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When link'd together,
Without his plumage, when past the Spring.
DONNA JULIA'S LETTER.
[From Don Juan. Canto I.]
They tell me 'tis decided you depart :
'Tis wise-'tis well, but not the less a pain;
I used; I write in haste, and if a stain
I loved, I love you; for this love have lost
State, station, heaven, mankind's, my own esteem, And yet cannot regret what it hath cost,
So dear is still the memory of that dream;
None can deem harshlier of me than I deem:
Man's love is of man's life a thing apart,
'Tis woman's whole existence; man may range
And few there are whom these cannot estrange;
You will proceed in pleasure, and in pride,
My shame and sorrow deep in my heart's core:
The passion which still rages as before,— And so farewell-forgive me, love me—No, That word is idle now-but let it go.
My breast has been all weakness, is so yet;
As roll the waves before the settled wind;
To all, except one image, madly blind,
I have no more to say, but linger still,
And dare not set my seal upon this sheet, And yet I may as well the task fulfil,
My misery can scarce be more complete : I had not lived till now, could sorrow kill;
Death shuns the wretch who fain the blow would meet, And I must even survive this last adieu,
And bear with life, to love and pray for you!
[From the same.
'Tis sweet to hear
At midnight on the blue and moonlit deep The song and oar of Adria's gondolier,
By distance mellow'd, o'er the waters sweep; 'Tis sweet to see the evening star appear;
'Tis sweet to listen as the night-winds creep From leaf to leaf; 'tis sweet to view on high The rainbow, based on ocean, span the sky.
'Tis sweet to hear the watch-dog's honest bark
Our coming, and look brighter when we come ; 'Tis sweet to be awaken'd by the lark,
Or lull'd by falling waters; sweet the hum Of bees, the voice of girls, the song of birds, The lisp of children, and their earliest words.
Sweet is the vintage, when the showering grapes
Sweet to the father is his first-born's birth,
Sweet is a legacy, and passing sweet
The unexpected death of some old lady Or gentleman of seventy years complete,
Who've made " us youth' wait too-too long already For an estate, or cash, or country seat,
Still breaking, but with stamina so steady
'Tis sweet to win, no matter how, one's laurels,
Particularly with a tiresome friend:
Sweet is old wine in bottles, ale in barrels ;
Dear is the helpless creature we defend Against the world; and dear the schoolboy spot We ne'er forget, though there we are forgot.
But sweeter still than this, than these, than all,
The tree of knowledge has been pluck'd-all's known
And life yields nothing further to recall
Fire which Prometheus filch'd for us from heaven.
THE ISLES OF GREECE.
[From Don Juan. Canto III.]
The isles of Greece! the isles of Greece!
Where burning Sappho loved and sung,
The hero's harp, the lover's lute,
And Marathon looks on the sea;
I dreamed that Greece might still be free;
I could not deem myself a slave.
A king sate on the rocky brow
Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis;
And men in nations ;-all were his!
The heroic bosom beats no more!
'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 Thermopyla !
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;
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 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 Polycrates-