When high Zeus first peopled earth

    WHEN high Zeus first peopled earth, 
    As sages say, 
    All were children of one birth, 
    Helpless nurslings. Doves and bees 
    Tended their soft infancies : 
    Hand to hand they tossed the ball, 
    And none smiled to see the play, 
    Nor stood aside 
    In pride 
    And pleasure of their youthful day. 

    Then all waxed gray, 
    Mourning in companies the winter dearth : 
    Whatever they saw befall 
    Their neighbours, they 
    Felt in themselves ; so lay 
    On life a pall. 

    Zeus at the confusion smiled, 

    And said, "From hence 
    Man by change must be beguiled ; 
    Age with royalties of death. 
    Childhood sweeter than its breath, 

    Will be won, if we provide 
    Generation's difference." 

    Wisely he planned ; 

    The tiny hand 
    In eld's weak palm found providence, 

    And each through influence 
    Of things beholden and not borne grew mild ; 
    Youths by the old man's side 

    Their turbulence 

    To crystal sense 

    Saw clarified. 

    Dear, is not the story's truth 

    Most manifest ? 
    Had our lives been twined, forsooth, 
    We had never had one heart : 
    By Time set a space apart, 
    We are bound by such close ties 
    None can tell of either breast 
    The native sigh 
    Who try 
    To learn with whom the Muse is guest. 

    How sovereignly I'm blest 
    To see and smell the rose of my own youth 
    In thee : how pleasant lies 

    My life, at rest 
    From dream, its hope expressed 
    Before mine eyes.