Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald
   English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
548. Corinna to Tanagra, from Athens
Walter Savage Landor (1775–1864)
  TANAGRA! think not I forget
    Thy beautifully storied streets;
  Be sure my memory bathes yet
    In clear Thermodon, and yet greets
  The blithe and liberal shepherd-boy,        5
  Whose sunny bosom swells with joy
  When we accept his matted rushes
Upheav’d with sylvan fruit; away he bounds, and blushes.
  A gift I promise: one I see
    Which thou with transport wilt receive,        10
  The only proper gift for thee,
    Of which no mortal shall bereave
  In later times thy mouldering walls,
  Until the last old turret falls;
  A crown, a crown from Athens won,        15
A crown no God can wear, beside Latona’s son.
  There may be cities who refuse
    To their own child the honours due,
  And look ungently on the Muse;
    But ever shall those cities rue        20
  The dry, unyielding, niggard breast,
  Offering no nourishment, no rest,
  To that young head which soon shall rise
Disdainfully, in might and glory, to the skies.
  Sweetly where cavern’d Dirce flows        25
    Do white-arm’d maidens chant my lay,
  Flapping the while with laurel-rose
    The honey-gathering tribes away;
  And sweetly, sweetly Attic tongues
  Lisp your Corinna’s early songs;        30
  To her with feet more graceful come
The verses that have dwelt in kindred breasts at home.
  O let thy children lean aslant
    Against the tender mother’s knee,
  And gaze into her face, and want        35
    To know what magic there can be
  In words that urge some eyes to dance,
  While others as in holy trance
  Look up to heaven: be such my praise!
Why linger? I must haste, or lose the Delphic bays.        40


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