To the Editress of the Attic Chest

Lines Sent with Two Baskets of Fruit

Few gain the summit of the hallow’d mount,
Whence flow the streams of fair Castalia’s fount;
Few feel the warmth it mystic dews inspire,
Or wake the music of a minstrel’s lyre:
Oft have I wish’d for some advent’rous flight,
On fancy’s wing thro’ airy fields of light,
Where I might revel in poetic themes,
Glow with the rapture of Elysian Dreams
And some Parnassian flow’ret haply fling
To breathe its perfume thro’ your Attic ring:
Vain wish! Fair maid, Apollo grants to few
Those mental charms he lavishes on you;
E’en now I hail your triumphs from afar,
With rosy garlands long to grace the Car
And hear the gath’ring throng their voices raise
To one loud Paean — Eleanora’s praise;
Meanwhile a tributary due I send
The votive homage of a grateful friend.
From climes where Phœbus holds meridian sway,
From citron groves where balmy zephyrs play,
From vine-clad hill an dale of emerald hue
Where skies serenely smile in softest blue;
From groves perchance beneath whose deep’ning shade
At sunset dances many an Eastern maid;
Or where at eve retir’d some Persian Shah
Sedately silent smokes the rich cigar;
From Gallia’s soft parterre and woody vale,
From England’s breezy hill and flow’ry dale
Of ocean’s glitt’ring zone the gem most bright
The land of virtue, liberty, and light,
These blended sweets of various climes are sent
A feeble emblem but sincerely meant,
Of those luxurious dainties more refin’d
The varied produce of the cultur’d mind,
Which oft within your Attic bow’r I share
An intellectual banquet rich and rare:
Taste then — these fruits a feeble type confest
Of richer sweets within the Attic Chest.