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Again the Ægean, heard no more afar,
Lulls his chated breast from elemental war;
Again his waves in milder tints unfold
Their long array of sapphire and of gold,
Mixed with the shades of many a distant isle,
That frown—where gentler ocean seems to smile.

THE PRESENT Aspect of

Greece.

(3)

LORD BYRON.

He who hath bent him o'er the dead,
Ere the first day of death is fled,
The first dark day of nothingness,
The last of danger and distress,
(Before Decay's effacing fingers,
Have swept the lines where beauty lingers),
And marked the mild angelic air,
The rapture of repose that's there,
The fixed yet tender traits that streak
The languor of the placid cheek,
And—but for that sad shrouded eye,

That fires not, wins not, weeps not now,

And but for that chill, changeless brow,
Where cold Obstruction's apathy
Appals the gazing mourner's heart,
As if to him it could impart
The doom he dreads, yet dwells upon;
Yes, but for these and these alone,
Some moments, ay, one treacherous hour,
He still might doubt the tyrant's power;
So fair, so calm, so softly sealed,
The first, last look by death revealed !

Such is the aspect of this shore;
'Tis Greece, but living Greece no more !
So coldly sweet, so deadly fair,
We start, for soul is wanting there.
Hers is the loveliness in death,
That parts not quite with parting breath;
But beauty with that fearful bloom,
That hue which haunts it to the tomb,
Expression's last receding ray,
A gilded halo hovering round decay,
The farewell beam of Feeling past away.

Clime of the unforgotten brave !
Whose land from plain to mountain-cave
Was Freedom's home, or Glory's grave!
Shrine of the mighty ! can it be
That this is all remains of thee?
Approach, thou craven crouching slave;

Say, is not this Thermopylæ ?
These waters blue that round you lave,

Oh servile offspring of the free-
Pronounce what sea, what shore is this?
The gulf, the rock of Salamis !
These scenes, their story not unknown,
Arise, and make again your own;
Snatch from the ashes of your sires
The embers of their former fires ;
And he who in the strife expires
Will add to theirs a name of fear
That Tyranny shall quake to hear,
And leave his sons a hope, a fame,
They too will rather die than shame;
For Freedom's battle once begun,
Bequeathed by bleeding Sire to Son,
Though baffled oft is ever won.
Bear witness, Greece, thy living page,
Attest it many a deathless age !

While kings, in dusty darkness hid,
Have left a nameless pyramid,
Thy heroes, though the general doom
Hath swept the column from their tomb,
A mightier monument command,
The mountains of their native land !
There points thy muse to stranger's eye
The graves of those that cannot die !
'Twere long to tell, and sad to trace,
Each step from splendour to disgrace;
Enough-no foreign foe could quell
Thy soul, till from itself it fell;
Yes! Self-abasement paved the way
To villain-bonds and despot sway.
What can he tell who treads thy shore?

No legend of thine olden time,
No theme on which the muse might soar,
High as thine own in days of yore,

When man was worthy of thy clime;
The hearts within thy valleys bred,
The fiery souls that might have led

Thy sons to deeds sublime,
Now crawl from cradle to the grave,
Slaves-nay, the bondsmen of a slave,

And callous, save to crime ;
Stained with each evil that pollutes
Mankind, where least above the brutes ;
Without even savage virtue blest,
Without one free or valiant breast;
Still to the neighbouring ports they waft
Proverbial wiles and ancient craft;
In this the subtle Greek is found,
For this, and this alone, renowned.

LADY CLARA YERE de Yere.

ALFRED TENNYSON. LADY Clara Vere de Vere,

Of me you shall not win renown: You thought to break a country heart

For pastime, ere you went to town. At me you smiled, but unbeguiled

I saw the snare, and I retired : The daughter of a hundred Earls,

You are not one to be desired.

Lady Clara Vere de Vere,

I know you proud to bear your name, Your pride is yet no mate for mine,

Too proud to care from whence I came. Nor would I break for your sweet sake

A heart that doats on truer charms. A simple maiden in her flower

Is worth a hundred coats-of-arms. Lady Clara Vere de Vere,

Some meeker pupil you must find, For were you queen of all that is,

I could not stoop to such a mind. You sought to prove how I could love,

And my disdain is my reply. The lion on your old stone gates

Is not more cold to you than I.

Lady Clara Vere de Vere,

You put strange memories in my head. Not thrice your branching limes have blown

Since I beheld young Laurence dead.

Oh! your sweet eyes, your

low replies : A great enchantress you may be ; But there was that across his throat Which

you

had hardly cared to see.

Lady Clara Vere de Vere,

When thus he met his mother's view, She had the passions of her kind,

She spake some certain truths of you. Indeed, I heard one bitter word

That scarce is fit for you to hear; Her manners had not that repose

Which stamps the caste of Vere de Vere.

Lady Clara Vere de Vere,

There stands a spectre in your hall: The guilt of blood is at your

door : You changed a wholesome heart to gall

. You held your course without remorse,

To make him trust his modest worth, And, last, you fixed a vacant stare,

And slew him with your noble birth.

Trust me, Clara Vere de Vere,
From
yon

blue heavens above us bent The gardener Adam, and his wife

Smile at the claims of long descent. Howe'er it be, it seems to me,

'Tis only noble to be good. Kind hearts are more than coronets,

And simple faith than Norman blood.

I know you, Clara Vere de Vere :

You pine among your halls and towers : The languid light of your proud eyes

Is wearied of the rolling hours.

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