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

Greece: Ios (Nio), the Island

The Grave of Homer

By Alcæus of Messene (c. 190 B.C.)

Translated by W. Haygarth

THE VISIONARY dream of life is o’er;

The bard of heroes sleeps on Ios’ shore:

Fair Ios’ sons their lamentations pay,

And wake the funeral dirge or solemn lay.

O’er his pale lifeless corse and drooping head

Ambrosial sweets the weeping nereids shed,

And on the shore their sleeping poet laid,

Beneath the towering mountain’s peaceful shade.

Nor undeserved their care,—his tuneful tongue

Achilles’ wrath and Thetis’ sorrows sung;

His strains Laertes’ son in triumph bore,

Through woes unnumbered, to his native shore.

Blest isle of Ios! On thy rocky steeps

The Star of Song—the Grace of Graces—sleeps.