Nicholas Michell

Hail! Samos, leagued with Egypt's early kings,
Where Wealth and Commerce spread their purple wings,
Thy ruined mart yet decks the airy hill,
Walls cased in marble, turrets stately still.
Lo! where the bird that steals the rainbow dyes
Spreads his rich plume, alive with thousand eyes!
He stands where stood his mistress' gorgeous fane;
Cornice and broken column strew the plain;
Ah! close thy wings, gay bird! thy pride must bow,
For what of Juno recks the Samian now?*
Here, in this mouldered porch, once taught the sage,
Boast of all Greece, who soared above his age,*
Read Nature's laws, and traced the soul's bright course,
Though errant long, to one Eternal Source,
Caught from Truth's radiant planet partial gleams,
Sublime in error, beautiful in dreams!

Author's notes:
* The peacock was sacred to Juno.

The great sage was Pythagoras, who amongst other things is famous for his stunning theorem that the square of the two sides of a right-angled triangle equals the square on the hypotenuse.

Main Location:

Samos, Greece