Odes of Anacreon - Ode 23

ODE XXIII.

I OFTEN wish this languid lyre,
This warbler of my soul's desire,
Could raise the breath of song sublime,
To men of fame, in former time.
But when the soaring theme I try,
Along the chords my numbers die,
And whisper, with dissolving tone,
" Our sighs are given to love alone! "
Indignant at the feeble lay,
I tore the panting chords away,
Attuned them to a nobler swell,
And struck again the breathing shell:
In all the glow of epic fire,
To Hercules I wake the lyre,
But still its fainting sighs repeat,
" The tale of love alone is sweet? "
Then fare thee well, seductive dream,
That madest me follow Glory's theme;
For thou my lyre, and thou my heart,
Shall never more in spirit part;
And all that one has felt so well
The other shall as sweetly tell!
Author of original: 
Anacreon
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