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It is related in a French Life of Ali Pacha, that several of the Suliote women, on the advance of the Turkish troops into their mountain fastnesses, assembled on a lofty summit, and, after chanting a wild song, precipitated themselves, with their children, into the chasm below, to avoid becoming the slaves of the enemy.
She stood upon the loftiest peak,
Amidst the clear blue sky,
A bitter smile was on her cheek,
And a dark flash in her
“ Dost thou see them, boy ?—through the dusky pines
Dost thou see where the foeman's armour shines?
Hast thou caught the gleam of the conqueror's crest ?
My babe, that I cradled on my breast !
Wouldst thou spring from thy mother's arms with joy?
-That sight hath cost thee a father, boy!
For in the rocky strait beneath,
Lay Suliote sire and son ;
They had heap'd high the piles of death
Before the pass was won.
“ They have cross'd the torrent, and on they come !
Woe for the mountain hearth and home!
There, where the hunter laid by his spear,
There, where the lyre hath been sweet to hear,
There, where I sang thee, fair babe! to sleep,
Nought but the blood-stain our trace shall keep!”
And now the horn's loud blast was heard,
And now the cymbal's clang,
Till ev’n the upper air was stirr'd,
As cliff and hollow rang.
“ Hark! they bring music, my joyous child !
What saith the trumpet to Suli's wild !
Doth it light thine eye with so quick a fire,
As if at a glance of thine armed sire ?
-Still !-be thou still !—there are brave men low-
Thou wouldst not smile couldst thou see him now !!!
But nearer came the clash of steel,
And louder swell’d the horn,
And farther yet the tambour's peal
Through the dark pass was borne.
6 Hear'st thou the sound of their savage mirth ?
-Boy! thou wert free when I gave thee birth,
Free, and how cherish’d, my warrior's son !
He too hath bless'd thee, as I have done!
Ay, and unchain'd must his loved ones be-
-Freedom, young Suliote! for thee and me!”
And from the arrowy peak she sprung,
And fast the fair child bore,
A veil upon the wind was flung,
A cry-and all was o'er!
THE FAREWELL TO THE DEAD.
The following piece is founded on a beautiful part of the Greek funeral service, in which relatives and friends are invited to embrace the deceased (whose face is uncovered), and to bid their final adieu.
See Christian Researches in the Mediterranean.
-'Tis hard to lay into the earth
A countenance so benign! a form that walk'd
But yesterday so stately o’er the earth!
Come near !-ere yet the dust
Soil the bright paleness of the settled brow,
Look on your brother and embrace him now,
In still and solemn trust!
Come near !-once more let kindred lips be press’d
On his cold cheek; then bear him to his rest!
Look yet on this young face!
What shall the beauty, from amongst us gone,
Leave of its image, ev’n where most it shone,
Gladdening its hearth and race?
Dim grows the semblance on man's heart impressid
-Come near, and bear the beautiful to rest !
Ye weep, and it is well!
For tears befit earth's partings !-Yesterday
Song was upon the lips of this pale clay,
And sunshine seem'd to dwell
Where'er he moved the welcome and the bless'd!
Now gaze! and bear the silent unto rest!
Look yet on him, whose eye
Meets yours no more in sadness or in mirth!
Was he not fair amidst the sons of earth,
The beings born to die?
-But not where death has power may love be bless’d-
Come near! and bear ye the beloved to rest !
may the mother's heart
Dwell on her son, and dare to hope again?
The spring's rich promise hath been given in vain,
The lovely must depart !
Is he not gone, our brightest and our best?
Come near! and bear the early-call’d to rest !