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And peasant girls, with deep blue eyes,
And hands which offer early flowers,
Walk smiling o'er this paradise ;
Above, the frequent feudal towers
Through green leaves lift their walls of grey ;
And many a rock which steeply lowers,
And noble arch in proud decay,
Look o’er this vale of vintage-bowers ;
But one thing want these banks of Rhine, -
Thy gentle hand to clasp in mine!
LORD BYRON (Childe Harold's Pilgrimage).
151. 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 Phoebus sprung!
Eternal summer gilds them yet,
But all, except their sun, is set.
The mountains look on Marathon
And Marathon looks on the sea ;
And musing there an hour alone,
I dreamed that Greece might still be free ;
For standing on the Persians' grave,
I could not deem myself a slave.
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 gaveThink
he meant them for a slave ? 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 mineDash down yon cup of Samian wine !
LORD BYRON (Don Juan).
152. THERE BE NONE OF BEAUTY'S DAUGHTERS THERE be none of Beauty's | And the midnight moon is weav. daughters
ing With a magic like thee ;
Her bright chain o'er the deep ; And like sweet music on the waters Whose breast is gently heaving,
Is thy sweet voice to me: As an infant's asleep :
When, as if its sound were causing So the spirit bows before thee,
The charmed ocean's pausing, To listen and adore thee ;
The waves lie still and gleaming, With a full but soft emotion,
And the lulled winds seem dream Like the swell of Summer's ocean.
153. THERE'S NOT A JOY THE WORLD CAN GIVE THERE 's not a joy the world can give like that it takes away, When the glow of early thought declines in feeling's dull decay ; 'Tis not on youth's smooth cheek the blush alone, which fades so fast, But the tender bloom of heart is gone, ere youth itself be past. Then the few whose spirits float above the wreck of happiness Are driven o'er the shoals of guilt or ocean of excess : The magnet of their course is gone, or only points in vain The shore to which their shivered sail shall never stretch again. Then the mortal coldness of the soul like death itself comes down ; It cannot feel for others' woes, it dare not dream its own; That heavy chill has frozen o'er the fountain of our tears, And though the eye may sparkle still, 'tis where the ice appears. Though wit may flash from fluent lips, and mirth distract the breast, Through midnight hours that yield no more their former hope of rest ; 'Tis but as ivy-leaves around the ruined turret wreathe, All green and wildly fresh without, but worn and grey beneath. O could I feel as I have felt,—or be what I have been, Or weep as I could once have wept o'er many a vanished scene ; As springs in deserts found seem sweet, all brackish though they be, So midst the withered waste of life, those tears would flow to me.
THERE was a sound of revelry by night,
And Belgium's capital had gathered then
Her Beauty and her Chivalry, and bright
The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men;
A thousand hearts beat happily ; and when
Music arose with its voluptuous swell,
Soft eyes looked love to eyes which spake again,
And all went merry as a marriage bell ;
But hush ! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell !
Did ye not hear it ?--No; 'twas but the wind,
Or the car rattling o'er the stony street;
On with the dance ! let joy be unconfined ;
No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
To chase the glowing Hours with flying feet-
But hark !—that heavy sound breaks in once more,
As if the clouds its echo would repeat ;
And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before !
Arm! Arm! it is—it is—the cannon's opening roar !
Within a windowed niche of that high hall
Sate Brunswick's fated chieftain; he did hear
That sound the first amidst the festival,
And caught its tone with Death's prophetic ear;
And when they smiled because he deemed it near,
His heart more truly knew that peal too well
Which stretched his father on a bloody bier,
And roused the vengeance blood alone could quell;
He rushed into the field, and, foremost fighting, fell.
Ah ! then and there was hurrying to and fro,
And gathering tears, and tremblings of distress,
And cheeks all pale, which but an hour ago
Blushed at the praise of their own loveliness ;
And there were sudden partings, such as press
The life from out young hearts, and choking sighs
Which ne'er might be repeated; who could guess
If ever more should meet those mutual eyes,
Since upon night so sweet such awful morn could rise ?
