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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Hebe
By James Russell Lowell (1819–1891)
 
I SAW the twinkle of white feet,
  I saw the flash of robes descending;
Before her ran an influence fleet,
  That bowed my heart like barley bending.
 
As, in bare fields, the searching bees        5
  Pilot to blooms beyond our finding,
It led me on, by sweet degrees
  Joy’s simple honey-cells unbinding.
 
Those Graces were, that seemed grim Fates;
  With nearer love the sky leaned o’er me;        10
The long-sought Secret’s golden gates
  On musical hinges swung before me.
 
I saw the brimmed bowl in her grasp
  Thrilling with godhood; like a lover
I sprang the proffered life to clasp;—        15
  The beaker fell; the luck was over.
 
The earth has drunk the vintage up:
  What boots it patch the goblet’s splinters?
Can summer fill the icy cup,
  Whose treacherous crystal is but winter’s?        20
 
O spendthrift haste! Await the gods;
  The nectar crowns the lips of patience;
Haste scatters on unthankful sods
  The immortal gift in vain libations.
 
Coy Hebe flies from those that woo,        25
  And shuns the hands would seize upon her:
Follow thy life, and she will sue
  To pour for thee the cup of honor.
 
 
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