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Poem by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
The True Joy-Giver
Oh Oevoë, liber Pater, Oh, the vintage feast divine, When the God was in the bosom And his rapture in the wine; When the Faun laugh'd out at morning; When the Mænad hymn'd the night; And the Earth itself was drunken With the worship of delight; Oh Oevoë, liber Pater, Whose orgies are upon The hilltops of Parnassus, The banks of Helicon;-- How often have I hail'd thee! How often have I been The bearer of the thyrsus, When its wither'd leaves were green. Then the boughs were purple gleaming With the dewdrop and the star; And chanting came the wood-nymph, And flashing came the car. Long faded are the garlands Of the thyrsus that I bore, When the wood-nymph chanted "Follow" In the vintage-feast of yore. My vineyards are the richest Falernian slopes bestow; Has the vineherd lost his cunning? Has the summer lost its glow? Oh, never on Falernium The Care-Dispeller trod, Its vine-leaves wreathe no thyrsus, Its fruits allure no god. For ever young, Lyæus; For ever young his priest; The Boy-god of the Morning, The conqueror of the East, His wine is Nature's life-blood; His vineyards bloom upon The hilltops of Parnassus, The banks of Helicon. But the hilltops of Parnassus Are free to every age; I have trod them with the Poet, I have mapp'd them with the Sage; And I'll take my pert disciple To see, with humble eyes, How the Gladness-bringer honours The worship of the wise. Lo, the arching of the vine-leaves; Lo, the sparkle of the fount; Hark, the carol of the Mænads; Lo, the car is on the Mount! "Ho, room, ye thyrsus-bearers, Your playmate I have been!" "Go, madman," laughs Lyæus, "Thy thyrsus then was green." And adown the gleaming alleys The gladness-givers glide; And the wood-nymph murmurs "Follow," To the young man by my side.
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