Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(27 February 1807 – 24 March 1882 / Portland, Maine)

Enceladus. (Birds Of Passage. Flight The Second)


Under Mount Etna he lies,
It is slumber, it is not death;
For he struggles at times to arise,
And above him the lurid skies
Are hot with his fiery breath.

The crags are piled on his breast,
The earth is heaped on his head;
But the groans of his wild unrest,
Though smothered and half suppressed,
Are heard, and he is not dead.

And the nations far away
Are watching with eager eyes;
They talk together and say,
'To-morrow, perhaps to-day,
Euceladus will arise!

And the old gods, the austere
Oppressors in their strength,
Stand aghast and white with fear
At the ominous sounds they hear,
And tremble, and mutter, 'At length!'

Ah me! for the land that is sown
With the harvest of despair!
Where the burning cinders, blown
From the lips of the overthrown
Enceladus, fill the air.

Where ashes are heaped in drifts
Over vineyard and field and town,
Whenever he starts and lifts
His head through the blackened rifts
Of the crags that keep him down.

See, see! the red light shines!
'T is the glare of his awful eyes!
And the storm-wind shouts through the pines
Of Alps and of Apennines,
'Enceladus, arise!'

Submitted: Tuesday, March 30, 2010

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