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Earth with her haughty shadow, and display'd,
Until the o'ercanopied horizon fail'd, Her rushing wings; oh! she who was Almighty
SONG OF THE GREEK BARD. THE Isles of Greece, the Isles of Greece !
Where burning Sappho loved and sung,
Where Delos rose, and Phæbus sprung!
The Scian and the Teian muse,
The hero's harp, the lover's lute,
Their place of birth alone is mute
The mountains look on Marathon
And Marathon looks on the sea ;
I dreamed that Greece might still be free ;
A king sat on the rocky brow
Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis ;
And men and nations—all were his !
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?
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 !
What! silent still ? and silent all ?
Ah! no :-the voices of the dead Sound like a distant torrent's fall,
And answer, “ 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 !
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 gaveThink 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.
Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
Our virgins dance beneath the shade I 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.
Place me on Sunium's marbled steep
Where nothing, save the waves and I, May hear our mutual murmurs sweep;
There, swan-like, let me sing and die : A land of slaves shall ne'er be mineDash down yon cup of Samian wine!
DESCRIPTION OF A GRECIAN HOLIDAY. He saw his white walls shining in the sun,
His garden trees all shadowy and green : He heard his rivulet's light bubbling run,
The distant dog-bark : and perceived between The umbrage of the wood so cool and dun
The moving figures, and the sparkling sheen Of arms in the East all arm)—and various
dyes Of colour'd garbs, as bright as butterflies.
And as the spot where they appear he nears,
Surprised at these unwonted signs of idling, He hears-alas! no music of the spheres,
But an unhallow'd earthly sound of fiddling ! A melody which made him doubt his ears,
The cause being past his guessing or unriddling ; A pipe, too, and a drum, and shortly after, A most unoriental roar of laughter.
And still more nearly to the place advancing,
Descending rather quickly the declivity, Through the waved branches o'er the green sward
glancing 'Midst other indications of festivity. Seeing a troop of his domestics dancing
Like dervises, who turn as on a pivot, he Perceived it was the Pyrrhic dance so martial, To which the Levantines are very partial.
And further on, a group of Grecian girls,
The first and tallest her white kerchief waving,
Were strung together like a row of pearls ;
having Down her white neck long floating auburn curls
(The least of which would set ten poets raving); Their leader sang—and bounded to her song, With choral step and voice, the virgin throng.
And here, assembled cross-legg'd round their
trays, Small social parties just began to dine; Pilaus and meats of all sorts met the gaze,
And flasks of Samian and of Chian wine, And sherbet cooling in the porous vase ;
Above them their desert grew on its vine, The orange and pomegranate nodding o'er, Dropp'd in their laps scarce pluck'd, their mellow
A band of children, round a snow-white ram,
There wreath his venerable horns with flowers; While peaceful as if still an unwean'd lamb,
The patriarch of the flock all gently cowers His sober head, majestically tame,
Or eats from out the palm, or playful lowers His brow, as if in act to butt, and then Yielding to their small hands, draws back again.
Their classical profiles, and glittering dresses,
Their large black eyes, and soft seraphic cheeks, Crimson as cleft pomegranates, their long tresses,
The gesture which enchants, the eye that speaks, The innocence which happy childhood blesses,
Made quite a picture of these little Greeks;