Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub
[blocks in formation]

All silently their tears of love instil,

AN ALPINE STORM. Weeping themselves away, till they infuse Deep into Nature's breast the spirit of her THE sky is changed !--and such a change! hues.

O night,

(strong,

And storm, and darkness, ye are wondrous Ye stars! which are the poetry of heaven, Yet lovely in your strength, as is the light If in your bright leaves we would read the Of a dark eye in woman! far along, fate

From peak to peak, the rattling crags Of men and empires,-'tis to be forgiven among,

[lone cloud, That in our aspirations to be great,

Leaps the live thunder! Not from one Our destinies O'erleap their mortal state, But every mountain now hath found a And claim a kindred with you; for ye are tongue;

[shroud, A beauty and a mystery, and create And Jura answers, through her misty In us such love and reverence from afar, Back to the joyous Alps, who call to her That fortune, fame, power, life have named aloud! themselves a star.

And this is in the night:—Most glorious All heaven and earth are still—though not night! in sleep,

(most; Thou wert not sent for slumber ! let me be But breathless, as we grow when feeling A sharer in thy fierce and far delightAnd silent, as we stand in thoughts too A portion of the tempest and of thee! deep:

[high host How the lit lake shines, a phosphoric sea, All heaven and earth are still : from the And the big rain comes dancing to the Of stars, to the lulled lake and mountain earth!

[glee coast,

And now again 'tis black, -and now, the All is concentred in a life intense,

Of the loud hills shakes with its mountain Where not a beam, nor air, nor leaf is lost, mirth,

[quake's birth. But hath a part of being, and a sense As if they did rejoice o'er a young earthOf that which is of all Creator and defence.

Now, where the swift Rhone cleaves his Then stirs the feeling infinite, so felt

way between

(parted In solitude, where we are least alone; Heights which appear as lovers who have A truth, which through our being then doth In hate, whose mining depths so intervene, melt,

That they can meet no more, though And purifies from self: it is a tone,

broken-hearted; The soul and source of music, which makes Though in their souls, which thus each known

other thwarted, Eternal harmory, and sheds a charm, Love was the very root of the fond rage Like to the fabled Cytherea's zone,

Which blighted their life's bloom, and Binding all things with beauty ;-'twould then departed; disarm

Itself expired, but leaving them an age The spectre Death, had he substantial Of years all winters-war within themselves

power to harm. Not vainly did the early Persian make Now, where the quick Rhone thus hath His altar the high places, and the peak

cleft his way,

[stand; Of earth-o'ergazing mountains, and thus The mightiest of the storms hath ta'en his take

For here, not one, but many make their A fit and unwalled temple, there to seek play, The Spirit, in whose honour shrines are And fling their thunderbolts from hand to weak,

(compare hand, Upreared of human hands. Come, and Flashing and cast around: of all the band, Columnsandidol-dwellings, Goth or Greek, The brightest through these parted hills With Nature's realms of worship, earth and hath forked air,

(thy prayer! His lightnings, as if he did understand Nor fix on fond abodes to circumscribe That in such gaps as desolation worked,

There the hot shaft should blast whatever therein lurked.

to rage.

1

Sky, mountains, river, winds, lake, lightnings! ye,

(a soul With night, and clouds, and thunder, and To make these felt and feeling, well may be Things that have made me watchful; the

far roll Of your departing voices is the knoll Of what in me is sleepless,- if I rest. But where of ye, O tempests! is the goal ? Are ye

like those within the human breast? Or do ye find at length, like eagles, some

high nest?

Could I embody and unbosom now That which is most within me,-could I wreak,

(throw My thoughts upon expression, and thus Soul, heart, mind, passions, feelings, strong

or weak, All that I would have sought, and all I seek, Bear, know, feel, and yet breathe-into one word,

(speak; And that one word were Lightning, I would But as it is, I live and die unheard, With a most voiceless thought, sheathing

it as a sword.

The morn is up again, the dewy morn, With breath all incense, and with cheek all bloom,

(scorn, Laughing the clouds away with playful And living as if earth contained no tomb, And glowing into day: we may resume The march of our existence: and thus I, Still on thy shores, fair Leman! may find

room And food for meditation, nor pass by Much that may give us pause, if pondered

fittingly.

Appals the gazing mourner's heart,
As if to him it could impart
The doom he dreads, yet dwells upon
Yes, but for these and these alone,
Some moments, ay, one treacherous hour,
He still might doubt the tyrant's power,
So fair, so calm, so softly sealed,
The first, last look by death revealed !
Such is the aspect of this shore-
'Tis Greece, but living Greece no more!
So coldly sweet, so deadly fair,
We start-for soul is wanting there.
Hers is the loveliness in death,
That parts not quite with parting breath;
But beauty with that fearful bloom,
That hue which haunts it to the tomb
Expression's last receding ray,
A gilded halo hovering round decay,
The farewell beam of Feeling passed away!
Spark of that flame-perchance of heavenly
birth-

[cherished earth? Which gleams, but warms no more its

Clime of the unforgotten brave!
Whose land from plain to mountain cave
Was Freedom's home or Glory's grave-
Shrine of the mighty! can it be
That this is all remains of thee?
Approach, thou craven crouching slave.

