Imatges de pÓgina
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Now shall the blazon of the Cross be veiled,
And British skill directing Othman might
Thunder-strike rebel victory. Oh keep holy
This jubilee of unrevenged blood !
Kill! crush! despoil! Let not a Greek escape !

SEMICHORUS I.
Darkness has dawned in the east

On the noon of time:
The death-birds descend to their feast

From the hungry clime.
Let Freedom and Peace flee far

To a sunnier strand,
And follow Love's folding-star
To the evening land.

SEMICHORUS II.
The young moon has fed
Her exhausted horn

With the sunset's fire;
The weak day is dead,

But the night is not born;
And, like loveliness panting with wild desire

While it trembles with fear and delight,
Hesperus flies from awakening night,
And pants in its beauty and speed with light

Fast-flashing, soft, and bright.
Thou beacon of love ! thou lamp of the free !

Guide us far far away
To climes where now veiled by the ardour of day,

Thou art hidden
From waves on which weary noon

Faints in her summer swoon,
Between kingle continents sinless Eden,
Around mountains and islands inviolably

Pranked on the sapphire sea.

SEMICHORUS I.
Through the sunset of hope,

Like the shapes of a dream,
What paradise islands of glory gleam !

Beneath heaven's cope,

Their shadows more clear float by-
The sound of their oceans, the light of their sky
The music and fragrance their solitudes breathe,
Burst like morning on dream, or like heaven on death,

Through the walls of our prison;
And Greece, which was dead, is arisen!

CHORUS.
The world's great age begins anew,

The golden years return,
The earth doth like a snake renew

Her winter weeds outworn:
Heaven smiles, and faiths and empires gleam
Like wrecks of a dissolving dream.

A brighter Hellas rears its mountains

From waves serener far;
A new Peneus rolls his fountains

Against the morning star;
Where fairer Tempes bloom, there sleep
Young Cyclads on a sunnier deep.
A loftier Argo cleaves the main,

Fraught with a later prize;
Another Orpheus sings again,

And loves, and weeps, and dies;
A new Ulysses leaves once more
Calypso for his native shore.
Oh! write no more the Tale of Troy,

If earth Death's scroll must be !
Nor mix with Laian rage the joy

Which dawns upon the free,
Although a subtler Sphinx renew
Riddles of death Thebes never knew.

Another Athens shall arise,

And to remoter time
Bequea:h, like sunset to the skies,

The splendour of its prime;
And leave, if naught so bright may live,
All earth can take or heaven can give.
Saturn and Love their long repose

Shall burst more bright and good*
Than all who fell, than one who rose,

Than many unsubdued:
Not gold, not blood, their altar dowers,
But votive tears and symbol flowers.
Oh cease! must hate and death return?

Cease! must men kill and die?
Cease! drain not to its dregs the urn

Of bitter prophecy.
The world is weary of the past,
Oh might it die or rest at last!

* From Mrs. Shelley's edition; there was a hiatus in the first edition. 3C0

1824.

THE WITCH OF ATLAS.

I.

Before those cruel Twins, whom at one birth

Incestuous Change bore to her father Time, Error and Truth, had hunted from the earth

All those bright natures which adorned its prime, And left us nothing to believe in, worth

The pains of putting into learned rhyme, A lady-witch there lived on Atlas' mountain Within a cavern by a secret fountain.

II.

Her mother was one of the Atlantides :

The all-beholding Sun had ne'er beholden In his wide voyage o'er continents and seas

So fair a creature, as she lay enfolden In the warm shadow of her loveliness ;

He kissed her with his beams, and made all golden The chamber of grey rock in which she layShe, in that dream of joy, dissolved away.

III.

'Tis said, she was first changed into a vapour,

And then into a cloud, such clouds as flit, Like splendour-winged moths about a taper,

Round the red west when the sun dies in it : And then into a meteor, such as caper

On hill-tops when the moon is in a fit; Then, into one of those mysterious stars Which hide themselves between the Earth and Mars.

IV.

