Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Greece and Turkey in Europe: Vol. XIX. 1876–79.

Greece: Corinth

At Corinth

By James Thomson (1834–1882)

(From Liberty)

ON a tribunal raised, Flaminius sat:

A victor he, from the deep phalanx pierced

Of iron-coated Macedon; and back

The Grecian tyrant to his bounds repelled,

In the high thoughtless gayety of game,

While sport alone their unambitious hearts

Possessed; the sudden trumpet, sounding hoarse,

Bade silence o’er the bright assembly reign.

Then thus a herald: “To the states of Greece

The Roman people, unconfined, restore

Their countries, cities, liberties, and laws;

Taxes remit, and garrisons withdraw.”

The crowd, astonished half, and half informed,

Stared dubious round; some questioned, some exclaimed

(Like one who dreaming, between hope and fear,

Is lost in anxious joy), “Be that again,

Be that again proclaimed, distinct and loud.”

Loud and distinct it was again proclaimed;

And still as midnight in the rural shade,

When the gale slumbers, they the words devoured.

Awhile severe amazement holds them mute,

Then, bursting broad, the boundless shout to heaven

From many a thousand hearts ecstatic sprung.

On every hand rebellowed to their joy

The swelling sea, the rocks, and vocal hills:

Through all her turrets stately Corinth shook,

And, from the void above of shattered air,

The flitting bird fell breathless to the ground.

Mixed in a tempest of superior joy,

They left the sports; like Bacchanals they flew,

Each other straining in a strict embrace,

Nor strained a slave; and loud acclaims till night

Round the Proconsul’s tent repeated rung.