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Fair Greece ! sad relic of departed worth! (33)
Immortal, though no more ; though fallen, great!
Who now shall lead thy scatter'd children forth,
And long accustom'd bondage uncreate ;
Not such thy sons who whilome did a wait,
The hopeless warriors of a willing doom,
In bleak Thermopylæ’s sepulchral strait-
Oh! who that gallant spirit shall resume,
Leap from Eurota's banks, and call thee from the tomb?
,, Spirit of freedom ! when on Phyle's brow (34)
Thou sat'st with Thrasybulus and his train,
Couldst thou forbode the dismal hour which now
Dims the green beauties of thine Altic plain?
Not thirty tyrants now enforce the chain,
But every carle can lord it o'er thy land ;
Nor rise thy sons, but idly rail in vain,
Trembling beneath the scourge of Turkish hand,
From birth till death enslav'd: in word, in deed unmann'd,
In all save form alone, and chang'd ! and who
That marks the fire still sparkling in each eye,
Who but would decm their bosoms burned anew
With thy unquenched beam, lost liberty!
And many dream withal the hour is nigh
That gives them back their father's heritage ;
For foreign arms and aid they fondly sigh
Nor sorely dare encounter hostile rage.
Or toar the name defil'd from slavery's mourpful page.
LXXVI. Hereditary bondsmen ! know ye not Who would be free themselves must strike the blow; By their right arms the conquest must be wrought? Will Gaal or Muscovite redress ye? no' True, they may lay your proud despoilers low, But, not for you will Freedom's altars flame. Shades of the Helots! triumph o'er your foe! Greece ! change thy lords, thy state is still the same; Thy glorious day is o’er, but not thine years of shame.
The city won for Allah from the Giaour,
The Giaour from Othman's race again may wrest;
And the Serai's impenetrable tower,
Receive the fiery Frank, her former guest ; (35)
Or Wahab's rebel brood who dared divest
The (36) prophet's tomb of all its pious spoil,
May wind the path of blood along the West ;
But ne'er will freedom seek this fated soil,
But slaves succeed to slave through years of endless toil.
Yet mark their mirth-ere lenten days begin,
That penance which their holy rites prepare
To shrive from man his weight of mortal sin,
By daily abstinence and nightly prayer ;
But ere his sackloth garb Repentance wear,
Some days of joyaunce are decreed to all,
To take of pleasaunce each his secret share,
In motley robe to dance at masking ball,
And join the mimic train of merry Caruival.
And whose more rife with merriment than thine,
Ob Stamboul ! once the empress of their reign ?
Though turbans now pollute Sophia's shrine,
And Greece her very altars eyes in vain :
(Alas! her woes will still pervade my strain !)
Gay were ber minstrels once, for free her throng,
All feltaw common joy they now must feign,
Nor oft I've seen such sight, nor heard such song,
As woo'd the eye, and thrillid the Bosphorus along.
Loud was the lightsome tumult of the shore,
Oft Music chang’d, but never ceas'd her tone,
And timely echo'd back the measur’d oar,
And rippling waters made a pleasant moan;
The Queen of tides on high consenting shone,
And when a transient breeze swept o'er the wave,
'Twas, as if darting from her heavenly throne,
A brighter glance her form reflected gave,
Till sparkling billows seem'd to light the banks they lare.
Glanc'd many a light caique along the foam,
Danc'd on the shore the daughters of the land,
Ne thought had man or maid of rest or honie,
While many a languid eye and thrilling hand
Exchang'd the look few bosoms may withstand,
Or gently prest, return'd the pressure stilt.
Oh Love! young Love! bound in thy rosy band,
Let sage or cynic prattle as he will,
These hours, and only these, redeem Life's years of ill!
But, midst the throng in merry masquerade,
Lurk there no hearts that throb with secret pain,
Even through the closest searment half betrayed;
To such the gentle murmurs of the main.
Seem to re-echo all they mouru in vain;
To such the gladness of the gamesome crowd
Is source of wayward thought and stern disdain :
How do they loathe the laughter idly loud,
And long to change the robe of revel for the shroud !
