John Hay

(8 October 1838 – 1 July 1905 / Salem, Indiana)

A Prayer in Thessaly Poem by John Hay


A lover prayed to Eros in this wise:-

Since my love loves not me, Eros! I pray
That thou wilt take this torturing love away.
But since she is so fair, still let mine eyes
Unloving, joy in her, her beauty prize;
Still let her clear voice ring as pure and gay
To my calm heart as mating birds in May.
The words went up the blue Thessalian skies.

But ere they reached the high god's golden seat,
The lover to retract his prayer was fain:

Nay, let me keep the bitter with the sweet,
Better than placid bliss is love's dear pain.
My love I'll hold and cherish though it prove
More blighting than the frowning brows of Jove.

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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