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Ne city's towers pollute the lovely view ;
Unseen is Yanina, though not remote,
Veild by the screen of hills ! here men are few,
Scanty the hamlet, rare the lonely cot ;
But, peering down each precipice, the goat
Browseth : and, pensive o'er his scatter'd flock,
The little shepherd in his white capote ®4
Doth lean his boyish form along the rock,
Or in his cave awaits the tempest's short-lived shock.
Oh! where, Dodona! is thine aged grove,
Prophetic fount and oracle divine ?
What valley echoes the response of Jove?
What trace remaineth of the Thunderer's shrine?
All, all forgotten-and shall man repine
That his frail bonds to fleeting life are broke?
Cease, fool! the fate of gods may well be thine :
Wouldst thou survive the marble or the oak?
When nations, tongues, and worlds must sink beneath the stroke!
Epirus' bounds recede, and mountains fail;
Tired of up-gazing still, the wearied eye
Reposes gladly on as smooth a vale
As ever spring yclad in grassy dye:
Even on a plain no humble beauties lie,
Where some bold river breaks the long expanse,
And woods along the banks are waving high,
Whose shadows in the glassy waters dance,
Or with the moon-beams sleep in midnight's solemn trance.
The sun had sunk behind vast Tomerit,
And Laos wide and fierce came roaring by;
The shades of wonted night were gathering yet,
When, down the steep banks winding warily,
Childe Harold saw, like meteors in the sky,
The glittering minarets of Tepalen,
Whose walls o'erlook the stream; and drawing nigh,
He heard the busy hum of warrior-men
Swelling the breeze that sigh'd along the length’ning glen.
He pass’d the sacred haram's silent tower,
And, underneath the wide o'erarching gate,
Survey'd the dwelling of this chief of power,
Where all around proclaim'd his high estate.
Amidst no common pomp the despot sate,
While busy preparations shook the court;
Slaves, eunuchs, soldiers, guests, and santons wait;
Within, a palace, and without, a fort :
Here men of every clime appear to make resort.
Richly caparison'd, a ready row
Of armed horse, and many a warlike store,
Circled the wide-extending court below:
Above, strange groups adorn'd the corridor;
And ofttimes through the area's echoing door
Some high-capp'd Tartar spurr'd his steed away:
The Turk, the Greek, the Albanian, and the Moor,
Here mingled in their many-hued array,
While the deep war-drum's sound announced the close of day.
The wild Albanian kirtled to his knee,
With shawl-girt head and ornamented gun,
And gold-embroider'd garments, fair to see;
The crimson-scarfed men of Macedon;
The Delhi with his cap of terror on,
And crooked glaive; the lively, supple Greek;
And swarthy Nubia's mutilated son;
The bearded Turk that rarely deigns to speak.,
Master of all around, too potent to be meek;
Are mix'd conspicuous : some recline in groups,
Scanning the motley scene that varies round;
There some grave Moslem to devotion stoops,
And some that smoke, and some that play, are found ;
Here the Albanian proudly treads the ground;
Half whispering there the Greek is heard to prate;
Hark! from the mosque the nightly solemn sound,
The Muezzin's call doth shake the minaret,
" There is no god but God!—to prayer-lo! God is
Just at this season Ramazani's fast
Through the long day its penance did maintain :
But when the lingering twilight hour was past,
Revel and feast assumed the rule again :
Now all was bustle, and the menial train
Prepared and spread the plenteous board within ;
The vacant gallery now seem'd made in vain,
But from the chambers came the mingling din,
page and slave anon were passing out and in.
Here woman's voice is never heard : apart,
And scarce permitted, guarded, veil'd, to move,
She yields to one her person and her heart,
Tamed to her cage, nor feels a wish to rove :
For, not unhappy in her master's love,
And joyful in a mother's gentlest cares,
Blest cares! all other feelings far above !
