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The Procession.



THE day is dawning. Whither shall we bend
Our steps, or whither send
The herald on before us; the great plain
Pours forth a shout of praise and many songs;
Thunders which roll and sweep the summer air,
Rising and falling like the swelling sea,
And striking all the soul with solemn awe.
Into the heart they rushed like sweet dark wine,
And all the rocks were ringing with the sound
All through the plain in which fair Athens stands,
Until the sailors seaward heard the noise
Of many thunders, and their hearts were stirred,
And worshipping they too took up the chant;
So it rolled along
Over the clear sweet waves till Thetis heard,
Deep in her palaces beneath the sea.
So sweet a song they made, the music yet
Is not all silenced, some clear notes remain,
Though many waves of centuries have passed
Upon those pleasant days: but hark awhile
Unto the chorus, though the years have sped,
And the dim twilight of the world is come.

Goddess most fair,
Loving the gracious land
Of Greece, and the golden sand
Of all its shores, ruling with thy hand
Thy dear Athenian town, but present everywhere.

Are we not pleasing to thee?
Goddess and queen of the corn:
Holiest mother divine,
Grant us thy glory to see,
Bright as the coming of morn:
See how we kneel, and are present, and worship thy shrine.