And our golden captain, Jason, in glory put to sea!





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