Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Plato Was Closed; Mine Eyes No More Awake

by William Julius Mickle

Plato was closed; mine eyes no more awake;
But Plato's lore still vision'd round my head:
Meseem'd the Elysian dales around me spread,
Where spirits choose what mortal forms to take:
'Mine be the poet's eye; I crowns forsake.'
Sudden before me stood an awful shade;
On his firm mien simplicity array'd
In majesty, the Grecian bard bespake:
He thus: 'Bright shines the poet's lot untried;
Canst thou than mine to brighter fame aspire!
High o'er the' Olympian height my raptures tower'd,
Each Muse the fleet-wing'd handmaid of mine
Yet o'er their generous flight what sorrow plied,
While freezing every joy Dependence lour'd!'

William Julius Mickle was a Scottish poet most famous in his own day for translating the Lusiad. The narrator in this poem must have been reading the end of the Republic.

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