Evenings In Greece

A poem by Thomas Moore

In thus connecting together a series of Songs by a thread of poetical narrative, my chief object has been to combine Recitation with Music, so as to enable a greater number of persons to join in the performance, by enlisting as readers those who may not feel willing or competent to take a part as singers.

The Island of Zea where the scene is laid was called by the ancients Ceos, and was the birthplace of Simonides, Bacchylides, and other eminent persons. An account of its present state may be found in the Travels of Dr. Clarke, who says, that "it appeared to him to be the best cultivated of any of the Grecian Isles."--Vol. vi. p. 174.

T.M.






EVENINGS IN GREECE.




FIRST EVENING.


"The sky is bright--the breeze is fair,
"And the mainsail flowing, full and free--
"Our farewell word is woman's prayer,
"And the hope before us--Liberty!
"Farewell, farewell.
"To Greece we give our shining blades,
"And our hearts to you, young Zean Maids!

"The moon is in the heavens above,
"And the wind is on the foaming sea--
"Thus shines the star of woman's love
"On the glorious strife of Liberty!
"Farewell, farewell.
"To Greece we give our shining blades,
"And our hearts to you, young Zean Maids!"

Thus sung they from the bark, that now
Turned to the sea its gallant prow,
Bearing within its hearts as brave,
As e'er sought Freedom o'er the wave;
And leaving on that islet's shore,
Where still the farewell beacons burn,
Friends that shall many a day look o'er
The long, dim sea for their return.

Virgin of Heaven! speed their way--
Oh, speed their way,--the chosen flower,
Of Zea's youth, the hope and stay
Of parents in their wintry hour,
The love of maidens and the pride
Of the young, happy, blushing bride,
Whose nuptial wreath has not yet died--
All, all are in that precious bark,
Which now, alas! no more is seen--
Tho' every eye still turns to mark
The moonlight spot where it had been.

Vainly you look, ye maidens, sires,
And mothers, your beloved are gone!--
Now may you quench those signal fires,
Whose light they long looked back upon
From their dark deck--watching the flame
As fast it faded from their view,
With thoughts, that, but for manly shame,
Had made them droop and weep like you.
Home to your chambers! home, and pray
For the bright coming of that day,
When, blest by heaven, the Cross shall sweep
The Crescent from the Aegean deep,
And your brave warriors, hastening back,
Will bring such glories in their track,
As shall, for many an age to come,
Shed light around their name and home.

There is a Fount on Zea's isle,
Round which, in soft luxuriance, smile
All the sweet flowers, of every kind,
On which the sun of Greece looks down,
Pleased as a lover on the crown
His mistress for her brow hath twined,
When he beholds each floweret there,
Himself had wisht her most to wear;
Here bloomed the laurel-rose,[1] whose wreath
Hangs radiant round the Cypriot shines,
And here those bramble-flowers, that breathe
Their odor into Zante's wines:--
The splendid woodbine that, as eve,
To grace their floral diadems,
The lovely maids of Patmos weave:--[2]
And that fair plant whose tangled stems
Shine like a Nereid's hair,[3] when spread,
Dishevelled, o'er her azure bed:--
All these bright children of the clime,
(Each at its own most genial time,
The summer, or the year's sweet prime,)
Like beautiful earth-stars, adorn
The Valley where that Fount is born;
While round, to grace its cradle green
Groups of Velani oaks are seen
Towering on every verdant height--
Tall, shadowy, in the evening light,
Like Genii set to watch the birth
Of some enchanted child of earth--
Fair oaks that over Zea's vales,
Stand with their leafy pride unfurled;
While Commerce from her thousand sails
Scatters their fruit throughout the world![4]

'Twas here--as soon as prayer and sleep
(Those truest friends to all who weep)
Had lightened every heart; and made
Even sorrow wear a softer shade--
'Twas here, in this secluded spot,
Amid whose breathings calm and sweet
Grief might be soothed if not forgot,
The Zean nymphs resolved to meet
Each evening now, by the same light
That saw their farewell tears that night:
And try if sound of lute and song,
If wandering mid the moonlight flowers
In various talk, could charm along
With lighter step, the lingering hours,
Till tidings of that Bark should come,
Or Victory waft their warriors home!

