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Her bow across her shoulder flung, Her buskins gemmed with morning dew,
Blew an inspiring air, that dale and thicket rung
The hunter's call, to Faun and Dryad known! The oak-crowned Sisters, and their chaste-eyed Queen, Satyrs and sylvan boys were seen, Peeping from forth their alleys green ; Brown Exercise rejoiced to hear, And Sport leaped up, and seized his beechen spear.
Last, came Joy's ecstatic trial :
He, with viny crown advancing,
First to the lively pipe his hand addressed ;
But soon he saw the brisk awakening viol,
Whose sweet entrancing voice he loved the best.
They would have thought, who heard the strain,
They saw in Tempe's vale her native maids,
Amidst the festal-sounding shades,
To some unwearied minstrel dancing ;
While, as his flying fingers kissed the strings,
Love framed with Mirth a gay, fantastic round;
(Loose were her tresses seen, her zone unbound ;)
And he, amidst his frolic play,
As if he would the charming air repay, Shook thousand odors from his dewy wings.
O Music! sphere-descended maid,
Friend of Pleasure, Wisdom's aid,
Why, goddess ! why, to us denied,
Lay'st thou thy ancient lyre aside ?
As in that loved Athenian bower,
You learned an all-commanding power,
Thy mimic soul, O nymph endeared,
Can well recall what then it heard.
Where is thy native, simple heart,
Devote to virtue, fancy, art?
Arise, as in that elder time,
Warm, energetic, chaste, sublime !
Thy wonders, in that godlike age,
Fill thy recording sister's page.
'Tis said, and I believe the tale,
Thy humblest reed could more prevail,
Had more of strength, diviner rage,
Than all which charms this laggard age.
Even all at once together found
Cecilia's mingled world of sound.
O, bid our vain endeavors cease!
Revive the just designs of Greece.
Return in all thy simple state;
Confirm the tales her sons relate!
He who hath bent him o'er the dead,
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 placid cheek,
And - but for that sad, shrouded
eye, That fires not, wins not, weeps not, now, And but for that chill, changeless brow,
Where cold obstruction's apathy Appals 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 alone,
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 !
Such is the aspect of this shore —
'Tis Greece – but living Greece no more!
So coldly sweet, so deadly 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!
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 Thermopylæ ?
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,
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.
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,
of those that cannot 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.
O ROME! my country! city of the soul !
The orphans of the heart must turn to thee, Lone mother of dead empires ! and control
In their shut breasts their petty misery.
What are our woes and sufferance ? Come and see The cypress, hear the owl, and plod your way
O’er steps of broken thrones and temples, Ye!
Whose agonies are evils of a day –
A world is at our feet as fragile as our clay.
The Niobe of nations! there she stands,
Childless and crownless, in her voiceless woe; An empty urn within her withered hands,
Whose holy dust was scattered long ago.
The Scipios' tomb contains no ashes now;
The very sepulchres lie tenantless
Of their heroic dwellers: dost thou flow,
Old Tiber! through a marble wilderness ?
Rise, with thy yellow waves, and mantle her distress.
The Goth, the Christian, Time, War, Flood, and Fire,
Have dealt upon the seven-hilled city's pride. She saw her glories star by star expire,
And up the steep barbarian monarchs ride,
Where the car climbed the capitol : far and wide Temple and tower went down, nor left a site :
Chaos of ruins! who shall trace the void, O’er the dim fragments cast a lunar light, And say, “Here was, or is," where all is doubly night?
Alas, the lofty city! and alas
The trebly hundred triumphs ! and the day When Brutus made the dagger's edge surpass
The conqueror's sword in bearing fame away!
Alas for Tully's voice, and Virgil's lay,
And Livy's pictured page !— but these shall be
Her resurrection; all beside - decay.
Alas for Earth! for never shall we see
That brightness in her eye she bore whea Rome was free.