Eugene Field

(2 September 1850 - 4 November 1895 / St Louis / Missouri / United States)

Horace To Maecenas - Poem by Eugene Field

How breaks my heart to hear you say
You feel the shadows fall about you!
The gods forefend
That fate, O friend!
I would not, I could not live without you!
You gone, what would become of me,
Your shadow, O beloved Maecenas?
We've shared the mirth--
And sweets of earth--
Let's share the pangs of death between us!

I should not dread Chinaera's breath
Nor any threat of ghost infernal;
Nor fear nor pain
Should part us twain--
For so have willed the powers eternal.
No false allegiance have I sworn,
And, whatsoever fate betide you,
Mine be the part
To cheer your heart--
With loving song to fare beside you!

Love snatched you from the claws of death
And gave you to the grateful city;
The falling tree
That threatened me
Did Fannus turn aside in pity;
With horoscopes so wondrous like,
Why question that we twain shall wander,
As in this land,
So, hand in hand,
Into the life that waiteth yonder?

So to your shrine, O patron mine,
With precious wine and victims fare you;
Poor as I am,
A humble lamb
Must testify what love I bear you.
But to the skies shall sweetly rise
The sacrifice from shrine and heather,
And thither bear
The solemn prayer
That, when we go, we go together!

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010

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