Page images

harvests, the bounty of Heaven and the reward of industry, consumed in a moment or trampled under foot, while famine and pestilence follow the steps of desolation. There, the cottages of peasants given up to the flames-mothers expiring through fear, not for themselves but their infants— the inhabitants flying with their helpless babes in all directions, miserable fugitives on their native soil! In another part, you witness opulent cities taken by storm; the streets, where no sounds were heard but those of peaceful industry, filled on a sudden with slaughter and blood, resounding with the cries of the pursuing and the pursued; the palaces of nobles demolished, the houses of the rich pillaged, and every age, sex, and rank, mingled in promiscuous massacre and ruin!


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 Scian and the Teian muse,

The hero's harp, the lover's lute,
Have found the fame your shores refuse;
Their place of birth alone is mute

To sounds which echo farther west
Than your sires' "Islands of the Bless'd."

The mountains look on Marathon-
And Marathon looks on the sea;
And musing there an hour alone,

I dream'd that Greece might still be free;

For, standing on the Persians' grave,
I could not deem myself a slave.

A King sate on the rocky brow

Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis; And ships, by thousands, lay below, And men in nations;-all were his! He counted them at break of day— And when the sun set, where were they?

And where are they? and where art thou, My country? On thy voiceless shore The heroic lay is tuneless now—

The heroic bosom beats no more! And must thy lyre, so long divine, Degenerate into hands like mine?

'Tis something, in the dearth of fame,
Though link'd among a fetter'd race,
To feel at least a patriot's shame,
Even as I sing, suffuse my face;

For what is left the poet here?

For Greeks a blush-For Greece a tear.

Must we but weep o'er days more bless'd-
Must we but blush ?-Our fathers bled.
Earth! render back from out thy breast
A remnant of our Spartan dead!
Of the three hundred grant but three,
To make a new Thermopyla!

What, silent still? and silent all?

Ah! no;-the voices of the dead Sound like a distant torrent's fall,

And answer, "Let one living head,

But one arise,we come; we come!" 'Tis but the living who are dumb.

In vain—in vain: strike other chords;
Fill high the cup with Samian wine!
Leave battles to the Turkish hordes,

And shed the blood of Scio's vine!
Hark! rising to the ignoble call—
How answers each bold bacchanal!

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 gave-
Think ye he meant them for a slave?

Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
We will not think of themes like these!

It made Anacreon's song divine:

He served but served Polycrates

A tyrant; but our masters then
Were still, at least, our countrymen.

Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
On Suli's rock, and Parga's shore,
Exists the remnant of a line

Such as the Doric mothers bore;
And there, perhaps, some seed is sown,
The Heracleidan blood might own.

Trust not for freedom to the Franks-
They have a king who buys and sells:

In native swords, and native ranks,
The only hope of courage dwells;

But Turkish force, and Latin fraud,
Would break your shield, however broad.

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 mine-
Dash down yon cup of Samian wine!


DOTH the bright sun from the high arch of heaven,
In all its beauteous robes of flecker'd clouds,
And ruddy vapours, and deep glowing flames,
And softly varied shades, look gloriously?

Do the green woods dance to the wind? the lakes
Cast up their sparkling waters to the light?

Do the sweet hamlets in their bushy dells

Send winding up to heaven their curling smoke
On the soft morning air?

Do the flocks bleat, and the wild creatures bound
In antic happiness? and mazy birds
Wing the mid air in lightly skimming bands?
Ay, all this is-men do behold all this-
The poorest man! E'en in this lonely vault,
My dark and narrow world, oft do I hear
The crowing of the cock so near my walls,

And sadly think how small a space divides me
From all this fair creation!

From the wide-spreading bounds of beauteous nature
I am alone shut out-I am forgotten!

Peace, peace! He who regards the poorest worm,
Still cares for me. Perhaps, small as these walls,
A bound unseen divides my dreary state

From a more beauteous world-that world of souls,
Fear'd and desired by all-a veil unseen

Which soon shall be withdrawn.

The air feels chill; methinks it should be night,
I'll lay me down, perchance kind sleep will come,
And open to my view an inward world

Of garish fantasies, from which nor walls,
Nor bars, nor tyrant's power can shut me out.


MILTON has not yet reaped his due harvest of esteem and veneration. The envious mists, which the prejudices and bigotry of Johnson spread over his bright name, are not yet wholly scattered, though fast passing away. We wish not to disparage Johnson. We could find no pleasure in sacrificing one great man to the manes of another. But we owe it to Milton and to other illustrious names, to say, that Johnson has failed of the highest end of biography, which is to give immortality to virtue, and to call forth fervent admiration towards those who have shed splendour on past ages. We acquit Johnson, however, of intentional misrepresentation. He did not, and could not appreciate Milton. We doubt whether two other minds, having so little in common, as those of which we are now speaking, can be found in the higher walks of literature. Johnson was great in his own sphere, but that sphere was, comparatively, of the earth; whilst Milton's was only inferior to that

« PreviousContinue »