The Friend of Greece.

Βασιλεως μεγαλου Αρσακου φιλελληνος.
Of Arsaces, the great king, the friend of Greece.
Inscription on a Parthian coin.
The friend of Greece ! Fair fall the mould1
That veiled thy stater’s glittering2
So long, to gleam forth now and hold3
Our bosoms linked with thine, thou old4
Barbaric king !5
A thousand thousand such thy mint6
Hath fashioned. In thy treasury7
The classic stamp and splendid tint8
Didst scan well pleased, without a hint9
That one should be,10
The last retirement of thy name ;11
Who didst a despot law enjoin12
On slaves, the knee once howed so tame,13
Thy equal now, and all thy fame14
This little coin ?15
Did Ormus bend to thee, and they16
Of Colchis ?  Did thy arrow strike17
The Indian ? owned the Scyth thy sway ?18
We nothing know, and can but say19
’Tis very like.20
This only know we, did thine blaze21
A conqueror’s sword, or not, ’tis rust.22
If ever hosts to win thee praise23
Contended, then their feet did raise24
More lasting dust.25
So far apart thy race was run,26
Thy very shade half seems to be27
The spectre of another sun.28
But, Greece ! the word is union29
For us and thee.30
The friend of Greece ! Then friend wert thou31
To sacred Art and all her train,32
The marble life, the Picture’s glow,33
And Music and the overflow34
Of lyric strain.35
The friend of Greece ! Then where of old36
Anarchic Licence charioteered37
Curbless, and famished Rapine rolled38
Forth hordes athirst for blood and gold,39
Thou wouldst have reared40
The Muse and Pallas shrines secure,41
Made Themis awful in her hall,42
And life a boon God-worthy, sure,43
Exalted, comely, cheerful, pure,44
And rhythmical.45
The friend of Greece ! Fate should have let46
Thee breathe ere yet a Greek could blush47
For aught but love or anger ! Set48
Her sun for thee, though lingering yet49
A heavenly flush.50
Yes ! beautiful before thee lay51
Inanimate Antiquity.52
Too late for life, yet for decay53
Too soon, thou view’dst her. We have clay54
And memory !55
And lips which haply, do we wend56
Mid the cold tombs of grace antique57
May with Hellenic accents blend58
Thy Parthian name, and call thee friend,59
Friend of the Greek !60