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'Of Ignorance assail'd; ye, when they rais'd
'The supplicating eye and clasp'd your knees,
'Ye stretch'd above them your protecting shields, 80
'Led them uninjur'd from the strife of war,
'And sent them forth to civilize the world.'
Now loose the cable from the wave-worn rock,
And whilst the billows of the angry main
Its dusky caves, its shrubs of living green, 100
And its white temple bleach'd by wint'ry storms.
Beneath its crags the light wind dies away,
Whilst fav'ring breezes fill the latteen sail
Of yon kaiki,1 which thro' whit'ning foam
Gains on our tardy course. My sturdy Greeks 105
Bend forward to your oars, and urge our flight
Across the slumb'ring sea; captivity
Or death await us if we linger here.
The lawless Mainote, sitting at the helm,
Points to our bark becalm'd, and urges on 110
His pirate-fellows to the chase; e'en now
I view the swarthy brow and savage eye
Glaring beneath their caps of crimson hue.
But lo! the gale circling the rocky cape,
Comes dimpling the blue wave; our flagging sail 115
Receives it, and impels us on our way.
The shores of Attica recede; the gulph,
Saronic bears us on its yielding breast,
Near bleak iEgina, from whose woody hill
The ruin'd fane of Jove o'erlooks the deep; 120
1 Greek boat.
Oft hail'd by those of ancient days who plough'd
Th' iEgean tide from Asia to the land
Of Cecrops, when upon the sea they cast
Sweet flow'ry wreaths, and cups of Saurian wine,
Their votive offerings to the marine God. 125
Hence louder breezes waft our little boat
Beneath the dusky hills of Argolis,
Round that bluff point, which from its foam-girt breast
Beats back th' indignant surge; till Nauplia's bay,
The haven of our rest, mantled in night, ISO
Re-echoes mournful to our dashing oars.
Hail to the shores which Poesy has deck'd With all her epic and her tragic flow'rs. Where'er I turn her melancholy harp Echoes from moss-grown piles of mould'ring stone 13 5 The song of ancient days. Alcides here In Tiryns wheel'd his unremitted course From morn to eve around these battlements, And steel'd his limbs by toil. Hence Diomed With clarions gave the signal to unmoor 140 And stem the surge to Troy. There Danaus, From iEgypt fugitive, beneath the rock
Of Argos sat, and bade his daughters raise
The suppliant bough. Where yonder mound looks gray,
With heaps of sculptur'd marble strew'd around, 14 5
The meek Electra on her fathers tomb
Pour'd her sad off'rings, streams of honied milk,
And purple wine, and hung her ringlets shorn,
And myrtle wreaths, to sooth his angry shade.
The morning sun of Greece's glory rose 1 50
Upon thy tow'rs, Mycenae, gleaming far
The tim'rous virgin, lifting up her veil,