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Poems, now first collected/Yale Ode for Commencement Day

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YALE ODE FOR COMMENCEMENT DAY

I

Hark! through the archways old
High voices manifold
Sing praise to our fair Mother, praise to Yale!
The Muses' rustling garments trail;
White arms, with myrtle and with laurel wound,
Bring crowns to her, the Crowned!
Youngest and blithest, and awaited long,
The heavenly maid, sweet Music's child divine,
With golden lyre and joy of choric song
Leads all the Sisters Nine.


II

In the gray of a people's morn,
In the faith of the years to be,
The sacred Mother was born
On the shore of the fruitful sea;
By the shore she grew, and the ancient winds of the East
Made her brave and strong, and her beauteous youth increased
Till the winds of the West, from a wondrous land,
From the strand of the setting sun to the sea of her sunrise strand,
From fanes which her own dear hand hath planted in grove and mead and vale,
Breathe love from her countless sons of might to the Mother—breathe praise to Yale.


III

Mother of Learning! thou whose torch
Starward uplifts, afar its light to bear,—
Thine own revere thee throned within thy porch,
Rayed with thy shining hair.
The youngest know thee still more young,—
The stateliest, statelier yet than prophet-bard hath sung.
O mighty Mother, proudly set
Beside the far-inreaching sea,
None shall the trophied Past forget
Or doubt thy splendor yet to be!

1895