« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
VII. Well didst thou speak, Athena's wisest son ! “ All that we know is, nothing can be known.” Why should we shrink from what we cannot shun? Fach has his pang, but feeble sufferers groav With brain-born dreams of evil all their own. Pursue what Chance or Fate proclaimeth best; Peace waits us on the shores of Acheron :
There no forc'd banquet claims the sated guest,
But Silence spreads the couch of ever welcome rest.
Yet it, as holiest men have deemed there be
A lund of souls beyond that sable shore,
'To shame the doctrine of the Sadducee
Apd sophists, madly vain of dubious lore;
How sweet it were in concert to adore
With those who made our mortal labours light!
To hear each voice we fear'd to hear no more !
Bebold each mighty shade reveal'd to sight,
The Bactrian, Samian sage, and all who taught the right!
There, thou!-whose love and life together fled,
Have left me here to love and live in vain
Twin'd with my heart, ard can I deem thee dead,
When busy Memory flashes on my brain ?
Well I will dream that we may meet again,
And woo the vision to my vacant breast :
If angbt of young Remembrance then remain,
Be as it may Futurity's behest,
For mę 'twere bliss enough to know thy spirit blest !
Here let me sit upon this massy stone,
The marbie column's yet unshakeu base;
Here, son of Saturu ! was thy fav’rite throne : (4)
Mightiest of many such ! Hence let me trace
The latent grandeur of thy dwelling place.
It may not be: nor ev'n can Fancy's eye
Restore what Time hath labour'd to deface.
Yet these proud pillars claim no passing sigh,
Vnmov'd the Moslem sits, the light Greek carols by.
But who, of all the plunderers of yon fane
On high, where Pallas linger'd loth to flee
The latest relic of her ancient reign;
The last, the worst, dull spoiler, who was he?
Blush, Caledonia ! such thy son could be !
England, I joy no child he was of thine;
Thy free-born men should spare what once was free ;
Yet they could violate each saddening shrine,
And bear these altars o'er the long-reluctant brine. (6)
But most the modern Pict's ignoble boast,
To rive what Goth, and Turk, and Time hath spar’d; (6)
Could as the crags upon his native coast,
His mind as barren and his heart as hard,
Is he whose head conceiv'd, whose band prepar’d,
Aught to displace Athena's poor remains;
Her sons to weak the sacred shrine to guard,
Yet felt some portion of their mother's pains, (7)
And never knew, till then, the weight of Despot's chains.
What ! shall it e'er be said by British tongue,
Albion was happy in Athena's tears ?
Though in thy name the slaves her bosom wrung,
Tell not the deed to blushing Europe's ears;
The ocean queen, the free Britannia bears
The last poor plunder from a bleeding land;
Yes, she, whose gen'rous aid her name endears,
Tore down those remnants with a Harpy's hand,
Which envious Eld forbore, and tyrants left to stand.
Where was thine Ægis, Pallas ! that appallid
Stern Alaric and Havoc on their way? (8)
Where Peleus' son? whom Hell in vain enthrall’d,
His shade from Hades upon that dread day,
Bursting to light in terrible array !
What! could not Pluto spare the chief once more,
To scare a second robber from his prey?
Idly he wander'd on the Stygian shore
Nor now preserv'd the walls he lov'd to shield beforo.
XV. Cold is the heart, fair Greece! that looks on thee, Nor feels as lovers o'er the dust they lov'd ; Dull is the eye that will not weep to see Thy walls defac’d, thy mouldering shrines remov'd By British hands, which it had best behov'd To guard those relics ne'er to be restor’d. Curst be the hour when from their isle they rov'd, And once again thy hapless bosom gor’d,
[horr’d! And snatch'd thy shrinking Gods to northern climes ab
But where is Harold ? shall I then forget
To urge the gloomy wanderer o'er the wave ?
Little reck'd he of all that men regret ;
No lov'd-one now in feign'd lament could rave;
No friend the parting hand extended gave,
Ere the cold stranger pass’d to other climes;
Hard is his heart whom charms may not enslave ;
But Harold felt not as in other times,
And left without a sigh the land of war and crimes.
