I am the Muse who sung alway By Jove, at dawn of the first day. Star-crowned, sole-sitting, long I wrought To fire the stagnant earth with thought: On spawning slime my song prevails, Wolves shed their fangs, and dragons scales; Flushed in the sky the sweet May-morn, Earth smiled with flowers, and man was born. Then Asia yeaned her shepherd race, And Nile substructs her granite base,— Tented Tartary, columned Nile,— And, under vines, on rocky isle, Or on wind-blown sea-marge bleak, Forward stepped the perfect Greek: That wit and joy might find a tongue, And earth grow civil, HOMER sung. Flown to Italy from Greece, I brooded long and held my peace, For I am wont to sing uncalled, And in days of evil plight Unlock doors of new delight; And sometimes mankind I appalled With a bitter horoscope, With spasms of terror for balm of hope. Then by better thought I lead Bards to speak what nations need; So I folded me in fears, And DANTE searched the triple spheres, Moulding Nature at his will, So shaped, so colored, swift or still, And, sculptor-like, his large design Etched on Alp and Apennine. Seethed in mists of Penmanmaur, Taught by Plinlimmon's Druid power, England's genius filled all measure Of heart and soul, of strength and pleasure, Gave to the mind its emperor, And life was larger than before: Nor sequent centuries could hit Orbit and sum of SHAKSPEARE'S wit. The men who lived with him became Poets, for the air was fame. Far in the North, where polar night Holds in check the frolic light, In trance upborne past mortal goal The Swede EMANUEL leads the soul. Through snows above, mines underground, The inks of Erebus he found; Rehearsed to men the damned wails On which the seraph music sails. In spirit-worlds he trod alone, But walked the earth unmarked, unknown, The near bystander caught no sound,— Yet they who listened far aloof Heard rendings of the skyey roof, And felt, beneath, the quaking ground; And his air-sown, unheeded words, In the next age, are flaming swords. In newer days of war and trade, Romance forgot, and faith decayed, When Science armed and guided war, And clerks the Janus-gates unbar, When France, where poet never grew, Halved and dealt the globe anew, GOETHE, raised o'er joy and strife, Drew the firm lines of Fate and Life And brought Olympian wisdom down To court and mart, to gown and town. Stooping, his finger wrote in clay The open secret of to-day. So bloom the unfading petals five, And verses that all verse outlive.