When first they met--the wonted smile
Of greeting having gleamed awhile--
'Twould touch even Moslem heart to see
The sadness that came suddenly
O'er their young brows, when they looked round
Upon that bright, enchanted ground;
And thought how many a time with those
Who now were gone to the rude wars
They there had met at evening's close,
And danced till morn outshone the stars!

But seldom long doth hang the eclipse
Of sorrow o'er such youthful breasts--
The breath from her own blushing lips,
That on the maiden's mirror rests,
Not swifter, lighter from the glass,
Than sadness from her brow doth pass.

Soon did they now, as round the Well
They sat, beneath the rising moon--
And some with voice of awe would tell
Of midnight fays and nymphs who dwell
In holy founts--while some would time
Their idle lutes that now had lain
For days without a single strain;--
And others, from the rest apart,
With laugh that told the lightened heart,
Sat whispering in each other's ear
Secrets that all in turn would hear;--
Soon did they find this thoughtless play
So swiftly steal their griefs away,
That many a nymph tho' pleased the while,
Reproached her own forgetful smile,
And sighed to think she could be gay.

Among these maidens there was one
Who to Leucadia[5] late had been--
Had stood beneath the evening sun
On its white towering cliffs and seen
The very spot where Sappho sung
Her swan-like music, ere she sprung
(Still holding, in that fearful leap,
By her loved lyre,) into the deep,
And dying quenched the fatal fire,
At once, of both her heart and lyre.

Mutely they listened all--and well
Did the young travelled maiden tell
Of the dread height to which that steep
Beetles above the eddying deep--[6]
Of the lone sea-birds, wheeling round
The dizzy edge with mournful sound--
And of those scented lilies found
Still blooming on that fearful place--
As if called up by Love to grace
The immortal spot o'er which the last
Bright footsteps of his martyr past!

While fresh to every listener's thought
These legends of Leucadia brought
All that of Sappho's hapless flame
Is kept alive, still watcht by Fame--
The maiden, tuning her soft lute,
While all the rest stood round her, mute,
Thus sketched the languishment of soul,
That o'er the tender Lesbian stole;
And in a voice whose thrilling tone
Fancy might deem the Lesbian's own,
One of those fervid fragments gave,
Which still,--like sparkles of Greek Fire,
Undying, even beneath the wave,--
Burn on thro' Time and ne'er expire.


SONG.


As o'er her loom the Lesbian Maid
In love-sick languor hung her head,
Unknowing where her fingers strayed,
She weeping turned away, and said,
"Oh, my sweet Mother--'tis in vain--
"I cannot weave, as once I wove--
"So wildered is my heart and brain
"With thinking of that youth I love!"

Again the web she tried to trace,
But tears fell o'er each tangled thread;
While looking in her mother's face,
Who watchful o'er her leaned, she said,
"Oh, my sweet Mother--'tis in vain--
"I cannot weave, as once I wove--
"So wildered is my heart and brain
"With thinking of that youth I love!"

* * * * *

A silence followed this sweet air,
As each in tender musing stood,
Thinking, with lips that moved in prayer,
Of Sappho and that fearful flood:
While some who ne'er till now had known
How much their hearts resembled hers,
Felt as they made her griefs their own,
That they too were Love's worshippers.

At length a murmur, all but mute,
So faint it was, came from the lute
Of a young melancholy maid,
Whose fingers, all uncertain played
From chord to chord, as if in chase
Of some lost melody, some strain
Of other times, whose faded trace
She sought among those chords again.
Slowly the half-forgotten theme
(Tho' born in feelings ne'er forgot)
Came to her memory--as a beam
Falls broken o'er some shaded spot;--
And while her lute's sad symphony
Filled up each sighing pause between;
And Love himself might weep to see
What ruin comes where he hath been--
As withered still the grass is found
Where fays have danced their merry round--
Thus simply to the listening throng
She breathed her melancholy song:--


SONG.


Weeping for thee, my love, thro' the long day,
Lonely and wearily life wears away.
Weeping for thee, my love, thro' the long night--
No rest in darkness, no joy in light!
Naught left but Memory whose dreary tread
Sounds thro' this ruined heart, where all lies dead--
Wakening the echoes of joy long fled!

