Poemata Minora

Volume II

by H. P. Lovecraft

Published September 1902

To The
Gods, Heros, & Ideals
Of The
This Volume is Affectionately

I submit to the publik these idle lines, hoping they will please.
They form a sort of series, with my Odyssey, Iliad, Aeneid, and the like.

Ode to Selene or Diana

Immortal Moon, in maiden splendour shine;
    Dispense thy beams, divine Latona's child.
Thy silver rays all grosser things define,
    And hide harsh Truth in sweet illusion mildl.

In thy soft light, the city of unrest
    That stands so squalid in thy brother's glare,
Throws off its habit, and in silence blest,
    Becomes a vision, sparkling bright and fair.

The modern world,with all its care and pain
    The smokey streets, the loathsome clanging mills,
Face 'neath thy breams, Selene, and again
    We dream as shepherds on Chaldea's hills.

Take heed, Diana, of my humble plea;
    Convey me where my happiness can last,
Draw me against the tide of Time's rought sea,
    And let my sprirt rest amidst the past.

To the Old Pagan Religion

Olympian gods! how can I let ye go,
    And pin my faith to this new Christian creed?
Can I resign the deities I know,
    for him who on a cross for man did bleed?

How in my weakness can my hopes depend
    On one lone god, tho' mighty be his pow'r?
Why can Jove's host no more assistance lend,
    To Soothe my pain, and cheer my troubled hour?

Are there no dryads on these wooded mounts
    O'er which I oft in desolation roam?
Are there no naiads in these crystal founts
    Or nereids upon the ocean foam?

Fast spreads the new; the older faith declines;
    The name of Christ resounds upon the air;
But my wrack'd soul in solitude repines
    And gives the gods their last-received pray'r.

On the Ruin of Rome

How dost thou lie, O Rome, neath the foot of the Teuton
Slaves are they men, and bent to the will of thy conqueror;
Wither hath gone, great city, the race that gave law to all nations,
Subdu'd the East and the West, and made them bow down to thy consuls,
Knew not defeat, but gave it to all who attack'd thee?

Dead! and replac'd by these wretches who cower in confusion.
Dead! they who gave us this empire to guard and to live in,
Rome, thou didst fall from thy pow'r with the proud race that made thee,
and we, base Italians, enjoy'd what we could not have builded.

To Pan

Seated in a woodland glen
By a shallow stream
Once I fell a-musing, when
I was lull'd into a dream.

From the brook a shape arose
Half a man and half a goat,
Hoofs it had instead of toes
And a beard adorn'd its throat.

On a set of rustic reeds
Sweetly play'd this hybrid man
Naught car'd I for earthly needs,
For I knew that this was Pan.

Nymphs and Satyrs gather'd round
To enjoy the lively sound.

All to soon I woke in pain
And return'd to haunts of men
But in rural vales I'd fain
Live and hear Pan's pipes again

On the Vanity of Human Ambition

Apollo, chasing Daphen, claim'd his prize
But lo! she turn'd to wood before his eyes.
More modern swains at golden prizes aim,
And ever strive some worldly thing to claim,
Yet 'tis the same as in Apollo's case,
For, once attain'd, the purest gold seems base.
All that men seek's unworthy of the quest,
Yet seek they will, and never pause for rest.
True bliss, methinks, a man can only find
In virtuous life, and cultivated mind.