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The waters murmur'd of their name;
The woods were peopled with their fame;
The silent pillar, lone and gray,
Claim'd kindred with their sacred clay;
Their spirits wrapt the dusky mountain,
Their memory sparkled o'er the fountain;
The meanest rill, the mightiest river
Roll'd mingling with their fame for ever.
Despite of every yoke she bears,
That land is glory's still and theirs!
'Tis still a watch-word to the earth:
When man would do a deed of worth
He points to Greece, and turns to tread,
So sanctiond, on the tyrant's head:
He looks to her, and rushes on
Where life is lost, or freedom won.
Still by the shore Alp mutely mused,
And woo'd the freshness Night diffused.
There shrinks no ebb in that tideless sea,*
Which changeless rolls eternally;
So that wildest of waves, in their angriest mood,
Scarce break on the bounds of the land for a rood;
And the powerless moon beholds them flow,
Heedless if she come or go:
Calm or high, in main or bay,
On their course she hath no sway.
The rock unworn its base doth bare,
And looks o'er the surf, but it comes not there;
And the fringe of the foam may be seen below,
On the line that it left long ages ago:
The reader need hardly be reminded that there are no perceptible tides in the Mediterranean.
A smooth short space of yellow sand
Between it and the greener land.
He wander'd on along the beach,
Till within the range of a carbine's reach
Of the leaguer'd wall; but they saw him not,
Or how could he 'scape from the hostile shot?
Did traitors lurke in the Christians' hold? [cold!
Were their hands grown stiff, or their hearts wax'd
I know not, in sooth; but from yonder wall
There flash'd no fire and tbere biss'd no ball,
Though he stood beneath the bastion's frown,
That flank'd the sea-ward gate of the town;
Though he heard the sound, and could almost tell
The sullen words of the sentinel,
As his measured step on the stone below
Clank'd, as he paced it to and fro;
And he saw the lean dogs beneath the wall
Hold o’er the dead their carnival,
Gorging and growling o'er carcass and limb:
They were too busy to bark at him!
From a Tartar's skull they had stripp'd the flesh,
As ye peel the fig when its fruit is fresh;
And their white tusks cruncb'do'er the whiter skull*
As it slipp'd through their jaws, when their edge
As they lazily mumbled the bones of the dead, [fed;
When they scarce could rise from the spot where they
So well had they broken a lingering fast
With those who had fallen for that night's repast.
•This spectacle I have seen, such as described, beneath the wall of the Seraglio ai Constantinople, in the little cavities worn by the Bosphorus in the rock, a narrow terrace of which projects between the wall and the water. I think the fact is also mentioned in Hobhouse's Travels. The bodies were probably those of some refractory Janizaries.
And Alp knew, by the turbans that roll'd on the
The foremost of these were the best of his band;
Crimson and green were the shawls of their wear,
And each scalp bad a single long tuft of hair, *
All the rest was shaven and bare.
The scalps were in the wild dog's maw,
The hair was tangled round his jaw.
But close by the shore, on the edge of the gulf;
There sat a vulture Alappiog a wolf,
Who had stolen from the hills, but kept away,
Scared by the dogs, from the human prey;
But he seized on his share of a steed that lay,
Picked by the birds, on the sands of the bay.
Alp turn'd him from the sickening sight:
Never had shaken his perves in fight;
But he better could brook to behold the dying,
Deep in the tide of their warm blood lying,
Scorch'd with the death-thirst, and writhing in vain
Than the perishing dead who are past all pain.
There is something of pride in the perilous hour,
Whate'er be the shape in which death may lower;
For Fame is there to any who bleeds,
And Honour's eye on daring deeds!
But when all is past, it is humbling to tread
O’er the weltering field of the tombless dead,
And see worms of the earth, and fowls of the air,
Beasts of the forest, all gathering there;
All regarding man as their prey,
All rejoicing in his decay.
* This tuft, or long lock, is left from a superstition that Mahomet will draw them into Paradise by it.
XVIII. There is a temple in ruin stands, Fashion'd by long-forgotten bands; Two or three columns, and many a stone, Marble and granite, with grass o'ergrown! Out upon Time! it will leave no more Of the things to come than the things before! Out upon Time! who for ever will leave But enough of the past for the future to grieve O’er that which hath been, and o'er that which What we have seen, our sons shall see; (must be: Remnants of things that have pass’d away, Fragments of stone, rear'd by creatures of clay!
He sate bim down at a pillar's base,
And pass'd his hand athwart his face;
Like one in dreary musing mood,
Declining was his attitude;
His head was drooping on his breast;
Fever'd, throbbing, and opprest;
And o'er his brow, so dowoward bent,
Oft his beating fingers went,
Hurriedly, as you may see
Your own run over the ivory key,
Ere the measured tone is taken
By the chords you would awaken.
There be sate all heavily,
As be heard the night-wind sigb.
Was it the wind, through some hollow stone, *
Sent that soft and tender moan?
He lifted his head, and he look'd on the sea,
But it was unrippled as glass may be;
He look'd on the long grass-it waved not a blade;
How was that gentle sound convey’d?
He look'd to the banners-each flag lay still,
So did the leaves on Cithæron's hill,
And he felt not a breath come over his cheek;
What did that sudden sound bespeak?
He turn’d to the left-is he súre of sight?
There sate a lady, youthful and bright!
He started up with more of fear
Than if an armed foe were near.
“God of my fathers! what is here?
Who art thou, and wherefore sent
So near a hostile armament?”
His trembling hands refused to sign
The cross he deem'd no more divine:
He had resumed it in that bour,
But conscience wrung away the power.
He gazed, he saw: he knew the face
Of beauty, and the form of grace;
It was Francesca by his side,
The maid who might have been his bride!
The rose was yet upon her cheek,
But mellow'd with a tenderer streak;
Where was the play of her soft lips fled?
Gone was the smile that enliveo'd their red.
The ocean's calm within their view,
Beside her eye had less of blue; kindness of Mr. Coleridge himself, who, I hope, is convinced that I have not been a wilful plagiarist. The original idea undoubtedly pertains to Mr. Coleridge, whose poem has been composed above fourteen years. me conclude by a hope that he will