* * * * *

Of many a stanza, this alone
Had 'scaped oblivion--like the one
Stray fragment of a wreck which thrown
With the lost vessel's name ashore
Tells who they were that live no more.
When thus the heart is in a vein
Of tender thought, the simplest strain
Can touch it with peculiar power--
As when the air is warm, the scent
Of the most wild and rustic flower
Can fill the whole rich element--
And in such moods the homeliest tone
That's linked with feelings, once our own--
With friends or joy gone by--will be
Worth choirs of loftiest harmony!

But some there were among the group
Of damsels there too light of heart
To let their spirits longer droop,
Even under music's melting art;
And one upspringing with a bound
From a low bank of flowers, looked round
With eyes that tho' so full of light
Had still a trembling tear within;
And, while her fingers in swift flight
Flew o'er a fairy mandolin,
Thus sung the song her lover late
Had sung to her--the eve before
That joyous night, when as of yore
All Zea met to celebrate
The feast of May on the sea-shore.


SONG.


When the Balaika[7]
Is heard o'er the sea,
I'll dance the Romaika
By moonlight with thee.
If waves then advancing
Should steal on our play,
Thy white feet in dancing
Shall chase them away.[8]
When the Balaika
Is heard o'er the sea,
Thou'lt dance the Romaika
My own love, with me.

Then at the closing
Of each merry lay,
How sweet 'tis, reposing
Beneath the night ray!
Or if declining
The moon leave the skies,
We'll talk by the shining
Of each other's eyes.

Oh then how featly
The dance we'll renew,
Treading so fleetly
Its light mazes thro':[9]
Till stars, looking o'er us
From heaven's high bowers,
Would change their bright chorus
For one dance of ours!
When the Balaika
Is heard o'er the sea,
Thou'lt dance the Romaika,
My own love, with me.

* * * * *

How changingly for ever veers
The heart of youth 'twixt smiles and tears!
Even as in April the light vane
Now points to sunshine, now to rain.
Instant this lively lay dispelled
The shadow from each blooming brow,
And Dancing, joyous Dancing, held
Full empire o'er each fancy now.


But say--what shall the measure be?
"Shall we the old Romaika tread,"
(Some eager asked) "as anciently
"'Twas by the maids of Delos led,
"When slow at first, then circling fast,
"As the gay spirits rose--at last,
"With hand in hand like links enlocked,
"Thro' the light air they seemed to flit
"In labyrinthine maze, that mocked
"The dazzled eye that followed it?"
Some called aloud "the Fountain Dance!"--
While one young, dark-eyed Amazon,
Whose step was air-like and whose glance
Flashed, like a sabre in the sun,
Sportively said, "Shame on these soft
"And languid strains we hear so oft.
"Daughters of Freedom! have not we
"Learned from our lovers and our sires
"The Dance of Greece, while Greece was free--
"That Dance, where neither flutes nor lyres,
"But sword and shield clash on the ear
"A music tyrants quake to hear?
"Heroines of Zea, arm with me
"And dance the dance of Victory!"

Thus saying, she, with playful grace,
Loosed the wide hat, that o'er her face
(From Anatolia came the maid)
Hung shadowing each sunny charm;
And with a fair young armorer's aid,
Fixing it on her rounded arm,
A mimic shield with pride displayed;
Then, springing towards a grove that spread
Its canopy of foliage near,
Plucked off a lance-like twig, and said,
"To arms, to arms!" while o'er her head
She waved the light branch, as a spear.

Promptly the laughing maidens all
Obeyed their Chief's heroic call;--
Round the shield-arm of each was tied
Hat, turban, shawl, as chance might be;
The grove, their verdant armory,
Falchion and lance[10] alike supplied;
And as their glossy locks, let free,
Fell down their shoulders carelessly,
You might have dreamed you saw a throng
Of youthful Thyads, by the beam
Of a May moon, bounding along
Peneus' silver-eddied stream!

And now they stept, with measured tread,
Martially o'er the shining field;
Now to the mimic combat led
(A heroine at each squadron's head),
Struck lance to lance and sword to shield:
While still, thro' every varying feat,
Their voices heard in contrast sweet
With some of deep but softened sound
From lips of aged sires around,
Who smiling watched their children's play--
Thus sung the ancient Pyrrhic lay:--


SONG.