This must he feel, the true-born son of Greece,
If Greece one true-born patriot still can boast :
Not such as prate ot' war, but skulk in peace,
The bondsman's peace, who sighs for all he lost,
Yet with smooth smile his tyrant can accost,
Andwield the slavish sickle, not the sword:
Ah! Greece! they love thee least who owe thee most;
Their birth, their blood, and that sublime record Of hero sires, who shame thy now degenerate horde!
When riseth Lacedenion's bardihood,
When Thebes Epaminondas rears again,
When Athens' children are with hearts'endued,
When Grecian mothers shall give birth to men,
Then may'st thou be restored; but not till then.
A thousand years scarce serve to form a state;
An hour may lay it in the dust : and when
Can man its shatter'd splendour renovate,
Recal its virtues back, and vanquish Time and Fate;
And yet how lovely in thine age of woe,
Land of lost gods and godlike men ! art thou !
Thy vales of ever green, thy hills of snow (37)
Proclaim thee Nature's varied favourite now;
Thy fapes, thy temples to thy surface bow,
Commingling slowly with heroic earth,
Broke by the share of every rustic plough ;
So perish monuments of mortal birth,
So perish all in turn, save well recorded Worth ;
Save where some solitary column mourns
Above its prostrate brethren of the cave ; (39)
Save where Tritonia's airy shrine adorns
Colonna's cliff, and gleams along the wave :
Save o'er some warrior's half forgotten grave,
Where the grey stones and unmolested grass
Ages, but not oblivion, feebly brave,
While strangers only not regardless pask,
Lingering like me, perchance, to gaze, and sigli “ Alas!"
Yet are thy skies as blue, thy crags as wild ;
Sweet are thy groves, and verdant are thy fields,
Thine olive ripe as when Minerva smild,
And still his honied wealth Hymettus yields ;
There the blythe bee his fragrant fortress builds,
The freeborn wanderer of thy mountain-air;
Apollo still thy long, long summer gilds,
Still in his beam Mendeli’s marbles glare ;
Art, Glory, Freedom fail, but Nature still is fair.
Where'er we tread 'tis haunted, holy ground;
No earth of thine is lost in vulgar mould,
But one vast realm of wonder spreads around,
And all the Muse's tales seem truly told.
Till the sense aches with gazing to behold
The scenes our earliest dreams have dwelt upon :
Each hill and dale, each deepening glen and wold
Defies the power which crush'd thy temples gove: Age shakes Athena's tower, but spares gray Marathon.
The sun, the soil, but not the slave, the same;
Unchanged in all except its foreign lord
Preserves alike its bounds and boundless fame
The Battle-field, where Persia's victim horde
First bowed beneath the brunt of Hellas' sword,
As on the moru to distant Glory dear,
When Marathon became a magic word; (39)
Which utter'd, to the hearer's eye appear
The camp, the host, the fight, the conqueror's career.
The flying Mede, his shaftless broken bow;
The fiery Greek, his red pursuing spear;
Mountains above, Earth's, Ocean's plain below;
Death in the front, Destruction in the rear!
Such was the scene what now remaineth here?
What sacred trophy marks the hallow'd ground,
Recording Freedom's smile and Asia's tear ?
The rifled urn, the violated mound,
The dust thy courser's hoof,rade stranger! spurns around.
Yet to the remnants of thy splendour past
Shall pilgrims, pensive, but unwearied, throng ;
Long shall the voyager, with th' Ionian blast,
Hail the bright clime of battle and of song.
Long shall thine annals and immortal tongue
Fill with thy fame the youth of many a shore;
Boast of the aged ! lesson of the young!
Which sages venerate and bards adore,
As Pallas and the Muse unveil their awful lore.
The parted bosom clings to wonted home,
If aught that's kindred cheer the welcome hearth
He that is lonely hither let him roam,
And gaze complacent on congenial earth.
Greece is no lighisome land of social mirth;
But he whom Sadness sootheth may abide,
And scarce regret the region of his birth,
When wandering slow by Delphi's sacred side,
Or gazing o'er the plains where Greek and Persian died.