Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SONNET: HERMES, by FRANCIS THOMPSON

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

SONNET: HERMES, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Soothsay. Behold, with rod twy - serpented
Last Line: Stern truth takes flesh in shows of lovely feature.
Subject(s): Hermes (mythology)

SOOTHSAY. Behold, with rod twy-serpented,
Hermes the prophet, twining in one power
The woman with the man. Upon his head
The cloudy cap, wherewith he hath in dower
The cloud's own virtue -- change and counterchange,
To show in light, and to withdraw in pall,
As mortal eyes best bear. His lineage strange
From Zeus, Truth's sire, and maiden May -- the all-Illusive
Nature. His fledged feet declare
That 'tis the nether self transdeified,
And the thrice-furnaced passions, which do bear
The poet Olympusward. In him allied
Both parents clasp; and from the womb of Nature
Stern Truth takes flesh in shows of lovely feature.

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