"Raise the buckler--poise the lance--
"Now here--now there--retreat--advance!"

Such were the sounds to which the warrior boy
Danced in those happy days when Greece was free;
When Sparta's youth, even in the hour of joy,
Thus trained their steps to war and victory.
"Raise the buckler--poise the lance--
"Now here--now there--retreat--advance!"
Such was the Spartan warriors' dance.
"Grasp the falchion--gird the shield--
"Attack--defend--do all but yield."

Thus did thy sons, oh Greece, one glorious night,
Dance by a moon like this, till o'er the sea
That morning dawned by whose immortal light
They nobly died for thee and liberty![11]
"Raise the buckler--poise the lance--
"Now here--now there--retreat--advance!"
Such was the Spartan heroes' dance.

* * * * *

Scarce had they closed this martial lay
When, flinging their light spears away,
The combatants, in broken ranks.
All breathless from the war-field fly;
And down upon the velvet banks
And flowery slopes exhausted lie,
Like rosy huntresses of Thrace,
Resting at sunset from the chase.

"Fond girls!" an aged Zean said--
One who himself had fought and bled,
And now with feelings half delight,
Half sadness, watched their mimic fight--
"Fond maids! who thus with War can jest--
"Like Love in Mar's helmet drest,
"When, in his childish innocence,
"Pleased with the shade that helmet flings,
"He thinks not of the blood that thence
"Is dropping o'er his snowy wings.
"Ay--true it is, young patriot maids,
"If Honor's arm still won the fray,
"If luck but shone on righteous blades,
"War were a game for gods to play!
"But, no, alas!--hear one, who well
"Hath tracked the fortunes of the brave--
"Hear me, in mournful ditty, tell
"What glory waits the patriot's grave."


SONG.


As by the shore, at break of day,
A vanquished chief expiring lay.
Upon the sands, with broken sword,
He traced his farewell to the Free;
And, there, the last unfinished word
He dying wrote was "Liberty!"

At night a Sea-bird shrieked the knell
Of him who thus for Freedom fell;
The words he wrote, ere evening came,
Were covered by the sounding sea;--
So pass away the cause and name
Of him who dies for Liberty!

* * * * *

That tribute of subdued applause
A charmed but timid audience pays,
That murmur which a minstrel draws
From hearts that feel but fear to praise,
Followed this song, and left a pause
Of silence after it, that hung
Like a fixt spell on every tongue.

At length a low and tremulous sound
Was heard from midst a group that round
A bashful maiden stood to hide
Her blushes while the lute she tried--
Like roses gathering round to veil
The song of some young nightingale,
Whose trembling notes steal out between
The clustered leaves, herself unseen.
And while that voice in tones that more
Thro' feeling than thro' weakness erred,
Came with a stronger sweetness o'er
The attentive ear, this strain was heard:--


SONG.


I saw from yonder silent cave,[12]
Two Fountains running side by side;
The one was Memory's limpid wave,
The other cold Oblivion's tide.
"Oh Love!" said I, in thoughtless mood,
As deep I drank of Lethe's stream,
"Be all my sorrows in this flood
"Forgotten like a vanisht dream!"

But who could bear that gloomy blank
Where joy was lost as well as pain?
Quickly of Memory's fount I drank.
And brought the past all back again;
And said, "Oh Love! whate'er my lot,
"Still let this soul to thee be true--
"Rather than have one bliss forgot,
"Be all my pains remembered too!"

* * * * *

The group that stood around to shade
The blushes of that bashful maid,
Had by degrees as came the lay
More strongly forth retired away,
Like a fair shell whose valves divide
To show the fairer pearl inside:
For such she was--a creature, bright
And delicate as those day-flowers,
Which while they last make up in light
And sweetness what they want in hours.

So rich upon the ear had grown
Her voice's melody--its tone
Gathering new courage as it found
An echo in each bosom round--
That, ere the nymph with downcast eye
Still on the chords, her lute laid by,
"Another song," all lips exclaimed,
And each some matchless favorite named;
while blushing as her fingers ran
O'er the sweet chords she thus began:--


SONG.


