Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, IN PRAISE OF GREEK, by RICHARD EUGENE BURTON

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IN PRAISE OF GREEK, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Come back, o lyric days, and bring
Last Line: That bygone, golden tongue!
Subject(s): Immortality; Love; Night; Praise; Sea; Soul; Bedtime; Ocean

COME back, O lyric days, and bring
From gardens bloom-beset,
From pillared halls blown through by spring,
From hills that haunt us yet,
Those elders blithe, those sages rare
Whose torch illumes the night;
By their great shades, O Pedant, spare
To do them such despite!

The aorist is but the shell
Beached by a sun-bright sea,
Bend down, and hark: the mighty swell
Murmurs immortality.

Was it for this, ye gods, the lyre
Was touched in days of old?
Must grammar dim that leaping fire,
And parsing leave it cold?

We do such souls a grievous wrong
Their parts of speech to take
And coldly murder peerless song
For Lindley Murray's sake.

Give back, O Pedagogue, the love
Of music gaily young;
The immemorial magic of
That bygone, golden tongue!

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