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My rifle for thy feast shall bring
Fierce, beautiful, and fleet,
I know, for thou hast told me,
Are pale compared with ours.
Bloom to the April skies,
The earth has no more gorgeous sight
To show to human eyes.
In meadows red with blossoms,
All summer long, the bee
Murmurs, and loads his yellow thighs,
Or wouldst thou gaze at tokens
Our old oaks stream with mosses,
And sprout with mistletoe;
And mighty vines, like serpents, climb
And trunks, o'erthrown for centuries,
And in the great savanna,
The solitary mound,
Built by the elder world, o'erlooks
Come, thou hast not forgotten
Beneath the evening light.
Come, the young violets crowd my door,
The jessamine peeps in. All day the red-bird warbles,
Upon the mulberry near,
And the night-sparrow trills her song,
THE GREEK BOY.
GONE are the glorious Greeks of old,
Their bones are mingled with the mould,
The forms they hewed from living stone
And, scattered with their ashes, show
Yet fresh the myrtles there-the springs
Flowers blossom from the dust of kings,
There nature moulds as nobly now,
Boy! thy first looks were taught to seek
Her airs have tinged thy dusky cheek,
Thine ears have drunk the woodland strains
Now is thy nation free-though late-
Broke, ere thy spirit felt its weight,
And Greece, decayed, dethroned, doth see
The nations silent in its shade
THOU unrelenting Past!
Strong are the barriers round thy dark domain,
Hold all that enter thy unbreathing reign.
Far in thy realm withdrawn
Old empires sit in sullenness and gloom,
Lie deep within the shadow of thy womb.
Childhood, with all its mirth,
Youth, Manhood, Age, that draws us to the ground, And last, Man's Life on earth,
Glide to thy dim dominions, and are bound.
Thou hast my better years,
Thou hast my earlier friends-the good-the kind,
Yielded to thee with tears
The venerable form-the exalted mind.