Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882). Complete Poetical Works. 1893.

The Masque of Pandora

II. Olympus

HERMES (putting on his sandals).
MUCH must he toil who serves the Immortal Gods,

And I, who am their herald, most of all.

No rest have I, nor respite. I no sooner

Unclasp the wingèd sandals from my feet,

Than I again must clasp them, and depart

Upon some foolish errand. But to-day

The errand is not foolish. Never yet

With greater joy did I obey the summons

That sends me earthward. I will fly so swiftly

That my caduceus in the whistling air

Shall make a sound like the Pandæan pipes,

Cheating the shepherds; for to-day I go,

Commissioned by high-thundering Zeus, to lead

A maiden to Prometheus, in his tower,

And by my cunning arguments persuade him

To marry her. What mischief lies concealed

In this design I know not; but I know

Who thinks of marrying hath already taken

One step upon the road to penitence.

Such embassies delight me. Forth I launch

On the sustaining air, nor fear to fall

Like Icarus, nor swerve aside like him

Who drove amiss Hyperion’s fiery steeds.

I sink, I fly! The yielding element

Folds itself round about me like an arm,

And holds me as a mother holds her child.