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It made Anacreon's song divine:
The tyrant of the Chersonese
Another despot of the kind!
Such chains as his were sure to bind.
Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
On Suli's rock, and Parga's shore, Exists the remnant of a line
Such as the Doric mothers bore; And there, perhaps, some seed is sown,
The Heracleidan blood might own.
Trust not for freedom to the Franks — They have a king who buys and sells;
In native swords, and native ranks, The only hope of courage dwells: But Turkish force and Latin fraud Would break your shield, however broad.
Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
Our virgins dance beneath the shade —
I see their glorious black eyes shine;
But gazing on each glowing maid, My own the burning tear-drop laves, To think such breasts must suckle slaves.
Place me on Sunium's marble steep, Where nothing save the waves and I
May hear our mutual murmurs sweep: There, swan-like, let me sing and die;
A land of slaves shall ne'er be mine— Dash down yon cup of Samian wine!
[ From the Prophecy of Dante.]
Many are poets who have never penned
Their inspiration, and perchance, the best;
They felt, and loved and died, but
would not lend Their thoughts to meaner beings;
they compressed The God within them, and rejoined
Unlaurelled upon earth, but far more blessed Than those who are degraded by the jars
Of passion, and their frailties
linked to fame, Conquerors of high renown, but
full of scars. Many are poets, but without the
For w hat is poesy but to create From overfeeling good or ill; and aim
At an external life beyond our fate And be the new Prometheus of
new men, Bestowing fire from heaven, and then, too late, Finding the pleasure given repaid with pain, And vultures to the heart of the
bestower. Who, having lavished his high gift in vain Lies chained to his lone rock by the sea-shore! So be it; we can bear.— But thus all they
Whose intellect is an o'ermastering power,
Which still recoils from its encumbering clay, Or lightens it to spirit, whatsoe'er The forms which their creation may essay, Are bards; the kindled marble's bust may wear More poesy upon its speaking brow
Than aught less than the Homeric page may bear;
One noble stroke with a whole life may glow, Or deify the canvas till it shine With beauty so surpassing all below,
That they who kneel to idols so divine
Break no commandment, for high
heaven is there Transfused, transfigurated: and
Of poesy which peoples but the air With thought and beings of our
thought reflected, Can do no more: then let the artist
The palm; he shares the peril, and dejected
Faints o'er the labor unapproved —Alas!
Despair and genius are too oft connected.
[From Childe Harold.]
Nay, smile not at my sullen brow,
Yet Heaven avert that ever thou Shouldst weep, and haply weep in vain.
And dost thou ask, what secret woe I bear, corroding joy and youth?
And wilt thou vainly seek to know
It is not love, it is not hate,
That bids me loathe my present state,
It is that weariness which springs
To me no pleasure Beauty brings: Thine eyes have scarce a charm for me.
It is that settled, ceaseless gloom
That will not look beyond the tomb,
What exile from himself can flee?
Still, still pursues, where'er I be,
Yet, others rapt in pleasure seem,
And ne'er, at least like me, awake!
Through many a clime, 'tis mine to g.
With many a retrospection curst; And all my solace is to know, What e'er betides, I've known the worst.
What is that worst? Nay, do not ask —
In pity from the search forbear: Smile on — nor venture to unmask Man's heart, and view the Hell that's there.
[From Childe Harold ]
APOSTROPHE TO THE OCEAN.
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal.
Roll on, thou deep and dark blue
Ocean — roll! Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee
Man marks the earth with ruin — his control
Stops with the shore; — upon the
watery plain The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth
A shadow of man's ravage, save his own.
When, for a moment, like a drop of rain,
He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan,
Without a grave, unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown.
The armaments which thunderstrike the walls
Of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake,
And monarchs tremble in their capitals,
The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs make
Their clay creator the vain title take Of lord of thee, and arbiter of war; These are thy toys, and, as the snowy flake,
They melt into thy yeast of waves,
which mar Alike the Armada's pride or spoils of
Thy shores are empires, changed in
all save thee — Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage,
what are they? Thy waters washed them power while
they were free, And many a tyrant since; their shores
The stranger, slave, or savage; their decay
Has dried up realms to deserts: —
not so thou; — Unchangeable save to thy wild waves'
Time writes no wrinkle on thine
azure brow — Such as creation's dawn beheld, thou
Thou glorious mirror, where the Al-
gale, or storm, Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime Dark-heaving; — boundless, endless,
and sublime — The image of eternity — the throne Of the Invisible ; even from out thy slime
The monsters of the deep are made:
each zone Obeys thee: thou goest forth, dread,
And I have loved thee, Ocean! and my joy [to be
Of youthful sports was on thy breast Borne, like thy bubbles, onward:
from a boy I wantoned with thy breakers — they to me [ sea
Were a delight; and if the freshening Made them a terror — 'twas a pleasing fear,
For I was as it were a child of thee, And, trusted to thy billows far and near,
And laid my hand upon thy mane — as I do here.
[From Childe Harold.]
CALM AND TEMPEST AT NIGHT ON LAKE LEMAN (GENEVA).
Clear, placid Leman! thy contrasted lake,
With the wide world I dwelt in is a thing
Which warns me, with its stillness, to forsake [spring. Earth's troubled waters for a purer This quiet sail is as a noiseless wing To waft me from distraction; once I loved
Torn ocean's roar, but thy soft
murmuring Sounds sweet as if a sister's voice
That I with stern delights should e'er have been so moved.