Still towards the steep Parnassian way
The moon-led pilgrims wend,
Ah, who of all that start to-day
Shall ever reach the end?
Year after year a dream-fed band
That scorn the vales below,
And scorn the fatness of the land
To win those heights of snow, -
Leave barns and kine and flocks behind,
And count their fortune fair,
If they a dozen leaves may bind
Of laurel in their hair.
Like us, dear Poet, once you trod
That sweet moon-smitten way,
With mouth of silver sought the god
All night and all the day;
Sought singing, till in rosy fire
The white Apollo came,
And touched your brow, and wreathed your lyre,
And named you by his name;
And led you, loving, by the hand
To those grave laurelled bowers,
Where keep your high immortal band
Your high immortal hours.
Strait was the way, thorn-set and long -
Ah, tell us, shining there,
Is fame as wonderful as song?
And laurels in your hair!