The Old Gods.



O ye gods, if you could tell us
What ye are — if banned or blest
Ye that reigned of old in Hellas!
Ye that ruled the radiant West!
Old-born gods! The Past still flashes
In the eyes of Greece and Rome;
Ye are not mere dust and ashes
Urned for all the years to come.
Ye that ruled in heavenly places,
And the faith of mortals won!
Gods created by old races
Perished from beneath the sun;
Born of faith, and with it blended,
Ye shall yet the world inspire
Till the last breath has ascended
From the latest altar fire.
All the hopes and invocations
Breathed by lips of heroes dead,
All the genius of the nations
Who the march of Freedom led —
Though your temples broke and fell as
Dusty fanes of little worth —
These will keep you, gods of Hellas!
Still alive upon the earth.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on April 14, 2023

46 sec read
114

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABABCDEFEGEGHIHJAKLKMNAN
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 766
Words 154
Stanzas 1
Stanza Lengths 24

Robert Crawford

Robert Crawford FRSE FBA is a Scottish poet, scholar and critic. He is currently Professor of English at the University of St Andrews.  more…

All Robert Crawford poems | Robert Crawford Books

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