Louise Imogen Guiney

(1861 - 1920 / United States)

A Friend's Song for Simoisius


The breath of dew, and twilight's grace,
Be on the lonely battle-place;
And to so young, so kind a face,
The long, protecting grasses cling!
(Alas, alas,
The one inexorable thing!)

In rocky hollows cool and deep,
The bees our boyhood hunted sleep;
The early moon from Ida's steep
Comes to the empty wrestling-ring.
(Alas, alas,
The one inexorable thing!)

Upon the widowed wind recede
No echoes of the shepherd's reed,
And children without laughter lead
The war-horse to the watering.
(Alas, alas,
The one inexorable thing!)

Thou stranger Ajax Telamon!
What to the loveliest hast thou done,
That ne'er with him a maid may run
Across the marigolds in spring?
(Alas, alas,
The one inexorable thing!)

With footstep separate and slow
The father and the mother go,
Not now upon an urn they know
To mingle tears for comforting.
(Alas, alas,
The one inexorable thing!)

The world to me has nothing dear
Beyond the namesake river here:
O Simois is wild and clear!
And to his brink my heart I bring;
(Alas, alas,
The one inexorable thing!)

My heart no more, if that might be
Would stay his waters from the sea,
To cover Troy, to cover me,
To save us from the perishing.
(Alas, alas,
The one inexorable thing!)

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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