Poem by John Hay
The mirthful gods who ruled o'er Greater Greece
Created this fair land in some high mood
Of frolic joy; the smiling heavens brood
Over a scene soft-whelmed in jocund peace.
Gay clamors, odorous breathings never cease
From basking crag, lime grove, and olive wood;
Swart fishers sing from out the sparkling flood
Where once the syrens sang in luring ease.
The curved beach swarms with brown-skinned boys and girls
Dancing the tarantella on the sands,
Their limbs dive with music's jollity;
And ever, where the warm wave leaps and swirls
With glad embrace clasping the bowery lands,
Breaks the tumultuous laughter of the sea.
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