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DEAR HARP OF MY COUNTRY.
The cold chain of silence had hung o'er thee long, When proudly, my own Island Harp! I unbound thee,
And gave all thy chords to light, freedom, and song! The warm lay of love and the light note of gladness
Have waken'd thy fondest, thy liveliest thrill; But so oft hast thou echo'd the deep sigh of sadness,
That even in thy mirth it will steal from thee still.
Dear Harp of my country! farewell to thy numbers,
This sweet wreath of song is the last we shall twine; Go, sleep with the sunshine of fame on thy slumbers,
Till touch'd by some hand less unworthy than mine. If the pulse of the patriot, soldier, or lover,
Has throbb’d at our lay, 'tis thy glory alone; I was but as the wind passing heedlessly over,
And all the wild sweetness I waked was thy own.
ERIN! THE TEAR AND THE SMILE IN THINE EYES.
Shining through sorrow's stream,
Weep while they rise!
Till, like the rainbow's light,
One arch of peace!
'TIS THE LAST ROSE OF SUMMER.
'Tis the last rose of summer,
Left blooming alone;
Are faded and gone;
No rosebud is nigh
Or give sigh for sigh!
I'll not leave thee, thou lone one!
To pine on the stem;
Go, sleep thou with them;
Thy leaves o’er the bed,
Lie scentless and dead.
So soon may I follow,
When friendships decay,
Thy gems drop away!
And fond ones are flown,
This bleak world alone ?
GEORGE GORDON, LORD BYRON.
(6 1788 - d 1824).
SHE WALKS IN BEAUTY.
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
Meet in her aspect and her eyes : Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies. One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face; Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place. And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent, The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent, A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!
VISION OF BELSHAZZAR.
The satraps throng'd the hall;
O'er that high festival.
In Judah deem'd divine –
The godless heathen's wine!
The fingers of a hand
And wrote as if on sand:
A solitary hand
And traced them like a wand
The monarch saw, and shook,
And bade no more rejoice; All bloodless wax'd his look
And tremulous his voice.
The wisest of the earth,
Which mar our royal mirth."
Chaldea's seers are good,
But here they have no skill: And the unknown letters stood
Untold and awful still. And Babel's men of age
Are wise and deep in lore; But now they were not sage,
They saw – but knew no more.
A captive in the land,
A stranger and a youth ,
He saw that writing's truth.
The prophecy in view;
The morrow proved it true.
“Belshazzar's grave is made,
His kingdom pass'd away,
Is light and worthless clay.
His canopy, the stone;
The Persian on his throne!"
SONNET ON CHILLON.
Eternal Spirit of the chainless Mind!
Brightest in dungeons, Liberty, thou art,
For there thy habitation is the heart The heart which love of thee alone can bind; And when thy sons to fetters are consign'd –
To fetters, and the damp vault's dayless bloom
Their country conquers with their martyrdom, And Freedom's fame finds wings on every wind. Chillon! thy prison is a holy place,
And thy sad floor an altar – for 'twas trod, Until his very steps have left a trace
Worn, as if thy cold pavement were a sod, By Bonnivard! – May none those marks efface!
For they appeal from tyranny to God.
THE PRISONER OF CHILLON.
My hair is grey, but not with years,
Nor grew it white
In a single night,
But rusted with a vile repose,
And mine has been the fate of those