Oh, Memory, how coldly
Thou paintest joy gone by:
Like rainbows, thy pictures
But mournfully shine and die.
Or if some tints thou keepest
That former days recall,
As o'er each line thou weepest,
Thy tears efface them all.

But, Memory, too truly
Thou paintest grief that's past;
Joy's colors are fleeting,
But those of Sorrow last.
And, while thou bringst before us
Dark pictures of past ill,
Life's evening closing o'er us
But makes them darker still.

* * * * *

So went the moonlight hours along,
In this sweet glade; and so with song
And witching sounds--not such as they,
The cymbalists of Ossa, played,
To chase the moon's eclipse away,[13]
But soft and holy--did each maid
Lighten her heart's eclipse awhile,
And win back Sorrow to a smile.

Not far from this secluded place,
On the sea-shore a ruin stood;--
A relic of the extinguisht race,
Who once o'er that foamy flood,
When fair Ioulis[14] by the light
Of golden sunset on the sight
Of mariners who sailed that sea,
Rose like a city of chrysolite
Called from the wave by witchery.
This ruin--now by barbarous hands
Debased into a motley shed,
Where the once splendid column stands
Inverted on its leafy head--
Formed, as they tell in times of old
The dwelling of that bard whose lay
Could melt to tears the stern and cold,
And sadden mid their mirth the gay--
Simonides,[15] whose fame thro' years
And ages past still bright appears--
Like Hesperus, a star of tears!

'Twas hither now--to catch a view
Of the white waters as they played
Silently in the light--a few
Of the more restless damsels strayed;
And some would linger mid the scent
Of hanging foliage that perfumed
The ruined walls; while others went
Culling whatever floweret bloomed

In the lone leafy space between,
Where gilded chambers once had been;
Or, turning sadly to the sea,
Sent o'er the wave a sigh unblest
To some brave champion of the Free--
Thinking, alas, how cold might be
At that still hour his place of rest!

Meanwhile there came a sound of song
From the dark ruins--a faint strain,
As if some echo that among
Those minstrel halls had slumbered long
Were murmuring into life again.

But, no--the nymphs knew well the tone--
A maiden of their train, who loved
Like the night-bird to sing alone.
Had deep into those ruins roved,
And there, all other thoughts forgot,
Was warbling o'er, in lone delight,
A lay that, on that very spot,
Her lover sung one moonlight night:--


SONG.


Ah! where are they, who heard, in former hours,
The voice of Song in these neglected bowers?
They are gone--all gone!

The youth who told his pain in such sweet tone
That all who heard him wisht his pain their own--
He is gone--he is gone!

And she who while he sung sat listening by
And thought to strains like these 'twere sweet to die--
She is gone--she too is gone!

'Tis thus in future hours some bard will say
Of her who hears and him who sings this lay--
They are gone--they both are gone!

* * * * *

The moon was now, from heaven's steep,
Bending to dip her silvery urn
Into the bright and silent deep--
And the young nymphs, on their return
From those romantic ruins, found
Their other playmates ranged around
The sacred Spring, prepared to tune
Their parting hymn,[16] ere sunk the moon,
To that fair Fountain by whose stream
Their hearts had formed so many a dream.

Who has not read the tales that tell
Of old Eleusis' sacred Well,
Or heard what legend-songs recount
Of Syra and its holy Fount,[17]
Gushing at once from the hard rock
Into the laps of living flowers--
Where village maidens loved to flock,
On summer-nights and like the Hours
Linked in harmonious dance and song,
Charmed the unconscious night along;
While holy pilgrims on their way
To Delos' isle stood looking on,
Enchanted with a scene so gay,
Nor sought their boats till morning shone.

Such was the scene this lovely glade
And its fair inmates now displayed.
As round the Fount in linked ring
They went in cadence slow and light
And thus to that enchanted Spring
Warbled their Farewell for the night:--


SONG.


Here, while the moonlight dim
Falls on that mossy brim,
Sing we our Fountain Hymn,
Maidens of Zea!
Nothing but Music's strain,
When Lovers part in pain,
Soothes till they meet again,
Oh, Maids of Zea!

