To G. P. Morris
Apollo once had leave to travel;
He sought our Yankee land,
And he lionized it through,
With his golden lyre in hand.
Once, at "a cottage near a wood,"
Which promised a welcome's smile,
He thought, by general invitation,
To rusticate awhile.
One morn he woke, - he yawned, - he turned, -
Sprang up with fright and grief,
And cried, "By George! my lyre is stolen:
Without there, ho! stop thief!"
But vainly sought he east and west,
Half mad, - all broken-hearted;
O, a most ungodlike look he wore,
With his glory all departed!
At last he turned Olympus-ward,
Thus lyreless, - woe's the day!
For Juno frowned, and Venus wept,
And cupid ran away!
Those ennuied gods and goddesses,
Upon their mount sublime,
O, had they not a weary lot,
A dull and dozing time!
One more there rose upon the air
Most sweet, though mortal song,
By Zephyrus' glad wing upborne
To charm that heavenly throng.
Fair Venue bent her pearly ear,
Then earthward fixed her gaze,
And smiled a curious kind of smile,
Half pleasure, - half amaze.
"I see a mortal bard, his hand
Across a lyre's strings flinging,
And mortal lips catch up the strains,
Till all the land is ringing!
"About him throng the fair and young, -
They crown him! - I declare,
Fast by him stands my truant boy! -
Apollo, dear, look there!"
The god rose from his cloud-divan:
"Ha! by my thundering sire,
I understand that game of Morris.
There's the thief that stole my lyre!"