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Oh, yes! where glory such as thine hath been,
Wisdom and Sorrow linger round the scene;
And where the hues of faded splendor sleep,
Age kneels to moralize, and youth to weep!
E'en now, methinks, before the eye of day,
The night of ages rolls its mist away,
And the cold dead, the wise, and fair, and proud,
Start from the urn, and rend the tranquil shroud.
Here the wild Muse hath seized her madd’ning lyre,
With grasp of passion, and with glance of fire,
And called the visions of her awful reign
From death and gloom, to light and life again.
Hark! the huge Titan on his frozen rock
Scoffs at Heaven's King, and braves the lightning-shock,
The Colchian sorc’ress drains her last brief bliss,
The thrilling rapture of a mother's kiss,
And the gay Theban raises to the skies
His hueless features, and his rayless eyes.
There blue-eyed Pallas guides the willing feet
Of her loved sages to her calm retreat,
And lights the radiance of her glitt'ring turch
In the rich garden and the quiet porch:
Lo! the throng'd arches, and the nodding trees,
Where Truth and Wisdom stray'd with Socrates,
Where round sweet Xenophon rapt myriads hung,
And liquid honey dropp'd from Plato's tongue!
Oh! thou wert glorious then! thy sway and sword
On earth and sea were dreaded and adored,
And Satraps knelt, and Sovereigns tribute paid,
And prostrate cities trembled and obeyed :
Vol. II —13
The grim Laconian when he saw thee sighed,
And frown’d the venom of his hate and pride;
And the pale Persian dismal vigils kept,
If Rumor whispered · Athens !' where he slept;
And mighty Ocean, for thy royal sail,
Hush'd the loud wave, and still’d the stormy gale;
And to thy sons Olympian Jove had given
A brighter ether, and a purer heaven.
Those sons of thịne were not a mingled host,
From various fathers born, from every coast,
And driven from shore to shore, from toil to toil,
To shun a despot, or to seek a spoil;
Oh, no! they drew their unpolluted race
Up from the earth which was their dwelling-place,
And the warm blood, whose blushing streams had run
Ceaseless and stainless, down, from sire to son,
Went clear and brilliant through its hundred rills
Pure as thy breeze, eternal as thy hills!
Alas! How soon that day of splendor past,
That bright, brief day, too beautiful to last !
Let other lips tell o'er the oft-told tale;-
How art succeeds, when spear and falchion fail,
How fierce dissension, impotent distrust,
Caprice that made it treason to be just,
And crime in some, and listlessness in all,
Shook the great city to her fate and fall,
Till gold at last made plain the tyrant's way,
And bent all hearts in bondage and decay!
I loathe the task ! let other lyres record
The might and mercy of the Roman sword,
The aimless struggle, and the fruitless wile,
The victor's vengeance, and the patron's smile.
Yet, in the gloom of that long, cheerless night,
There gleams one ray to comfort and delight;
One spot of rapture courts the Muse's eye,
In the dull waste of shame and apathy.
Flere, where wild Fancy wondrous fictions drew,
And knelt to worship, till she thought them true,–
Here, in the paths which beauteous Error trod,
The great Apostle preached the UNKNOWN GOD!
Silent the crowd were hush'd; for his the eye
Which power controls not, sin cannot defy;
His the tall stature, and the lifted hand,
And the fix'd countenance of grave command;
And his the voice, which heard but once, will siuk
So deep into the hearts of those that think,
That they may live till years and years are gone,
And never lose one echo of its tone.
Yet, when the voice had ceased, a clamor rose,
And mingled tumult rang from friends and foes ;
The threat was mutter'd, and the galling gibe,
By each pale Sophist and his paltry tribe;
The haughty Stoic pass’d in gloomy state,
The heartless Cynic scowld his grovelling hate,
And the soft garden's rose-encircled child
Smiled unbelief, and shuddered as he smiled.
Tranquil he stood; for he had heard, could hear,
Blame and reproach with an untroubled ear;
O'er his broad forehead visibly were wrought
The dark deep lines of courage and of thought;
And if the color from his cheek was Aled,
Its paleness spoke no passion,—and no dread.
The meek endurance, and the steadfast will,
The patient nerve. that suffers, and is still,
The humble faith, that bends to meet the rod,
And the strong hope, that turns from man to God,
All these were his; and his firm heart was set,
And knew the hour must come,—but was not yet.
Again long years of darkness and of pain,
The Moslem cimeter, the Moslem chain;
Where Phidias toild, the turban'd spoilers brood,
And the Mosque glitters where the Temple stood.
Alas ! how well the slaves their fetters wear,
Proud in disgrace, and cheerful in despair!
While the glad music of the boatman's song
On the still air floats happily along.
The light caïque goes bounding on its way
Through the bright ripples of Piræus' bay;
And when the stars shine down, and twinkling feet
In the gay measure blithely part and meet,
The dark-eyed maiden scatters through the grove
Her tones of fondness, and her looks of love:
Oh, sweet the lute, the dance! but bondage Alings
Grief on the steps, and discord on the strings; .
Yet, thus degraded, sunken as thou art,
Still thou art dear to many a boyish heart;
And many a poet, full of fervor, goes,
To read deep lessons, Athens, in thy woes.
And such was he, the long-lamented one,
England's fair hope, sad Granta's cherish'd son,
III-fated TWEDDELL!—If the flush of youth,
The light of genius, and the glow of truth,
If all that fondness honors and adores,
If all that grief remembers and deplores,
Could bid the spoiler turn his scythe away,
Or snatch one flower from darkness and decay,
Thou hadst not mark’d, fair city, his decline,
Nor rear'd the marble in thy silent shrine-
The cold, ungrieving marble-to declare
How many hopes lie desolated there.
We will not mourn for him! ere human ill
Could blight one bliss, or make one feeling chill,
In Learning's pure embrace he sunk to rest,
Like a tired child upon his mother's breast:
Peace to his hallow'd shade! his ashes dwell
In that sweet spot he loved in life so, well,
And the sad Nurse who watch'd his early blooin,
From this his home, points proudly to his tomb.
But oft, when twilight sleeps on earth and sea,
Beautiful Athens! we will weep for thee;
For thee, and for thine offspring !—will they bear
The dreary burthen of their own despair,
Till nature yields, and sense and life depart
From the torn sinews and the trampled heart ?
Oh! by the mighty shades that dimly glide
Where Victory beams upon the turf or tide,
By those who sleep at Marathon in bliss,
By those who fell at glorious Salamis,