To Translate Horace!

George Meason Whicher, To Gilbert Murray, 1926

To translate Horace! And to send the verse
For Murray’s eyes! What folly could be worse?
If one before such Presences may come,
Should Littleness not tremble and be dumb?

Yet I can face them. Though the tiniest spark
Be mine, to glow amid the encircling dark,
True to its ether-home it still aspires
And claims its kinship with those greater fires.

Like the poor votary of that buried faith,
Who shrank to meet the Lords of Life and Death,
Yet bore within his hand on graven gold
The charm to make his very weakness bold, —

I too, the very least of them that sing,
May give this answer to their challenging:
“O Mighty Ones! I know you who you are;
But lo! I also am a Wandering Star.”