Henry Austin Dobson

(18 January 1840 – 2 September 1921 / Plymouth)

A Miltonic Exercise


(TERCENTENARY, 1608-1908)

What need of votive Verse
To strew thy _Laureat Herse_
With that mix'd _Flora_ of th' _Aonian Hill_?
Or _Mincian_ vocall Reed,
That _Cam_ and _Isis_ breed,
When thine own Words are burning in us still?

_Bard, Prophet, Archimage!_
In this Cash-cradled Age,
We grate our scrannel Musick, and we dote:
Where is the Strain unknown,
Through Bronze or Silver blown,
That thrill'd the Welkin with thy woven Note?

Yes,--'we are selfish Men':
Yet would we once again
Might see _Sabrina_ braid her amber Tire;

Or watch the _Comus_ Crew
Sweep down the Glade; or view
Strange-streamer'd Craft from _Javan_ or _Gadire_!

Or could we catch once more,
High up, the Clang and Roar
Of Angel Conflict,--Angel Overthrow;
Or, with a World begun,
Behold the young-ray'd Sun
Flame in the Groves where the _Four Rivers_ go!

Ay me, I fondly dream!
Only the Storm-bird's Scream
Foretells of Tempest in the Days to come;
Nowhere is heard up-climb
The lofty lyric Rhyme,
And the 'God-gifted Organ-voice' is dumb.

Submitted: Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Edited: Wednesday, January 18, 2012

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