A Youthful Experiment In English Hexameters

IMPRESSIONS OF HOMER

Sometimes come pauses of calm, when the rapt bard, holding his heart back,
Over his deep mind muses, as when o'er awe-stricken ocean
Poises a heapt cloud luridly, ripening the gale and the thunder;
Slow rolls onward the verse with a long swell heaving and swinging,
Seeming to wait till, gradually wid'ning from far-off horizons,
Piling the deeps up, heaping the glad-hearted surges before it,
Gathers the thought as a strong wind darkening and cresting the tumult.
Then every pause, every heave, each trough in the waves, has its meaning;
Full-sailed, forth like a tall ship steadies the theme, and around it,
Leaping beside it in glad strength, running in wild glee beyond it,
Harmonies billow exulting and floating the soul where it lists them,
Swaying the listener's fantasy hither and thither like drift-weed.

by James Russell Lowell

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