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To-morrow and to-morrow are as lamps
Catch the volcano-fire and earthquake spasm,
dead. The last news from the camp is, that a thousand Have sickened, and
The rack and the rain ?
The storms are free,
One comes Fainting with toil, covered with foam and blood; He stood, he says, upon Clelonit's Promontory, which o'erlooks the isles that groan Under the Briton's frown, and all their waters Then trembling in the splendour of the moon ; When, as the wandering clouds unveiled or hid Her boundless light, he saw two adverse fleets Stalk through the night in the horizon's glimmer, Mingling fierce thunders and sulphureous gleams, And smoke which strangled every infant wind That soothed the silver clouds through the deep air. At length the battle slept, but the Scirocco Awoke, and drove his flock of thunder-clouds Over the sea-horizon, blotting out All objects—save that in the faint moon-glimpse He saw, or dreamed he saw the Turkish admiral And two, the loftiest, of our ships of war, With the bright image of that Queen of Heaven, Who hid, perhaps, her face for grief, reversed ; And the abhorred cross
O Slavery ! thou frost of the world's prime,
Killing its flowers and leaving its thorns bare ! Thy touch has stamped these limbs with crime, T'hese brows thy branding garland bear ;
But the free heart, the impassive soul,
SEMICHORUS I. Let there be light ! said Liberty ; And like sunrise from the sea, Athens arose !-Around her born, Shone like mountains in the morn, Glorious states ;-and are they now Ashes, wrecks, oblivion ?
Enter an Attendant.
Go Where Therma and Asopus swallowed
Persia, as the sand does foam. Deluge upon deluge followed,
Discord, Macedon, and Rome : And, lastly, thou !
Your Sublime Highness, The Jew, who
Could not come more seasonably: Bid him attend. I'll hear no more! too long We gaze on danger through the mist of fear, And multiply upon our shattered hopes The images of ruin. Come what will !
Temples and towers, Citadels and marts, and they
Who live and die there, have been ours, And
may be thine, and must decay ;
But Greece and her foundations are
Of thought and its eternity ;
Rule the present from the past, On all this world of men inherits
Their seal is set.
Hear ye the blast, Whose Orphic thunder thrilling calls From ruin her Titanian walls? Whose spirit shakes the sapless bones
Of Slavery ? Argos, Corinth, Crete, Hear, and from their mountain thrones
The dæmons and the nymphs repeat The harmony.
I hear! I hear !
Thou art an adept in the difficult lore
The world's eyeless charioteer,
Destiny, is hurrying by! What faith is crushed, what empire bleeds Beneath her earthquake-footed steeds ? What eagle-winged victory sits At her right hand ? what shadow fits Before? what splendour rolls behind ?
Ruin and Renovation cry, Who but we?
I hear! I hear !
I hear! I hear !
For Revenge and wrong bring forth their kind,
The foul cubs like their parents are, Their den is in their guilty mind,
And Conscience feeds them with despair.
AHASUERUS. Disdain thee?not the worm beneath my feet! The Fathomless has care for meaner things Than thou canst dream, and has made pride for
those Who would be what they may not, or would seem That which they are not. Sultan ! talk no more Of thee and me, the future and the past ; But look on that which cannot change—the One The unborn, and the undying. Earth and ocean, Space, and the isles of life or light that gem The sapphire floods of interstellar air, This firmament pavilioned upon chaos, With all its cressets of immortal fire, Whose outwall, bastioned impregnably Against the escape of boldest thoughts, repels them As Calpe the Atlantic clouds—this whole Of suns, and worlds, and men, and beasts, and
Howers, With all the silent or tempestuous workings By which they have been, are, or cease to be, Is but a vision ;-all that it inherits Are motes of a sick eye, bubbles, and dreams; Thought is its cradle and its grave, nor less The future and the past are idle shadows Of thought's eternal flight-they have no being; Nought is but that it feels itself to be.
Of Wisdom, Pity's altar stood ; Serve not the unknown God in vain, But pay that broken shrine again
Love for hate, and tears for blood.
What meanest thou? thy words stream like a tempest Of dazzling mist within my brain-they shake The earth on which I stand, and hang like night On Heaven above me. What can they avail ! They cast on all things, surest, brightest, best, Doubt, insecurity, astonishment.
AHASUERUS. Mistake me not! All is contained in each. Dodona's forest to an acorn's cup Is that which has been or will be, to that Which is—the absent to the present. Thought Alone, and its quick elements, Will, Passion, Reason, Imagination, cannot die ; They are what that which they regard appears, The stuff whence mutability can weave All that it hath dominion o'er,-worlds, worms, Empires, and superstitions. What has thought
Thou sayest so.
To do with time, or place, or circumstance ? Thou mayst now learn how the full tide of power
With tears and toil, thou seest the mortal throes As on a glass.
Of that whose birth was but the same. The Past
Now stands before thee like an Incarnation
Of the To-come ; yet wouldst thou commun with My spirit-Did not Mahomet the Second
That portion of thyself which was ere thou Win Stamboul ?
Didst start for this brief race whose crown is
Dissolve with that strong faith and fervent passion Thou wouldst ask that giant spirit which called it from the uncreated deep, The written fortunes of thy house and faith. Yon cloud of war with its tempestuous phantoms Thou wouldst cite one out of the grave to tell
Of raging death ; and draw with mighty will How what was born in blood must die.
