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Though baffled oft is ever won.
Bear witness, Greece, thy living page,
Attest it many a deathless age!
While kings, in dusty darkness hid,
Have left a nameless pyramid,
Thy heroes, though the general doom
Hath swept the column from their tomb,
A mightier monument command,
The mountains of their native land !
There points the Muse to stranger's eye
of those that cannot die !
'Twere long to tell, and sad to trace,
Each step from splendour to disgrace;
Enough-no foreign foe could quell
Thy soul, till from itself it fell,
Yes ! self-abasement paved the way
To vilain-bonds and despot-sway.
What can he tell who treads thy shore ?
No legend of thine olden time, No theme on which the muse might soar, High as thine own in days of yore,
When man was worthy of thy clime.
The hearts within thy valleys bred,
The fiery souls that might have led
Thy sons to deeds sublime,
Now crawl from cradle to the grave,
Slaves—nay, the bondsmen of a slave,
And callous, save to crime;
Stained with each evil that pollutes
Mankind, where least above the brutes ;
Without even savage virtue blest,
Without one free or valiant breast.
Still to the neighbouring ports they waft
Proverbial wiles, and ancient craft;
In this the subtle Greek is found,
For this, and this alone, renowned.
In vain might Liberty invoke
The spirit to its bondage broke,
Or raise the neck that courts the yoke :
No more her sorrows I bewail,
Yet this will be a mournful tale,
And they who listen may believe,
Who heard it first had cause to grieve.
Far, dark, along the blue sea glancing, The shadows of the rocks advancing, Start on the fisher's
Of island-pirate or Mainote;
And fearful for his light caique,
He shuns the near but doubtful creek :
Though worn and weary with his toil,
And cumbered with his scaly spoil,
Slowly, yet strongly, plies the oar,
Till Port Leonc's safer shore
Receives him by the lovely light
That best becomes an Eastern night.
Who thundering comes on blackest steed, With slackened bit and hoof of speed ? Beneath the clattering iron's sound The caverned echoes wake around In lash for lash, and bound for bound; The foam that streaks the courser's side Seems gathered from the ocean-tide':
Though weary waves are sunk, to rest,
There's none within his rider's breast;
And though to-morrow's tempest lower,
'Tis calmer than thy heart, young Giaour!!
I know thee not, I loathe thy race,
But in thy lineaments I trace
What time shall strengthen, not efface :
Though young and pale, that sallow front
Is scathed by fiery passion's brunt;
Though bent on earth thine evil eye,
As meteor like thou glidest by,
Right well I view and deem thee one
Whom Othman's sons should slay, or shun.
On-on he hastened, and he drew.
My gaze of wonder as he flew :
Though like a demon of the night
He passed and vanished from my sight,
His aspect and his air impressed
A troubled memory on my breast,
And long upon my
Rung his dark courser's hoofs of fear.
his steed; he nears the steep, That, jutting, shadows o'er the deep ; He winds around ; he hurries by ; The rock relieves him from mine eye ; For well I ween unwelcome he Whose glance is fixed on those that flee; And not a star but shines too bright On him who takes such timeless flight. He wound along ; but ere he passed One glance he snatched, as if his last,
A moment checked bis wheeling steed,
A moment breathed him from bis speed,
A moment on his stirrup stood
Why looks he o'er the olive wood ?
The crescent glimmers on the hill,
The Mosque's high lamps are quivering still :
Though too remote for sound to wake
In echoes of the far tophaike,
The flashes of each joyous peal
Are seen to prove the Moslem's zeal.
To-night, set Rhamazani's sun ;
To-night, the Bairam feast's begun ;
To-night-but who and what art thou
Of foreign garb and fearful brow?
And what are these to thine or thee,
That thou should'st either pause or flee?
He stood-some dread was on his face,
Soon hatred settled in its place :
It rose not with the reddening flush
Of transient anger's hasty blush,
But pale as marble o'er the tomb,
Whose ghastly whiteness aids its gloom.
His brow was bent, his eye was glazed ;
He raised his arm, and fiercely raised,
And sternly shook his hand on high,
As doubting to return or fly :
Impatient of his flight delayed,
Here loud his raven charger neighed
Down glanced that hand, and grasped his blade ;
That sound had burst his waking dream,
As slumber starts at owlet's scream.
The spur hath lanced his courser's sides;
Away, away, for life he rides :
Swift as the hurled on high jerreed 9
Springs to the touch his startled steed;
The rock is doubled, and the shore
Shakes with the clattering tramp no more ;
is won, no more is seen
His christian crest and haughty mien.
'Twas but an instant be restrained
That fiery barb so sternly reined ;
'Twas but a moment that he stood,
Then sped as if by Death pursued ;
But in that instant o'er his soul
Winters of Memory seemed to roll,
And gather in that drop of time
A life of pain, an age of crime.
O'er him who loves, or hates, or fears,
Such moment pours the grief of years :
What felt he then, at once opprest
By all that most distracts the breast ?
That pause, which pondered o'er his fate,
Oh, who its dreary length shall date!
Though in time's record nearly nought,
It was eternity to thought!
For infinite as boundless space
The thought that conscience must embrace,
Which in itself can comprehend
Woe without name, or hope, or end.
The hour is past, the Giaour is gone;
And did he fly or fall alone ?
Woe to that hour he came or went!
The curse for Hassan's sin was sent
To turn a palace to a tomb :
He came, he went, like the Simoom, o
That harbinger of fate and gloom,