Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

When link'd together,
In every weather,
They pluck Love's feather
From out his wing-
He'll stay for ever,
But sadly shiver

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 have no further claim on your young heart,
Mine is the victim, and would be again:
To love too much has been the only art

I used; I write in haste, and if a stain
Be on this sheet, 'tis not what it appears;
My eyeballs burn and throb, but have no tears.

(1819.)

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;
Yet, if I name my guilt, 'tis not to boast,

None can deem harshlier of me than I deem:
I trace this scrawl because I cannot rest-
I've nothing to reproach or to request.

Man's love is of man's life a thing apart,

'Tis woman's whole existence; man may range
The court, camp, church, the vessel, and the mart;
Sword, gown, gain, glory, offer in exchange
Pride, fame, ambition, to fill up his heart,

And few there are whom these cannot estrange;
Men have all these resources, we but one,
To love again, and be again undone.

You will proceed in pleasure, and in pride,
Beloved and loving many; all is o'er
For me on earth, except some years to hide

My shame and sorrow deep in my heart's core:
These I could bear, but cannot cast aside

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;
But still I think I can collect my mind;
My blood still rushes where my spirit's set,

As roll the waves before the settled wind;
My heart is feminine, nor can forget-

To all, except one image, madly blind,
So shakes the needle, and so stands the pole,
As vibrates my fond heart to my fix'd soul.

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!

FIRST LOVE.

[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
Bay deep-mouth'd welcome as we draw near home;
'Tis sweet to know there is an eye will mark

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
In Bacchanal profusion reel to earth,
Purple and gushing; sweet are our escapes
From civic revelry to rural mirth;
Sweet to the miser are his glittering heaps,

Sweet to the father is his first-born's birth,
Sweet is revenge-especially to women,
Pillage to soldiers, prize-money to seamen.

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
That all the Israelites are fit to mob its
Next owner for their double-damn'd post-obits.

'Tis sweet to win, no matter how, one's laurels,
By blood or ink; 'tis sweet to put an end
To strife; 'tis sometimes sweet to have our quarrels,

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,
Is first and passionate love-it stands alone,
Like Adam's recollection of his fall;

The tree of knowledge has been pluck'd-all's known

And life yields nothing further to recall
Worthy of this ambrosial sin, so shown,
No doubt in fable, as the unforgiven

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,
Where grew the arts of war and peace,
Where Delos rose, and Phoebus 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 sate 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 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;
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 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-
A tyrant; but our masters then
Were still, at least, our countrymen.

« AnteriorContinuar »