Muse of the golden throne, my griefs assuage


Κεῖνον, ὦ χρυσόθρονε Μοῦς’, ἔνισπες
ὕμνον, ἐκ τᾶς καλλιγύναικος ἐσθλᾶς
Τήιος χώρας ὅν ἄειδε τερπνῶς
    πρέσβυς ἀγαυός·

MUSE of the golden throne, my griefs assuage - 
    Not with fresh gift of verse— 
A listener at thy knees I would remain, 
    So thou rehearse 
    To me that strain 
    Sung by the poet-sage, 
Manful, and crisp, and free, 
    Of so undaunted style, 
    It can command 
    And move to clemency 
    The tyrant, yet the terse, 
    Clear song one feels the while, 
Ah, once was fashioned in a goodly land 
    Of women fair, 
With voices soft as wood-doves' through the air. 

O Muse, 'tis for Anacreon's lyre I sigh : 
    Thou knowest how 
'Neath the twin burthen of desire and song 
    My heart doth bow ; 
    But he was strong

    Dark Eros to defy,
    And my tossed bosom oft 
    Turns to his sweet refrain 
        Of sunny truth,

    Jocund, melodious, soft— 
    " Dear life hath bliss enow, 
    Despite of age and pain, 
To give us temper of eternal youth, 
    Hath it not, friend ? " 
Sappho smiles credence till the music end. 

The reverend elder ! Ah, how sweetly he 
    Was wont to sing in those 
Plane-shaded noons of lovely, common things, 
    Idalia's rose, 
    Or the soft wings 
    Of that bright bird that she 
    Bartered for just a hymn 
    Straight from the poet's lips, 
    And breathed alone 
    To her amid her dim, 
    Dusk myrtles. Oh, she chose 
    A favour to eclipse 
All heavenly honour unto mortals shown 
    Who gave her dove 
To win from Teos' bard one song of love. 

Ah me ! how deftly could he handle such 
    Rare token from the sky ; 
Around the tender, glistening iris-neck 
    He loved to tie 
    His odes, and check 
    The pinions with a touch ; 
    Triumphant as a man 
    O'er the fond goddess coy, 
    Nathless her bliss 
    He prized, and with love's span 
    Measured time wantonly— 
    "Wealth will not bring you joy ; 
Toil not for that; win the beloved's kiss ! " 
    Counselled the bold 
Guardian of life, and squanderer of his gold. 

Love him, ye bards, who would not even resign 
    In age the poet's thrill, 
To whom his lyre through the slow, lingering night 
    Was never still 
    From whispering quite. 
    O feed his tomb with wine, 
    And let joy penetrate 
    The darkness, ivy-leaved, 
    That guards his breast 
    Whom Eros made so great 
    A lord o'er human ill 
    That, his full term achieved 
Of years, he kept youth with him for his guest, 
    As a broad tree 
Feels the sap course through its antiquity.