Poetry of Kansas

The Pillars Of Hercules

On the threshold of the world,
By the angry Theban hurled
        From their long embrace asunder,
Stood of old those pillars high,
O'er their somber heads the sky,
        At their feet the surge's thunder.
And the men who sailed that sea,
Awed before its mystery,
        Saw beyond, as in a vision,
Shapes of more than earthly kind,
Heard upon the charmed wind
        Laughter from the realms elysian.
Once I voyaged tired and late
In world-regions ultimate,
        When before me rose that portal;
But I saw beyond no light,
Heard no voices through the night
        Of a revelry immortal.
Only down the sea asleep
Crept a wind and crisped the deep,
       Touched the sails and shook them
And from out its bosom fell
Land-born scents of asphodel,
        Lilies, and the mountain moly.
___Arthur Graves Canfield
Selected by Arthur Richmond Marsh
(Lawrence: Journal Publishing Co. 1888)
Pages 70-71
April 14, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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