Say, is not this Thermopylæ?
These waters blue that round you lave,

O 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 hy 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 dusky 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:

[merged small][ocr errors]

He who hath bent him o'er the dead Ere the first day of death is fled, The first dark day of nothingness, The last of danger and distress (Before Decay's effacing fingers Have swept the lines where beauty lingers), And marked the mild angelic airThe rapture of repose that's thereThe 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, Where cold Obstruction's apathy

[blocks in formation]

All-save immortal dreams that could be

guile The blind old man of Scio's rocky isle !

Enough-no foreign foe could quell
Thy soul, till from itself it fell.
Yes! self-abasement paved the way
To villain-bonds and despot sway.
What can he tell who treads thy shore?

Vo 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.

Oh! yet-for there my steps have been ;

These feet have pressed the sacred shore, These limbs that buoyant wave hath borneMinstrel, with thee, to muse, to mourn,

To trace again those fields of yore, Believing every hillock green

Contains no fabled hero's ashes, And that around the undoubted scene Thine own "broad Hellespont" still

dashes, Be long my lot! and cold were he Who there could gaze denying thee! The night hath closed on Helle's stream,

Nor yet hath risen on Ida's hill That moon, which shone on his high theme; No warrior chides her peaceful beam,

But conscious shepherds bless it still. Their flocks are grazing on the mound

Of him who felt the Dardan's arrow; That mighty heap of gathered ground Which Ammon's son ran proudly round, By nations raised, by monarchs crowned, Is now a lone and nameless barrow! Within-thy dwelling-place how narrow! Without-can only strangers breathe The name of him that was beneath; Dust long outlasts the storied stone; But thou—thy very dust is gone!

THE HELLESPONT.

DEATH OF ZULEIKA.

The winds are high on Helle's wave,

As on that night of stormy water, When Love, who sent, forgot to save The young, the beautiful, the brave,

The lonely hope of Sestos' daughter. Oh! when alone along the sky Her turret-torch was blazing high, Though rising gale, and breaking foam, And shrieking sea-birds warned him home, And clouds aloft and tides below, With signs and sounds forbade to go, He could not see, he would not hear, Or sound or sign foreboding fear; His eye but saw the light of love, The only star it hailed above; His ear but rang with Hero's song, "Ye waves, divide not lovers long !". That tale is old, but love anew May nerve young hearts to prove as true. The winds are high, and Helle's tide

Rolls darkly heaving to the main; And Night's descending shadows hide

The field with blood bedewed in vain, The desert of old Priam's pride ;

The tombs, sole relics of his reign,

By Helle's stream there is a voice of wail ! And woman's eye is wet-man's cheek is

pale ! Zuleika ! last of Giaffir's race,

Thy destined lord is come too late ; He sees not-ne'er shall see- -thy face?

Can he not hear
The loud Wul-wulleh warn his distant ear?

Thy handmaids weeping at the gate,
The Koran-chanters of the hymn of fate,
The silent slaves with folded arms that

wait, Sighs in the hall, and shrieks upon the gale,

Tell him thy tale! Thou didst not view thy Selim fall; That fearful moment when he left the cave

Thy heart grew chill: He was thy hope—thy joy—thy love-thine all

[not save And that last thought on him thou couldst Sufficed to kill ;

(still. Burst forth in one wild cry—and all was Peace to thy broken heart and virgin

grave! Ah, happy! but of life to lose the worst ! That griet-though deep-though fatal

was thy first? Thrice happy! ne'er to feel nor fear the force Of absence, shame, pride, hate, revenge,

remorse ; And, oh! that pang where more than madness lies,

(dies! The worm that will not sleep, and never Thought of the gloomy day and ghastly night,

(the light, That dreads the darkness and yet loathes That winds around and tears the quivering heart,

(part? Ah! wherefore not consume it - and deWoe to thee, rash and unrelenting chief ! Vainly thou heap'st the dust upon thy head,

(spread; Vainly the sackcloth o'er thy limbs doth By that same hand Abdallah-Selim

bled. Now let it tear thy beard in idle grief ; Thy pride of heart, thy bride for Osman's

bed, She, whom thy Sultan had but seen to wed,

Thy daughter's dead! [beam, Hope of thine age, thy twilight's lonely The star hath set that shone on Helle's

stream. What quenched its ray?-the blood that

thou hast shed ! Hark! to the hurried question of Despair ; Where is my child?"-an Echo answers

" Where"

