On The Conflagration Of The Po

Why is, and whence, the Po in flames? and why
In consternation do its borderers raise
Imploring hands to mortal men around
And Gods above? Are Gods implacable?
Or men bereft of sight at such a blaze?
Apollo hath no more a son; his breath
Is stifled, and smoke only fills the air
Where once was fire, and men to men were true.
Fierce ones and faithless now approach the waste,
Who look transversely with an evil eye,
And scowl and threaten, and uplift the sword,
And, if they lower it, 'tis but to grasp more
And more of amber left on either bank. Apollo hates the land he once so loved,
Nor swan is seen nor nightingale is heard
Nigh the dead river and affrighted vale,
For every Nymph shed there incessant tears,
And into amber hardened all they shed.

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