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Fair clime! where every season smiles Benignant o'er those blessed isles, 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, unchilled 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. And many a summer flower is there, And many a shade that love might 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 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 hath mixed Within the paradise she fixed,
There man, enamoured 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 woos 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 prevailed
Against the seraphs they assailed,
And, fixed on heavenly thrones, should dwell
The freed inheritors of hell;
So soft the scene, so formed 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 marked the mild angelic air, The rapture of repose that's there, The fixed 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 sealed, 'The first, last look by death revealed! Such is the aspect of this shore; 'Tis 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 cherished 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 Thermopyla?
These waters blue that round you lave,
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 your sires
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,
Bequeathed 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
The graves of those that cannot die!
"Twere 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.
THEY gain by twilight's hour their lonely isle. To them the very rocks appear to smile; The haven hums with many a cheering sound, The beacons blaze their wonted stations round, The boats are darting o'er the curly bay, And sportive dolphins bend them through the spray; Even the hoarse sea-bird's shrill, discordant shriek, Greets like the welcome of his tuneless beak! Beneath each lamp that through its lattice gleams, Their fancy paints the friends that trim the beams. Oh! what can sanctify the joys of home, Like Hope's gay glance from Ocean's troubled foam?
The lights are high on beacon and from bower,
And midst them Conrad seeks Medora's tower:
He looks in vain-'tis strange-and all remark,
Amid so many, hers alone is dark.
'Tis strange-of yore its welcome never failed,
Nor now, perchance, extinguished, only veiled.
With the first boat descends he for the shore,
And looks impatient on the lingering oar.
!for a wing beyond the falcon's flight,
To bear him like an arrow to that height!
With the first pause the resting rowers gave,
He waits not looks not-leaps into the wave,
Strives through the surge, bestrides the beach, and high
Ascends the path familiar to his eye.
He reached his turret door-he paused-no sound
Broke from within; and all was night around.
He knocked, and loudly-footstep nor reply
Announced that any heard or deemed him nigh;
He knocked-but faintly—for his trembling hand
Refused to aid his heavy heart's demand.
The portal opens-'tis a well-known face---
But not the form he panted to embrace.
Its lips are silent-twice his own essayed,
And failed to frame the question they delayed;
He snatched the lamp-its light will answer all--
It quits his grasp, expiring in the fall.
He would not wait for that reviving ray-
As soon could he have lingered there for day;
But, glimmering through the dusky corridor,
Another chequers o'er the shadowed floor;
His steps the chamber gain-his eyes behold
All that his heart believed not-yet foretold!
He turned not-spoke not-sunk not-fixed his look,
And set the anxious frame that lately shook:
He gazed-how long we gaze despite of pain,
And know, but dare not own, we gaze in vain!
In life itself she was so still and fair,
That death with gentler aspect withered there;
And the cold flowers her colder hand contained,
In that last grasp as tenderly were strained
As if she scarcely felt, but feigned a sleep,
And made it almost mockery yet to weep:
The long dark lashes fringed her lids of snow;
And veiled-thought shrinks from all that lurked below-
Oh! o'er the eye death most exerts his might,
And hurls the spirit from her throne of light!
Sinks those blue orbs in that long last eclipse,
But spares, as yet, the charm around her lips-
Yet, yet they seem as they forbore to smile,
And wished repose-but only for a while;
But the white shroud, and each extended tress,
Long-fair-but spread in utter lifelessness,
Which, late the sport of every summer wind,
Escaped the baffled wreath that strove to bind;
These-and the pale pure cheek, became the bier-
But she is nothing-wherefore is he here?
He asked no question-all were answered now
By the first glance on that still-marble brow.
It was enough-she died-what recked it how?
The love of youth, the hope of better years,
The source of softest wishes, tenderest fears,
The only living thing he could not hate,
Was reft at once-and he deserved his fate,
But did not feel it less;-the good explore,
For peace, those realms where guilt can never soar:
The proud-the wayward-who have fixed below
T'heir joy-and find this earth enough for woe,
Lose in that one their all-perchance a mite-
But who in patience parts with all delight?
Full many a stoic eye and aspect stern
Mask hearts where grief hath little left to learn;
And many a withering thought lies hid, not lost,
In smiles that least befit who wear them most.
By those, that deepest feel, is ill exprest
The indistinctness of the suffering breast;