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." Sit down, my brother," then Demos said,
"And tell us how it befel
And from thy prison-cell?"
And I burst my prison door;
Where I lay till day was o'er.
And 1 cross'd it over to thee:
Now I'm on the hills, and free!"
A fair-haired maiden boasted
She did not Charon fear, .
That loved their sister dear;
Who for her love did sigh—
And withal four castles high.
And slew the beauteous bride;
The woful mother cried.
And music in the glen:
With twice two hundred men.
But, alas, it grieved him sore,
Issue from his bride's door.
He spurred his black steed on,
Were placing a funeral-stone.
Who in that tomb must lie?"
Who had a soft black eye;
Who caused her mickle pride;
Who woo'd her for his bride—
And four castles tall beside."
And build it broad and deep;
That two therein may sleep."
And he smote him in the side;
And he sleeps there with his bride. *
* This Ballad is not to be found in the volume of the Greek Songs just published: we translate it from a collection in the possession of M. Buchon, one of the editors of the Constitutionnel. In noticing this, wo take the opportunity of saying, that we vOL. XI. NO. XLIv. L
We have hinted a resemblance between the manners of the Greek mountaineers and the outlaws of Scotland: there is, at all events, the same generosity and gallantry in the actions and sentiments recorded of all these gentlemen. A priest of St. Peter's, who has been wronged by one of the Klephtic chiefs, very naturally complains; and the warrior thus justifies himself.
"What have I done to him that he should complain of me? Have I slain his sheep, or his oxen? I kissed his son's wife, and his two daughters: I slew one of his sons, and took another prisoner, for whose ransom I demanded five hundred and two pieces of gold: but I gave all these to my soldiers, and kept not one broad piece for myself."
This is " the lesson of Nannos"—a great moral lesson!
"Set we upon the house of the lady Nikolo, who hath many broad pieces and much plate: 'Welcome is Nannos,' shall she say, 'and welcome are his bold warriors!' And the soldiers shall have the gold pieces, and the youths the paras—as for me, I seek the dame!"
There are few recollections of Ancient Greece in this volume: here is one piece, however, which shews that Olympus is still a sacred mountain:
Olympus and Kissavos, those hills of ancient fame,
Dispute together wildly which hath the greatest name;
Then spake the proud Olympus—" Let our dispute be done!
Kissavos, whom the Turkish foot hath ever trampled on 1
1 am that old Olympus, renown'd throughout the world,
My peaks are forty-two—on each a banner is unfurl'd;
My springs are seventy-two—each bough upon me hath its Klepht,
Nor is my topmost summit of its lordly eagle reft:
He holds within his claw the head of some brave fallen Greek—
'O head, what hast thou done that thou should'st be thus treated? Speak 1'
'Eat, bird,' thus spake the head, ' and feast thyself my youth upon,
And drink my courage with my life, which is in battle gone:
So shall thy wing spread broad and vast, and strong shall be thy claws:
—At Louros and Xeromeros I was Armatolos.
Twelve years have 1 a Klepht been among Olympus' trees—
And sixty Agas have I slam, and burned their villages:
As for the others I have kill'd—of Turks or Albancse,
Too numerous are they, Eagle! I cannot count them all!
But now my day is also come amid the fight to fall.'"
The following expresses, along with the national hatred to the Turks, that dread of dishonour even after death which we have mentioned as distinguishing the insurgent Greeks:
The hills thirst for snow, and the valleys for water.
have heard M. Biichon named as the French translator of these songs ; though M. Fauriel, doubtless from oversight, has omitted to do that accomplished person the justice of noticing his labours in his preface or introduction.
* Gyphtakis signiBes the young gipsy, and was the surname of a Klephtic chief of dark complexion, killed in battle against the Arab Isouph, one of the generals of Ali Pacha.
No more is she seen by the mountains and valleys." . *
—" Even now from the huts of the shepherds she sallies"—
The courage and patriotism of women sometimes figure in the Greek ballads:
"The Albanians have attacked Despo in her tower of Dimoulas:" "Wife of George, yield up thine arms!"—" Despo never had, and never will have the Liapides for lords !"—She seizes a burning brand, and calls loudly to her daughters: "Let us not be the slaves of the Turks, my children—follow me!" She fired the gunpowder, and they all vanished in the blaze."
The numbers of the Turks who fall are always recounted with exaggeration, to contrast with the boldness and the fortune of their enemies.
