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The fixed yet tender traits that streak The languor of the placid cheek, And but for that sad shrouded eye,
That fires not, wins not, weeps not, now,
And but for that chill changeless brow,
Clime of the unforgotten brave !
Say, is not this Thermopylæ ?
These waters blue that round you lave,
Oh servile offspring of the free Pronounce what sea, what shore is this ? The gulf, the rock of Salamis ! These scenes, their story not unknown, Arise, and make again your own ; Snatch from the ashes of your sires The embers of their former fires ; And he who in the strife expires Will add to theirs a name of fear That Tyranny shall quake to hear, And leave his sons a hope, a fame, They too will rather die than shame : For Freedom's battle once begun, Bequeathed by bleeding Sire to Son, 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 thy Muse to stranger's eye The graves 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.
SUNSET IN GREECE. Slow sinks, more lovely ere his race be run, Along Morea's hills the setting sun; Not, as in Northern climes, obscurely bright, But one unclouded blaze of living light! O'er the hush'd deep the yellow beam he throws, Gilds the green wave, that trembles as it glows. On old Ægina's rock, and Idra's isle, The god of gladness sheds his parting smile ; O'er bis own regions lingering, loves to shine, Though there his altars are no more divine. Descending fast the mountain shadows kiss Thy glorious gulf, unconquer'd Salamis ! Their azure arches through the long expanse More deeply purpled meet his mellowing glance, And tenderest tints, along their summits driven, Mark his gay course and own the hues of heaven; 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 looked his last. How watch'd thy better sons his farewell ray, That closed their murdered sage's latest day ! Not yet-not yet-Sol pauses on the hill 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, But ere he sank below Cithæron's head, The cup of woe was quaff'd—the spirit fled ; The soul of him who scorn'd to fear or flyWho lived and died as none can live or die !
But lo! from high Hymettus to the plain, The queen of night asserts her silent reign. No murky vapour, herald of the storm, Hides her fair face, nor girds her glowing form ; With cornice glimmering as the moonbeams play, There the white column greets her grateful ray, And, bright around with quivering beams beset, Her emblem sparkles o'er the minaret : The groves of olive scattered dark and wide Where meek Cephisus pours his scanty tide, The cypress saddening by the sacred mosque, The gleaming turret of the gay Kiosk, And, dun and sombre mid the holy calm, Near Theseus' fane yon solitary palm, All tinged with varied hues arrest the eyeAnd dull were his that pass'd them heedless by.
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, Mixed with the shades of many a distant isle, That frown--where gentler ocean seems to smile.
SONG OF A GREEK.
Where burning Sappho loved and sung,
Where Delos rose, and Phæbus sprung !
The hero's harp, the lover's lute,
Their place of birth alone is mute
To sounds which echo further west
And Marathon looks on the sea;
I dream'd 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 dayAnd when the sun set where were they ? And where are they ! and where art thou,
My country? On thy voiceless shore
The heroic bosom beats no more!
Though link'd among a fetter'd race,
Even as I sing, suffuse my face ;
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 Thermopylæ !