Herself more sweetly rears the babe she bears,
Who never quits the breast no meaner passion shares.
In marble-paved pavilion, where a spring
Of living water from the centre rose;
Whose bubbling did a genial freshness fling,
And soft voluptuous couches breathed repose,
Ali reclined, a man of war and woes;
Yet in his lineaments ye cannot trace,
While gentleness her milder radiance throws
Along that aged venerable face,
The deeds that lurk beneath, and stain him with disgrace.
It is not that yon hoary lengthening beard
III suits the passions which belong to youth;
Love conquers age—so Hafiz hath averr’d,
So sings the Teian, and he sings in sooth-
But crimes that scorn the tender voice of ruth,
Beseeming all men ill, but most the man
have mark'd him with a tiger's tooth ; Blood follows blood, and, through their mortal span, In bloodier acts conclude those who with blood began,
'Mid many things most new to ear and eye
The pilgrim rested here his weary feet,
And gazed around on Moslem luxury,
Till quickly wearied with that spacious seat
Of wealth and wantonness, the choice retreat
Of sated grandeur from the city's noise :
And were it humbler it in sooth were sweet;
But peace abhorreth artificial joys,
And pleasure, leagued with pomp, the zest of both destroys.
Fierce are Albania's children, yet they lack
Not virtues, were those virtues more mature.
Where is the foe that ever saw their back?
Who can so well the toil of war endure?
Their native fastnesses not more secure
Than they in doubtful time of troublous need:
Their wrath how deadly! but their friendship sure.
When gratitude or valour bids them bleed,
Unshaken rushing on where'er their chief may
Childe Harold saw them in their chieftain's tower
Thronging to war in splendour and success;
And after view'd them, when, within their power,
Himself awhile the victim of distress;
That saddening hour when bad men hotlier press :
But these did shelter him beneath their roof,
When less barbarians would have cheer'd him less,
And fellow-countrymen have stood aloof—2
In aught that tries the heart how few withstand the proof!
It chanced that adverse winds once drove his bark
Full on the coast of Suli's shaggy shore,
When all around was desolate and dark;
To land was perilous, to sojourn more ;
Yet for a while the mariners forbore,
Dubious to trust where treachery might lurk :
At length they ventured forth, though doubting sore
That those who loathe alike the Frank and Turk
Might once again renew their ancient butcher-work,
Vain fear! the Suliotes stretch'd the welcome hand,
Led them o'er rocks and past the dangerous swamp,
Kinder than polish'd slaves though not so bland,
And piled the hearth, and wrung their garments damp,
And fill’d the bowl, and trimm'd the cheerful lamp,
And spread their fare; though homely, all they had :
Such conduct bears philanthropy's rare stamp-
To rest the weary and to soothe the sad,
Doth lesson happier men, and shames at least the bąd,
It came to pass, that when he did address
Himself to quit at length this mountain-land,
Combined marauders half-way barr'd
And wasted far and near with glaive and brand ;
And therefore did he take a trusty band
To traverse Acarnania's forest wide,
In war well season'd, and with labours tann'd,
Till he did greet white Achelous' tide,
And from his further bank tolia's wolds espied.
Where lone Utraikey forms its circling cove,
And weary waves retire to gleam at rest,
How brown the foliage of the green
's grove, Nodding at midnight o'er the calm bay's breast, As winds come lightly whispering from the west ! Kissing, not ruffling, the blue deep's serene.“ Here Harold was received a welcome guest,
Nor did he pass unmoved the gentle scene, For many a joy could he from night's soft presence glean.
On the smooth shore the night-fires brightly blazed,
The feast was done, the red wine circling fast,
And he that unawares had there ygazed
With gaping wonderment had stared aghast ;
For ere night's midmost, stillest hour was past,
The native revels of the troop began :
Each Palikar 29 his sabre from him cast,
And bounding hand in hand, man link'd to man, Yelling their uncouth dirge, long danced the kirtled clan.