"What is the uproar which I hear? What is that terrible sound? Are they slaying oxen? Or are the wild beasts combating ?—They are not slaying oxen—nor are the wild beasts combating: Boukovallas fights against fifteen hundred, between Kenouria and the Kerassovon. The shots fall like rain, and the balls like hail.—And a fair-haired maiden cries from her casement: 'Stay the fight, O Boukovallas, and stop the firing: let the dust fall, and the vapour disperse, and then we will count thine army, to see how many are missing." The Turks have counted thrice: they have lost five hundred men. The children of the Klephts have counted: there are wanting but three warriors. The first is gone for bread, the second for water, the third, the bravest of the three, is stretched dead upon his gun.'"
Sometimes the Grecian abhorrence of the Turkish tyrants assumes the air of contempt; as in the following ballad, which is, in our opinion, of singular elegance and beauty:
"O were I a bird, I would fly, I would journey through the air; I would look towards the land of the Franks, towards the melancholy Ithaca: I would listen to the wife of Kaliakoudas, as she wails and laments, and pours forth her bitter tears. She mourns like the partridge, and tears her hair as the stork her feathers; and she wears a sable vestment, black as the crow's wing; and she gazes from her casement upon the sea; and of every vessel which passes by, she asks—' O ye little barks, ye ships, and gilded brigantines, as ye went to the melancholy Valtos, or as ye came therefrom— have not ye seen my spouse? have not ye seen Kaliakoudas?'—' We left him yesterday beyond Gavrolimi. They had lambs which they were roasting, and sheep upon the spit; and to turn the spit, they had five Beys.'"
We here close our account of this very interesting publication; for the second volume of which we look with the greatest impatience. We have been anxious to notice it as early as possible; and perhaps our anxiety to "do this quickly," has prevented us from " doing it well." We take this opportunity also of expressing our acknowledgments to M. Fauriel for the delightful present he has made us: and of congratulating him upon being the first to lay before us the popular poetry of Modern Greece. By embodying in an imperishable form these snatches of songs, he has rendered a lasting service to the cause of the Greeks, and has vindicated the genius, as well as the patriotism, of the people for whom Byron lived and died. -.
THE CAvEBN OF THE THREE TELLS.
A Swiss Tradition.
The three founders of the Helvetic Confederacy are thought to sleep in a cavern near the Lake of Lucerne. The herdsmen call them the Three Tells, and say that they lie there in their antique garb, in quiet slumber; and when Switzerland is in ber utmost need, they will awaken and regain the liberties of the land.—See Quarterly Review, No. 44.
Oh! enter not yon shadowy cave,
By their native forest-sea *
Beneath the midnight sky,
Amidst the hills they freed,
Nor the Lammer-geyer's cry,
To a Switzer's heart so dear,
Till the Schreckhorn's peaks reply,
In the burning hamlet's light,
• Forest-sea, the Lake of Lucerne, or Lake of the Forest-towns, as the German name implies.
f The Grfitli, a meadow on the shore of the Lake of Lucerne, where the founders of the Helvetic Confederacy held their meetings.
With a leap, like Tell's proud leap,*
When away the helm he flung,
From the flashing billow sprung!
They shall wake beside their forest-sea
In the ancient garb they wore,
And be answer'd with a shout,
And the land shall see such deeds again,
As those of that proud day,
On the dark Morgarten dell,
For the Kuhreihen's J notes must never sound
In a land that wears the chain,
And the yellow harvests wave,
For no stranger's hand to reap,
"The treasures of the deep are not so precious
If it be true that the principal source of laughter is the exultation occasioned by a sense of our own superiority over others, we need not wonder that nations and individuals have in all ages been anxious to keep up the materials of risibility by supplying themselves with perpetual butts, collective and single. Athens had not only her Bceotia as we have our Yorkshire for the supply of clowns, but her pedant to stand in the convenient place of our Irishman, and become responsible for all the bulls and blunders which Hierocles or his successors might think fit to father upon him; while no Symposiarch was held to have done his duty in the arrangement of a convivial entertainment unless he had provided an established jester, just as it is deemed indispensable to invite a professed wag and punster to any party of the present day that is meant to be particularly jocund and hilarious. The motley*
* The spot where Tell leaped from the hoat of Gessler, is marked by a chapel, and called the Tellensprung.
t Crowned helmets, as a distinction of rank, are mentioned in Simond's Switzerland.
J Kuhreiken, the celebrated Ranz des Vacbes.