He that has sail'd upon the dark blue sea,
Has view'd at times, I ween, a full fair sight;
When the fresh breeze is fair as breeze may be,
The white sail set, the gallant frigate tight?
Masts, spires, and strand retiring to the right,
The glorious main expanding o'er the bow,
The convoy spread like wild swans in their flight,
The dullest sailer wearing bravely now,
So gaily curl the waves before each dashing prow.
And oh, the little warlike world within !
I he well-reev'd guns, the netted canopy, (9)
The hoarse command, the busy humming din,
When, at a word, the tops are mann'd on high ;
Hark to the Boatswain's call, the cheering cry
Whiie through the seanian's hand the tackle glides ;
Or school-boy Midshipman that standing by,
Strains his shrill pipe as good or ill betides,
And well the docile crew that skilful urchin guides.
White is the glassy deck, without a stain,
Where on the watch the staid Lieutenant walks
Look on that part which sacred doth remain
For the lone chief:ain, who majestic stalks,
Silent and fear’d by all-not oft he talks
With aught beneath him, if he would preserve
That strict restraint, which broken, ever balks
Conquest and Fame : but Britons rarely swerve (nerve. From Law, however stern, which tends their strength to
Blow! swiftly blow, thou keel-compelling gale!
Till the broad sun withdraws his lessening ray ;
Then must the pennant-bearer slacken sail,
That lagging barks may make their lazy way.
Ah, grievance sore, and listless dull delay,
To waste on sluggish hulks the sweetest breeze !
What leagues are lost before the dawn of day,
Thus loitering pensive on the willing seas,
The flapping sail haul'd down to halt for logs like these!
The moon is up; by Heaven a lovely eve!
Long streams of light o'er dancing waves expand ;
Now lads on shore may sigh, and maids believe :
Such be our fate when we return to land !
Meantime some rude Arion's restless hand
Wakes the brisk harmony that sailors love;
A circle there of merry listeners stand,
Or to some well-known measure featly move, Thoughtless, as if on shore they still were free to rove.
XXII. Through Calpe's straits survey the steepy shore; Europe and Afric on each other gaze ! Lands of the dark-eyed Maid and dusky Moor Alike bebeld beneath pale Hecate's blaze : How softly on the Spanish shore she plays, Disclosing rock, and slope, and forest brown, Distinct, though darkening with her waning phase;
But Mauritania's giant-shadows frown, From mountain-cliff to coast descending sombre down,
'Tis night, when Meditation bids us feel
We once have lov'd, though love is at an end ;
The heart, lone mourner of its baffled zeal,
Though friendless now, will dream it had a friend.
Who with the weight of years would wish to bend,
When Youth itself survives young Love and Joy?
Alas! when mingling souls forget to blend,
Death hath but little left him to destroy !
Ah ! happy years! once more who would not be a boy ?
Thus bending o'er the vessel's laving side,
To gaze on Dian's wave-reflected sphere;
The soul forgets her schemes of Hope and Pride,
And flies unconscious o'er each backward year.
None are so desolate but something dear,
Dearer than self, possesses or possess'd
A thought, and claims the homage of a tear ;
A flashing pang ! of which the weary breast
Would still, albeit in vain, the heavy heart divest.
To sit on rocks, to muse o'er flood and fell,
To slowly trace the forest's shady scene,
Where things that owo not man's dominion dwell,
And mortal foot hath ne'er, or rarely been ;
To climb the trackless mountain all unseen,
With the wild flock that never needs a fold;
Alone o'er steeps and foaming falls to Ican;
This is not solitude ; 'tis but to hold
[roll'd. Converse with Nature's charms, and view her stores un.
XXVI. But midst the crowd, the hum, the shock of men, To hear, to see, to feel, and to possess, And roam along, the world's tir'd denizen, With yone who bless us, none whom we can bless ; Minions of splendour sbrinking from distress ! None that, with kindred consciousness endued, If we were not, would seem to smile the less
Of all that flatter'd, follow'd, sought and sued; This is to be alone ; this, this is solitude!