« ForrigeFortsæt »
And where are they? and where art thou,
My country ?-On thy voiceless shore
The heroic lay is tuneless now-
The heroic bosom beats no more!
And must thy lyre, so long divine,
Degenerate into hands like mine?
'Tis something in the dearth of fame,
Though linked among a fettered race,
To feel at least a patriot's shame,
Even as I sing, suffuse my face ;
For what is left the poet here?
For Greeks a blush-for Greece a tear.
Must we but weep o'er days more blest?
Must we but blush ?-Our fathers bled.
Earth! render back from out thy breast
A remnant of our Spartan dead ;
Of the Three Hundred grant but three,
To make a new 'Thermopylæ !
What, silent still ! and silent all!
Ah! no—the voices of the dead
Sound like a distant torrent's fall,
And answer, “Let one living head,
But one arise-we come, we come!”
'Tis but the living who are dumb.
In vain-in vain : strike other chords:
Fill high the cup with Samian wine !
Leave battles to the Turkish hordes,
And shed the blood of Scio's vine! Hark! rising to the ignoble callHow answers each bold bacchanal ! You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet,
Where is the Pyrrhic phalanxó gone ? Of two such lessons, why forget
The nobler and the manlier one? You have the letters Cadmus gave— Think ye he meant them for a slave ? Fill high the bowl with Samian wine !
We will not think of themes like these ;
It made Anacreon's song divine :
He served—but served Polycrates-
A tyrant; but our masters then
Were still, at least, our countrymen.
The tyrant of the Chersonese
Was freedom's best and bravest friend;
That tyrant was Miltiades !
0! that the present hour would lend
Another despot of the kind !
Such chains as his were sure to bind.
Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
On Suli's rock, and Parga's shore,
Exists the remnant of a line
Such as the Doric mothers bore ;
And there, perhaps, some seed is sown,
The Heracleidan blood might own.
Trust not for freedom to the Franks—
They have a king who buys and sells :
In native swords, and native ranks,
The only hope of courage dwells;
But Turkish force, and Latin fraud,
Would break your shield, however broad.
Fill high the bowl with Samian wine !
Our virgins dance beneath the shade-
I see their glorious black eyes shine ;
But, gazing on each glowing maid,
My own the burning tear-drop laves,
To think such breasts must suckle slaves.
Place me on Sunium's marbled steep,-
Where nothing, save the waves and I,
May hear our mutual murmurs sweep;
There, swan-like, let me sing and die ;
A land of slaves shall ne'er be mine-
Dash down yon cup of Samian wine!
BYRON. 1. Meaning of burning?
4. What Persian 2. Explain the allusions to Delos and 5. What was the Pyrrhic phalanx ! Phoebus.
6. Who was Cadmus 3. What place is alluded to ?
XXXIII. THE DEATH OF NAPOLEON. “ The 5th of May came amid wind and rain. Napoleon's passing spirit was deliriously engaged in a strife more terrible than the elements around. The words • tête d’armée,' (head of the army,) the last which escaped from his lips, intimated that his thoughts were watching the current of a heady fight. About eleven minutes before six in the evening Napoleon expired.”- Scott's Life of Napoleon.
WILD was the night, yet a wilder night
Hung round the soldier's pillow;
In his bosom there raged a fiercer fight.
Than the fight on the wrathful billow.
A few fond mourners were kneeling by,
The few that his stern heart cherishd;
They knew by his glared and unearthly eye,
That life had nearly perish’d.
They knew by his awful and kingly look,
By the order hastily spoken,
That he dream'd of days when the nations shook,
And the nation's hosts were broken.
He dream'd that the Frenchmen's sword still slew,
And triumph'd the Frenchmen's “ eagle ;”
And the struggling Austrian fled anew,
Like the hare before the beagle.
The bearded Russian he scourged again,
The Prussian's camp was routed,
And again, on the hills of haughty Spain,
His mighty armies shouted.
Over Egypt's sands, over Alpine snows,
At the pyramids, at the mountain,
Where the wave of the lordly Danube flows,
And by the Italian fountain.
On the snowy cliffs where mountain-streams
Dash by the Switzer's dwelling,
He led again, in his dying dreams,
His hosts, the broad earth quelling.
