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A king sat on the rocky brow
Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis;
And ships, by thousands, lay below,
And men in nations—all were his l
He counted them at break of day—
And when the sun set, where were they?
And where are they? and where art thou
My country? On thy voiceless shore
The heroic lay is tuneless now—
The heroic bosom beats no more l
And must thy lyre, so long divine,
Degenerate into hands like mine?
'Tis something, in the dearth of fame,
Though linked among a fettered race,
To feel at least a patriot's shame,
Ev’n as I sing, suffuse my face;
For what is left the poet here 2
For Greeks a blush—for Greece a tear.
Must we but weep o'er days more blest?
Must we but blush 2–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 Thermopylae
What silent still P and silent all?
Ah no l—the voices of the dead
Sound like a distant torrent's fall,
And answer, “Let one living head,
But one, arise—we come, we come !”
'Tis but the living who are dumb.
SONG OF THE GREEK POET. 51
In vain—in vain; strike other chords;
Fill high the cup with Samian wine !
Leave battles to the Turkish hordes,
And shed the blood of Scio's vine !
Hark! rising to the ignoble call,
How answers each bold Bacchanall
You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet,_
Where is the Pyrrhic phalanx gone?
Of two such lessons, why forget
The nobler and the manlier one?
You have the letters Cadmus gave—
Think ye he meant them for a slave?
Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
We will not think of themes like these 1
It made Anacreon's song divine;
He served—but served Polycrates—
A tyrant; but our masters then
Were still at least our countrymen.
The tyrant of the Chersonese
Was freedom's best and bravest friend,
That tyrant was Miltiades 1
Oh that the present hour would lend
Another despot of the kind 1
Such chains as his were sure to bind.
Fill high the bowl with Samian wine !
On Suli's rock, and Parga's shore,
Exists the remnant of a line
Such as the Doric mothers bore;
And there perhaps some seed is sown
The Heracleidan blood might own.
Trust not for freedom to the Franks—
They have a king who buys and sells;
In native swords, and native ranks,
The only hope of courage dwells;
But Turkish force, and Latin fraud,
Would break your shield, however broad.
Fill high the bowl with Samian wine !
Our virgins dance beneath the shade—
I see their glorious black eyes shine;
But gazing on each glowing maid,
My own the burning tear-drop laves,
To think such breasts must suckle slaves.
Place me on Sunium's marbled steep,
Where nothing, save the waves and I,
May hear our mutual murmurs sweep;
There, swan-like, let me sing and die.
A land of slaves shall ne'er be mine—
Dash down yon cup of Samian wine!
YET are thy skies as blue, thy crags as wild,
Sweet are thy groves and verdant are thy fields,
Thine olive ripe as when Minerva smiled;
And still his honeyed wealth Hymettus yields.
There the blithe bee his fragrant fortress builds,
The free-born wanderer of thy mountain air;
Apollo still thy long, long summer gilds;
Still in his beam Mendeli's marbles glare;
Art, glory, freedom fail, but nature still is fair.
A'. felt his soul become more light
Beneath the freshness of the night;
Cool was the silent sky though calm,
And bathed his brow with airy balm.
Behind, the camp; before him lay,
In many a winding creek and bay,
Lepanto's gulf; and, on the brow
Of Delphi's hill, unshaken snow,
High and eternal, such as shone,
Through thousand summers brightly gone,
Along the gulf, the mount, the clime:
It will not melt, like man, to time.
Tyrant and slave are swept away,
Less formed to wear before the ray;
But that white veil, the lightest, frailest,
Which on the mighty mount thou hailest,
While tower and tree are torn and rent,
Shines o'er its craggy battlement,
In form a peak, in height a cloud,
In texture like a hovering shroud,
Thus high by parting Freedom spread,
As from her fond abode she fled,
And lingered on the spot where long
Her prophet spirit spake in song.
A". midnight, in his guarded tent,
The Turk was dreaming of the hour
When Greece, her knee in suppliance bent,
Should tremble at his power.
In dreams, through camp and court, he bore
The trophies of a conqueror;
In dreams his song of triumph heard;
Then wore his monarch's signet ring;
Then pressed that monarch's throne,—a king;
As wild his thoughts, and gay of wing.
As Eden's garden bird.
At midnight, in the forest shades,
Bozzaris ranged his Suliote band,
True as the steel of their tried blades,
Heroes in heart and hand.
There had the Persian's thousands stood,
There had the glad earth drunk their blood,
On old Plataea's day;
And now there breathed that haunted air
The sons of sires who conquered there,
With arm to strike, and soul to dare,
As quick, as far, as they.
An hour passed on—the Turk awoke
That bright dream was his last;
He woke—to hear his sentries shriek,
“To arms they come ! the Greek 1 the Greek!”
He woke—to die midst flame, and smoke,
And shout, and groan, and saber-stroke,
And death-shots falling thick and fast
As lightnings from the mountain-cloud;
And heard, with voice as trumpet loud,
Bozzaris cheer his band :
“Strike—till the last armed foe expires;
Strike—for your altars and your fires;
Strike—for the green graves of your sires;
God—and your native land l’”
They fought—like brave men, long and well;
They piled that ground with Moslem slain;
They conquered—but Bozzaris fell,
Bleeding at every vein.