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(THE BRIDE OF ABYDOS, Canto ii.)
THE winds are high on Helle's wave,
As on that night of stormy water When Love, who sent, forgot to save The young, the beautiful, the brave,
The lonely hope of Sestos' daughter. Oh! when alone along the sky Her turret-torch was blazing high, Though rising gale, and breaking foam, And shrieking sea-birds warn’d him home; And clouds aloft and tides below, With signs and sounds, forbade to go, He could not see, he would not hear, Or sound or sign foreboding fear ; His eye but saw that light of love, The only star
His ear but rang with Hero's song,
“ Ye waves, divide not lovers long !”.
That tale is old, but love anew
May nerve young hearts to prove as true.
The winds are high, and Helle's tide
Rolls darkly heaving to the main ; And Night's descending shadows hide
That field with blood bedew'd in vain, The desert of old Priam's pride ;
The tombs, sole relics of his reign, All—save immortal dreams that could beguile The blind old man of Scio's rocky isle !
(Don Juan, Canto iv. Stanzas 76-78.)
THERE, on the green and village-cotted hill, is
(Flank'd by the Hellespont, and by the sea) Entomb'd the bravest of the brave, Achilles ;
They say so—(Bryant says the contrary) :
And further downward, tall and towering still, is
The tumulus—of whom ? Heaven knows; 't may be
Patroclus, Ajax, or Protesilaus ;
All heroes, who, if living still, would slay us.
High barrows, without marble, or a name,
A vast, untill’d, and mountain-skirted plain, And Ida in the distance, still the same,
And old Scamander, (if 'tis he) remain ; The situation seems still form'd for fame
A hundred thousand men might fight again With ease ; but where I sought for Ilion's walls, The quiet sheep feeds, and the tortoise crawls ;
Troops of untended horses ; here and there
Some little hamlets, with new names uncouth ;
Some shepherds (unlike Paris) led to stare
A moment at the European youth
Whom to the spot their school-boy feelings bear;
A Turk, with beads in hand, and pipe in mouth,
Extremely taken with his own religion,
Are what I found there—but the devil a Phrygian.
(CHILDE HAROLD, Canto iii.)
The castled crag of Drachenfels
Frowns o'er the wide and winding Rhine,
Whose breast of waters broadly swells
Between the banks which bear the vine,
And hills all rich with blossom'd trees,
And fields which promise corn and wine,
And scatter'd cities crowning these,
Whose far white walls along them shine,
Have strew'd a scene, which I should see
With double joy wert thou with me.
And peasant girls, with deep blue eyes,
And hands which offer early flowers,
Walk smiling o'er this paradise ;
Above, the frequent feudal towers
Through green leaves lift their walls of gray,
And many a rock which steeply lowers,
And noble arch in proud decay,
Look o'er this vale of vintage-bowers ;
But one thing want these banks of Rhine, --
Thy gentle hand to clasp in mine!
I send the lilies given to me;
Though long before thy hand they touch,
I know that they must wither'd be,
But yet reject them not as such ;
For I have cherish'd them as dear,
Because they yet may meet thine eye,
And guide thy soul to mine even here,
When thou behold'st them drooping nigh,
And know'st them gather'd by the Rhine,
And offer'd from my heart to thine !
The river nobly foams and flows,
The charm of this enchanted ground,
And all its thousand turns disclose
Some fresher beauty varying round :
The haughtiest breast its wish might bound;
Through life to dwell delighted here ;
Nor could on earth a spot be found
To nature and to me so dear,
Could thy dear eyes in following mine
Still sweeten more these banks of Rhine !
(CHILDE HAROLD, Canto iii. Stanzas 21-30.)
THERE was a sound of revelry by night,
And Belgium's capital had gather'd then
Her Beauty and her Chivalry, and bright
The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men ;
A thousand hearts beat happily; and when
Music arose with its voluptuous swell,
Soft eyes look'd love to eyes which spake again,
And all went merry as a marriage-bell ;
But hush ! hark ! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell !
Did ye not hear it?—No; 'twas but the wind,
Or the car rattling o'er the stony street ;
On with the dance ! let joy be unconfined ;
No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
To chase the glowing Hours with flying feet-
But, hark !—that heavy sound breaks in once more,
As if the clouds its echo would repeat;
And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before !
Arm! Arm ! it is—it is—the cannon's opening roar !
Within a window'd niche of that high hall
Sate Brunswick's fated chieftain ; he did hear
That sound the first amidst the festival,
And caught its tone with Death's prophetic ear;