Again Marengo's field was won,
And Jena's bloody battle ;
Again the world was over-run,
Made pale at his cannon's rattle.
He died at the close of that darksome day,
A day that shall live in story :
In the rocky land they placed his clay
“ And left him alone with his glory.”
XXXIV. THE DUMFRIES VOLUNTEERS.
“ FRANCE now (1803) had little of popular sympathy in any other
country. She had lost the support of the democratic party through-
out Europe, and stood forth merely as a threatening and conquering
military power. This change, though at the time little attended to,
as all alterations which are gradual in their progress, was of the
utmost moment, and deprived the contest, in its future stages, of the
principal dangers with which it had at first been fraught. It was no
longer a war of opinion on either side of the channel. Democratic
ambition did not now hail, in the triumphs of the French, the means
of individual elevation. Aristocratic passion ceased to hope for this
overthrow as paving the way to a restoration of the ancient order of
things. The contest had changed its character: from being social it
had become national. Not the maintenance of the constitution, the
coercion of the disaffected, the overthrow of the Jacobins, was the
object for which we fought: the preservation of the national inde-
pendence, the vindication of the national honour was felt to be at
stake. The painful schism which had so long divided the country
was at an end. National success was looked upon with triumph and
exultation by an immense majority of the people, with the exception
of a few party leaders who to the last regarded it with aversion. The
war called forth the sympathies of almost all classes of citizens. The
young, who had entered into life under its excitement, were unani-
mous in its support; and a contest which had commenced under more
divided feelings than any recorded in the history of England, termi-
nated with a degree of unanimity unprecedented in its long and glo-
rious career.”-Alison's History of Europe.
Scotch words with English equivalents.
Loons, boys (contemptuously). Clout, patch.
Rung, big stick.
Does haughty Gaul invasion threat ?
Then let the loons beware, Sir,
There's wooden walls upon our seas,
And volunteers on shore, Sir.
The Nith shall run to Corsincon,
And Criffel sink in Solway,
Ere we permit a foreign foe,
On British ground to rally!
O let us not, like snarling tykes,
In wrangling be divided ;
'Till slap come in an unco loon
And wi' a rung decide it.
Be Britain still to Britain true,
Amang ourselves united ;
For never but by British hands,
Maun British wrangs be righted.
ON THE THREATENED INVASION, 1803.
63 The kettle o' the kirk and state,
Perhaps a clout may fail in't ;
But deil a foreign tinkler loon
Shall ever ca' a nail in't.
Our fathers' bluid the kettle bought,
And wha wad dare to spoil it;
By heaven the sacrilegious dog
Shall fuel be to boil it.
The wretch that wad a tyrant own,
And the wretch his true-born brother
Who would set the mob aboon the throne,
May they be d-d together!
Who will not sing “ God save the King,”
Shall hang as high's the steeple ;
But, while we sing “God save the King”
We'll ne'er forget the people.
XXXV. STANZAS ON THE THREATENED INVASION, 1803. “By a series of criminal enterprises the liberties of Europe have been gradually extinguished ; and we are the only people in the eastern hemisphere who are in possession of equal laws and a free constitution. Freedom, driven from every spot on the Continent, has sought an asylum in a country which she always chose for her favourite abode; but she is pursued even here and threatened with destruction. The inundation of lawless power, after covering the whole earth, threatens to follow us here; and we are most exactly, most critically placed in the only aperture where it can be successfully repelled-in the Thermopylæ of the world. As far as the interests of freedom are concerned--the most important by far of sublunary interests !-you, my countrymen, stand in the capacity of the federal representatives of the human race; for with you it is to determine (under God) in what con tion the latest posterity shall be born; their fortunes are intrusted to your care, and on your conduct at this moment depend the colour and complexion of their destiny."--Robert Hall.
OUR bosoms we'll bare for the glorious strife,
And our oath is recorded on high,
To prevail in the cause that is dearer than life,
Or crush'd in its ruins to die !
Then rise, fellow-freemen, and stretch the right hand,
And swear to prevail in your dear native land !
'Tis the home we hold sacred is laid to our trust
God bless the green Isle of the brave!
Should a conqueror tread on our forefathers' dust,
It would rouse the old dead from their grave !
Then rise fellow-freemen and stretch the right hand,
And swear to prevail in your dear native land!