e. e. Cummings Poem

An Invocation to Apollo

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O,blessed of the gods,
Shield of the race of Rome,
Are Faith and Fame at odds?
Thy smile is Spring.—O,too long thou dost roam,
     From home.

As a fond mother stands,
Seeking with prayerful eyes
O’er sea and sinuous sands
Her long-departed son,for whom black skies
     Arise.

So doth this land of ours
Yearn for her mighty son;
All lapped in fruit and flow’rs,
While on her waves the pinioned vessels run,
     Nor shun

The pirate or his kin.
The hearths of faith are pure,
And tamed is spotted sin.
With Caesar safe,where shall the savage boor
     Endure?

The mother loves to trace
In baby eyes and brow
Gleams of the father’s face.
What’s war with Spain? Who fears the Scythian now?
     O,thou,

Upon thy Roman hills
Salute the drowsy light,
And lead the vine,that fills
Thy bowls,to the chaste tree in wedlock rite.
     Requite

The Gods with prayer and wine,
And as her heroes-Greece,
So,Roman,rank divine
Thy Caesar,with a joy which shall increase,
     Nor cease.

* * * * * *

To thee the poet drinks—
“Long life!”—ere day is done;
“Peace to thy land!”—when sinks
Under the ocean,mellow eve begun,
     The sun.

BOOK I, ODE 24

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