Obrazy na stronie


MAY 9, 1810.

Is in the month of dark December,
Leander, who was nightly wont
(What maid will not the tale remember?)
To cross thy stream, broad Hellespont!

If, when the wintry tempest roar'd,

He sped to Hero, nothing loath,
And thus of old thy current pour'd,
Fair Venus! how I pity both!
For me, degenerate modern wretch,
Though in the genial month of May,
My dripping limbs I faintly stretch,

And think I've done a feat to-day.
But since he cross'd the rapid tide,
According to the doubtful story,
To woo,-and-Lord knows what beside,
And swam for love, as I for glory;

'T were hard to say who fared the best : Sad mortals! thus the gods still plague you!

He lost his labour, I my jest,

For he was drown'd, and I 've the

Ζώη μοῦ, σὰς ἀγαπῶ.

ATHENS, 1810.

MAID of Athens, ere we part,
Give, oh, give me back my heart!
Or, since that has left my breast,
Keep it now, and take the rest!
Hear my vow before I go,
Ζώη μου, σὰς ἀγαπῶ.


On the 3d of May, 1810, while the Salsette (Captain Bathurst) was lying in the Dardanelles, Lieutenant Ekenhead of that frigate and the writer of these rhymes swam from the European shore to the Asiatic -by-the-by, from Abydos to Sestos would have been more correct. The whole distance from the place whence we started to our landing on the other side, including the length we were carried by the current, was computed by those on board the frigate at upwards of four English miles; though the actual breadth is barely one. The rapidity of the current is such that no boat can row directly across, and it may in some measure be estimated from the circumstance of the whole distance being accomplished by one of the parties in an hour and five, and by the other in an hour and ten minutes. The water was extremely cold from the melting of the mountain-snows. About three weeks before, in April, we had made an attempt, but having ridden all the way from the Troad the same morning, and the water being of an icy chillness, we found it necessary to postpone the completion till the frigate anchored below the castles, when we swam the straits, as just stated, entering a considerable way above the European, and landing below the Asiatic fort. Chevalier says that a young Jew swam the same distance for his mistress; and Oliver mentions its having been done by a Neapolitan; but our consul, Tarragona, remembered nel her of these circumstances, and tried to dissuade us from the attempt. A number of the Salsette's crew were known to have accomplished a greater distance; and the only thing that surprised me was, that, as doubts had been entertained of the truth of Leander's story, no traveller had ever endeavoured to ascertain its practicability.

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s Zoë mou, sas agapo, or Ζώη μου, σας ἀγαπῶ, a Romaic ex

pression of tenderness: if I translate it I shall affront the gentlemen, as it may seem that I supposed they could not; and if I do not, I may affront the ladies. For fear of any misconstruction on the part of the latter I shall do so, begging pardon of the learned. It means, My life, I love you! which sounds very prettily in all languages, and is as much in fashion in Greece at this day as, Juvenal tells us, the two first words were amongst the Roman ladies, whose erotic expressions were all Hellenized

Ζώη μοῦ, σὰς ἀγαπῶς,


Δεῦτε, παῖδες τῶν Ελλήνων,

Written by Riga, who perished in the attempt to revolutionize Greece. The following translation is as literal as the author could make it in verse; it is of the same measure as that of the original (pag. 97).

SONS of the Greeks, arise!

The glorious hour 's gone forth,

And, worthy of such ties,
Display who gave us birth.


Sons of Greeks, let us go
In arms against the foe,

Till their hated blood shall flow
In a river past our feet.

Then manfully despising

The Turkish tyrant's yoke,
Let your country see you rising,

And all her chains are broke.
Brave shades of chiefs and sages,
Behold the coming strife!
Hellenes of past ages,

Oh, start again to life!

At the sound of my trumpet, breaking
Your sleep, ob, join with me!
And the seven-hill'd3 city seeking,
Fight, conquer, till we 're free.

