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THE SULIOTE MOTHER.
It is related in a French Life of Ali Pacha, that several of the Suliote women, on the advance of the Turkish troops into their mountain fastnesses, assembled on a lofty summit, and after chanting a wild song, precipitated themselves, with their children, into the chasm below, to avoid becoming the slaves of the enemy.
SHE stood upon the loftiest peak,
Amidst the clear blue sky,
A bitter smile was on her cheek,
And a dark flash in her eye.
"Dost thou see them, boy?-through the dusky pines
Dost thou see where the foeman's armor shines?
Hast thou caught the gleam of the conqueror's crest?
My babe, that I cradled on my breast!
Wouldst thou spring from thy mother's arms with joy?
-That sight hath cost thee a father, boy!
For in the rocky strait beneath,
Lay Suliote, sire and son;
They had heap'd high the piles of death
Before the pass was won.
"They have cross'd the torrent, and on they come!
Wo for the mountain hearth and home!
There, where the hunter laid by his spear,
There, where the lyre hath been sweet to hear,
There, where I sang thee, fair babe! to sleep,
Naught but the blood-stain our trace shall keep!"
And now the horn's loud blast was heard,
And now the cymbal's clang,
Till ev'n the upper air was stirr'd,
As cliff and hollow rang.
"Hark! they bring music, my joyous child!
What saith the trumpet to Suli's wild?
Doth it light thine eye with so quick a fire,
As if at a glance of thine armed sire?
-Still!-be thou still!-there are brave men low-
Thou wouldst not smile couldst thou see him now!"
But nearer came the clash of steel,
And louder swell'd the horn,
And farther yet the tambour's peal
Through the dark pass was borne.
"Hear'st thou the sound of their savage mirth?
-Boy! thou wert free when I gave thee birth,
Free, and how cherish'd, my warrior's son!
He too hath bless'd thee, as I have done!
Ay, and unchain'd must his loved ones be-
Freedom, young Suliote! for thee and me!"
And from the arrowy peak she sprung,
And fast the fair child bore,
A veil upon the wind was flung,
A cry-and all was o'er!
THE FAREWELL TO THE DEAD.
The following piece is founded on a beautiful part of the Greek funeral service, in which relatives and friends are invited to embrace the deceased, (whose face is uncovered) and to bid their final adieu. See Christian Researches in the Mediterranean.
'Tis hard to lay into the earth
A countenance so benign! a form that walk'd
But yesterday so stately o'er the earth!
COME near!-ere yet the dust,
Soil the bright paleness of the settled brow,
Look on your brother, and embrace him now,
In still and solemn trust!
Come near!-once more let kindred lips be press'd
On his cold cheek; then bear him to his rest!
Look yet on this young face!
What shall the beauty, from among us gone,
Leave of its image, e'en where most it shone,
Gladdening its hearth and race?
Dim grows the semblance on man's heart impress'dCome near, and bear the beautiful to rest!
Ye weep, and it is well!
For tears befit earth's parting!-Yesterday,
Song was upon the lips of this pale clay,
And sunshine seem'd to dwell
Where'er he moved-the welcome and the bless'd!
-Now gaze! and bear the silent unto rest!
Look yet on him, whose eye
Meets yours no more, in sadness or in mirth!
Was he not fair amidst the sons of earth,
The beings born to die?
-But not where death has power may love be bless'dCome near! and bear ye the beloved to rest!
How may the mother's heart
Dwell on her son, and dare to hope again?
The spring's rich promise hath been given in vain,
The lovely must depart!
Is he not gone, our brightest and our best?
Come near! and bear the early-call'd to rest!
Look on him! is he laid
To slumber from the harvest or the chase?
-Too still and sad the smile upon his face,
Yet that, ev'n that, must fade!
Death holds not long unchang'd his fairest guest,→→→
Come near! and bear the mortal to his rest!
His voice of mirth had ceased
Amidst the vineyards! there is left no place
For him whose dust receives your vain embrace,
At the gay bridal feast!
Earth must take earth to moulder on her breast;
Come near! weep o'er him! bear him to his rest!
Yet mourn ye not as they
Whose spirit's light is quench'd!-for him the past
Is seal'd. He may not fall, he may not cast
His birthright's hope away!
All is not here of our beloved and bless'd-
Leave ye the sleeper with his God to rest!
THE TREASURES OF THE DEEP.
WHAT hid'st thou in thy treasure-caves and cells?
Thou hollow-sounding and mysterious main !
-Pale glistening pearls, and rainbow-color'd shells,
Bright things which gleam unreck'd-of, and in vain!
-Keep, keep thy riches, melancholy sea!
We ask not such from thee!
Yet more, the depths have more!-what wealth untold,
Far down, and shining through their stillness lies!
Thou hast the starry gems, the burning gold,
Won from ten thousand royal Argosies!
-Sweep o'er thy spoils, thou wild and wrathful main!
Earth claims not these again.
Yet more, the depths have more! thy waves have roll'd
Above the cities of a world gone by!
Sand hath fill'd up the palaces of old,
Sea-weed o'ergrown the halls of revelry.
-Dash o'er them, ocean! in thy scornful play!
Man yields them to decay.
Yet more! the billows and the depths have more!
High hearts and brave are gather'd to thy breast!
They hear not now the booming waters roar,
The battle-thunders will not break their rest.
-Keep thy red gold and gems, thou stormy grave!
Give back the true and brave!
Give back the lost and lovely!-those for whom
The place was kept at board and hearth so long,
The prayer went up through midnight's breathless gloom,
And the vain yearning woke 'midst festal song!
Hold fast thy buried isles, thy towers o'erthrown~~
But all is not thine own.
To thee the love of woman hath gone down,
Dark flow thy tides o'er manhood's noble head,
O'er youth's bright locks, and beauty's flowery crown,
-Yet must thou hear a voice-restore the dead!
Earth shall reclaim her precious things from thee!
-Restore the dead, thou sea!
BRING flowers, young flowers, for the festal board,
To wreathe the cup ere the wine is pour'd;
Bring flowers! they are springing in wood and vale,
Their breath floats out on the southern gale,
And the touch of the sunbeam hath waked the rose,
To deck the hall where the bright wine flows.
Bring flowers to strew in the conqueror's path-
He hath shaken thrones with his stormy wrath!
He comes with the spoils of nations back,
The vines lie crush'd in his chariot's track,
The turf looks red where he won the day-
Bring flowers to die in the conqueror's way!
Bring flowers to the captive's lonely cell,
They have tales of the joyous woods to tell;
Of the free blue streams, and the glowing sky,
And the bright world shut from his languid eye;
They will bear him a thought of the sunny hours,
And a dream of his youth-bring him flowers, wild flow-
Bring flowers, fresh flowers. for the bride to wear!
They were born to blush in her shining hair.
She is leaving the home of her childhood's mirth,
She hath bid farewell to her father's hearth,
Her place is now by another's side-
Bring flowers for the locks of the fair young bride!
Bring flowers, pale flowers, o'er the bier to shed,
A crown for the brow of the early dead!
For this through its leaves hath the white rose burst,
For this in the woods was the violet nursed.
Though they smile in vain for what once was ours,
They are love's last gift-bring ye flowers, pale flowers!