Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BACCHYLIDES, by GEORGE MEASON WHICHER

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

BACCHYLIDES, by            
First Line: Fair star, new-risen to our wondering eyes
Last Line: "of that far land where bide the dead heroic race."

FAIR star, new-risen to our wondering eyes
With brighter glory from thy long eclipse!
Poet, imprisoned in dead centuries!
Some god unlocks thy music now, and strips
The seal of envious silence from thy lips;
And we are fain to hear thy wakening melodies.

Thou comest from the darkness of the tomb
To sing once more the happy olden time, --
Victor and hero, youth and youth's fair bloom,
The joy of life in manhood's golden prime;
And I, of alien tongue and harsher clime,
Listen, and lose awhile life's endless fret and fume.

Thus in a sunset isle, long years agone,
Some shepherd, telling 'neath the ilex trees
The straying sheep that browsed on upland lawn,
Marked with wide eyes across the purple seas
Odysseus' long-lost bark before the breeze
Glide ghost-like from the glooms of Ocean toward the dawn;

And straight forgot his silly flock aspace
In marvel of the strange return from death,
While to the harbor-mouth he ran apace
To hear their tale with wistful, indrawn breath:
"And aye mine eyes are dimmed with dreams" (he saith)
"Of that far land where bide the dead heroic race."

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