Poems of Andrew Lang
ODE OF JUBILEE -- BY A. C. S.
Me, that have sung and shrieked, and foamed in praise of Freedom,
ME do you ask to sing
Parochial pomps, and waste, the wail of Jubileedom
For Queen, or Prince, or King!
* * *
Nay, by the foam that fleeting oars have feathered,
In Grecian seas;
Nay, by the winds that barques Athenian weathered -
By all of these
I bid you each be mute, Bards tamed and tethered,
And fee'd with fees!
For you the laurel smirched, for you the gold, too,
For me the Spirit of Song, unbought, unsold to
Pale Priests or Queens!
For you the gleam of gain, the fluttering cheque
Of Mr. Knowles,
For me, to soar above the ruins and wreck
Of Snobs and "Souls"!
When aflush with the dew of the dawn, and the
Rose of the Mystical Vision,
The spirit and soul of the Men of the
Future shall rise and be free,
They shall hail me with hymning and harping,
With eloquent Art and Elysian, -
The Singer who sung not but spurned them,
The slaves that could sing "Jubilee;"
With pinchbeck lyre and tongue,
Praising their tyrant sung,
They shall fail and shall fade in derision,
As wind on the ways of the sea!