Poems by Themes •
Random Poem •
The Rating of Poets • The Rating of Poems
Poem by Paul Hamilton Hayne
It is a sweet tradition, with a soul Of tenderest pathos! Hearken, love!—for all The sacred undercurrents of the heart Thrill to its cordial music: Once a chief, Philantus, king of Sparta, left the stern And bleak defiles of his unfruitful land— Girt by a band of eager colonists— To seek new homes on fair Italian plains. Apollo's oracle had darkly spoken: "Where'er from cloudless skies a plenteous shower Outpours, the Fates decree that ye should pause And rear your household deities!" Racked by doubt Philantus traversed—with his faithful band Full many a bounteous realm; but still defeat Darkened his banners, and the strong-walled towns His desperate sieges grimly laughed to scorn! Weighed down by anxious thoughts, one sultry eve The warrior—his rude helmet cast aside— Rested his weary head upon the lap Of his fair wife, who loved him tenderly; And there he drank a generous draught of sleep. She, gazing on his brow, all worn with toil, And his dark locks, which pain had silvered over With glistening touches of a frosty rime, Wept on the sudden bitterly; her tears Fell on his face, and, wondering, he woke. "O blest art thou, my Aethra, my clear sky." He cried exultant, "from whose pitying blue A heart-rain falls to fertilize my fate: Lo! the deep riddle's solved—the gods spake truth!" So the next night he stormed Tarentum, took The enemy's host at vantage, and o'erthrew His mightiest captains. Thence with kindly sway He ruled those pleasant regions he had won,— But dearer even than his rich demesnes The love of her whose gentle tears unlocked The close-shut mystery of the Oracle!
Paul Hamilton Hayne
Paul Hamilton Hayne's other poems:
English Poetry. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org