Apollo Laughs

'APOLLO laughs,' the proverb tells,
Far echo of old oracles,
A Delphic waif, —'Once in the year,
Apollo laughs.' O laughter clear
As sunshine, blithe as golden bells!
What mortal folly parallels
Olympian jest and so impels
To mirth till Heaven's bright charioteer,
Apollo, laughs?
'Tis when the annual critic knells
The death of poetry, while swells
Some faint, fresh wood-note, pioneer
Of music earth shall thrill to hear.
Then at Apollo's infidels
Apollo laughs.

by Katharine Lee Bates

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