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From end to end, from cliff to lake 'twas free!
Free as our torrents are, that leap our rocks,
And plow our valleys, without asking leave;
Or as our peaks, that wear their caps of snow
In very presence of the regal sun!
How happy was I in it then! I loved
Its very storms. Ay, often have I sat
In my boat at night, when midway o'er the lake
The stars went out, and down the mountain gorge
The wind came roaring,—I have sat and eyed
The thunder breaking from his cloud, and smiled
To see him shake his lightnings o'er my head,
And think I had no master save his own.-
You know the jutting cliff, round which a track
Up hither winds, whose base is but the brow
To such another one, with scanty room
For two abreast to pass? O'ertaken there
By the mountain blast, I've laid me flat ǎlõng
And while gust followed gust more furiously,
As if to sweep me o'er the horrid brink,
And I have thought of other lands, whose storms
Are summer flaws to those of mine, and just
Have wished me there ;-the thought that mine was free
Has checked that wish, and I have raised my head,
And cried in thralldom to that furious wind,
BLOW ON! THIS IS THE LAND OF LIBERTY!
VII-HOW SLEEP THE BRAVE.-COLLINS.
How sleep the brave, who sink to rest,
By all their country's wishes blest!
When Spring, with dewy fingers cold,
Returns to deck their hallowed mold,
She there shall dress a sweeter sod
Than Fancy's feet have ever trod.
By fairy hands their knell is rung;
By forms unseen their dirge is sung;
There Honor comes, a pilgrim gray,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay;
And Freedom shall awhile repair,
To dwell, a weeping hermit, there.
VIII. THE GREEKS AT THERMOPYLÆ.-BYRON.
THEY fell devoted, but undying ;
The very gale their names seemed sighing;
The waters murmured of their name;
The woods were peopled with their fame;
The silent pillar, lone and gray,
Claimed kindred with their sacred clay :
Their spirits wrapped the dusky mountain,
Their memory sparkled o'er the fountain:
The meanest rill, the mightiest river,
Rolled mingling with their fame forever.
Despite of every yoke she bears,
The land is glory's still and theirs.
Tis still a watchword to the earth:
When man would do a deed of worth,
He points to Greece, and turns to tread,
So sanctioned, on the tyrant's head;
He looks to her, and rushes on
Where life is lost, or freedom won.
E who hath bent him o'er the dead,
H 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 marked the mild, angelic air,
The rapture of repose, that's there,
The fixed yet tender traits that streak
The languor of the plăcid cheek—
And but for that sad, shrouded eye,
That fires not, wins not, weeps not, now,
And but for that chill, changelèss brow,
Where cold obstruction's apathy
Appalls 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 ǎlone,
Some moments, ay, one treacherous hour,—
He still might doubt the tyrant's power;
So fair, so calm, so softly sealed,
The first-last look by death revealed!
2. Such is the aspect of this shōre;
"Tis Greece-but living Greece no more!
So coldly sweet, so deady 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 cherished earth.
3. Clime of the unforgotten brave!
Whose land from plain to mountain-cave
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 Thermopyla?'
These waters blue that round you lave,
O servile offspring of the free-
Pronounce what sea, what shore is this.
The gulf, the rock, of Salamis!"
These scenes, their story not unknown,
Ther mop' y læ, a famous pass of Greece, about five miles long, and originally from 50 to 60 yards in width. It is hemmed in on one side by precipitous rocks of from 400 to 600 feet in height, and on the other side by the sea and an impassable morass. Here Leonidas and his three hundred Spartans died in defending Greece against the invasion
of Xerxes, B. C. 489.
2 Săl' a mis, an island of Greece, in the Gulf of Ægina, ten miles W. of Athens. Its shape is very irregular; the surface is mountainous and wooded in some parts. In the channel between it and the main land, the Greeks, under Themistocles, gained a memorable naval victory over the Persians, B. C. 480.
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,
Bequeathed by bleeding sire to son,
Though baffled oft, is ever won.
4. 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 can not die!
'Twere long to tell, and sad to trace,
Each step from splendor to disgrace :
Enough, no foreign foe could quell
Thy soul, till from itself it fell.
Yes! self-abasement paved the way
To villain-bonds and despot sway.
127. SONG OF THE GREEKS, 1822.
GAIN to the battle, Achaians!'
Our hearts bid the tyrants defiance;
Our land, the first garden of Liberty's tree,—
It has been, and shall yět be, the land of the free;
For the cross of our faith is replanted,
The pale dying crescent is daunted,
Achaians, (a ka' anz), the people of Achaia, a department of the kingdom of Greece.
And we march that the footprints of Ma'homet's' slaves
May be washed out in blood from our forefathers' graves.
Their spirits are hovering o'er us,
And the sword shall to glory restore us.
2. Ah! what though no succor advances,
Nor Christendom's chivalrous lances
Are stretched in our aid?-Be the combat our own!
And we'll perish or conquer more proudly ălōne;
For we've sworn by our country's assaulters,
By the virgins they've dragged from our altars,
By our massacred patriots, our children in chains,
By our heroes of old, and their blood in our veins,
That, living, we will be victorious,
Or that, dying, our deaths shall be glorious.
3. A breath of submission we breathe not:
The sword that we've drawn we will sheathe not:
Its scabbard is left where our martyrs are laid,
And the vengeance of ages has whetted its blade.
Earth may hide, waves engulf, fire consume us;
But they shall not to slavery doom us :
If they rule, it shall be o'er our ashes and graves :—
But we've smote them already with fire on the waves,
And new triumphs on land are befōre us ;—
To the charge!-Heaven's banner is o'er us.
4. This day-shall ye blush for its story;
Or brighten your lives with its glory?—
Our women-oh, say, shall they shriek in despair,
Or embrace us from conquest, with wreaths in their hair?
Accursed may his memory blacken,
If a coward there be that would slacken
Till we've trampled the turban, and shown ourselves worth
Being sprung from, and named for, the god-like of earth.
Strike home!-and the world shall revere us
As heroes descended from heroes.
1 Mā' hom ět, a false prophet of Arabia, who, by the mere force of his genius and his convictions, subdued many nations to his religion, his laws and his scepter;
and whose authority at the present time is acknowledged by nearly two hundred millions of souls. He was born in 570, and died on the 8th of July, 632.