Hesperia

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Hesperia  (1896) 
by Guy Wetmore Carryl
Hesperia is a region in ancient Greek mythology, thought be located in the far western corner of the world, and said to contain an idyllic garden tended by the Hesperides. This poem was published in the posthumous anthology The Garden of Years and Other Poems (1904).

Across the stretch of southward seas
        The zephyr-swept Hesperides
        Lie smiling, ever smiling;
And there the laughter-loving Pan
Leads on his joyous woodland clan
Through halcyon haunts, unknown to man,
        With song the hours beguiling.
O fair, far land, thy portals
Swing only to immortals!
        Thy scented bowers, thy wondrous flowers,
                Thy pleasant ways of ease,
Thy nights dew-dipped and breathless,
Thy birds, unwearied, deathless—
        These charms untold I’d fain behold,
                Fair, far Hesperides!

The dusk with all her wealth of stars,
The dawn, when clouds like crimson bars
        Turn all the east to splendor,
Bring roseate dreamings unto me
Of Nereids flashing from the sea,
Who turn their shining eyes to thee,
        Thou land of music tender.
But ah, ’t is useless dreaming—
Thy woodland pools that, gleaming
        Like bits of sky, unruffled lie,
                Are not for eyes like these;
Yet, could my longing vision
Behold thy fields Elysian,
        What peace divine I’d claim as mine,
                Fair, far Hesperides!

New York, 1896.

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.