Grass of Parnassus eBook

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

“Dear city of Zeus,” the Stoic says, {2}
The Voice from Rome’s imperial days,
In Thee meet all things, and disperse,
In Thee, for Thee, O Universe! 
To me all’s fruit thy seasons bring,
Alike thy summer and thy spring;
The winds that wail, the suns that burn,
From Thee proceed, to Thee return.

“Dear city of Zeus,” shall we not say,
Home to which none can lose the way! 
Born in that city’s flaming bound,
We do not find her, but are found. 
Within her wide and viewless wall
The Universe is girdled all. 
All joys and pains, all wealth and dearth,
All things that travail on the earth,
God’s will they work, if God there be,
If not, what is my life to me?

Seek we no further, but abide
Within this city great and wide,
In her and for her living, we
Have no less joy than to be free;
Nor death nor grief can quite appal
The folk that dwell within her wall,
Nor aught but with our will befall!


Vain is the dream!  However Hope may rave,
He perished with the folk he could not save,
And though none surely told us he is dead,
And though perchance another in his stead,
Another, not less brave, when all was done,
Had fled unto the southward and the sun,
Had urged a way by force, or won by guile
To streams remotest of the secret Nile,
Had raised an army of the Desert men,
And, waiting for his hour, had turned again
And fallen on that False Prophet, yet we know
Gordon is dead, and these things are not so! 
Nay, not for England’s cause, nor to restore
Her trampled flag—­for he loved Honour more—­
Nay, not for Life, Revenge, or Victory,
Would he have fled, whose hour had dawned to die. 
He will not come again, whate’er our need,
He will not come, who is happy, being freed
From the deathly flesh and perishable things,
And lies of statesmen and rewards of kings. 
Nay, somewhere by the sacred River’s shore
He sleeps like those who shall return no more,
No more return for all the prayers of men—­
Arthur and Charles—­they never come again! 
They shall not wake, though fair the vision seem: 
Whate’er sick Hope may whisper, vain the dream!


To-morrow is a year since Gordon died! 
A year ago to-night, the Desert still
Crouched on the spring, and panted for its fill
Of lust and blood.  Their old art statesmen plied,
And paltered, and evaded, and denied;
Guiltless as yet, except for feeble will,
And craven heart, and calculated skill
In long delays, of their great homicide.

A year ago to-night ’twas not too late. 
The thought comes through our mirth, again, again;
Methinks I hear the halting foot of Fate
Approaching and approaching us; and then
Comes cackle of the House, and the Debate! 
Enough; he is forgotten amongst men.

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Grass of Parnassus from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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