Page images
PDF
EPUB

Why does she give her ivy-vine
Their ruins livingly to twine,

If not to grant alone,
In the soliloquies of man,
To glory's shade an ampler span!

Still o'er thy temples and thy shrines,

Loved Greece! her spirit throws
Visions where'er the ivy twines,

Of beauty in repose :
Though all thy oracles be dumb,
Not voiceless shall those piles become,

Whilst there one wild-flower blows
To claim a fond — regretful sigh,
For triumphs passed, and times gone by.

Still, Egypt, tower thy sepulchres

Which hearse the thousand bones
Of those who grasped, in vanished years,

Thy diadems and thrones !
Still frowns, by shattering years unrent,
The Mosque, Mohammed's monument !

And still Pelides owns,
By monarchs crowned, by shepherds trod,
His Cenotaph- a grassy sod!

They were the mighty of the world,

The demigods of earth;
Their breath the flag of blood unfurled,

And gave the battle birth;
They lived to trample on mankind,
And in their ravage leave behind

The impress of their worth :
And wizard rhyme, and hoary song,
Hallowed their deeds and hymned their wrong.

But thou, mild benefactor - thou,

To whom on earth were given

The sympathy for others' woe,

The charities of heaven ;-
Pity for grief, a fever-balm
Life's ills and agonies to calm ;-

To tell that thou hast striven,
Thou hast thy records which surpass
Or storying stone, or sculptured brass!

They live not in the sepulchre

In which thy dust is hid, Though there were kindlier hands to rear

Thy simple pyramid, Than Egypt's mightiest could commandA duteous tribe, a peasant band

Who mourned the rites they did Mourned that the cold turf should confine A spirit kind and pure as thine!

They are existent in the clime

Thy pilgrim-steps have trod,
Where Justice tracks the feet of Crime,

And seals his doom with blood;
The tower where criminals complain,
And fettered captives mourn in vain,

The pestilent abode,
Are thy memorials in the skies,
The portals of thy paradise.

Thine was an empire o'er distress,

Thy triumphs of the mind!
To burst the bonds of wretchedness,

The friend of human kind!
Thy name, through every future age,
By bard, philanthropist, and sage,

In glory shall be shrined !
Whilst other Nields and CLARKSONS show
That still thy mantle rests below.

I know not if there be a sense

More sweet, than to impart
Health to the haunts of pestilence,

Balm to the sufferer's smart,
And freedom to captivity!
The pitying tear, the sorrowing sigh,

Might grace an angel's heart;
And e'en when sickness damped thy brow,
Such bliss was thine, and such wert thou !

Serene, unhurt, in wasted lands,

Amid the general doom,
Long stood'st thou as the traveller stands,

Where breathes the lone simoom;
One minute, beautiful as brief,
Flowers bloom, trees wave the verdant leaf,

Another — all is gloom;
He looks— the green, the blossomed bough
Is blasted into ashes now!

But deadlier than the simoom burns

The fire of Pestilence;
His shadow into darkness turns

The passing of events :
Where points his finger, — lowers the storm;
Where his eye fixes, — feeds the worm

On people and on prince!
Where treads his step- there glory lies ;
Where breathes his breath, — there beauty dies!

And to the beautiful and young

Thy latest cares were given;
How spake thy kind and pitying tongue

The messages of heaven!
Soothing her grief who, fair and frail,
Waned paler yet, and yet more pale,

Like lily-flowers at even:
Smit by the livid Plague, which cast
O'er thee his shadow as he passed !

As danger deeper grew and dark,

Her hopes could conscience bring;
And faith, and mind's immortal spark,

Grew hourly brightening;
One pang at parting—'t was the last —
Joy for the future !--for the past

But thou art on the wing
To track the source from whence it came,
And mingle with thy parent flame!

[ocr errors]

The nodding hearse, the sable plume,

Those attributes of pride, The artificial grief or gloom

Are pageants which but hide Hearts, from the weight of anguish free: But there were many wept for thee

Who wept for none beside, And felt, thus left alone below, The full desertedness of woe!

And many mourned that thou should'st lie

Where Dnieper rolls and raves, Glad from barbaric realms to fly,

And blend with Pontic waves; A desert bleak — a barren shore, Where Mercy never trod before

A land whose sons were slaves; Crouching, and fettered to the soil By feudal chains and thankless toil !

But oft, methinks, in future years,

To raise exalted thought,
And soften sternest eyes to tears,

Shall be thy glorious lot!
And oft the rugged Muscovite,-
As spring prepares the pious rite, -

Shall tread the holy spot,
And see her offered roses showered
Upon the grave of gentle Howard!

Those roses on their languid stalk

Will fade ere fades the day,
Winter may

wither in his walk
The myrtle and the bay,
Which, mingled with the laurel's stem,
Her hands may plant; but not with them,

Shall memory pass away,
Or pity cease the heart to swell —
To Thee there can be no FAREWELL!

THE BREEZE FROM THE SHORE.

BY MRS. HEMANS.

Joy is upon the lonely seas

When Indian forests pour
Forth to the billow and the breeze

Their odours from the shore;
Joy, when the soft air's fanning sigh:
Bears on the breath of Araby.

Oh! welcome are the winds that tell

A wanderer of the deep,
Where far away the jasmines dwell,

And where the myrrh-trees weep! Blessed, on the sounding surge and foam, Are tidings of the citron's home!

The sailor at the helm they meet,

And Hope his bosom stirs,
Upspringing, 'midst the waves, to greet

The fair earth's messengers,
That woo him, from the moaning main,
Back to her glorious bowers again.

« PreviousContinue »