by ALGERNON SWINBURNE (1837-1909)
IN the fair days when God
By man as godlike trod,
And each alike was Greek, alike was free,
God’s lightning spared, they said,
Alone the happier head
Whose laurels screened it; fruitless grace for thee,
To whom the high gods gave of right
Their thunders and their laurels and their light.
Sunbeams and bays before
Our master’s servants wore,
For these Apollo left in all men’s lands;
But far from these ere now
And watched with jealous brow
Lay the blind lightnings shut between God’s hands,
And only loosed on slaves and kings
The terror of the tempest of their wings.
by HUGO VON BLUMBERG (1820-1871)
THROUGH rain and through wind,
Half deaf and half blind,
The fiddler is toiling along.
How bitterly cold
Through his cloak thin and old
Blows the gale a wild tune to his song!
"Ye mortals, who claim
To have fortune and fame,
Sleep well! Lull yourselves in vain dreams!
How festive the ball!
How brilliant the hall!
Would happiness were what it seems!