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No breath of air to break the wave
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 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 welcomo 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 beard 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;
(1) A tomb above the rocks on the promontory, by some supposed the sepulchro of Themistocles.
(2) The attachment of the nightingale to the rose is a well-known Persian fable. iri mistake not, the “ Bulbul of a thousand tales" is one of his appellations.
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 (o)
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 lov'd to trace
As if for Gods, a dwelling-place,
And every charm and grace hath mix'd
Within the paradise she fix’d,
There man, enamour'd of distress,
Should mar it into wilderness,
And trample, brute-lıke, o’er each flower
That takes not one laborious hour;
Nor clairns 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 prevail'd
Against the seraphs they assail'd,
And, fixed 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,) (1) The guitar is the constant amusement of the Greek sailor by night : with a steady fair wind, and during a calm, it is accompanied always by the voice, and ofter by dancing.
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 seal'd.
The first, last look by death reveald ! (*)
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 inountain-cavo
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 Thermopylæ ?
Ay, but to die and go we know not where,
To lie in cold obstruction."
Measure for Measure, Act III. 130, Sc. 2. 12) I trust that few of my readers have ever had an opportunity of witnessing what 18 horo attemptod in description, but those who have, will probably rotain a painful romembrance of that singular beauty which pervados, with few exceptions, the fea. lures of the dead, a few hours, and but for a low hours, aster" the spirit is not there." It is to be romarked, in cases of violent death by gun-shot wounds, the expression is always that of languor, whatever the natural energy of the sufferer's character: but on death from a stab the countonance prcsorves its traits of feeling or ferocity, and tho usind its bias to the last.
These waters blue that 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 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 lame,
They too will rather die than shame :
For Freedom' 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 narneless pyramid,
Thy heroes, though the general doom
Hath swept the column from their tornb,
A mightier monuinent 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.
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;
(1) Athens is the property of the Kislar Aga, (the slavo of tho seraglio and guinze
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 muy believe,
Who heard it first had cause to grieve.
Far, dark, along the blue sea glancing, pelling
The shadows of the rocks advancing,
Start on the fisher's
Of island-pirate or Mainote ;
And fearful for his light caique,
He shuns the near but doubtful creek :
Though worn and weary with his toil
And cumber'd with his scaly spoil,
Slowly, yet strongly, plies the oar,
Till Port Leone's safer shore
Receives him by the lovely light
That best becomes an Eastern night
Who thundering comes on blackest steed,
With slacken’d bit and hoof of speedy
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,
'Tis calmer than thy heart, young Giaour! (")
dian of the women ) who appoints the Waywode. A pander and eunuch — those are not polito, yot trúo appellations - now governs tho governor of Athens !