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288, TAE Two FATHERS.
There were two fathers in this ghastly crew,
And with them their two sons, of whom the one Was more robust and hardy to the view,
But he died early ; and when he was gone, His nearest messmate told his sire, who threw
One glance at him, and said, “ Heaven's will be done !
Of a soft cheek, and aspect delicate ;
And patient spirit held aloof his fate;
As if to win a part from off the weight
His eyes from off his face, but wiped the foam
And when the wish’d-for shower at length was come, And the boy's eyes, which the dull film half glazed,
Brightend, and for a moment seem'd to roam,
And look'd upon it long, and when at last
Stiff on his heart, and pulse and hope were past, He watch'd it wistfully, until away
'Twas borne by the rude wave wherein 'twas cast ; Then he himself sunk down all dumb and shivering, And gave no sign of life, save his limbs quivering.
289. THE ISLES OF GREECE.
The isles of Greece, the isles of Greece !
Where burning Sappho loved and sung,
Where Delos rose, and Phoebus sprung!
The Scian and the Teian muse,
The hero's harp, the lover's lute,
Their place of birth alone is mute
And Marathon looks on the sea ;
I dream'd that Greece might still be free ; For standing on the Persians' grave, I could not deem myself a slave. A king sate on the rocky brow
Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis; And ships, by thousands, lay below,
And men in nations ;-all were his ! He counted them at break of dayAnd when the sun set where were they ? And where are they? and where art thou,
My country ? On thy voiceless shore
The heroic bosom beats no more!
Though link'd among a fetter'd race,
Even as I sing, suffuse my face ;
Must we but blush ?-Our fathers bled. Earth! render back from out thy breast
A remnant of our Spartan dead !
Ah! no;—the voices of the dead
And answer, “Let one living head, But one arise,—we come, we come!” 'Tis but the living who are dumb.
In vain-in vain : strike other chords ;
Fill high the cup with Samian wine ! Leave battles to the Turkish hordes,
And shed the blood of Scio's vine! Hark! rising to the ignoble callHow answers each bold Bacchanal ! You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet,
Where is the Pyrrhic phalanx gone ? Of two such lessons, why forget
The nobler and the manlier one ? You have the letters Cadmus gaveThink ye he meant them for a slave ? Fill high the bowl with Samian wine !
We will not think of themes like these! It made Anacreon's song divine :
He served—but served Polycrates
Was freedom's best and bravest friend ; That tyrant was Miltiades !
Oh! that the present hour would lend Another despot of the kind ! Such chains as his were sure to bind. Fill high the bowl with Samian wine!
On Suli's rock, and Parga's shore, Exists the remnant of a line
Such as the Doric mothers bore; And there, perhaps, some seed is sown, The Heracleidan blood might own. Trust not for freedom to the Franks
They have a king who buys and sells ; In native swords, and native ranks,
The only hope of courage dwells; But Turkish force, and Latin fraud, Would break your shield, however broad. Fill high the bowl with Samian wine !
Our virgins dance beneath the shadeI see their glorious black eyes shine ;
But gazing on each glowing maid, My own the burning tear-drop laves, To think such breasts must suckle slaves.
Place me on Sunium's marbled steep,
Where nothing, save the waves and I,
There, swan-like, let me sing and die :
290. LORD BYRON ON HIS EXILE AND DOMESTIC DIFFERENCES.
The man who is exiled by a faction has the consolation of thinking that he is a martyr; he is upheld by hope and the dignity of his cause, real or imaginary: he who withdraws from the pressure of debt may indulge in the thought that time and prudence will retrieve his circumstances : he who is condemned by the law has a term to his banishment, or a dream of its abbreviation; or, it may be, the knowledge or the belief of some injustice of the law, or of its administration in his own particular; but he who is outlawed by general opinion, without the intervention of hostile politics, illegal judgment, or embarrassed circumstances, whether he be innocent or guilty, must undergo all the bitterness of exile, without hope, without pride, without alleviation. This case was mine. Upon what grounds the public founded their opinion, I am not aware; but it was general, aud it was decisive. Of me or of mine they knew little, except that I had written what is called poetry, was a nobleman, had married, became a father, and was involved in differences with my wife and her relatives, no one knew why, because the persons complaining refused to state their grievances. The fashionable world was divided into parties, mine consisting of a very small minority : the reasonable world was naturally on the stronger side, which happened to be the lady's, as was most proper and polite. The press was active and scurrilous; and such was the rage of the day, that the unfortunate publication of two copies of verses, rather complimentary than otherwise to the subjects of both, was tortured into a species of crime, or constructive petty treason. I was accused of every monstrous vice by public rumour and private rancour: my name, which had been a knightly or a noble one since my fathers helped to conquer the kingdom for William the Norman, was tainted. I felt that, if what was whispered, and muttered, and murmured was true, I was unfit for England ; if false, England was unfit for
I withdrew; but this was not enough. In other countries, in Switzerland, in the shadow of the Alps, and by the blue depths of the lakes, I was pursued and breathed upon by the same blight. I
crossed the mountains, but it was the same; so I went a little farther, and settled myself by the waves of the Adriatic, like the stag at bay, who betakes him to the waters.
291. ARMENIA. On my arrival at Venice, in the year 1816, I found my mind in a state which required study, and study of a nature which should leave little scope for the imagination, and furnish some difficulty in the pursuit.
At this period I was much struck-in common, I believe, with every other traveller—with the society of the Convent of St. Lazarus, which appears to unite all the advantages of the monastic institution, without auy of its vices.
The neatness, the comfort, the gentleness, the unaffected devotion, the accomplishments, and the virtues of the brethren of the order, are well fitted to strike the man of the world with the conviction that “there is another and a better ” even in this life.
These men are the priesthood of an oppressed and a noble nation, which has partaken of the proscription and bondage of the Jews and of the Greeks, without the sullenness of the former or the servility of the latter. This people has attained riches without usury, and all the honours that can be awarded to slavery without intrigue. But they have long occupied, nevertheless, a part of the “ House of Bondage,” who has lately multiplied her many mansions. It would be difficult, perhaps, to find the annals of a nation less stained with crimes than those of the Armenians, whose virtues have been those of peace, and their vices those of compulsion. But whatever may have been their destiny-and it has been bitter,whatever it may be in future, their country must ever be one of the most interesting on the globe ; and perhaps their language only requires to be more studied to become more attractive. If the Scriptures are rightly understood, it was in Armenia that Paradise was placed-Armenia, which has paid as dearly as the descendants of Adam for that fleeting participation of its soil in the happiness of him who was created from its dust. It was in Armenia that the flood first abated, and the dove alighted. But with the disappearance of Paradise itself may be dated almost the unhappiness of the country; for though long a powerful kingdom, it was scarcely ever an independent one, and the satraps of Persia and the pachas of Turkey have alike desolated the region where God created man in his own image.