Obrazy na stronie
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To-morrow and to-morrow are as lamps
Set in our path to light us to the edge,
Through rough and smooth ; nor can we suffer

aught
Which he inflicts not in whose hand we are.

(Excunt.

SEMICHORUS I.

Catch the volcano-fire and earthquake spasm,
Shake in the general fever. Through the city,
Like birds before a storm, the Santons shriek,
And prophesyings horrible and new
Are heard among the crowd ; that sea of men
Sleeps on the wrecks it made, breathless and still.
A Dervise, learned in the Koran, preaches
That it is written how the sins of Islam
Must raise up a destroyer even now.
The Greeks expect a Saviour from the west ;
Who shall not come, men say, in clouds and glory,
But in the omnipresence of that spirit
In which all live and are. Ominous signs
Are blazoned broadly on the noon-day sky ;
One saw a red cross stamped upon the sun;
It has rained blood; and monstrous births declare
The secret wrath of Nature and her Lord.
The army encamped upon the Cydaris
Was roused last night hy the alarm of battle,
And saw two hosts conflicting in the air,-
The shadows doubtless of the unborn time,
Cast on the mirror of the night. While yet
The fight hung balanced, there arose a storm
Which swept the phantoms from among the stars.
At the third watch the spirit of the plague
Was heard abroad flapping among the tents:
Those who relieved watch found the sentinels

dead. The last news from the camp is, that a thousand Have sickened, and

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SEMICHORUS II.
Ah king! wilt thou chain

The rack and the rain ?
Wilt thou fetter the lightning and hurricane?

The storms are free,
But we

CHORUS.

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,
Scorn thy control !

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.

SEMICHORUS II.

Go Where Therma and Asopus swallowed

Persia, as the sand does foam. Deluge upon deluge followed,

Discord, Macedon, and Rome : And, lastly, thou !

ATTENDANT.

Your Sublime Highness, The Jew, who

MAHMUD.

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 !

SEMICHORUS I.

Temples and towers, Citadels and marts, and they

Who live and die there, have been ours, And

may be thine, and must decay ;

MAHMUD.

But Greece and her foundations are
Built below the tide of war,
Based on the crystalline sea

Of thought and its eternity ;
Her citizens, imperial spirits,

Rule the present from the past, On all this world of men inherits

Their seal is set.

SEMICHORUS II.

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.

SEMICHORUS I.

I hear! I hear !

Thou art an adept in the difficult lore
Of Greek and Frank philosophy; thou numberest
The flowers, and thou measurest the stars;
Thou severest element from element;
Thy spirit is present in the past, and sees
The birth of this old world through all its cycles
Of desolation and of loveliness ;
And when man was not, and how man became
The monarch and the slave of this low sphere,
And all its narrow circles—it is much.
I honour thee, and would be what thou art
Were I not what I am ; but the unborn hour,
Cradled in fear and hope, conflicting storms,
Who shall unveil ? Nor thou, nor Ī, nor any
Mighty or wise. I apprehend not
What thou hast taught me, but I now perceive
That thou art no interpreter of dreams ;
Thou dost not own that art, device, or God,
Can make the future present—let it come!
Moreover thou disdainest us and ours !
Thou art as God, whom thou contemplatest.

SEMICHORUS II.

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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?

SEMICHORUS I.

I hear! I hear !
The hiss as of a rushing wind,
The roar as of an ocean foaming,
The thunder as of earthquake coming,

I hear! I hear !
The crash as of an empire falling,
The shrieks as of a people calling
Mercy! Mercy !-How they thrill !
Then a shout of “Kill! kill ! kill !”
And then a small still voice, thus-
SEMICHORUS II.

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.

MAHMUD.

SEMICHORUS I.
In sacred Athens, near the fane

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.

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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

AHASUERUS.

Thou sayest so.

MAHMUD.

AHASUERUS.

MAHMUD.

PHANTOM.

MAHMUD

AHASUERUS.

MAHMUD,

To do with time, or place, or circumstance ? Thou mayst now learn how the full tide of power
Wouldst thou behold the future ?-ask and have ! Ebbs to its depths.-Inheritor of glory,
Knock and it shall be opened_look, and lo ! Conceived in darkness, born in blood, and nourished
The coming age is shadowed on the past,

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
Wild, wilder thoughts convulse

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

death;

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.
MAHMUD.

[Exit AHASUERUS. Thy words Have power on me! I see

Approach!
AHASUERUS.
What hearest thou ?

