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And his drooped head sinks gradually low -
And through his side the last drops, ebbing slow
From the red gash, fall heavy, one by one,
Like the first of a thunder-shower; and now
The arena swims around him- he is gone,
Ere ceased the inhuman shout which hailed the wretch who yon.
He heard it, but he heeded not — his eyes
Were with his heart, and that was far away;
He recked not of the life he lost nor prize,
But where his rude hut by the Danube lay,
There were his young barbarians all at play,
There was their Dacian mother -- he, their sire,
Butchered to make a Roman holiday;
All this rushed with his blood — Shall he expire
And unavenged}-- Arisel ye Goths, and glut your ire!
267. THE OCEAN.
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal.
Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean - roll 1
Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain;
Man marks the earth with ruin- his control
Stops with the shore; upon the watery plain
The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain
A shadow of man's ravage, save his own,
When, for a moment, like a drop of rain,
He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan,
Without a grave, unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown.
His steps are not upon thy paths, – thy fields
Are not a spoil for him, -- thou dost arise
And shake him from thee; the vile strength he wields
For earth's destruction thou dost all despise,
Spurning him from thy bosom to the skies,
And send'st him, shivering in thy playful spray
And howling, to his Gods, where hapiy lies
His petty hope in some near port or bay,
And dashest him again to earth: - there let him lay.
The armaments which thunderstrike the walls
Of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake,
And monarchs tremble in their capitals,
The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs make
Their clay creator the vain title take
Of lord of thee, and arbiter of war, -
whese are thy toys, and, as the snowy flake,
They inelt into thy yeast of waves, which mar
Alike the Armada's pride or spoils of Trafalgar.
Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee
Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they?
Thy waters washed them power while they were free,
And many a tyrant since; their shores obey
The stranger, slave, or savage; their decay
Has dried up realms to deserts : - not so thou;-
Unchangeable, save to thy wild waves' play,
Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure brow;
Such as creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest now.
Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form
Glasses itself in tempests; in all time, -
Calm or convulsed, in breeze or gale or storm,
Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime
Dark heaving - boundless, endless, and sublime,
The image of eternity, the throne
Of the Invisible; even from out thy slime
The monsters of the deep are made; each zone
Obeys thee; thou go'st forth, dread, fathomless, alone.
And I have loved thee, Ocean! and my joy
Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be
Borne, like thy bubbles, onward: from a boy
I wantoned with thy breakers — they to me
Were a delight; and if the freshening sea
Made them a terror-'twas a pleasing fear,
For I was as it were a child of thee,
And trusted to thy billows far and near,
And laid my hand upon thy mane - as I do here.
FROM “THE GIAOUR.”
268. MODERN GREECE.
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 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 splendor to disgrace; 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.
269. THE FLIGHT OF THE GIAOUR
On-on he hastened, and he drew
My gaze of wonder as he flew :
Though like a demon of the night
He passed, and vanished from my sight
His aspect and his air impressed
A troubled memory on my breast,
And long upon my startled ear
Rung bis dark courser's hoofs of fear.
He spun his steed; he nears the steep,
That, jutting, shadows o'er the deep;
He winds around; he hurries by:
The rock relieves him from mine eye;
For well I ween unwelcome he
Whose glance is fixed on those that flee;
And not a star but shines too bright
On him who takes such timeless flight.
He wound along; but ere he passed
One glance he snatched, as if his last,
A moment checked his wheeling steed,
A moment breathed him from his speed,
A moment on his stirrup stood -
Why looks he o'er the olive wood?
He stood - some dread was on his face,
Soon Hatred settled in its place:
It rose not with the reddening flush
Of transient Anger's hasty blush,
But pale as marble o'er the tomb,
Whose ghastly whiteness aids its gloom.
His brow was bent, his eye was glazed;
He raised his arm, and fiercely raised,
And sternly shook his hand on high,
As doubting to return or fly;
Impatient of his flight delayed,
Here loud his raven charger neighed -
Down glanced that hand, and grasped his blade;
That sound had burst his waking dream.,
As Slumber starts at owlet's scream.
The spur hath lanced his courser's sides;
Away, away, for life he rides.
'Twas but an instant he restrained
That fiery barb so sternly reined;
'Twas but a moment that he stood,
Then sped as if by death pursued;
But in that instant o'er his soul
Winters of Memory seemed to roll,
And gather in that drop of time
A life of pain, an age of crime.
O'er him who loves, or hates, or fears,
Such moment pours the grief of years :
What felt he then, at once opprest
By all that most distracts the breast?
That pause, which pondered o'er his fate,
O, who its dreary length shall date!
Though in Time's record nearly nought,
It was Eternity to Thought!
FROM "THE BRIDE OF ABYDO$, *
270. THE CRIME OF THE EAST. Know ye the land where the cypress and myrtle
Are emblems of deeds that are done in their clime? Where the rage of the vulture, the love of the turtle,
Now melt into sorrow, now madden to crime! Know ye the land of the cedar and vine, Where the flowers ever blossom, the beams ever shine ; Where the light wings of Zephyr, oppressed with perfume, Wax faint o'er the gardens of Gúl' in her bloom; Where the citron and olive are fairest of fruit, And the voice of the nightingale never is mute: Where the tints of the earth, and the hues of the sky, In color though varied, in beauty may vie, And the purple of ocean is deepest in dye; Where the virgins are soft as the roses they twine, And all, save the spirit of man, is divine? 'Tis the clime of the East; 'tis the land of the Sun Can he smile on such deeds as his children have done? 01 wild as the accents of lovers' farewell Are the hearts which they bear, and the tales which they tell
FROM "THE CORSAIR.”
271. A SHIP IN FULL SAIL.
How gloriously her gallant course she goes!
Her white wings fying — never from her foes -
She walks the waters like a thing of life,
And seems to dare the elements to strife,
Who would not brave the battle-fire, the wreck,
To move the monarch of he: peopled deck?
There is a war, a chaos of the mind,
When all its elements convulsed - combined -
Lie dark and jarring with perturbéd force,
And gnashing with impenitent Remorse;
That juggling fiend - who never spake before -
But cries, “I warned thee!” when the deed is o'er.
No single passion, and no ruling thought
That leaves the rest as once unseen, unsought;