Sparta, Sparta, why in slumbers
Lethargic dost thou lie?

Awake, and join thy numbers

With Athens, old ally!

Sons of Greeks, etc.

* Constantinople.

3 Constantinople. «Entáλopos.»

In the East (where ladies are not taught to write, lest they should scribble assignations) flowers, cinders, pebbles, etc., convey the sentiments of the parties by that universal deputy of Mercury—an old woman. A cinder says, I burn for thee; a bunch of flowers tied with hair, Take me and fly; but a pebble declares-what nothing

else can.

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I ENTER thy garden of roses,

Beloved and fair Haidée,

The song from which this is taken is a great favourite with the young girls of Athens of all classes. Their manner of singing it is by verses in rotation, the whole number present joining in the chorus. I have heard it frequently at our << Xópot in the winter of 1810-11. The air is plaintive and pretty.

Each morning where Flora reposes,
For surely I see her in thee.

Oh, lovely! thus low I implore thee,

Receive this fond truth from my tongue,
Which utters its song to adore thee,

Yet trembles for what it has sung.
As the branch, at the bidding of nature,

Adds fragrance and fruit to the tree,
Through her eyes, through her every feature,
Shines the soul of the young Haidée.
But the loveliest garden grows hateful

When love has abandon'd the bowers; Bring me hemlock-since mine is ungrateful, That herb is more fragrant than flowers. The poison, when pour'd from the chalice,

Will deeply embitter the bowl;
But when drunk to escape from thy malice,
The draught shall be sweet to my soul.
Too cruel! in vain I implore thee

My heart from these horrors to save:
Will nought to my bosom restore thee?
Then open the Gates of the
As the chief who to combat advances,
Secure of his conquest before,

Thus thou, with those eyes for thy lances,

Hast pierced through my heart to its core. Ah, tell me, my soul! must I perish

By pangs which a smile would dispel? Would the hope, which thou once bad'st me cherish,

For torture repay me too well? Now sad is the garden of roses,

Beloved but false Haidée! There Flora all wither'd reposes, And mourns o'er thine absence with me."


THE kiss, dear maid! thy lip has left, Shall never part from mine,

Till happier hours restore the gift
Untainted back to thine.

Thy parting glance, which fondly beams,

An equal love may see:

The tear that from thine eyelid streams
Can weep no change in me.

I ask no pledge to make me blest,
In gazing when alone;

Nor one memorial for a breast,
Whose thoughts are all thine own.

Nor need I write-to tell the tale
My pen were doubly weak:
Oh! what can idle words avail,
Unless the heart could speak?

By day or night, in weal or woe,
That heart, no longer free,
Must bear the love it cannot show,
And silent ache for thee.


WITHOUT a stone to mark the spot,

say, what truth might well have said, By all, save one, perchance forgot,

Ah, wherefore art thou lowly laid? By many a shore and many a sea

Divided, yet beloved in vain; The past, the future fled to thee

To bid us meet-no-ne'er again! Could this have been-a word, a look, peace,»

That softly said, « We part in
Had taught my bosom how to brook,

With fainter sighs, thy soul's release.
And didst thou not, since death for thee

Prepared a light and pangless dart, Once long for him thou ne'er shalt see,

Who held, and holds thee in his heart? Oh! who like him had watch'd thee here?

Or sadly mark'd thy glazing eye, In that dread hour ere death appear,

When silent sorrow fears to sigh, Till all was past? But when no more

'T was thine to reck of human woc, Affection's heart-drops, gushing o'er,

Had flow'd as fast-as now they flow. Shall they not flow, when many a day

In these, to me, deserted towers, Ere call'd but for a time away,

Affection's mingling tears were ours?
Ours too the glance none saw beside;

The smile none else might understand;
The whisper'd thought of hearts allied,
The pressure of the thrilling hand;
The kiss so guiltless and refined,