I come
Thence whither thou must go ! The grave is fitter

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,
What succeeds ?

Hang round my throne on the abyss, and voices
Of strange lament soothe my supreme repose,

Wailing for glory never to return.-
The sound

A later Empire nods in its decay ;
As of the assault of an imperial city,

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 !
Stript of their mortal strength, as thou of thine.

Islam must fall, but we will reign together
The sulphureous mist is raised—thou seest-

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.
Like giants on the ruins of a world,
Stand in the light of sunrise. In the dust
Glimmers a kingless diadem, and one

Spirit, woe to all !
Of regal port has cast himself beneath

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,
AHASUERUS.
What thou see'st

When, how, by whom, Destruction must accomplish

Her consummation ?
Is but the ghost of thy forgotten dream ;
A dream itself, yet less, perhaps, than that
Thou call'st reality. Thou mayst behold

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,

AHASUERUS.

MAHMUD,

MAHMUD.

PHANTOM.

with years,

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
Leaves in his flight from ravaged heart to heart Which float like mountains on the earthquakes,
Over the heads of men, under which burthen

'mid
They bow themselves unto the grave: fond wretch! The momentary oceans of the lightning ;
He leans upon his crutch, and talks of years Or to some toppling promontory proud
To come, and how in hours of youth renewed Of solid tempest, whose black pyramid,
He will renew lost joys, and

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!

VOICE WITHOUT.

MAHMUD.

VOICE WITHOUT

What sound of the importunate earth has broken
My mighty trance ?

VOICE WITHOUT.

Victory! victory!

Victory! victory! Austria, Russia, England,
And that tame serpent, that poor shadow, France,
Cry peace, and that means death when monarchs

speak.
Ho, there ! bring torches, sharpen those red

stakes! These chains are light, fitter for slaves and poisoners Than Greeks. Kill! plunder! burn ! let none

remain,

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,
Seemed 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
Stand 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 ofmen-
The cup is foaming with a nation's blood,
Famine and Thirst await : eat, drink, and die!

SEMICHORUS I.

Alas for Liberty !
If numbers, wealth, or unfulfilling years,

Or fate, can quell the free ;

Alas for Virtue ! when
Torments, or contumely, 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 !
And Truth, who wanderest lone and unbefriended,
If thou canst veil thy lie-consuming mirror

Before the dazzled eyes of Error.
Alas for thee! Image of the Above.

SEMICHORUS II.
Repulse, with plumes from conquest torn,
Led the ten thousand from the limits of the morn

Through many an hostile Anarchy!
At length they wept aloud and cried, “ The sea !

the sea !"
Through exile, persecution, and despair,

Rome was, and young Atlantis shall become

The wonder, or the terror, or the tomb
Of all whose step wakes power lulled in her savage

lair :
But Greece was as a hermit child,

Whose fairest thoughts and limbs were built
To woman's growth, by dreams so mild

She knew not pain or guilt ;
And now, O Victory, blush ! and Empire, tremble,

When ye desert the free!

If Greece must be
A wreck, yet shall its fragments reassemble,
And build themselves again impregnably

In a diviner clime,
To Amphionic music, on some Cape sublime,
Which frowns above the idle foam of Time.

SEMICHORUS I.

Victorious Wrong, with vulture scream,
Salutes the risen sun, pursues the flying day !

I saw her ghastly as a tyrant's dream,
Perch on the trembling pyramid of night,
Beneath which earth and all her realms pavilioned
In visions of the dawning undelight. [lay

Who shall impede her flight ?
Who rob her of her prey ?

VOICE WITHOUT.
Victory ! victory! Russia's famished eagles
Dare not to prey beneath the crescent's light.
Impale the remnant of the Greeks ! despoil !
Violate ! make their flesh cheaper than dust!

SEMICHORUS I.

SEMICHORUS II.
Thou voice which art
The herald of the ill in splendour hid !

Thou echo of the hollow heart
Of monarchy, bear me to thine abode

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!

SEMICHORUS II.
Our dead shall be the seed of their decay,

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,
Burst like morning on dreams, or like Heaven on

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

CHORUS.

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 :
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 !

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 its 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.
O 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.

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 kingless continents, sinless as Eden,
Around mountains and islands inviolably
Prankt on the sapphire sea.

Another Athens shall arise,

And to remoter time
Bequeath, like sunset to the skies,

The splendour of its prime ;
And leave, if nought 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.

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 byThe sound of their oceans, the light of their sky,

O 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,
O might it die or rest at last !

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