And there was mounting in hot haste : the steed,
The mustering squadron, and the clattering car,
Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,
And swiftly forming in the ranks of war;
And the deep thunder peal on peal afar ;
And near, the beat of the alarming drum
Roused up the soldier ere the morning star ;
While thronged the citizens with terror dumb,
Or whispering, with white lips · The foe! they come ! they come !'
And wild and high the “ Cameron's gathering 'rose !
The war-note of Lochiel, which Albyn's hills
Have heard, and heard, too, have her Saxon foes :-
How in the noon of night that pibroch thrills,
Savage and shrill ! But with the breath which fills
Their mountain-pipe, so fill the mountaineers
With the fierce native daring which instils
The stirring memory of a thousand years,
And Evan's, Donald's fame rings in each clansman's ears !
And Ardennes waves above them her green leaves,
Dewy with nature's tear-drops as they pass,
Grieving, if aught inanimate e'er grieves,
Over the unreturning brave,-alas !
Ere evening to be trodden like the grass
Which now beneath them, but above shall grow
In its next verdure, when this fiery mass
Of lëving valour, rolling on the foe
And burning with high hope shall moulder cold and low.
Last noon beheld them full of lusty life,
Last eve in Beauty's circle proudly gay,
The midnight brought the signal-sound of strife,
The morn the marshalling in arms,-the day
Battle's magnificently stern array !
The thunder-clouds close o'er it, which when rent
The earth covered thick with other clay,
Which her own clay shall cover, heaped and pent,
Rider and horse,-friend, foe,-in one red burial blent !
LORD BYRON (Childe Harold's Pilgrimage).
155. FROM 'STANZAS TO AUGUSTA’
Though the day of my destiny's over,
And the star of my fate hath declined,
Thy soft heart refused to discover
The faults which so many could find ;
Though thy soul with my grief was acquainted,
It shrunk not to share it with me,
And the love which my spirit hath painted
It never hath found but in thee.
Yet I blame not the world, nor despise it,
Nor the war of the many with one ;
If my soul was not fitted to prize it,
'Twas folly not sooner to shun:
And if dearly that error hath cost me,
And more than I once could foresee,
I have found that, whatever it lost me,
It could not deprive me of thee.
From the wreck of the past, which hath perished,
Thus much I at least may recall,
It hath taught me that whăt I most cherished,
Deserved to be dearest of all:
In the desert a fountain is springing,
In the wide waste there still is a tree,
And a bird in the solitude singing,
Which speaks to my spirit of thee. LORD BYRON.
156. TO THE MEMORY OF KIRKE WHITE
UNHAPPY White ! while life was in its spring,
And thy young muse just waved her joyous wing,
The spoiler swept that soaring lyre away,
Which else had sounded an immortal lay.
Oh! what a noble heart was here undone,
When Science' self destroyed her favourite son !
Yes, she too much indulged thy fond pursuit,
She sowed the seeds, but death has reaped the fruit.
'Twas thine own genius gave the final blow,
And helped to plant the wound that laid thee low :
So the struck eagle, stretched upon the plain,
No more through rolling clouds to soar again,
Viewed his own feather on the fatal dart,
And winged the shaft that quivered in his heart ;
Keen were his pangs, but keener far to feel
He nursed the pinion which impelled the steel ;
While the same plumage that had warmed his nest
Drank the last life-drop of his bleeding breast.
(Engiish Bards and Scotch Reviewers).
WHEN we two parted
In silence and tears,
To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
Colder thy kiss ;
Truly that hour foretold
Sorrow to this.
The dew of the morning
Sunk chill on my brow-
It felt like the warning
Of what I feel now. Thy vows are all broken,
And light is thy fame : I hear thy name spoken,
And share in its shame.
They name thee before me,
A knell to mine ear ;
A shudder comes o'er me-
Why wert thou so dear ?
They know not I knew thee,
Who knew thee too well :-
Long, long shall I rue thee,
Too deeply to tell.
In secret we met
In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive.
If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee ?-
With silence and tears.