Bright Fount so clear and cold
Round which the nymphs of old
Stood with their locks of gold,
Fountain of Zea!
Not even Castaly,
Famed tho' its streamlet be,
Murmurs or shines like thee,
Oh, Fount of Zea!

Thou, while our hymn we sing,
Thy silver voice shalt bring,
Answering, answering,
Sweet Fount of Zea!
For of all rills that run
Sparkling by moon or sun
Thou art the fairest one,
Bright Fount of Zea!

Now, by those stars that glance
Over heaven's still expanse
Weave we our mirthful dance,
Daughters of Zea!
Such as in former days
Danced they by Dian's rays
Where the Eurotas strays,
Oh, Maids of Zea!

But when to merry feet
Hearts with no echo beat,
Say, can the dance be sweet?
Maidens of Zea!
No, naught but Music's strain,
When lovers part in pain,
Soothes till they meet again,
Oh, Maids of Zea!




SECOND EVENING.


SONG.


When evening shades are falling
O'er Ocean's sunny sleep,
To pilgrims' hearts recalling
Their home beyond the deep;
When rest o'er all descending
The shores with gladness smile,
And lutes their echoes blending
Are heard from isle to isle,
Then, Mary, Star of the Sea,
We pray, we pray, to thee!

The noon-day tempest over,
Now Ocean toils no more,
And wings of halcyons hover
Where all was strife before.
Oh thus may life in closing
Its short tempestuous day
Beneath heaven's smile reposing
Shine all its storms away:
Thus, Mary, Star of the Sea,
We pray, we pray, to thee!

On Helle's sea the light grew dim
As the last sounds of that sweet hymn
Floated along its azure tide--
Floated in light as if the lay
Had mixt with sunset's fading ray
And light and song together died.
So soft thro' evening's air had breathed
That choir of youthful voices wreathed
In many-linked harmony,
That boats then hurrying o'er the sea
Paused when they reached this fairy shore,
And lingered till the strain was o'er.

Of those young maids who've met to fleet
In song and dance this evening's hours,
Far happier now the bosoms beat
Than when they last adorned these bowers;
For tidings of glad sound had come,
At break of day from the far isles--
Tidings like breath of life to some--
That Zea's sons would soon wing home,
Crowded with the light of Victory's smiles
To meet that brightest of all meeds
That wait on high, heroic deeds.
When gentle eyes that scarce for tears
Could trace the warrior's parting track,
Shall like a misty morn that clears
When the long-absent sun appears
Shine out all bliss to hail him back.

How fickle still the youthful breast!--
More fond of change than a young moon,
No joy so new was e'er possest
But Youth would leave for newer soon.
These Zean nymphs tho' bright the spot
Where first they held their evening play
As ever fell to fairy's lot
To wanton o'er by midnight's ray,
Had now exchanged that sheltered scene
For a wide glade beside the sea--
A lawn whose soft expanse of green
Turned to the west sun smilingly
As tho' in conscious beauty bright
It joyed to give him light for light.

And ne'er did evening more serene
Look down from heaven on lovelier scene.
Calm lay the flood around while fleet
O'er the blue shining element
Light barks as if with fairy feet
That stirred not the husht waters went;
Some, that ere rosy eve fell o'er
The blushing wave, with mainsail free,
Had put forth from the Attic shore,
Or the near Isle of Ebony;--
Some, Hydriot barks that deep in caves
Beneath Colonna's pillared cliffs,
Had all day lurked and o'er the waves
Now shot their long and dart-like skiffs.
Woe to the craft however fleet
These sea-hawks in their course shall meet,
Laden with juice of Lesbian vines,
Or rich from Naxos' emery mines;
For not more sure, when owlets flee
O'er the dark crags of Pendelee,
Doth the night-falcon mark his prey,
Or pounce on it more fleet than they.

And what a moon now lights the glade
Where these young island nymphs are met!
Full-orbed yet pure as if no shade
Had touched its virgin lustre yet;
And freshly bright as if just made
By Love's own hands of new-born light
Stolen from his mother's star tonight.

