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Islam must fall, but we will reign together
Mahmud. Spirit, woe to all !
Ask the cold pale Hour,
[The Phantom vanishes. Mahmud. What sound of the importunate earth has broken My mighty trance ? Voice without.
Victory! victory ! Mahmud. Weak lightning before darkness ! poor faint smile Of dying Islam ! Voice which art the response Of hollow weakness! Do I wake and live ? Were there such things ? or may the unquiet brain, Vexed by the wise mad talk of the old Jew, Have shaped itself these shadows of its fear ? It matters not !—for nought we see or dream, Possess, or lose, or grasp at, can be worth More than it gives or teaches. Come what may, The future must become the past, and I As they were, to whom once this present hour, This gloomy crag of time to which I cling, Seerned an Elysian isle of peace and joy Never to be attained.--I must rebuke This drunkenness of triumph ere it die, And dying, bring despair.- Victory !- poor slaves !
Exit MAHMUD. Voice without. Shout in the jubilee of death! The Greeks Are as a brood of lions in the net, Round which the kingly hunters of the earth Staud smiling. Anarchs, ye whose daily food Are curses, groans, and gold, the fruit of death, From Thule to the girdle of the world, Come, feast ! the board groans with the flesh of menThe cup is foaming with a nation's blood, Famine and thirst await: eat, drink, and die !
I saw her ghastly as a tyrant's dream,
Who shall impede her flight?
Who rob her of her prey ?
Thou echo of the hollow heart
When desolation flashes o'er a world destroyed.
Which float like mountains on the earthquakes, 'mid The momentary oceans of the lightning;
Or to some toppling promontory proud
Of solid tempest, whose black pyramid, Riven, overhangs the founts intensely brightening
Of those dawn-tinted deluges of fire
Before their waves expire,
In the thunder-night!
Alas for Virtue! when
Torments, or contamely, or the sneers
Of erring judging men
Can break the heart where it abides. Alas ! if Love, whose smile makes this obscure world splendid
Can change, with its false times and tides,
Like hope and terror
Alas for Love !
Before the dazzled eyes of Error.
Through many an hostile Anarchy!
Rome was, and young Atlantis shall become
The wonder, or the terror, or the tomb
Whose fairest thoughts and limbs were built
She knew not pain or guilt ;
When ye desert the free!
If Greece must be
In a diviner clime,
Let the tyrants rule the desert they have made;
Let the free possess the paradise they claim;
Our survivors be the shadows of their pride,
Their dishonour a remembrance to abide !
Voice without. Victory ! Victory! The bought Briton sends The keys of ocean to the Islamite. Now shall the blazon of the cross be veiled, And British skill directing Othman might, Thunder-strike rebel victory. O keep holy This jubilee of unrevenged blood ! Kill | crush! despoil! Let not a Greek escape !
On the noon of time :
From the hungry clime.
To a sunnier strand,
Her exhausted horn
But the night is not born ;
Fast-flashing, soft and bright.
Guide us far, far away,
Thou art hidden
Beneath Heaven's cope.
Their shadows more clear float by-
Through the walls of our prison ;
The world's great age begins anew,
The golden years return,
Hier winter weeds outworn :
A brighter Hellas rears its mountains
From waves serener far;
A new Peneus rolls its fountains
Against the morning-star.
A loftier Argo cleaves the main,
Fraught with a later prize;
And loves, and weeps, and dies.
If earth Death's scroll must be !
Which dawns upon the free: Although a subtler sphinx renew Riddles of death Thebes never knew.
Another Athens shall arise,
And to remoter time
The splendour of its prime;
Saturn and Love their long repose
Shall burst, more bright and good
Than many unsubdued :
O cease! must hate and death return?
Cease ! must men kill and die ?
Of bitter prophecy.
• See Notes at the end of the volume.