Grass of Parnassus

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Author: Andrew Lang

The Seekers for Phaeacia.

There is a land in the remotest day,
Where the soft night is born, and sunset dies;
The eastern shore sees faint tides fade away,
That wash the lands where laughter, tears, and sighs
Make life, - the lands below the blue of common skies.

But in the west is a mysterious sea,
(What sails have seen it, or what shipmen known?)
With coasts enchanted where the Sirens be,
With islands where a Goddess walks alone,
And in the cedar trees the magic winds make moan.

Eastward the human cares of house and home,
Cities, and ships, and unknown gods, and loves;
Westward, strange maidens fairer than the foam,
And lawless lives of men, and haunted groves,
Wherein a god may dwell, and where the Dryad roves.

The gods are careless of the days and death
Of toilsome men, beyond the western seas;
The gods are heedless of their painful breath,
And love them not, for they are not as these;
But in the golden west they live and lie at ease.

Yet the Phaeacians well they love, who live
At the light’s limit, passing careless hours,
Most like the gods; and they have gifts to give,
Even wine, and fountains musical, and flowers,
And song, and if they will, swift ships, and magic powers.

It is a quiet midland; in the cool
Of the twilight comes the god, though no man prayed,
To watch the maids and young men beautiful
Dance, and they see him, and are not afraid,
For they are neat of kin to gods, and undismayed.

Ah, would the bright red prows might bring us nigh
The dreamy isles that the Immortals keep!
But with a mist they hide them wondrously,
And far the path and dim to where they sleep, -
The loved, the shadowy lands, along the shadowy deep.

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Chicago: Andrew Lang, "The Seekers for Phaeacia.," Grass of Parnassus, ed. Sutherland, Alexander, 1853-1902 and trans. Seaton, R. C. in Grass of Parnassus (New York: George E. Wood, ""Death-bed"" edition, 1892), Original Sources, accessed October 5, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=5AVLII1GJSYZ7PU.

MLA: Lang, Andrew. "The Seekers for Phaeacia." Grass of Parnassus, edited by Sutherland, Alexander, 1853-1902, and translated by Seaton, R. C., in Grass of Parnassus, New York, George E. Wood, ""Death-bed"" edition, 1892, Original Sources. 5 Oct. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=5AVLII1GJSYZ7PU.

Harvard: Lang, A, 'The Seekers for Phaeacia.' in Grass of Parnassus, ed. and trans. . cited in ""Death-bed"" edition, 1892, Grass of Parnassus, George E. Wood, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 5 October 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=5AVLII1GJSYZ7PU.