Only in dreams is a ladder thrown
From the weary earth to the sapphire walls;
But the dreams depart, and the vision falls,
And the Sleeper wakes on his pillow of stone.
Heaven is not reached at a single bound;
But we build the ladder by which we rise
From the lowly earth to the vaulted skies, 30
And we mount to the summit round by round.
 Gradatim. A step at a time.
 the common sod. earthly things.
 See Longfellow, The Ladder of Saint Augustine.
 sordid. mean; base.
 Good resolves and aspirations ("wings”) are not sufficient. We can rise only step by step by overcoming the petty difficulties of everyday life.
 ladder. A reference to Jacob’s ladder (Genesis xxviii, 12).
A LAY SUNG AT THE FEAST OF CASTOR AND POLLUX,
ON THE IDES OF QUINTILIS,
IN THE YEAR OF THE CITY CCCCLI (B.C. 303).
[This is the feast of Castor and Pollux, and the anniversary of the battle of Lake Regillus, which they did so much to win. Let us remember them, and sing their praises.]
Ho, trumpets, sound a war-note!
Ho, lictors, clear the way!
The Knights will ride, in all their pride,
Along the streets to-day,
To-day the doors and windows 5
Are hung with garlands all,
From Castor in the forum,
To Mars without the wall.
Each Knight is robed in purple,
With olive each is crowned, 10
A gallant war-horse under each
Paws haughtily the ground.
While flows the Yellow River,
While stands the Sacred Hill,
The proud Ides of Quintilis, 15
Shall have such honour still.
Gay are the Martian Kalends:
December’s Nones are gay:
But the proud Ides, when the squadron rides,
Shall be Rome’s whitest day. 20
Unto the Great Twin Brethren
We keep this solemn feast.
Swift, swift, the Great Twin Brethren
Came spurring from the east.
They came o’er wild Parthenius 25
Tossing in waves of pine,
O’er Cirrha’s dome, o’er Adria’s foam,
O’er purple Apennine,
From where with flutes and dances
Their ancient mansion rings, 30
In lordly Lacedaemon,
The city of two kings,
To where, by Lake Regillus,
Under the Porcian height,
All in the lands of Tusculum, 35
Was fought the glorious fight.