The sheep of Apollodetails

[Picture: The sheep of Apollo]
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The sheep of Apollo

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A young man, naked, sits under a tree, a harp in one hand; all around him sheep are grazing.

The mild, multitudinous lights lay asleep,

Pastured free on the midnight, and bright as the sheep

Of Apollo in pastoral Thrace; from unknown

Hollow glooms freshen’d odors around them were blown

Intermittingly; then the moon dropp’d from their sight,

Immersed in the mountains, and put out the light

Which no longer they needed to read on the face

Of each other’s life’s last revelation.

      The place

Slept sumptuous round them; and Nature, that never

Sleeps, but waking reposes, with patient endeavor

Continued about them, unheeded, unseen,

Her old, quiet toil in the heart of the green

Summer silence, preparing new buds for new blossoms,

And stealing a finger of change o’er the bosoms

Of the unconscious woodlands; and Time, that halts not

His forces, how lovely soever the spot

Where their march lies—the wary, gray strategist, Time,

With the armies of Life, lay encamp’d—Grief and Crime,

Love and Faith, in the darkness unheeded; maturing.

For his great war with man, new surprises; securing

All outlets, pursuing and pushing his foe

To his last narrow refuge—the grave.

(p. 259)


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