Tired bends the lily
Beneath its gorgeous flower; Weary stoops the pilgrim Drawn on by heavenly power. All the soldier’s glory Is grime upon his brow In the darkness after battle -- A storm would bless him now. Sadly broods the poet, But the verse will glow, And joy, like a diamond, Rise from deep below. Painful though the story That the verse must tell, Yet the heart that tells it Sings like Philomel. Love’s a longer story Than weariness or pain, So the bending lily Blooms again and again.
In Greek mythology, Philomel was a princess raped by Tereus, the king of Thrace. To avenge her, the Gods transformed her into a nightingale, known for its beautiful songs.
Paul Gallagher is a poet, translator and also an economics journalist. He has spent much of his life fighting for the revival of classical poetry and classical culture. More of his writings on culture can be found here.