That love each warmer wish forbore;
Those eyes proclaim'd so pure a mind,
Even passion blush'd to plead for more.
The tone, that taught me to rejoice,
When prone,
unlike thee, to repine;
The song celestial from thy voice,
But sweet to me from none but thine;

The pledge we wore-I wear it still,
But where is thine?-ah, where art thou?
Oft have I borne the weight of ill,

But never bent beneath till now!
Well hast thou left in life's best bloom
The cup of woe for me to drain.
If rest alone be in the tomb,

I would not wish thee here again;
But if in worlds more blest than this

Thy virtues seek a fitter sphere, Impart some portion of thy bliss,

To wean me from mine anguish here. Teach me too early taught by thee!

To bear, forgiving and forgiven: On earth thy love was such to me, It fain would form my hope in heaven!


AWAY, away, ye notes of woe!

Be silent, thou once soothing strain, Or I must flee from hence, for, oh!

I dare not trust those sounds again. To me they speak of brighter daysBut lull the chords, for now, alas! I must not think, I may not gaze On what I am, on what I was.

The voice that made those sounds more sweet Is hush'd, and all their charms are fled; And now their softest notes repeat

A dirge, an anthem o'er the dead? Yes, Thyrza! yes, they breathe of thec,

Beloved dust! since dust thou art; And all that once was harmony

Is worse than discord to my heart! 'Tis silent all!-but on my ear

The well-remember'd echoes thrill; I hear a voice I would not hear,

A voice that now might well be still : Yet oft my doubting soul 't will shake, Even slumber owns its gentle tone, Till consciousness will vainly wake

To listen, though the dream be flown. Sweet Thyrza! waking as in sleep,

Thou art but now a lovely dreamA star that trembled o'er the deep,

Then turn'd from earth its tender beam. But be who through life's dreary way

Must pass, when heaven is veil'd in wrath, Will long lament the vanish'd ray That scatter'd gladness o'er his path.


ONE struggle more,
and I am free
From pangs that rend my heart in twain;
One last long sigh to love and thee,
Then back to busy life again.

It suits me well to mingle now

With things that never pleased before: Though every joy is fled below,

What future grief can touch me more?

Then bring me wine, the banquet bring;
Man was not form'd to live alone:
I'll be that light unmeaning thing

That smiles with all, and weeps with none. It was not thus in days more dear;

It never would have been, but thou
Hast fled, and left me lonely here:
Thou 'rt nothing—all are nothing now.

In vain my lyre would lightly breathe!

The smile that sorrow fain would wear But mocks the woe that lurks beneath, Like roses o'er a sepulchre. Though gay companions o'er the bowl Dispel awhile the sense of ill; Though pleasure fires the maddening soul, The heart-the heart is lonely still!

On many a lone and lovely night
It soothed to gaze upon the sky,
For then I deem'd the heavenly light

Shone sweetly on thy pensive eye; And oft I thought at Cynthia's noon,

When sailing o'er the Egean wave, «Now Thyrza gazes on that moon—» Alas, it gleam'd upon her grave!

When stretch'd on fever's sleepless bed,

Aud sickness shrunk my throbbing veins, «'T is comfort still,» I faintly said,

<< That Thyrza cannot know my pains.
Like freedom to the time-worn slave,
A boon 't is idle then to give,
Relenting Nature vainly gave

My life when Thyrza ceased to live!

My Thyrza's pledge in better days,
When love and life alike were new,
How different now thou meet'st my gaze!
How tinged by time with sorrow's hue!
The heart that gave itself with thee

Is silent-ah, were mine as still!
Though cold as even the dead can be,
It feels, it sickens with the chill.

Thou bitter pledge! thou mournful token!
Though painful, welcome to my breast!
Still, still preserve that love unbroken,

Or break the heart to which thou 'rt prest! Time tempers love, but not removes,

More hallow'd when its hope is fled:
Oh! what are thousand living loves
To that which cannot quit the dead?


