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I talk not of mercy, I talk not of fear;
He neither must know who would serve the Vizier: Since the days of our prophet the Crescent ne'er saw A chief ever glorious like Ali Pashaw.
Dark Muchtar his son to the Danube is sped,
Let the yellow-hair'd* Giaours† view his horse-tail with dread;
When his Delhis § come dashing in blood o'er the banks, How few shall escape from the Muscovite ranks!
Selictar!|| unsheathe then our chief's scimitar:
Fair Greece! sad relic of departed worth! (33) Immortal, though no more; though fallen, great! Who now shall lead thy scatter'd children forth, And long accustom❜d bondage uncreate? Not such thy sons who whilome did await, The hopeless warriors of a willing doom, In bleak Thermopyla's sepulchral straitOh! who that gallant spirit shall resume, Leap from Eurotas' banks, and call thee from the tomb?
* Yellow is the epithet given to the Russians. Horse-tails are the insignia of a Pacha. Horsemen, answering to our forlorn hope.
Spirit of freedom! when on Phyle's brow (34) Thou sat'st with Thrasybulus and his train, Couldst thou forebode the dismal hour which now Dims the green beauties of thine Attic plain? Not thirty tyrants now enforce the chain, But every carle can lord it o'er thy land; Nor rise thy sons, but idly rail in vain, Trembling beneath the scourge of Turkish hand, From birth till death enslaved; in word,in deed,unmann'd.
In all save form alone, how changed! and who
Or tear their name defiled from Slavery's mournful page.
Hereditary bondsmen ! know ye not
Who would be free themselves must strike the blow? By their right arms the conquest must be wrought? Will Gaul or Muscovite redress ye? no! True, they may lay your proud despoilers low, But not for you will Freedom's altars flame. Shades of the Helots! triumph o'er your foe! Greece! change thy lords, thy state is still the same; Thy glorious day is o'er, but not thine years of shame.
The city won for Allah from the Giaour,
The Giaour from Othman's race again may wrest; And the Serai's impenetrable tower
Receive the fiery Frank, her former guest; (35) Or Wahab's rebel brood who dared divest The (36) prophet's tomb of all its pious spoil, May wind their path of blood along the West; But ne'er will freedom seek this fated soil, But slave succeed to slave through years of endless toil.
Yet mark their mirth— -ere lenten days begin,
And whose more rife with merriment than thine, Oh Stamboul! once the empress of their reign? Though turbans now pollute Sophia's shrine, And Greece her very altars eyes in vain: (Alas! her woes will still pervade my strain!) Gay were her minstrels once, for free her throng, All felt the common joy they now must feign, Nor oft I've seen such sight, nor heard such song, As woo'd the eye, and thrill'd the Bosphorus along.
Loud was the lightsome tumult of the shore, Oft Music changed, but never ceased her tone, And timely echo'd back the measured oar, And rippling waters made a pleasant moan: The Queen of tides on high consenting shone, And when a transient breeze swept o'er the wave, 'Twas, as if darting from her heavenly throne, A brighter glance her form reflected gave, Till sparkling billows seem'd to light the banks they lave.
Glanced many a light caique along the foam,
These hours, and only these, redeem Life's years of ill!
But, midst the throng in merry masquerade,
And long to change the robe of revel for the shroud!
This must he feel, the true-born son of Greece,
Ah! Greece! they love thee least who owe thee most; Their birth, their blood, and that sublime record Of hero sires, who shame thy now degenerate horde!
When riseth Lacedemon's hardihood, When Thebes Epaminondas rears again, When Athens' children are with hearts endued, When Grecian mothers shall give birth to men, Then may'st thou be restored; but not till then. A thousand years scarce serve to form a state; An hour may lay it in the dust: and when Can man its shatter'd splendour renovate, Recal its virtues back, and vanquish Time and Fate?
And yet how lovely in thine age of woe,
Land of lost gods and godlike men! art thou!
So perish all in turn, save well-recorded Worth ;