Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  The Loves of Hero and Leander

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

Turkey in Europe, and the Principalities: Dardanelles (Hellespont)

The Loves of Hero and Leander

By Musæus the Grammarian

Translated by F. Fawkes

SING, Muse! the conscious torch, whose nightly ray

Led the bold lover through the watery way,

To share those joys which mutual faith hath sealed,

Joys to divine Aurora unrevealed.

Abydos, Sestos, ancient towns, proclaim,

Where gentlest bosoms glowed with purest flame.

I hear Leander dash the foaming tide!

Fixed high in air, I see the glimmering guide!

The genial flame, the love-enkindling light,

Signal of joy that burned serenely bright;

Whose beams, in fair effulgency displayed,

Adorned the nuptials of the Sestian maid:

Which Jove, its friendly office to repay,

Should plant, all-glorious, in the realms of day,

To blaze forever midst the stars above,

And style it gentle harbinger of Love.

Against Abydos sea-beat Sestos stood,

Two neighboring towns, divided by the flood:

Here Cupid proved his bow’s unerring art,

And gained two conquests with a single dart:

On two fond hearts the sweet infection preyed,

A youth engaging and a beauteous maid:

Of Sestos she, fair Hero was her name;

The youth, Leander, from Abydos came.

Their forms divine a bright resemblance bore,

Each was the radiant star of either shore.