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Homer's Hymn to Castor and Pollux

[Published by Mrs. Shelley, "Poetical Works", 1839, 2nd edition; dated
1818.]

Ye wild-eyed Muses, sing the Twins of Jove,
Whom the fair-ankled Leda, mixed in love
With mighty Saturn's Heaven-obscuring Child,
On Taygetus, that lofty mountain wild,
Brought forth in joy: mild Pollux, void of blame, _5
And steed-subduing Castor, heirs of fame.
These are the Powers who earth-born mortals save
And ships, whose flight is swift along the wave.
When wintry tempests o'er the savage sea
Are raging, and the sailors tremblingly _10
Call on the Twins of Jove with prayer and vow,
Gathered in fear upon the lofty prow,
And sacrifice with snow-white lambs,--the wind
And the huge billow bursting close behind,
Even then beneath the weltering waters bear _15
The staggering ship--they suddenly appear,
On yellow wings rushing athwart the sky,
And lull the blasts in mute tranquillity,
And strew the waves on the white Ocean's bed,
Fair omen of the voyage; from toil and dread _20
The sailors rest, rejoicing in the sight,
And plough the quiet sea in safe delight.

NOTE:
_6 steed-subduing emend. Rossetti; steel-subduing 1839, 2nd edition.


Percy Bysshe Shelley

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