The imperial shade hither.
[Exit AHASUERUS. Thy words Have power on me! I see
To take the living, than give up the dead ; A far whisper
Yet has thy faith prevailed, and I am here. Terrible silence.
The heavy fragments of the power which fell
When I arose, like shapeless crags and clouds,
Hang round my throne on the abyss, and voices
Wailing for glory never to return.-
A later Empire nods in its decay ;
The autumn of a greener faith is come, The hiss of inextinguishable fire,
And wolfish change, like winter, howls to strip The roar of giant cannon ;-the earthquaking
The foliage in which Fame, the eagle, built Fall of vast bastions and precipitous towers, Her aërie, while Dominion whelped below. The shock of crags shot from strange engin’ry, The storm is in its branches, and the frost The clash of wheels, and clang of armed hoofs, Is on its leaves, and the blank deep expects And crash of brazen mail, as of the wreck
Oblivion on oblivion, spoil on spoil, Of adamantine mountains—the mad blast
Ruin on ruin : thou art slow, my son ; Of trumpets, and the neigh of raging steeds, The Anarchs of the world of darkness keep And shrieks of women whose thrill jars the blood, | A throne for thee, round which thine empire lies And one sweet laugh, most horrible to hear, Boundless and mute ; and for thy subjects thou, As of a joyous infant waked, and playing
Like us, shall rule the ghosts of murdered life, With its dead mother's breast ; and now more loud The phantoms of the powers who rule thee nowThe mingled battle-cry-ha! hear I not
Mutinous passions and conflicting fears, 'Ev Tottw vian. Allah-illah-Allah!
And hopes that sate themselves on dust and die !
Islam must fall, but we will reign together
Over its ruins in the world of death :
And if the trunk be dry, yet shall the seed
A chasm, Unfold itself even in the shape of that As of two mountains, in the wall of Stamboul ;
Which gathers birth in its decay. Woe! woe ! And in that ghastly breach the Islamites,
To the weak people tangled in the grasp
Of its last spasms.
Spirit, woe to all !
Woe to the wronged and the avenger ! Woe The stream of war. Another, proudly clad To the destroyer, woe to the destroyed ! In golden arms, spurs a Tartarian barb
Woe to the dupe, and woe to the deceiver ! Into the gap, and with his iron mace
Woe to the oppressed, and woe to the oppressor ! Directs the torrent of that tide of men,
Woe both to those that suffer and inflict; And seems-he is—Mahomet !
Those who are born, and those who die ! But say
Imperial shadow of the thing I am,
When, how, by whom, Destruction must accomplish
Her consummation ?
Ask the cold pale Hour, How cities, on which empire sleeps enthroned,
Rich in reversion of impending death, Bow their towered crests to mutability,
When he shall fall upon whose ripe grey hairs Poised by the flood, e'en on the height thou holdest, Sit care, and sorrow, and infirmity,
The weight which Crime, whose wings are plumed When desolation flashes o'er a world destroyed.
Oh bear me to those isles of jagged cloud
Riven, overhangs the founts intensely brightening
Of those dawn-tinted deluges of fire
Before their waves expire, Victory! victory! When heaven and earth are light, and only light [The Phantom vanishes. In the thunder-night!
What sound of the importunate earth has broken
Victory! victory! Austria, Russia, England,
stakes! These chains are light, fitter for slaves and poisoners Than Greeks. Kill! plunder! burn ! let none
Weak lightning before darkness! poor faint smile
at, can be worth
Shout in the jubilee of death! The Greeks
Alas for Liberty !
Or fate, can quell the free ;
Alas for Virtue ! when
Of erring judging men
Can break the heart where it abides.
Like hope and terror
Alas for Love !
Before the dazzled eyes of Error.
Through many an hostile Anarchy!
the sea !"
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,
Victorious Wrong, with vulture scream,
I saw her ghastly as a tyrant's dream,
Who shall impede her flight ?
Thou echo of the hollow heart
Let the tyrants rule the desert they have made ;
Let the free possess the paradise they claim; Be the fortune of our fierce oppressors weighed,
With our ruin, our resistance, and our name!
Our survivors be the shadows of their pride, Our adversity a dream to pass away
Their dishonour a remembrance to abide !
The music and fragrance their solitudes breathe,
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!
SEMICHORUS I. Darkness has dawned in the East
On the noon of time :
From the hungry clime.
To a sunnier strand,
To the Evening land !
The world's great age begins anew,
The golden years return,
Her winter weeds outworn :
A brighter Hellas rears its mountains
From waves, serener far;
Against the morning-star.
Fraught with a later prize ;
And loves, and weeps, and dies.
If earth Death's scroll must be !
Which dawns upon the free:
Her exhausted horn
But the night is not born ;
Fast-flashing, soft, and bright.
Guide us far, far away,
Thou art hidden
Another Athens shall arise,
And to remoter time
The splendour of its prime ;
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.
Through the sunset of hope,
Beneath Heaven's cope.
Their shadows more clear float byThe sound of their oceans, the light of their sky,
O cease! must hate and death return ?
Of bitter prophecy.