Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, HISTORY, by ROBERT SOUTHEY



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First Line: Thou chronicle of crimes! I read no
Last Line: As sidney in his hall of bliss may love.
Subject(s): Greece; History; Muses; Mythology - Classical; Story-telling; Greeks; Historians


THOU chronicle of crimes! I read no more—
For I am one who willingly would love
His fellow kind. O gentle poesy,
Receive me from the court's polluted scenes,
From dungeon horrors, from the fields of war,
Receive me to your haunts,—that I may nurse
My nature's better feelings, for my soul
Sickens at man's misdeeds!
I spake—when lo!
She stood before me in her majesty,
Clio, the strong-eyed muse. Upon her brow
Sate a calm anger. Go—young man, she cried,
Sigh among myrtle bowers, and let thy soul
Effuse itself in strains so sorrowful sweet,
That love-sick maids may weep upon thy page
In most delicious sorrow. Oh shame! shame!
Was it for this I waken'd thy young mind?
Was it for this I made thy swelling heart
Throb at the deeds of Greece, and thy boy's eye
So kindle when that glorious Spartan died?
Boy! boy! deceive me not! what if the tale
Of murder'd millions strike a chilling pang,
What if Tiberius in his island stews,
And Philip at his beads, alike inspire
Strong anger and contempt; hast thou not risen
With nobler feelings? with a deeper love
For freedom? Yes—most righteously thy soul
Loathes the black history of human crimes
And human misery! let that spirit fill
Thy song, and it shall teach thee, boy! to raise
Strains such as Cato might have deign'd to hear,
As Sidney in his hall of bliss may love.





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