The Death of Sophocles

Then the king learnt that Sophocles was dead
(Legend)
To Sophocles' house that night an eagle flew down
from the sky,
And somberly rang from the garden the cicadas' choir.
At that hour the genius was passing into immortality,
Skirting, at the walls of his native town, the night-fires
Of the enemy. And this was when the king had a
strange dream:
Dionysus himself ordered the raising of the siege,
That no noise disturb the Athenians in burying him
With fitting ceremony and with elegies.

1961

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