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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, Bequeath'd 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 splendour to disgrace ; Enough-no foreign foe could quell Thy soul, till from itself it fell ; Yes! Self-abasement paved the way To vilain-bonds and despot sway.
What can he tell who treads thy shore ?
No legend of thine olden time,
No theme on which the muse might soar, High as thine own in days of yore,
When man was worthy of thy clime. The hearts within thy valleys bred, The fiery souls that might have led
Thy sons to deeds sublime, Now crawl from cradle to the grave, Slaves—nay, the bondsmen of a slave, (6)
And callous, save to crime; Stain'd with each evil that pollutes Mankind, where least above the brutes ; Without even savage virtue blest, Without one free or valiant breast. Still to the neighbouring ports they waft Proverbial wiles, and ancient craft; In this the subtle Greek is found, For this, and this alone, renown'd. In vain might Liberty invoke The spirit to its bondage broke, Or raise the neck that courts the yoke : No more her sorrows I bewail, Yet this will be a mournful tale, And they who listen may believe, Who heard it first had cause to grieve.
Far, dark, along the blue sea glancing, The shadows of the rocks advancing, Start on the fisher's eye like boat Of island-pirate or Mainote ; And fearful for his light caique, He shuns the near but doubtful creek :
Though worn and weary with his toil,
Who thundering comes on blackest steed, With slacken'd bit and hoof of speed ? Beneath the clattering iron's sound The cavern'd echoes wake around In lash for lash, and bound for bound; The foam that streaks the courser's side Seems gather'd from the ocean-tide. Though weary waves are sunk to rest, There's none within his rider's breast : And though to-morrow's tempest lower, 'Tis calmer than thy heart, young Giaour ! (7) I know thee not, I loathe thy race, But in thy lineaments I trace What time shall strengthen, not 'efface : Though young and pale, that sallow front Is scathed by fiery passion's brunt; Though bent on earth thine evil eye, As meteor-like thou glidest by, Right well I view and deem thee one Whom Othman's sons should slay or shun.
On-on he hasten'd, and he drew My gaze of wonder as he flew :
Though like a demon of the night.
He stood -some dread was on his face,
hath lanced his courser's sides ;
won, no more is seen