ページの画像
PDF
ePub

But the wild prospect when the soul reviews..
All rushing through their thousand avenues.
Ambition's dreams expiring, love's regret,
Endangered glory, life itself beset;
The joy untasted, the contempt or hate
'Gainst those who fain would triumph in pur fate;
The hopeless past, the hasting future driven
Too quick y on to guess if hell or heaven;
Deeds, th Jughts, and words, perhaps remembered not
So keenly till that hour, but ne'er forgot;
Things light or lovely in their acted time,
But now to stern reflection each a crime;
The withering sense of evil unrevealed,
Not cankering less because the more concealed -
All, in a word, from which all eyes must start,
That opening sepulchre - the naked heart
Bares with its buried woes, till Pride awake,
To snatch the mirror from the soul - and break.

273. FROM THE Prisoner of CHILLON.”

Lake Leman lies by Chillon's walls :
A thousand feet in depth below
Its massy waters meet and flow;
Thus much the fathom-line was sent
From Chillon's snow-white battlement,

Which round about the wave inthralls '
A double dungeon wall and wave
Have made — and like a living grave.
Below the surface of the lake
The dark vault lies wherein we lay,
We heard it ripple night and day;

Sounding o'er our heads it knocked;
And I have felt the winter's spray
Wash through the bars when winds were high
And wanton in the happy sky;

And then the very rock hath rocked,

And I have felt it shake, unshocked,
Because I could have smiled to see
The death that would have set me free.

FROM “MANFRED.” 274. MANFRED's SOLILOQUY ON THE JUNGFRAU.

My mother Earth! And thou, fresh breaking Day, and you, ye Mountains, Why are ye beautiful? I cannot love ye.

And thou, the bright eye of the universe,
That open'st over all, and unto all
Art a delight - thou shin'st not on my heart
And you, ye crags, upon whose extreme edge
I stand, and on the torrent's brink beneath
Behold the tall pines dwindled as to shrubs
In dizziness of distance; when a leap,
A stir, a motion, even a breath, would bring
My breast upon its rocky bosom's bed
To rest forever — wherefore do I pause?
I feel the impulse — yet I do not plunge;
I see the peril — yet do not recede;
And my brain reels — and yet my foot is firm:
There is a power upon me which withholds,
And makes it my fatality to live;
If it be life to wear within myself
This barrenness of spirit, and to be
My own soul's sepulchre, for I have ceased
To justify my deeds unto myself -
The last infirmity of evil. Ay,
Thou wingéd and cloud-cleaving minister,

[An eagle passes
Whose happy flight is highest into heaven,
Well mayst thou swoop so near me -- I should be
Thy prey, and gorge thine eaglets; thou art gone
Where the eye cannot follow thee; but thine
Yet pierces downward, onward, or above,
With a pervading vision. — Beautiful!
How beautiful is all this visible world!
How glorious in its action and itself!
But we, who name ourselves its sovereigns, we,
Half dust, half deity, alike unfit
To sink or soar, with our mixed essence make
A conflict of its elements, and breathe
The breath of degradation and of pride,
Contending with low wants and lofty will,
Till our mortality predominates,
And men are what they name not to themselves,
And trust not to each other. Hark! the note,

[The Shepherd's pipe in the distance is heard The natural music of the mountain reedFor here the patriarchal days are not A pastoral fable - pipes in the liberal air, Mixed with the sweet bells of the sauntering herd; My soul would drink those echoes. - that were The viewless spirit of a lovely sound, A living voice, a breathing harmony, A bodiless enjoyment - born and dying With the blest tone which made ine!

275. THE COLISEUM. The stars are forth, the moon above the tops Of the snow-shining mountains. — Beautiful! I linger yet with Nature, for the Night Hath been to me a more familiar face Than that of man; and in her starry shade Of dim and solitary loveliness, I learned the language of another world. I do remember me, that in my youth, When I was wandering - upon such a night I stood within the Coliseum's wall, 'Midst the chief relics of almighty Rome; The trees which grew along the broken arches Waved dark in the blue midnight, and the stars Shone through the rents of ruin; from afar The watch-dog bayed beyond the Tiber; and More near from out the Cæsars' palace came The owl's long cry, and, interruptedly, Of distant sentinels the fitful song Begun and died upon the gentle wind. Some cypresses beyond the time-worn breach Appeared to skirt th’ horizon, yet they stood Within a bowshot. Where the Cæsars dwelt, And dwell the tuneless birds of night, amidst A grove which springs through levelled battlemente, And twines its roots with the imperial hearths, Ivy usurps the laurel's place of growth; But the gladiators' bloody Circus stands, A noble wreck in ruinous perfection, While Cæsar's chambers, and the Augustan halls, Grovel on earth in indistinct decay. And thou didst shine, thou rolling moon, upon All this, and cast a wide and tender light, Which softened down the hoar austerity Of rugged desolation, and filled up, As 'twere anew, the gaps of centuries; Leaving that beautiful which still was so, And making that which was not, till the place Became religion, and the heart ran o'er With silent worship of the great of old, The dead, but sceptred sovereigns, who still rulo Our spirits from their urns.

276. THE ISLES OF GREECE. The isles of Greece, the isles of Greece!

Where burning Sappho loved and sung, Where grew the arts of war and peace,

Where Delos rose, and Phæbus sprung! Eternal summer gilds them yet, But all, except their sun, is set.

The Scian and the Teian muse,

The hero's harp, the lover's lute,
Have found the fame your shores refuse;

Their place of birth alone is mute
To sounds which echo farther west
Than your sires' “ Islands of the Blest.”

The mountains look on Marathon

And Marathon looks on the sea; And musing there an hour alone,

I dreamed that Grecce might still be free; For standing on the Persians' grave, I could not deem myself a slave.

A king sate on the rocky brow

Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis;
And ships, by thousands, lay below,

And men in nations; - all were his!
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! 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,

Even as I sing, suffuse my face;
For what is left the poet here?
For Greeks a blush — for Greece a tear.

Must we but weep o'er days more blest?

Must we but Llush? - Our fathers bled. Earth! n nuer back from out thy breast

A remnant of our Spartan dead! Of the three hundred grant but three, ļo make a new Thermopylæ!

What, silent still? and silent all?

Ah! no; — 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,

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 Bacchana!!

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?

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.

277. ARMENIA.

On my arrival at Venice, in the year 1816, I found my mind in a slate which required study, and study of a nature which should leave little scope for the imagination, and furnish some difficulty in the pursuit.

At this period I was much struck - in common, I believe, witi. erery other traveller — with the society of the Convent of St Lazarus, which appears to unite all the advantages of the monastic institution. without any of its vices.

The neatness, the comfort, the gentleness, the unaffected devotion, he accomplishments, and the virtues of the brethren of the order, are well fitted to strike the man of the world with the conviction tha: 6. there is another and a better" even in this life.

These men are the priesthood of an oppressed and a noble nation, which has partaken of the proscription and bondage of the Jews anj of the Greeks, without the sullenness of the former or the servility o: the latter. This people has attained riches without usury, and all the

« 前へ次へ »