Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, IDYLL 3. LAMENT FOR BION, by MOSCHUS



Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

Rhyming Dictionary Search
IDYLL 3. LAMENT FOR BION, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: O forest dells and streams! O dorian tide!
Last Line: I too would seek the dead, and sing thee free!
Subject(s): Bion (2nd Century B.c.); Death; Dead, The


O FOREST dells and streams! O Dorian tide!
Groan with my grief, since lovely Bion died:
Ye plants and copses, now his loss bewail:
Flowers, from your tufts a sad perfume exhale:
Anemones and roses, mournful show
Your crimson leaves and wear a blush of woe:
And hyacinth, now more than ever spread
The woeful "ah," that marks thy petaled head
With lettered grief: the beauteous minstrel's dead!

Sicilian Muses, pour the dirge of woe:
Ye nightingales, whose plaintive warblings flow
From the thick leaves of some embowering wood,
Tell the sad loss to Arethusa's flood:
The shepherd Bion dies: with him is dead
The life of song: the Doric Muse is fled.

Sicilian Muses, pour the dirge of woe:
The herds no more that chant melodious know:
No more beneath the lonely oak he sings,
But breathes his strains to Lethe's sullen springs:
The mountains now are mute: the heifers pass
Slow-wandering by, nor browse the tender grass.

Siclian Muses, pour the dirge of woe:
For thee, O Bion! in the grave laid low,
Apollo weeps: dark palls the sylvan's shroud;
Fauns ask thy wonted song, and wail aloud:
Each fountain-nymph disconsolate appears,
And all her waters turn to trickling tears:—
Mute Echo pines the silent rocks around,
And mourns those lips that waked their sweetest sound.

Sicilian Muses, pour the dirge of woe:
But retribution sure will deal the blow:
I, in this trance of grief, still drop the tear,
And mourn forever o'er thy livid bier:—
O that, as Orpheus, in the days of yore,
Ulysses, or Alcides, passed before,
I could descend to Pluto's house of night,
And mark if thou wouldst Pluto's ear delight,
And listen to the song: O then rehearse
Some sweet Sicilian strain, bucolic verse,
To soothe the maid of Enna's vale, who sang
These Doric songs, while Ætna's upland rang.
Not unrewarded should thy ditties prove:
As the sweet harper, Orpheus, erst could move
Her breast to yield his dear departed wife,
Treading the backward road from death to life,
So should he melt to Bion's Dorian strain,
And send him joyous to his hills again.
O, could my touch command the stops like thee,
I too would seek the dead, and sing thee free!





Other Poems of Interest...



Home: PoetryExplorer.net