Apollo in Love

Apollo in Love

or the Poet Lost in the Platonist

The stern palestra moulded well my youth,
That I might wring from the taut-corded lyre
Music and truth
To lighten souls, and move to holy ruth.

Much did I wander through the Delphic glen
Where the rapt sibyl strained to catch my song
Through field and fen
Eurotas watered, nurse of perfect men.

And through all lovely lands, where beauty fed
The eyes with joy, and left the heart secure,
Which only bled
When my sweet boy, my Hyacinth, was dead.

Till, goddess, seeing thee, my soul was fired
With might of all the beauties ever seen,
For all conspired
In thy one form, divine and all-desired.

In thee I found all friends, all gifts, all power
Of music, and all harmonies — in thee,
With richer dower,
My Hyacinth came back, immortal flower.

But that, alas, which should my psalm inspire
Confounds me quite, and leaves me dumb, abashed;
So great desire
Chokes my faint voice, and snaps the pulsing lyre.
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