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In court or cottage, wheresoe'er her home,
Hath a heart-spell too holy and too high
To be o'er-praised even by her worshiper-Poesy.
There's one in the next field—of sweet sixteen-
Singing and summoning thoughts of beauty born
In heaven with her jacket of light green,
"Love-darting eyes, and tresses like the morn,”
Without a shoe or stocking,-hoeing corn.
Whether, like Gertrude, she oft wanders there,
With Shakspeare's volume in her bosom borne,
I think is doubtful. Of the poet-player
The maiden knows no more than Cobbett or Voltaire.
There is a woman, widowed, gray, and old,
Who tells you where the foot of Battle stepped
Upon their day of massacre. She told
Its tale, and pointed to the spot, and wept,
Whereon her father and five brothers slept
Shrouldless, the bright-dreamed slumbers of the brave,
When all the land a funeral mourning kept.
And there, wild laurels, planted on the grave,
By Nature's hand, in air their pale red blossoms wave.
And on the margin of yon orchard hill
Are marks where time-worn battlements have been;
And in the tall grass traces linger still
Of "arrowy frieze and wedged ravelin."
Five hundred of her brave that Valley green
Trod on the morn in soldier-spirit gay;
But twenty lived to tell the noon-day scene--
And where are now the twenty? Pass'd away.
Has Death no triumph-hours, save on the battle day?
[The following beautiful descriptive lines are the best in Byron's Giaour (Jour, an infidel;-applied by the Turks to disbelievers in Mohammedanism.-Webster.) His note annexed to the succeding passages gives an accurate idea of Byron's prose style: "I trust that few of my readers have ever had an opportunity of witnessing what is here attempted in description; but those who have will probably retain a painful remembrance of that singular beauty which pervades, with few exceptions, the features of the dead, a few hours, and but for a few hours, after the spirit is not there.' It is to be remarked in cases of violent death by gun-shot wounds, the expression is always that of langour, whatever the natural energy of the sufferer's character; but in death from a stab, the countenance preserves its traits of feeling or ferocity. and the mind its bias, to the last."]
E 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 mark'd the mild angelic air,
The rapture of repose that's there,
The fix'd yet tender traits that streak
The langour 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 Obstructions's apathy
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 seal'd,
The first, last look by death reveal'd!
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,
Which gleams, but warms no more its cherish'd earth!
"The children have upon it clung, And, in and out, with rapture swung."