Grass of Parnassus eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 51 pages of information about Grass of Parnassus.


Pale star that by the lochs of Galloway,
In wet green places ’twixt the depth and height
Dost keep thine hour while Autumn ebbs away,
When now the moors have doffed the heather bright,
Grass of Parnassus, flower of my delight,
How gladly with the unpermitted bay—­
Garlands not mine, and leaves that not decay—­
How gladly would I twine thee if I might!

The bays are out of reach!  But far below
The peaks forbidden of the Muses’ Hill,
Grass of Parnassus, thy returning snow
Between September and October chill
Doth speak to me of Autumns long ago,
And these kind faces that are with me still.


[Greek text]

To Colonel Ian Hamilton.

To you, who know the face of war,
You, that for England wander far,
You that have seen the Ghazis fly
From English lads not sworn to die,
You that have lain where, deadly chill,
The mist crept o’er the Shameful Hill,
You that have conquered, mile by mile,
The currents of unfriendly Nile,
And cheered the march, and eased the strain
When Politics made valour vain,
Ian, to you, from banks of Ken,
We send our lays of Englishmen!


“Believe me, if that blissful, that beautiful place, were set on a hill visible to all the world, I should long ago have journeyed thither. . .  But the number and variety of the ways!  For you know, there is but one road that leads to Corinth.”

HERMOTIMUS (Mr Pater’s Version).

“The Poet says, dear city of Cecrops, and wilt thou not say, dear city of Zeus?”

M. Antoninus.

To Corinth leads one road,” you say: 
Is there a Corinth, or a way? 
Each bland or blatant preacher hath
His painful or his primrose path,
And not a soul of all of these
But knows the city ’twixt the seas,
Her fair unnumbered homes and all
Her gleaming amethystine wall!

Blind are the guides who know the way,
The guides who write, and preach, and pray,
I watch their lives, and I divine
They differ not from yours and mine!

One man we knew, and only one,
Whose seeking for a city’s done,
For what he greatly sought he found,
A city girt with fire around,
A city in an empty land
Between the wastes of sky and sand,
A city on a river-side,
Where by the folk he loved, he died. {1}

Alas! it is not ours to tread
That path wherein his life he led,
Not ours his heart to dare and feel,
Keen as the fragrant Syrian steel;
Yet are we not quite city-less,
Not wholly left in our distress—­
Is it not said by One of old,
“Sheep have I of another fold?”
Ah! faint of heart, and weak of will,
For us there is a city still!

Project Gutenberg
Grass of Parnassus from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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