"The oracles are dumb; No voice or hideous hum Rings through the arched roof in words deceiving. Apollo from his shrine Can no more divine, With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leaving. No nightly trance or breathed spell Inspires the pale-eyed priest from the prophetic cell."
In Cowper's poem of Yardley Oak there are some beautiful mythological allusions. The former of the two following is to the fable of Castor and Pollux; the latter is more appropriate to our present subject. Addressing the acorn he says,
"Thou fell'st mature; and in the loamy clod, Swelling with vegetative force instinct, Didst burst thine egg, as theirs the fabled Twins Now stars; two lobes protruding, paired exact; A leaf succeeded and another leaf, And, all the elements thy puny growth Fostering propitious, thou becam'st a twig. Who lived when thou was such? Oh, couldst thou speak As in Dodona once thy kindred trees Oracular, I would not curious ask The future, best unknown, but at thy mouth Inquisitive, the less ambiguous past."
Tennyson in his Talking Oak alludes to the oaks of Dodona in these lines:
"And I will work in prose and rhyme, And praise thee more in both Than bard has honored beech or lime, Or that Thessalian growth In which the swarthy ring-dove sat And mystic sentence spoke."
Byron alludes to the oracle of Delphi where, speaking of Rousseau, whose writings he conceives did much to bring on the French revolution, he says,
"For then he was inspired, and from him came, As from the Pythian's mystic cave of yore, Those oracles which set the world in flame, Nor ceased to burn till kingdoms were no more."
Chapter XXVIII Origin of Mythology Statues of Gods and Goddesses Poets of Mythology