Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VI. Fancy: Sentiment
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VI. Fancy.  1904.
Poems of Sentiment: IV. Thought: Poetry: Books
The Immortality of Genius
Propertius (c. 50–c. 16 B.C.)
From the Latin by Dr. James Cranstoun

ORPHEUS, ’t is said, the Thracian lyre-strings sweeping,
  Stayed the swift stream and soothed the savage brute;
Cithæron’s rocks, to Thebes spontaneous leaping,
  Rose into walls before Amphion’s lute.
With dripping steeds did Galatea follow,        5
  ’Neath Ætna’s crags, lone Polyphemus’s song:
Is ’t strange the loved of Bacchus and Apollo
  Leads captive with his lay the maiden throng?
Though no Tænarian blocks uphold my dwelling,
  Nor ivory panels shine ’tween gilded beams;        10
No orchards mine Phæcia’s woods excelling,
  No chiselled grots where Marcian water streams,—
Yet Song is mine; my strain the heart engages;
  Faint from the dance sinks the lithe Muse with me:
O happy maid whose name adorns my pages!        15
  Each lay a lasting monument to thee!
The pyramids that cleave heaven’s jewelled portal;
  Elean Jove’s star-spangled dome; the tomb
Where rich Mausolus sleeps,—are not immortal,
  Nor shall escape inevitable doom.        20
Devouring fire and rains will mar their splendor;
  The weight of years will drag the marble down:
Genius alone a name can deathless render,
  And round the forehead wreathe the unfading crown.

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