Page images
PDF
EPUB

From their scorch'd pastures sullenly retire,
And crowding round the fountain's brink, with low
And piteous moans demand the cooling stream :
Beneath th' umbrageous palm the Arnaut spreads 445
His mat, and trims his pipe, and wipes the dew
Of labour from his stern and rugged brow,
Then sleeps, until the breath of ev’ning plays
Upon his pallid cheek; and at this hour,
When Nature faints, seeming to pant for life, 450
Wilt thou, rash youth, whom to these barb'rous lands
The love of knowledge and of science led,
Hold on thy course ? Far distant is thy place
Of rest; yon misty minarets and tow'rs
Faint gleaming in th' horizon, mark the spot,
And those thin dusty columns, dash'd aloft
From hoofs of trampling steeds, just trace thy way.
Meantime thou feelest in thy turgid veins
The rankling venom ; thy dim eyes no more
Sparkle with health, but feebly o’er the plains, 460
Length’ning and length’ning on thy dazzled sight,
Stretch their impatient gaze; pale fever shakes
Thy throbbing temples, and thy parched lip

455

Quivers with all the anguish of disease.

Whilst yet the rest of Greece was sunk in night, 465 The earliest dawn of science and of art Beam'd on these plains; their subtle tenants first Moulded the lyre's rude form, and from its strings Drew forth to list’ning crowds the solemn notes . Of harmony; they first, with daring hand, 470 Rein'd the proud steed, and taught him to obey The curb and goad, and from his pastures wild Led him, the future partner of their toils, In chase and battle; not to them unknown The potent virtues of each herb and flow'r; They first, with skill sagacious, bruis’d the stems, Mingled the juices, and to suff'ring man Held out the draught to cool his fev'rish lip

Then happy were thy plains, 0 Thessaly ! Thy tower'd cities deck'd the wide expanse With opulence and splendour ; Plenty roam'd Amidst her golden harvests, and her fields Smiling with vintage honours; Industry Bent cheerful to his daily task, and eas’d His labours with a song; at the hoarse blast 485

475

480 495

Of war, wide-gleam'd thy champain with the blaze
Of waving crests and lances, as thy sons
Arm’d for the battle ; and when Peace display'd
Her branch of olive, joyous they return'd
To clasp a lovely offspring at their gates. - 490
Such were thy sons ; alas ! what are they now?
Stand close and view him pass, the wretched hind,
The miserable remnant of the race
Which lov'd their country's glory; from his cot
Silent he paces to his irksome toil,

495
Slow moving, reckless how his ancestors
March'd to the battle o'er these very plains,
Bounding beneath the load of targe, and spear,
And pond'rous helm, whilst he scarce bears the weight
Of linen vest and turban, slavery's badge ; 500
No smile of joy plays on his lips, no gleam
Of thought or genius e’er illumes his wan
And sullen visage, but disease and care
Have deep engrav'd the lines of misery.
His eye fix'd on the earth, or only rais’d
Beneath the low'ring brow, to cast a glance
Of dark suspicion, speaks a mind estrang’d

500

505

[graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »