Καὶ ποθήω καὶ μάομαι·
…ἀλλὰ πὰν τόλματον,
DIM is the rich-wrought broidery
Athwart the Golden Throne,
Cypris no more in dreams I see
When I am lying lone :
But Atthis loved of yore
Returns, and all my hungry, sore,
Death-stricken senses close round her once more.
Of one, once loved, long dead,
My plectrum fain would speak ;
But a vague chorus haunts my head,
Confused, I yearn and seek.
O lyre, what is thy theme ?
At nightfall I have heard a team
Of swans so deathward chaunting breast the stream.
They feel in their deep-feathered wings
Tremblings to soar and dive ;
For all the faintness that death brings
They are so much alive,
Borne by a mighty gale
Of verse, triumphantly they sail
The great choir-master of their race to hail.
I must dare all, yea, I can grope
Through Hades in desire
To hear thee on thy mountain-slope,
My King, draw from thy lyre
My bosom's stricken cry :
Conjure, tempt, hearten me to die—
Apollo, give me the great hours gone by!