Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
345. Hebe
By James Russell Lowell
  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 barely 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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