its distance clear,
And victory seem certain, when the winning post is near,
The crew worn out and breathless have nothing in them left,
And though pluck may ne’er desert them, of
their vigour are bereft.
“And do you, my Palinuris, steering
straight the gallant bark,
By voice and exhortation keep your heroes to the mark.
Cheer the plucky, chide the cowards who to do
their work are loth,
And forbid them to grow torpid by indulging selfish sloth.
Fool! I know my words are idle! yet if any love remain;
If my honour be your glory, my discredit be your pain;
If a spark of old affection in your hearts be still alive!
Rally round old Father Camus, and his glories past revive!
Then adorned with reedy garland shall I take my former throne,
And, victor of proud Isis, reign triumphant and alone.
Then no more shall Cloacina with my streams
her offerings blend,
And old Camus clear as crystal to the ocean shall descend!”
He spoke, and ’neath the surface,
black as pitch,
he hid his head,
And, punting out my Funny, I my homeward journey sped.
But a strange ambrosial odour, as the God sank
’neath the flood,
Seem’d to float and hover round me, creeping
upward from the mud:
And for ever from the water’s troubled face there
seem’d to rise
A melancholy fragrance of dead dogs unto the skies.
He has gone to his grave in the strength
While life shone bright before him;
And we, who remember his worth and truth,
Stand vainly grieving o’er him.
He has gone to his grave; that manly heart
No more with life is glowing;
And the tears to our eyes unbidden start,
Our sad hearts’ overflowing.
I gaze on his rooms as beneath I pace,
And the past again comes o’er me,
For I feel his grasp, and I see his face,
And his voice has a welcome for me.
I gaze on the river, and see once more
His form in the race competing;
And I hear the time of his well-known oar,
And the shouts his triumph greeting.
Flow on, cold river! Our bitter
No tears from thy waves can waken:
Thy whisp’ring reed, and thy willow leaf
By no sad sighs are shaken.
Thy banks are thronged by the young and
Who dream not of the morrow;
No ear hast thou for a mournful lay,
No sympathy with sorrow.
Flow on, dull river! Thy heedless
As it echoes shouts of gladness,
Bears forms as stalwart, and hearts as brave,
As his whom we mourn in sadness.
But an arm more strong, and a heart more
And with purer feelings glowing,
Thy flowing waters shall ne’er behold,
Till time has ceased from flowing.