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No breath of air to break the waye
That rolls below the Athenian's grave,
That tomb which, gleaming o'er the cliff,
First greets the homeward-veering skiff,
High o'er the land he saved in vain :
When shall such hero live again?
Fair clime ! where every season smiles
Benignant o'er those blessed istes,
Which seen from far Colonna's height,
Make glad the heart that hails the sight,
And lend to loneliness delight.
There, mildly dimpling, Ocean's cheek
Reflects the tints of many a peak
Caught by the laughing tides that lave
These Edens of the eastern wave;
And if, at times, a transient breeze
Break the blue crystal of the seas,
Or sweep one blossom from the trees,
How welcome is each gentle air
That wakes and wafts the odours there!
For there the rose o'er crag or vale,
Sultana of the nightingale,
The maid for whom his melody,
His thousand songs are heard on high,
Blooms blushing to her lover's tale :
His queen, the garden queen, his rose,
Unbent by winds, unchill'd by snows,
Far from the winters of the west,
By every breeze and season blest,
Returns the sweets by nature given,
In softest incense back to heaven;
And grateful yields that smiling sky
Her fairest hue and fragrant sigh.
many a summer flower is there, And many a shade that love inight share, And many a grotto, meant for rest, That holds the pirate for a guest ; Whose bark in sheltering cove below Lurks for the passing peaceful prow, Till the gay mariner's guitar 3 Is heard, and seen the evening star ; Then stealing with the muffled oar, Far shaded by the rocky shore, Rush the night-prowlers on the prey, And turn to groans his roundelay. Strange—that where nature loved to trace. As if for gods, a dwelling-place, And every charm and grace bath mix’d Within the paradise she fix'd, There man, enamour'd of distress, Should mar it into wilderness, And trample, brute-like, o’er each flower That tasks not one laborious hour; Nor claims the culture of his hand To bloom along the fairy land, But springs as to preclude his care, And sweetly woes him—but to spare ! Strange, that where all is peace beside, There passion riots in her pride, And lust and rapine wildly reign To darken o'er the fair domain. It is as though the fiends prevail'd Against the seraphs they assail'd, And, fix'd on heavenly thrones, should dwell The freed inheritors of hell; So soft the scene, so form’d for joy, So curst the tyrants that destroy!
He who hath bent him o'er the dead, Ere the first day of death is fled, The first dark day of nothingness, The last of danger and distress (Before decay's effacing fingers Have swept the lines where beauty lingers), And mark'd the mild angelic air, The rapture of repose that 's there, The fix'd, yet tender traits that streak The languor of the placid cheek, And—but for that sad shrouded
eye, That fires not, wins not, weeps not, now,
And but for that chill, changeless brow, Where cold obstruction's apathy *
Appals the gazing mourner's heart,
As if to him it could impart
The doom he dreads, yet dwells upon:
Yes, but for these, and these alone,
Some moments, ay, one treacherous hour,
He still might doubt the tyrant's power ;
So fair, so calm, so softly seald,
The first, last look by death reveal'd! 5
Such is the aspect of this shore :
'T is Greece, but living Greece no more!
So coldly sweet, so deadly fair,
We start, for soul is wanting there.
Hers is the loveliness in death,
That parts not quite with parting breath ;
But beauty with that fearful bloom,
That hue which haunts it to the tomb,
Expression's last receding ray,
A gilded halo hovering round decay,
The farewell beam of feeling past away!
Spark of that flame, perchance of heavenly birth,
Which gleams, but warms no more its cherish'd earth.
Clime of the unforgotten brave! Whose land from plain to mountain-cave Was freedom's home or glory's grave!
Shrine of the mighty! can it be,
That this is all remains of thee? Approach, thou craven crouching slave :
Say, is not this Thermopylae ? These waters blue thạt round
Oh servile offspring of the free,-
Pronounce what sea, what shore is this?:
The gulf, the rock of Salamis !
These scenes, their story not unknown,
Arise, and make again your own ;
Snatch from the ashes of
The embers of their former fires :
And he who in the strife expires
Will add to theirs a name of fear
That tyranny shall quake to hear,
And leave his sons a hope, a fame,
They too will rather die than shame :
For freedom's battle once begun,
Bequeath'd by bleeding sire to son,
Though baffled oft, is ever won.
Bear witness, Greece, thy living page.
Attest it many a deathless age!
While kings, in dusty darkness hid,
Have left a nameless pyramid,
Thy heroes, though the general doom
Hath swept the column from their tomb,
A mightier monument command,
The mountains of their native land !
There points thy muse to stranger's eye
of those that cannot die! 'T were long to tell, and sad to trace, Each step from splendour to disgrace ; Enough—no foreign foe could quell Thy soul, till from itself it fell; Yes ! self-abasement paved the way To villain-bonds and despot-sway.
What can he tell who treads thy shore?
No legend of thine olden time, No theme on which the muse might soar, High as thine own in days of yore,
When man was worthy of thy clime
The hearts within thy valleys bred,
The fiery souls that might have led
Thy sons to deeds sublime,
Now crawl from cradle to the grave,
Slaves-nay, the bondsmen of a slave,
And callous, save to crime ;
Stain'd with each evil that pollutes
Mankind, where least above the brutes ;
Without even savage virtue blest,
Without one free or valiant breast.
Still to the neighbouring ports they waft
Proverbial wiles, and ancient craft ;
In this the subtle Greek is found,
For this, and this alone, renown'd.
In vain might liberty invoke
The spirit to its bondage broke,
Or raise the neck that courts the yoke :
No more her sorrows I bewail,
Yet this will be a mournful tale,
And they who listen
may believe, Who heard it first had cause to grieve.
Far, dark, along the blue sea glancing, The shadows of the rocks advancing, Start on the fisher's
Of island-pirate or Mainote;
And, fearful for his light caïque,
He shuns the near but doubtful creek :
Though worn and weary with his toil,
And cumber'd with his scaly spoil,
Who thundering comes on blackest steed, With slacken'd bit and hoof of speed ? Beneath the clattering iron's sound, The cavern'd echoes wake around In lash for lash, and bound for bound; The foam that streaks the courser's side Seems gather'd from the ocean-tide : Though weary waves are sunk to rest, There's none within his rider's breast; And though to-morrow's tempest lower, 'T is calmer than thy heart, young
Giaour !! I know thee not, I loathe thy race, But in thy lineaments I trace What time shall strengthen, not efface : Though young and pale, that sallow front Is scathed by fiery passions' brunt ; Though bent on earth thine evil eye, As meteor-like thou glidest by, Right well I view and deem thee one Whom Othman's sons should slay or shun.
On-on he hasten'd, and he drew
My gaze of wonder as he flew :
Though like a demon of the night
He pass'd and vanish'd from my sight,
His aspect and his air impress'd
A troubled memory on my breast
And long upon my startled ear
Rung his dark courser's hoofs of fear.
his steed; he nears the steep
That, jutting, shadows o'er the deep ;
He winds around; he hurries by ;
The rock relieves him from mine eye ;
For well I ween unwelcome he
Whose glance is fix'd on those that flee;
And not a star but shines too bright
On him who takes such timeless flight.
He wound along; but, ere he pass’d,
One glance he snatch'd, as if his last,
A moment check’d his wheeling steed,
A moment breathed him from his speed,
A moment on his stirrup stood-
Why looks he o'er the olive wood ?