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Yet how much less it were to gain, Though thou hast left me free,
Than thus remember thee!
THE GLORY THAT WAS GREECE
Cl1me of the unforgotten brave!
Say, is not this Thermopylae?
O servile offspring of the free—
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, 3°
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. 39
KNOW YE THE LAND
Know ye the land where the cypress and myrtle
Where the rage of the vulture, the love of the turtle,
Know ye the land of the cedar and vine,
Where the flowers ever blossom, the beams ever shine;
Where the light wings of Zephyr, oppress'd with perfume,
Wax faint o'er the gardens of Gul in her bloom;
Where the citron and olive are fairest of fruit,
And the voice of the nightingale never is mute: w
Where the tints of the earth, and the hues of the sky,
In color though varied, in beauty may vie,
And the purple of ocean is deepest in dye;
Where the virgins are soft as the roses they twine,
And all, save the spirit of man, is divine?
'Tis the clime of the East; 'tis the land of the Sun—
Can he smile on such deeds as his children have done?
Oh! wild as the accents of lovers' farewell
Are the hearts which they bear, and the tales which they tell. 19
THE CORSAIRS' SONG
"O'er the glad waters of the dark-blue sea,
Our thoughts as boundless, and our souls as free,
Far as the breeze can bear, the billows foam.
Survey our empire, and behold our home!
These are our realms, no limits to their sway,—
Our flag the sceptre all who meet obey.
Ours the wild life in tumult still to range
From toil to rest, and joy in every change.
Oh, who can tell? not thou, luxurious slave!
Whose soul would sicken o'er the heaving wave: 1O
Not thou, vain lord of wantonness and ease!
Whom slumber soothes not—pleasure cannot please—
Oh, who can tell, save he whose heart hath tried,
And danced in triumph o'er the waters wide,
The exulting sense—the pulse's maddening play, \
That thrills the wanderer of that trackless way?
That for itself can woo the approaching fight,
And turn what some deem danger to delight;
That seeks what cravens shun with more than zeal,
And where the feebler faint can only feel— 2°
Feel—to the rising bosom's inmost core,
Its hope awaken and its spirit soar?
No dread of death—if with us die our foes—
Save that it seems even duller than repose:
Come when it will—we snatch the life of life—
When lost—what recks it by disease or strife?
Let him who crawls enamour'd of decay,
Cling to his couch, and sicken years away;
Heave his thick breath, and shake his palsied head;
Ours—the fresh turf, and not the feverish bed. ^°
While gasp by gasp he falters forth his soul,
Ours with one pang—one bound—escapes control.
His corse may boast its urn and narrow cave,
And they who loathed his life may gild his grave;
Ours are the tears, though few, sincerely shed, When Ocean shrouds and sepulchres our dead. For us, even banquets fond regret supply In the red cup that crowns our memory;And the brief epitaph in danger's day, When those who win at length divide the prey, 4°
And cry, Remembrance saddening o'er each brow, How had the brave who fell exulted now I"
Slow sinks, more lovely ere his race be run, Along Morea's hills the setting sun;Not, as in Northern climes, obscurely bright, But one unclouded blaze of living light!O'er the hush'd deep the yellow beam he throws, Gilds the green wave, that trembles as it glows. On old ^Egina's rock, and Idra's isle, The god of gladness sheds his parting smile;O'er his own regions lingering, loves to shine, Though there his altars are no more divine. Descending fast the mountain shadows kiss Thy glorious gulf, unconquer'd Salamis!Their azure arches through the long expanse More deeply purpled meet his mellowing glance, And tenderest tints, along their summits driven, Mark his gay course, and own the hues of heaven;Till, darkly shaded from the land and deep, Behind his Delphian cliff he sinks to sleep.
On such an eve his palest beam he cast,
But sad his light to agonizing eyes, And dark the mountain's once delightful dyes:Gloom o'er the lovely land he seem'd to pour, The land where Phoebus never frown'd before;But ere he sank below Cithaeron's head, The cup of woe was quaff'd—the spirit fled, 30 The soul of him who scorn'd to fear or fly— Who lived and died, as none can live or die!
But lo! from high Hymettus to the plain, The queen of night asserts her silent reign. No murky vapour, herald of the storm, Hides her fair face, nor girds her glowing form:With cornice glimmering as the moonbeams play, There the white column greets her grateful ray, And, bright around with quivering beams beset, Her emblem sparkles o'er the minaret: 4°
The groves of olive scatter'd dark and wide Where meek Cephisus pours his scanty tide, The cypress saddening by the sacred mosque, The gleaming turret of the gay kiosk, And, dun and sombre 'mid the holy calm, Near Theseus' fane yon solitary palm, All tinged with varied hues, arrest the eye— And dull were his that pass'd them heedless by.
Again the ^Egean, heard no more afar, Lulls his chafed breast from elemental war; 50 Again his waves in milder tints unfold Their long array of sapphire and of gold, Mix'd with the shades of many a distant isle, That frown—where gentler ocean seems to smile.