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And those who dwell in them! for near or far,
Our inborn spirits have a tint of thee,
Even as our outward aspects; thou dost rise,
And shine, and set in glory. Fare thee well!
I ne'er shall see thee more. As my first glance
Of love and wonder was for thee, then take
My latest look : thou wilt not beam on one
To whom the gifts of life and warmth have been
Of a nore fatal nature. He is gone :
THE FATE OF BEAUTY.
As rising on its purple wing
The insect-queen of eastern spring,
O’er emerald meadows of Kashmeer,
Invites the young pursuer near,
And leads him on from flower to flower
A weary chase and wasted hour,
Then leaves him, as it soars on high,
With panting heart and tearful eye.-
So beauty lures the full-grown child,
With hue as bright, and wing as wild ;
A chace of idle hopes and fears,
Begun in folly, closed in tears.
If won, to equal ills betrayed,
Woe waits the insect, and the maid;
A life of pain, the loss of peace,
From infant's play, and man's caprice:
The lovely toy so fiercely sought
Hath lost its charm by being caught,
For every touch that wooed its stay
Hath brushed its brightest hues away,
Till charm, and hue, and beauty gone,
'Tis left to fly or fall alone.
With wounded wing, or bleeding breast,
Ah! where shall either victim rest ?
Can this with faded pinion soar
From rose to tulip as before ?
Or beauty, blighted in an hour,
Find joy within her broken bower?
No: gayer insects fluttering by
Ne'er droop the wing o'er those that die,
And lovelier things have mercy shown
To every failing but their own,
And every woe a tear can claim,
Except an erring sister's shame.
He who hath bent him o'er the dead
Ere the first day of death is filed,
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 mark'd 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 would 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 cherish'd earth!
“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 loath'd 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 !”
SONG OF A GREEK.
The isles of Greece, the isles of Greece!
Where burning Sappho loved and sung,
Where grew the arts of war and peace,
Where Delos rose and Phæbus sprung!
Eternal summer gilds them yet,
But all, except their sun, is set.
The Scian and the Teian muse,
The hero's harp, the lover's lute,
Have found the fame your shores refuse;
Their place of birth alone is mute
To sounds which echo further west
Than your sires' “ Islands of the Blest."
The mountains look on Marathon,-
And Marathon looks on the sea;
And musing there an hour alone,
I dreamed that Greece might still be free;
For standing on the Persians' grave,
I could not deem myself a slave.
A king sat on the rocky brow
Which looks o’er sea-born Salamis ;
And ships by thousands, lay below,
And men in nations ;-all were his !
He counted them at break of day,
And when the sun set where were they?
And where are they! and where art thou,
My country? On thy voiceless shore
The heroic lay is tuneless now,
The heroic bosom beats no more!
And must thy lyre, so long divine,
Degenerate into hands like mine?
'Tis something, in the dearth of fame,
Though link'd among a fetter'd race,
To feel at least a patriot's shame,
Even as I sing, suffuse my face;
For what is left the poet here?
For Greeks a blush,--for Greece a tear.
Must we but weep o'er days more blest?
Must we but blush ?-Our fathers bled.
Earth! render back from out thy breast
A remnant of our Spartan dead !
Of the three hundred grant but three,
To make a new Thermopylæ !
What, silent still ? and silent all ?
Ah! no ;--the voices of the dead
Sound like a distant torrent's fall,
“Let one living head, But one arise,—we come, we come!” 'Tis but the living who are dumb.
In vain,--in vain; strike other chords;
Fill high the cup with Samian wine! Leave battles to the Turkish hordes,
And shed the blood of Scio's vine! Hark! rising to the ignoble callHow answers each bold bacchanal!
You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet,
Where is the Pyrrhic phalanx gone ! Of two such lessons, why forget
The nobler and the manlier one ? You have the letters Cadmus gave,Think ye he meant them for a slave ? Fill high the bowl with Samian wine !
We will not think of themes like these, It made Anacreon's song divine :
He served—but served PolycratesA tyrant; but our masters then Were still, at least, our countrymen.
The tyrant of the Chersonese
Was freedom's best and bravest friend; That tyrant was Miltiades!
Oh, that the present hour would lend Another despot of the kind ! Such chains as his were sure to bind.
Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
On Suli's rock, and Parga's shore, Exists the remnant of a line,
Such as the Doric mothers bore; And there, perhaps, some seed is sown, The Heracleidan blood might own.
Trust not for freedom to the Franks,
They have a king who buys and sells; In native swords, and native ranks,
The only hope of courage dwells; But Turkish force, and Latin fraud, Would break your shield, however broad.
Fill high the bowl with Samian wine,
Our virgins dance beneath the shadeI see their glorious black eyes shine;
But gazing on each glowing maid, My own the burning tear-drop laves, To think such breasts must suckle slaves.