For well may maids of Helle deem That this can be no earthly flower, Which mocks the tempest's withering hour, And buds unsheltered by a bower; Nor droops, though spring refuse her

Nor woos the summer beam; [shower, To it the livelong night there sings

A bird unseen-but not remote:
Invisible his airy wings,
But soft as harp that Houri strings

His long entrancing note.
It were the Bulbul; but his throat,
Though mournful, pours not such a

strain, For they who listen cannot leave The spot, but linger there and grieve,

As if they loved in vain.
And yet so sweet the tears they shed,
'Tis sorrow so unmixed with dread,
They scarce can bear the morn to break

That melancholy spell,
And longer yet would weep and wake,

He sings so wild and well;
But when the day-blush bursts from high,
Expires that magic melody.
And some have been who could believe
(So fondly youthful dreams deceive,

Yet harsh be they that blame), That note so piercing and profound Will shape and syllable its sound

Into Zuleika's name. "Tis from her cypress' summit heard, That melts in air the liquid word; "Tis from her lowly virgin earth That white rose takes its tender birth. There late was laid a marble stone; Eve saw it placed-the Morrow, gone! It was no mortal arm that bore That deep-fixed pillar to the shore; For there, as Helle's legends tell, Next morn 'twas found where Selim fell, Lashed by the tumbling tide, whose wave Denied his bones a holier grave; And there by night, reclined, 'tis said, Is seen a ghastly turbaned head; And hence extended by the billow, "Tis named the" Pirate Phantom's Pillow." Where first it lay, that mourning flower Hath flourished, flourisheth this hour, Alone and dewy, coldly pure and palc, As weeping Beauty's cheek at Sorrow's

tale.

Within the place of thousand tombs

That shine beneath, while dark above The sad but living cypress glooms,

And withers not, though branch and leaf Are stamped with an eternal grief,

Like early unrequited love,
One spot exists, which ever blooms,

Even in that deadly grove-
A single rose is shedding there

Its lonely lustre, meek and pale ; It looks as planted by Despair

So white-so faint—the slightest gale Might whirl the leaves on high ;

And yet, though storms and blight assail, And hands more rude than wintry sky

May wring it from the stem-in vain

To-morrow sees it bloom again! The stalk some spirit gently rears, And waters with celestial tears ;

EVENING.

Slow sinks, more lovely ere his race be run, Along Morea's hills the setting sun;

[blocks in formation]

Not, as in northern climes, obscurely bright, But one unclouded blaze of living light! O'er the hushed deep the yellow beam he throws,

[glows. Gilds the green wave, that trembles as it On old Ægina's rock, and Idra's isle, Thegod of gladness sheds his parting smile, O'er his own regions lingering, loves to

shine, Though there his altars are no more divine. Descending fast, the mountain shadows kiss Thy glorious gulf, unconquered Salamis ! Their azurearches through the long expanse More deeply purpled meet his mellowing glance,

[driven, And tenderest tints, along their summits 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.

All tinged with varied hues, arrest the eyeAnd dull were his that passed 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.

[to thee? Not now my theme--why turn my thoughts 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 ? Who that beheld that sun upon thee set, Fair Athens! could thine evening face forget?

[frees, Not he whose heart nor time nor distance Spell-bound within the clustering Cyclades. Nor seems this homage foreign to his strain, -His Corsair's isle was once thine own

domain Would that with freedom it were thine

again!

CORINTH.

On such an eve, his palest beam he cast, When, Athens ! here thy Wisest looked his last.

[ray, How watched thy better sons his farewell That closed their murdered sage's latest

day! Not yet-not yet-Sol pauses on the hillThe precious hour of parting lingers still ; But sad his light to agonizing eyes, And dark the mountain's once delightful dyes:

(pour, Gloom o'er the lovely land he seemed to The land where Phoebus never frowned

before; But ere he sank below Cithæron's head, The cup of woe was quaffed—the spirit fled; The soul of him who scorned to fear or fly, Who 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,

(beset, And, bright around with quivering beams 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,

MANY a vanished year and age,
And tempest's breath, and battle's rage,
Have swept o'er Corinth; yet she stands
A fortress formed to Freedom's hands.
The whirlwind's wrath, the earthquake's

shock,
Have left untouched her hoary rock,
The keystone of a land which still,
Though fall’n, looks proudly on that hill,
The landmark to the double tide
That purpling rolls on either side,
As if their waters chafed to meet,
Yet pause and crouch beneath her feet.
But could the blood before her shed
Since first Timoleon's brother bled,
Or baffled Persia's despot fled,
Arise from out the earth, which drank
The stream of slaughter as it sank,
That sanguine ocean would o'erflow
Her isthmus idly spread below;
Or could the bones of all the slain
Who perished there, be piled again,
That rival pyramid would rise
More mountain-like through these clear

skies, Than yon tower-capped Acropolis, Which seems the very clouds to kiss.

« AnteriorContinuar »