Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ULYSSES IN ITHACA, by AMELIA JOSEPHINE BURR

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

ULYSSES IN ITHACA, by            
First Line: Ithaca, ithaca, the land of my desire!
Last Line: And fought heroic giants, long ago!
Subject(s): Ithaca, Greece

Ithaca, Ithaca, the land of my desire!
I'm home again in Ithaca, beside my own hearth-fire.
Sweet patient eyes have welcomed me, all tenderness and truth,
Wherein I see kept sacredly the visions of our youth --
Yet sometimes, even as I hear the calm
Deep breathing of Penelope at rest
Beside me -- cravingly my empty palm
Curves to the memory of Calypso's breast.
Ah, wild immortal mistress! With a smile
You crowned my passion as a goddess can.
I would not, if I might, regain your isle --
Nor would I lose remembrance, being man.

Ithaca, Ithaca, the wind among the trees,
The peasant singing at his toil, the murmuring of bees,
The minstrel plucking at the harp when cups are on the board,
The measure of the martial dance, the rhythmic shield and sword --
But oh, the sword-song broken in the beat,
The sword-song that I heard by Simois!
The high fierce cry of battle's crimson heat --
Whatever else I hear, I lose not this.
No, nor that unimaginable song
When through my straining limbs the cord cuts far.
Pallas, I thank thee that the bonds were strong --
Yet was the siren's music worth the scar!

Ithaca, Ithaca, and peace when day is done;
Life like a weary eagle folding wings at set of sun.
The round of homely duties, the temperate delight,
The simple pleasure of the day, the quiet rest at night --
But I have known the thrill of danger's face;
Have launched my spirit as a spear is cast.
The world and hell have been my living-place,
Who choose to die in Ithaca at last.
Odysseus had foregone the wanderer's part --
But, mighty Zeus! how good it is to know
That I have held a goddess to my heart
And fought heroic giants, long ago!

Other Poems of Interest...

Home: PoetryExplorer.net