Letitia Elizabeth Landon (L. E. L.) in Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1837/Ithaca

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74

1837-47-Town and Harbour of Ithaca.png


TOWN AND HARBOUR OF ITHACA.

Artist: C. Bentley - Engraved by: J. Tingle



TOWN AND HARBOUR OF ITHACA.


By another light surrounded
     Than our actual sky;
With the purple ocean bounded
     Does the island lie,
Like a dream of the old world.
Bare the rugged heights ascending,
     Bring to mind the past,
When the weary voyage ending,
     Was the anchor cast.
And the stranger sails were furled
Beside the glorious island
Where Ulysses was the king.

Still does fancy see the palace,
     With its carved gates;
Where the suitors drained the chalice,
     Mocking at the Fates.
Stern, and dark, and veiled are they.
Still their silent thread entwining
     Of our wretched life;
With their cold pale hands combining
     Hate, and fear, and strife.
Hovers the avenging day
O’er the glorious island
Where Ulysses was the king.

Grant my fancy pardon,
     If amid these trees
Still it sees the garden
     Of old Laertes,
Where he met his glorious son.
The apple boughs were drooping
     Beneath their rosy fruit,
And the rich brown pears were stooping
     To the old man at their foot,
While his daily task was done
In the glorious island,
Where Ulysses was the king


’Tis a vain and cold invention,
     ’Tis the spirit’s wrong,
Which to some small mind's pretension
     Would subdue that song,
Shrined in manhood’s general heart.
One almighty mind—one only,
     Could such strain have sung;
Ever be the laurel lonely,
     Where such lyre is hung.
Be the world a thing apart,
Of the glorious island,
Where Ulysses was the king