« 上一頁繼續 »
WRITTEN BENEATH A PICTURE.
Dear object of defeated care !
Though now of love and thee bereft,
To reconcile me with despair
· Thine image and my tears are left.
'Tis said with sorrow Time can cope,
But this I feel can ne'er be true : · For by the death-blow of my hope
My memory immortal grew.
CURSE OF MINERVA,
--- Pallas te hoc vulnere, Pallas Immolat, et pænam scelerato ex sanguine sumit.
Slow sinks, more lovely ere his race be run,
Along Morea's hills the setting sun :
Not, as in Northern climes, obscurely bright,
But one unclouded blaze of living light!
O'er the hush'd deep the yellow beam he throws,
Gilds the green wave, that trembles as it glows :
On old Ægina's rock, and Idra's isle,
The god of gladness sheds his parting smile ;
O’er his own regions ling‘ring loves to shine,
Though there his altars are no more divine.
Descending fast the mountain shadows kiss
Thy glorious gulpb, unconquer'd Salamis !
Their azure arches through the long expanse
More deeply purpled meet bis mellowing glance,
And tenderest tints, along their summits driven,
Mark his gay course and own the hues of heaven;
Till, darkly shaded from the land and deep,
Behind his Delphian cliff he sinks to sleep.
On such an eve, his palest beam he cast,
When-Athens ! here thy wisest look'd his last.
How watch'd thy better sons his farewell ray,
That closed their murder'd (1) sage's latest day!
(1) Socrates drank the hemlock a short time before sunset (the hour of execution), notwithstanding the entreaties of his disciples to wait till the sun went down.
Not yet-not yet—Sol pauses on the hill-
The precious hour of parting lingers still ;
But sad his light to agonizing eyes,
And dark the mountain's once delightful dyes :
Gloom o'er the lovely land he seem'd to pour,
The land where Phæbus never frown'd before,
But ere he sunk below Cithæron's head,
· The cup of woe was quaff’d— the spirit fled ;
The soul of him that scorn'd to fear or fly-
Who liv'd and died, as none can live or die!
But lo! from high Hymeitus to the plain,
The queen of night asserts her silent reign (1);
No murky vapour, herald of the storm,
Hides her fair face, nor girds her glowing form,
With cornice glimmering as the moonbeams play,
There the white column greets her grateful ray,
And bright around with quiv'ring beams beset,
Her emblem sparkles o’er the minaret :
The groves of olive scatter'd dark and wide
Where meek Cephisus sheds his scanty tide,
The cypress sadd’ning by the sacred mosque,
The gleaming turret of the gay Kiosk (2),
And, duu and sombre mid the holy calm,
Near Theseus' fane yon solitary palm,
All tinged with varied hues arrest the eye-
And dull were his that passed them heedless by.
(1) The twilight in Greece is much shorter than in our country; the days in winter are longer, but in summer of less duration.
(2) The Kiosk is a Turkish summer-house ; the Palm is without the present walls of Athens, not far from the temple of Theseus, between which and the tree the wall intervenes. Cephisus' stream is indeed scanly, and lissus has no stream at all,
Again the Ægean, heard no more afar,
Lulls his chaf’d breast from elemental war;
Again his waves in milder tints unfold
Their long array of sapphire and of gold,
Mix'd with the shades of many a distant isle,
That frown-where gentler Ocean seems to smile.
As thus within the walls of Pallas' fane
I mark'd the beauties of the land and main,
Alone and friendless, on the magic shore
Whose arts and arms but live in poet's lore;
Oft as the matchless dome I turn'd to scan,
Sacred to gods, but not secure from man,
The past return'd, the present seem'd to cease,
And glory knew no clime beyond her Greece.
Hours rolld along, and Dian's orb on high
Had gain'd the centre of her softest sky,
And yet unwearied still my footsteps trod.
O’er the vain shrine of many a vanish'd god;
But chiefly, Pallas! thine, when Hecate’s glare,
Check'd by the columns, fell more sadly fair
O’er the chill marble, where the startling tread
Thrills the lone heart like echoes from the dead.
Long had I mus’d, and measur'd every trace
The wreck of Greece recorded of her race,
When, lo! a giant form before me strode,
And Pallas hail'd me in her own abode.
Yes, 'twas Minerva's self, but, ah! how chang'd
Since o’er the Dardan field in arms she ranged !
Not such as erst, by her divine command,
Her form appeared from Phidias' plastic hand;
Gone were the terrors of her awful brow,
Her idle Ægis bore no Gorgon now;
Her helm was deep indented, and her lance
Seem'd weak and shaftless, e'en to mortal glance;
The olive branch, which still she deign’d to clasp,
Shrunk from her touch and wither’d in her grasp :
And, ah! though still the brightest of the sky,
Celestial tears bedimm’d her large blue eye ;
Round the rent casque her owlet circled slow,
And mourn'd his mistress with a sbriek of woe.
« Mortal! ('twas thus she spake) that blush of shame
« Proclaims thee Briton-once a noble name,
« First of the mighty, foremost of the free,
« Now honour’d less by all—and least by me:
« Chief of thy foes shall Pallas still be found ;-
« Seek'st thou the cause ? O mortal,- Jook around!
« Lo! here, despite of war and wasting fire,
« I saw successive tyrannies expire ;
a 'Scap'd from the ravage of the Turk and Goth,
« Thy country sends a spoiler worse than both!
« Survey this vacant violated fane;
« Recount the relics torn that yet remain;
« These Cecrops placed this Pericles adorned (1)
« That Hadrian rear'd when drooping Science mourn'd:
« What more I owe let gratitude attest,
« Know, Alaric and Elgin did the rest.
« That all may learn from whence the plund'rer came,
« Th'insulted wall sustains his hated name (2).
(1) This is spoken of the city in general, and not of the Acropolis in particular. The Temple of Jupiter Olympius, by some supposed the Pantheon , was finished by Hadrian : sixteen columns are standing, of the most beautiful marble and style of architecture.
(2) It is related by a late oriental traveller, that when the wholesale spoliator visited Athens, he caused his own naine,