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“ Yes---had I ever proved that passion's zeal, “ The change to hatred were at least to feel : “ But still---he goes unmourn'd---returns unsought--" And oft when present---absent from my thought. " Or when reflection comes, and come it must--- 1131 66 I fear that henceforth 'twill but bring disgust; “ I am his slave---but, in despite of pride, " "Twere worse than bondage to become his bride. “ Oh! that this dotage of his breast would cease ! 1135 « Or seek another and give mine release, “ But yesterday--- I could have said, to peace ! “ Yes---if unwonted fondness now I feign, “ Remember---captive ! 'tis to break thy chain;
Repay the life that to thy hand I owe; 1140 “ To give thee back to all endear'd below, " Who share such love as I can never know. “ Farewell---morn breaks---and I must now away: 6 'Twill cost me dear---but dread no death to-day!"
She press'd his fetter'd fingers to her heart, 1145
And bow'd her head, and turn’d her to depart,
And noiseless as a lovely dream is gone.
And was she here? and is he now alone?
What gem hath dropp'd and sparkles o'er his chain ?
The tear most sacred, shed for other's pain, 1150
That starts at once---bright---pure---from Pity's mine,
Already polish'd by the hand divine !
Oh! too convincing---dangerously dear---
In woman's eye the unanswerable tear!
That weapon of her weakness she can wield, 1155
To save, subdue---at once her spear and shield :
Avoid it---Virtue ebbs and Wisdom errs,
Too fondly gazing on that grief of hers!
What lost a world, and bade a hero fly?
The timid tear in Cleopatra's eye.
Yet be the soft triumvir's fault forgiven,
By this---how many lose not earth---but heaven!
Consign their souls to man's eternal foe,
And seal their own to spare some wanton's wo!
'Tis morn---and o'er his alter'd features play 1165
The beams---without the hope of yesterday.
What shall he be ere night? perchance a thing
O’er which the raven flaps her funeral wing:
By his closed eye unheeded and unfelt,
While sets that sun, and dews of evening melt, 1170
Chill---wet---and misty round each stiffen'd limb,
Refreshing earth---reviving all but him!
Till, darkly shaded from the land and deep,
Behind his Delphian cliff he sinks to sleep.
On such an eve, his palest beam he cast,
When---Athens ! here thy Wisest look'd his last.
How watch'd thy better sons his farewell ray,
That closed their murder'd sage's (11) latest day!
Not yet---not yet---Sol pauses on the hill--- 1195
The precious hour of parting lingers still ;
But sad his light to agonizing eyes,
And dark the mountain's once delightful dyes :
Gloom o'er the lovely land he seem'd to pour,
The land where Phæbus never frown'd before, 1200
But ere he sunk below Cithæron's head,
The cup of wo was quaff’d---the spirit fled ;
The soul of him who scorn'd to fear or fly---
Who lived and died, as none can live or die!
But lo! from high Hymettus to the plain, 1205
The queen of night asserts her silent reign. (12)
No murky vapour, herald of the storm,
Hides her fair face, nor girds her glowing form ;
With cornice glimmering as the moon-beams play,
Where the white column greets her grateful ray, 1210
And, bright around with quiv ng beams beset,
Her emblem sparkles o’er the minaret:
The groves of olive scatter'd dark and wide
Where meek Cephisus pours his scanty tide,
The cypress saddening by the sacred mosque, 1215
The gleaming turret of the gay Kiosk, (13)
And, dun and sombre 'mid the holy calm,
Near Theseus' fane yon solitary palm,
All tinged with varied hues arrest the eye-
And dull were his that pass'd him heedless by. 1220
Again the Ægean, heard no more afar,
Lulls his chafed breast from elemental war;
Again his waves in milder tints unfold
Their long array of sapphire and of gold,
Mixt with the shades of many a distant isle, 1225
That frown---where gentler ocean seems to smile. (14)
Not now my theme---why turn my thoughts to thee?
Oh! who can look along thy native sea,
Nor dwell upon thy name, whate'er the tale,
So much its magic must o'er all prevail ? 1230
Who that beheld that Sun upon
Fair Athens ! could thine evening face forget ?
Not he---whose heart nor time nor distance frees,
Spell-bound within the clustering Cyclades !
Nor seems this homage foreign to his strain, 1235
His Corsair's isle was once thine own domain---
Would that with freedom it were thine again!
The sun hath sunk---and, darker than the night, Sinks with its beam upon the beacon height--Medora's heart---the third day's come and gone-1240