Corinna to Tanagra

Walter Savage Landor

 TANAGRA! think not I forget

            Thy beautifully storied streets;

          Be sure my memory bathes yet

            In clear Thermodon, and yet greets

          The blithe and liberal shepherd-boy,

          Whose sunny bosom swells with joy,

          When we accept his matted rushes

Upheaved with sylvan fruit; away he bounds, and blushes.


          I promise to bring back with me

            What thou with transport wilt receive,

          The only proper gift for thee,

            Of which no mortal shall bereave

          In later times thy mouldering walls,

          Until the last old turret falls;

          A crown, a crown from Athens won,

A crown no God can wear, beside Latona’s son.


          There may be cities who refuse

            To their own child the honors due,

          And look ungently on the Muse;

            But ever shall those cities rue

          The dry, unyielding, niggard breast,

          Offering no nourishment, no rest,

          To that young head which soon shall rise

Disdainfully, in might and glory, to the skies.


          Sweetly where caverned Dirce flows

            Do white-armed maidens chant my lay,

          Flapping the while with laurel-rose

            The honey-gathering tribes away;

          And sweetly, sweetly, Attic tongues

          Lisp your Corinna’s early songs;

          To her with feet more graceful come

The verses that have dwelt in kindred breasts at home.


          O, let thy children lean aslant

            Against the tender mother’s knee,

          And gaze into her face, and want

            To know what magic there can be

          In words that urge some eyes to dance,

          While others as in holy trance

          Look up to heaven; be such my praise!

Why linger? I must haste, or lose the Delphic bays.

Main Location:

Tanagra, Greece