WHEN Time, or soon or late, shall bring The dreamless sleep that lulls the dead, Oblivion! may thy languid wing

Wave gently o'er my dying bed!

No band of friends or heirs be there, To weep or wish the coming blow: No maiden, with dishevell'd hair,

To feel, or feign, decorous woc.

The better days of life were ours;
The worst can be but mine;

The sun that cheers, the storm that lours,
Shall never more be thine.

The silence of that dreamless sleep

I envy now too much to weep;
Nor need I to repine

That all those charms have pass'd away

I might have watch'd through long decay.

The flower in ripen'd bloom unmatch'd
Must fall the earliest prey;
Though by no hand untimely snatch'd,
The leaves must drop away:
And yet it were a greater grief
To watch it withering leaf by leaf,
Than see it pluck'd to-day;
Since earthly eye but ill can bear
To trace the change to foul from fair.

I know not if I could have borne
To see thy beauties fade;

The night that follow'd such a morn
Had worn a deeper shade:

Thy day without a cloud hath past, And thou wert lovely to the last; Extinguish'd, not decay'd;

As stars that shoot along the sky Shine brightest as they fall from high.

As once I wept, if I could weep,

My tears might well be shed, To think I was not near to keep One vigil o'er thy bed;


gaze, how fondly! on thy face, To fold thee in a faint embrace,

But silent let me sink to earth,

With no officious mourners near:
I would not mar one hour of mirth,
Nor startle friendship with a fear.
Yet Love, if Love in such an hour
Could nobly check its useless sighs,
Might then exert its latest power

In her who lives and him who dies.

'T were sweet, my Psyche, to the last Thy features still serene to see: Forgetful of its struggles past,

Even Pain itself should smile on thee.

But vain the wish-for Beauty still

Will shrink, as shrinks the ebbing breath;
And woman's tears, produced at will,
Deceive in life, unman in death.

Then lonely be my latest hour,

Without regret, without a groan!
For thousands death hath ceased to lower,
And pain been transient or unknown.

« Ay, but to die, and go,» alas!

Where all have gone, and all must go! To be the nothing that I was

Ere born to life and living woe!

Count o'er the joys thine hours have seen,
Count o'er thy days from anguish free,
And know, whatever thou hast been,

T is something better-not to be.


- Heu! quanto minus est cum reliquis versari quam tui meminisse!

AND thou art dead, as young and fair
As aught of mortal birth;

And form so soft, and charms so rare,
Too soon return'd to earth!
Though Earth received them in her bed,
And o'er the spot the crowd may tread
In carelessness or mirth,

There is an eye which could not brook
A moment on that grave to look.

I will not ask where thou liest low,
Nor gaze upon the spot;

There flowers or weeds at will may grow,
So I behold them not:

It is enough for me to prove

That what I loved, and long must love,
Like common earth can rot;

To me there needs no stone to tell,
Tis nothing that I loved so well.

Yet did I love thee to the last
As fervently as thou,
Who didst not change through all the past,

And canst not alter now.

The love where death has set his seal,

Nor age can chill, nor rival steal,

Nor falsehood disavow:

And what were worse, thou canst not see,
Or wrong, or change, or fault in me.

Uphold thy drooping head;

And show that love, however vain,
Nor thou nor I can feel again.

Yet how much less it were to gain,
Though thou hast left me free,
The loveliest things that still remain,

Than thus remember thee!
The all of thine that cannot die,
Through dark and dread eternity,
Returns again to me,

And more thy buried love endears
Than aught, except its living years.


Ir sometimes in the haunts of men
Thine image from breast
The lonely hour presents again
The semblance of thy gentle shade:
And now that sad and silent hour

Thus much of thee can still restore,
And sorrow unobserved may pour
The plaint she dare not speak before.

may fade,

Oh! pardon that in crowds awhile,

I waste one thought I owe to thee, And, self-condemn'd, appear to smile, Unfaithful to thy memory!

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