Page images
PDF
EPUB

ADVERTISEMENT.

The tale which these disjointed fragments present is founded upon circumstances now less common in the East than formerly; either because the ladies are more circumspect than in the «olden time;" or because the Christians have better fortune, or less enterprise. The story, when entire, contained the ad. ventures of a female slave, who was thrown, in the Mussulman manner, into the sea for infidelity, and avenged by a young Venetian, her lover, at the time the Seven Islands were possessed by the Republic of Venice, and soon after the Arnauts were beaten back from the Morea, which they had ravaged for some time subsequent to the Russian invasion. The desertion of the Mainotes, on being refused the plunder of Misitra, led to the abandonment of that enterprise, and to the desolation of the Morea, during which the cruelty exercised on all sides was unparalleled even in the annals of the faithful.

THE GIAOUR.

No breath of air to break the wave
That rolls below the Athenian's grave,
That tomb (1) which, gleaming o'er the cliff,
First greets the homeward-veering skiff,
High o'er the land he saved in vain :
When shall such hero live again ?

Fair clime! where every season smiles
Benignant o'er those blessed isles,
Which seen from far Colonna's height,
Make glad the heart that hails the sight,
And lend to loneliness delight.
There mildly dimpling, Ocean's cheek
Reflects the tints of many a peak
Caught by the laughing tides that lave
These Edens of the eastern wave :
And if at times a transient breeze
Break the blue crystal of the seas,
Or sweep one blossom from the trees,
How welcome is each gentle air
That wakes and wafts the odours there !

For there—the Rose o'er crag or vale,
Sultana of the Nightingale, (2)

The maid for whom his melody,

His thousand songs are heard on high, Blooms blushing to her lover's tale: His queen, the garden queen, his Rose, Unbent by winds, unchill'd by snows, Far from the winters of the west, By every breeze and season blest, Returns the sweets by nature given In softest incense back to heaven; And grateful yields that smiling sky Her fairest hue and fragrant sigh. And many a summer flower is there, And many a shade that love might share, And many a grotto, meant for rest, That holds the pirate for a guest; Whose bark in sheltering cove below Lurks for the passing peaceful prow, Till the gay mariner's guitar (3) Is heard, and seen the evening star ; Then stealing with the muffled oar, Far shaded by the rocky shore, Rush the night-prowlers on the prey, And turn to groans his roundelay. Strange—that where Nature loved to trace, As if for Gods, a dwelling-place, And every charm and grace hath mix'd Within the paradise she fix'd, There man, enamour'd of distress, Should mar it into wilderness,

And trample, brute-like, o'er each flower That tasks not one laborious hour; Nor claims the culture of his hand To bloom along the fairy land, But springs as to preclude his care, And sweetly woos him—but to spare ! Strange that where all is peace beside There passion riots in her pride, And lust and rapine wildly reign To darken o'er the fair domain. It is as though the fiends prevail'd Against the seraphs they assail'd, And, fix'd on heavenly thrones, should dwell The freed inheritors of hell; So soft the scene, so form'd for joy, So curst the tyrants that destroy !

He who hath bent him o'er the dead Ere the first day of death is fled, The first dark day of nothingness, The last of danger and distress, (Before Decay's effacing fingers Have swept the lines where beauty lingers,) And mark'd the mild angelic air, The rapture of repose that's there, The fix'd yet tender traits that streak The languor of the placid cheek, And—but for that sad shrouded eye,

That fires not, wins not, weeps not, now,

And but for that chill, changeless brow, Where cold Obstruction's apathy (4)

Appals the gazing mourner's heart,
As if to him it could impart
The doom he dreads, yet dwells upon;
Yes, but for these and these alone,
Some moments, ay, one treacherous hour,
He still might doubt the tyrant's power ;
So fair, so calm, so softly seal'd,
The first, last look by death reveal'd! (5)
Such is the aspect of this shore;
'Tis Greece, but living Greece no more !
So coldly sweet, so deadly fair,
We start, for soul is wanting there.
Hers is the loveliness in death,
That parts not quite with parting breath ;
But beauty with that fearful bloom,
That hue which haunts it to the tomb,
Expression's last receding ray,
A gilded halo hovering round decay,

The farewell beam of Feeling past away!
Spark of that flame, perchance of heavenly birth,
Which gleams, but warms no more its cherish'd earth!

Clime of the unforgotten brave !
Whose land from plain to mountain-caye
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,

Oh servile offspring of the free

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »