Apollo Musagetes
by Matthew Arnold
   Through the black, rushing smoke-bursts,
   Thick breaks the red flame;
   All Etna heaves fiercely
   Her forest-clothed frame.
   Not here, O Apollo!
   Are haunts meet for thee.
   But, where Helicon breaks down
   In cliff to the sea,
   Where the moon-silver'd inlets
   Send far their light voice
   Up the still vale of Thisbe,
   O speed, and rejoice!
   On the sward at the cliff-top
   Lie strewn the white flocks,
   On the cliff-side the pigeons
   Roost deep in the rocks.
   In the moonlight the shepherds,
   Soft lull'd by the rills,
   Lie wrapped in their blankets
   Asleep on the hills.
   --What forms are these coming
   So white through the gloom?
   What garments out-glistening
   The gold-flower'd broom?
   What sweet-breathing presence
   Out-perfumes the thyme?
   What voices enrapture
   The night's balmy prime?
   'Tis Apollo comes leading
   His choir, the Nine.
   --The leader is fairest,
   But all are divine.
   They are lost in the hollows!
   They stream up again!
   What seeks on this mountain
   The glorified train?--
   They bathe on this mountain,
   In the spring by their road;
   Then on to Olympus,
   Their endless abode.
   --Whose proase do they mention?
   Of what is it told?--
   What will be for ever;
   What was from of old.
   First hymn they the Father
   Of all things; and then,
   The rest of immortals,
   The action of men.
   The day in his hotness,
   The strife with the palm;
   The night in her silence,
   The stars in their calm.
Notes - [Add a note]