Ten times the Mother of the Months had bent

Her bow beside the folding-star, and bidden With that bright sign the billows to indent

The sea-deserted sand : like children chidden, At her command they ever came and went :

Since in that cave a dewy splendour hidden, Took shape and motion : with the living form Of this embodied Power, the cave grew warm.

V.

A lovely lady garmented in light

From her own beauty-deep her eyes, as are

Two openings of unfathomable night

Seen through a tempest's cloven roof-her hair Dark—the dim brain whirls dizzy with delight,

Picturing her form; her soft smiles shone afar, And her low voice was heard like love, and drew All living things towards this wonder new.

VI.

And first the spotted cameleopard came,

And then the wise and fearless elephant ; Then the sly serpent, in the golden flame

Of his own volumes intervolved ;-all gaunt And sanguine beasts her gentle looks made tame.

They drank before her at her sacred fount ;
And every beast of beating heart grew bold,
Such gentleness and power even to behold.

VII.
The brinded lioness led forth her young,

That she might teach them how they should forego Their inborn thirst of death; the pard unstrung

His sinews at her feet, and sought to know
With looks whose motions spoke without a tongue

How he might be as gentle as the doe.
The magic circle of her voice and eyes
All savage natures did imparadise.

VIII.
And old Silenus, shaking a green stick

Of lilies, and the wood-gods in a crew
Came, blithe, as in the olive copses thick

Cicadæ are, drunk with the noonday dew:
And Driope and Faunus followed quick,

Teasing the God to sing them something new,
Till in this cave they found the lady lone,
Sitting upon a seat of emerald stone.

IX.

And Universal Pan, 'tis said, was there,

And though none saw him, -through the adamant Of the deep mountains, through the trackless air,

And through those living spirits, like a want He past out of his everlasting lair

Where the quick heart of the great world doth pant, And felt that wondrous lady all alone, -And she felt him, upon her emerald throne.

X.

And every nymph of stream and spreading tree,

And every shepherdess of Ocean's flocks, Who drives her white waves over the green sea;

And Ocean, with the brine on his grey locks, And quaint Priapus with his company

All came, much wondering how the enwombed rocks Could have brought forth so beautiful a birth; Her love subdued their wonder and their mirth,

XI,

The herdsmen and the mountain maidens came,

And the rude kings of pastoral GaramantTheir spirits shook within them, as a flame

Stirred by the air under a cavern gaunt: Pigmies, and Folyphenies, by many a name,

Centaurs and Satyrs, and such shapes as haunt Wet clefts, -and lumps neither alive nor dead, Dog-headed, bosom-eyed, and bird-footed.

XII.

For she was beautiful: her beauty made

The bright world dim, and everything beside Seemed like the fleeting image of a shade:

No thought of living spirit could abide, Which to her looks had ever been betrayed,

On any object in the world so wide, On any hope within the circling skies, But on her form, and in her inmost eyes.

XIII.

Which when the lady knew, she took her spindle

And twined three threads of fleecy mist, and three Long lines of light, such as the dawn may kindle

The clouds and waves and mountains with, and she As many star-beams, ere their lamps could dwindle

In the belated moon, wound skilfully;
And with these threads a subtle veil she wove-
A shadow for the splendour of her love,

XIV.
The deep recesses of her odorous dwelling

Were stored with magic treasures—sounds of air,
Which had the power all spirits of compelling,

Folded in cells of crystal silence there;
Such as we hear in youth, and think the feeling

Will never die-yet ere we are aware,
The feeling and the sound are filed and gone,
And the regret they leave remains alone.

XV.
And there lay Visions swift, and sweet, and quaint,

Each in its thin sheath like a chrysalis ;
Some eager to burst forth, some weak and saint

With the soft burden of intensest bliss;
It is its work to bear to many a saint

Whose heart adores the shrine which holiest is, Even Love's—and others white, green, grey and black, And of all shapes-and each was at her beck.

XVI. And odours in a kind of aviary

Of ever-blooming Eden-trees she kept, Clipt in a floating net, a love-sick Fairy

Had woven from dew-beams while the moon yet slept;

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