The Bards Of Olden Time
Say, where is now that glorious race, where now are the singers
Who, with the accents of life, listening nations enthralled,
Sung down from heaven the gods, and sung mankind up to heaven,
And who the spirit bore up high on the pinions of song?
Ah! the singers still live; the actions only are wanting,
And to awake the glad harp, only a welcoming ear.
Happy bards of a happy world! Your life-teeming accents
Flew round from mouth unto mouth, gladdening every race.
With the devotion with which the gods were received, each one welcomed
That which the genius for him, plastic and breathing, then formed.
With the glow of the song were inflamed the listener's senses,
And with the listener's sense, nourished the singer the glow--
Nourished and cleansed it,--fortunate one! for whom in the voices
Of the people still clear echoed the soul of the song,
And to whom from without appeared, in life, the great godhead,
Whom the bard of these days scarcely can feel in his breast.