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Who shall impede her flight?
Who rob her of her prey?
Voice without. Victory! victory! Russia's famished eagles Dare not to prey beneath the crescent's light !
Impale the remnant of the Greeks! despoil!
Thou voice which art
The herald of the ill in splendour hid!
Of Monarchy! bear me to thine abode
Or to some toppling promontory proud
Of solid tempest, whose black pyramid,
Riven, overhangs the founts intensely brightening
Of those dawn-tinted deluges of fire,
Before their waves expire,
When heaven and earth are light, and only light,
Voice without. Victory! victory! Austria, Russia, England, And that tame serpent, that poor shadow, France,
Cry peace; and that means death when monarchs speak.
Alas for Liberty,
If numbers, wealth, or unfulfilling years,
Or fate, can quell the free!
Alas for Virtue, when
Torments, or contumely, or the sneers
Of erring-judging men,
Can break the heart where it abides!
Alas! if Love, whose smile makes this obscure world splendid
Can change, with its false times and tides,
Like hope and terror—
Alas for Love!
And Truth, who wanderest lone and unbefriended,
Repulse, with plumes from Conquest torn,
Led the Ten-thousand from the limits of the morn
Through many an hostile anarchy:
At length they wept aloud and cried "The sea! the sea!"—
Rome was: and young Atlantis shall become
The wonder, or the terror, or the tomb,
Of all whose step wakes Power lulled in her savage lair.
Whose fairest thoughts and limbs were built
To woman's growth by dreams so mild
She knew not pain or guilt.
O Victory, blush! and Empire, tremble!
If Greece must be
A wreck, yet shall its fragments re-assemble,
To Amphionic music, on some cape sublime
Let the tyrants rule the desert they have made;
Our dead shall be the seed of their decay,
Our survivors be the shadows of their pride;
Our adversity a dream to pass away,
Their dishonour a remembrance to abide.
Voice without. Victory! victory! The bought Briton sends The keys of ocean to the Islamite.
Now shall the blazon of the cross be veiled,
And British skill directing Othman might
Kill! crush! despoil! Let not a Greek escape!
Darkness has dawned in the east
On the noon of time:
The death-birds descend to their feast
Let Freedom and Peace flee far
To a sunnier strand,
And follow Love's folding-star
To the evening land.
The young moon has fed
Her exhausted horn
With the sunset's fire;
The weak day is dead,
But the night is not born;
And, like loveliness panting with wild desire
Hesperus flies from awakening night,
And pants in its beauty and speed with light
Thou beacon of love! thou lamp of the free!
To climes where now, veiled by the ardour of day,
From waves on which weary noon
Between kingless continents sinless as Eden,
Through the sunset of hope,
Like the shapes of a dream, What paradise islands of glory gleam! Beneath heaven's cope,
Their shadows more clear float by
The sound of their oceans, the light of their sky,
The music and fragrance their solitudes breathe,
Burst like morning on dream, or like heaven on death, Through the walls of our prison ;—
And Greece, which was dead, is arisen!
The world's great age begins anew,
The golden years return,
The earth doth like a snake renew
Her winter weeds outworn:
Heaven smiles, and faiths and empires gleam Like wrecks of a dissolving dream.
A brighter Hellas rears its mountains
A new Peneus rolls his fountains
Against the morning star;
Where fairer Tempes bloom, there sleep
A loftier Argo cleaves the main,
And loves, and weeps, and dies;
Oh! write no more the tale of Troy,
If earth death's scroll must beNor mix with Laian rage the joy Which dawns upon the free, Although a subtler Sphinx renew Riddles of death Thebes never knew.
Another Athens shall arise,
And to remoter time
Bequeath, like sunset to the skies,
The splendour of its prime;
And leave, if nought so bright may live,
Saturn and Love their long repose
Shall burst, more bright and good Than all who fell, than one who rose,
Than many unsubdued :
Not gold, not blood, their altar dowers,
Oh cease! must hate and death return?
Cease! drain not to its dregs the urn
Of bitter prophecy!
The world is weary of the past,
Oh might it die or rest at last!
SHELLEY'S NOTES ON HELLAS.
The quenchless ashes of Milan.
MILAN was the centre of the resistance of the Lombard League against the Austrian tyrant. Frederick Barbarossa burnt the city to the ground; but liberty lived in its ashes, and it rose like an exhalation from its ruin.-See Sismondi's Histoire des Républiques Italiennes, a book which has done much towards awakening the Italians to an imitation of their great ancestors.
The popular notions of Christianity are represented in this chorus as true in their relation to the worship they superseded, and that which in all probability they will supersede, without considering their merits in a relation more universal. The first stanza contrasts the immortality of the living and thinking beings which inhabit the planets, and (to use a common and inadequate phrase) clothe themselves in matter, with the transience of the noblest manifestations of the external world. The concluding verses indicate a progressive state of more or less exalted existence, according to the degree of perfection which every distinct intelligence may have attained.
Let it not be supposed that I mean to dogmatize upon a subject concerning which all men are equally ignorant, or that I think the Gordian knot of the origin of evil can be disentangled by that or any similar assertions. The received hypothesis of a Being resembling men in the moral attributes of his nature having called us out of non-existence, who, after inflicting on us the misery of the commission of error, should superadd that of the punishment and the privations consequent upon it, still would remain inexplicable and incredible. That there is a true solution of the riddle, and that in our present state that solution is unattainable by us, are propositions which may be regarded as equally certain; meanwhile, as it is the province of the poet to attach himself to those ideas which exalt and ennoble humanity, let him be permitted to have conjectured the condition of that futurity towards which we are all impelled by an inextinguishable thirst for immortality. Until better arguments can be produced than sophisms which disgrace the cause, this desire itself must remain the strongest and the only presumption that eternity is the inheritance of every thinking being.
No hoary priests after that Patriarch.
The Greek Patriarch, after having been compelled to fulminate an anathema against the insurgents, was put to death by the Turks.
Fortunately the Greeks have been taught that they cannot buy security by degradation; and the Turks, though equally cruel, are less cunning than the smooth-faced tyrants of Europe.
As to the anathema, his Holiness might as well have thrown his mitre at Mount Athos, for any effect that it produced. The chiefs of the Greeks are almost all men of comprehension and enlightened views on religion and politics.