Page images


"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:

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—

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,
And cry, Remembrance saddening o'er each brow,
How had the brave who fell exulted now!"


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,
When—Athens! here thy Wisest look'd his last.
How watch'd thy better sons his farewell ray,
That clos'd their murder'd sage's latest day I
Not yet—not yet—Sol pauses on the hill—
The precious hour of parting lingers still;

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,
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:
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;
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.

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:

Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair'd the nameless grace

Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;

Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear, their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow, So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow, But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below, A heart whose love is innocent!

If that high world, which lies beyond \

Our own, surviving Love endears; If there the cherish'd heart be fond,

The eye the same, except in tears— How welcome those untrodden spheres!

How sweet this very hour to die! To soar from earth, and find all fears

Lost in thy light—Eternity!

It must be so: 'tis not for self
That we so tremble on the brink;

And striving to o'erleap the gulf,
Yet cling to Being's severing link.




Oh! in that future let us think
To hold each heart the heart that shares;

With them the immortal waters drink,
And soul in soul grow deathless theirs!


O! SNATCH'D away in beauty's bloom,
On thee shall press no ponderous tomb ,
But on thy turf shall roses rear
Their leaves, the earliest of the year;
And the wild cypress wave in tender gloom;

And oft by yon blue gushing stream
Shall Sorrow lean her drooping head, And feed deep thought with many a dream,
And lingering pause and lightly tread;Fond wretch! as if her step disturb'd the dead! 10

Away! we know that tears are vain, That Death nor heeds nor hears distress;Will this unteach us to complain!Or make one mourner weep the less!And thou—who tell'st me to forget, Thy looks are wan, thine eyes are wet.


When coldness wraps this suffering clay.

Ah! whither strays the immortal mind?
It cannot die, it cannot stay.

But leaves its darken'd dust behind.
Then, unembodied, doth it trace

By steps each planet's heavenly way?
Or fill at once the realms of space,

A thing of eyes, that all survey?

« PreviousContinue »