On a bold rock that o'er the flood
Jutted from that soft glade there stood
A Chapel, fronting towards the sea,--
Built in some by-gone century,--
Where nightly as the seaman's mark
When waves rose high or clouds were dark,
A lamp bequeathed by some kind Saint
Shed o'er the wave its glimmer faint.
Waking in way-worn men a sigh
And prayer to heaven as they went by.
'Twas there, around that rock-built shrine
A group of maidens and their sires
Had stood to watch the day's decline,
And as the light fell o'er their lyres
Sung to the Queen-Star of the Sea
That soft and holy melody.

But lighter thoughts and lighter song
Now woo the coming hours along.
For mark, where smooth the herbage lies,
Yon gay pavilion curtained deep
With silken folds thro' which bright eyes
From time to time are seen to peep;
While twinkling lights that to and fro
Beneath those veils like meteors go,
Tell of some spells at work and keep
Young fancies chained in mute suspense,
Watching what next may shine from thence,
Nor long the pause ere hands unseen
That mystic curtain backward drew,
And all that late but shone between
In half-caught gleams now burst to view.

A picture 'twas of the early days
Of glorious Greece ere yet those rays
Of rich, immortal Mind were hers
That made mankind her worshippers;
While yet unsung her landscapes shone
With glory lent by heaven alone;
Nor temples crowned her nameless hills,
Nor Muse immortalized her rills;
Nor aught but the mute poesy
Of sun and stars and shining sea
Illumed that land of bards to be.
While prescient of the gifted race
That yet would realm so blest adorn,
Nature took pains to deck the place
Where glorious Art was to be born.

Such was the scene that mimic stage
Of Athens and her hills portrayed
Athens in her first, youthful age,
Ere yet the simple violet braid,[18]
Which then adorned her had shone down
The glory of earth's loftiest crown.
While yet undreamed, her seeds of Art
Lay sleeping in the marble mine--
Sleeping till Genius bade them start
To all but life in shapes divine;
Till deified the quarry shone
And all Olympus stood in stone!

There in the foreground of that scene,
On a soft bank of living green
Sate a young nymph with her lap full
Of the newly gathered flowers, o'er which
She graceful leaned intent to cull
All that was there of hue most rich,
To form a wreath such as the eye
Of her young lover who stood by,
With pallet mingled fresh might choose
To fix by Painting's rainbow hues.

The wreath was formed; the maiden raised
Her speaking eyes to his, while he--
Oh not upon the flowers now gazed,
But on that bright look's witchery.
While, quick as if but then the thought
Like light had reached his soul, he caught
His pencil up and warm and true
As life itself that love-look drew:
And, as his raptured task went on,
And forth each kindling feature shone,
Sweet voices thro' the moonlight air
From lips as moonlight fresh and pure
Thus hailed the bright dream passing there,
And sung the Birth of Portraiture.[19]


SONG.


As once a Grecian maiden wove
Her garland mid the summer bowers,
There stood a youth with eyes of love
To watch her while she wreathed the flowers.
The youth was skilled in Painting's art,
But ne'er had studied woman's brow,
Nor knew what magic hues the heart
Can shed o'er Nature's charms till now.


CHORUS.


Blest be Love to whom we owe
All that's fair and bright below.

His hand had pictured many a rose
And sketched the rays that light the brook;
But what were these or what were those
To woman's blush, to woman's look?
"Oh, if such magic power there be,
"This, this," he cried, "is all my prayer,
"To paint that living light I see
"And fix the soul that sparkles there."

His prayer as soon as breathed was heard;
His pallet touched by Love grew warm,
And Painting saw her hues transferred
From lifeless flowers to woman's form.
Still as from tint to tint he stole,
The fair design shone out the more,
And there was now a life, a soul,
Where only colors glowed before.

Then first carnations learned to speak
And lilies into life were brought;
While mantling on the maiden's cheek
Young roses kindled into thought.
Then hyacinths their darkest dyes
Upon the locks of Beauty threw;
And violets transformed to eyes
Inshrined a soul within their blue.


CHORUS.


Blest be Love to whom we owe,
All that's fair and bright below.
Song was cold and Painting dim
Till Song and Painting learned from him.

* * * * *

Soon as the scene had closed, a cheer
Of gentle voices old and young
Rose from the groups that stood to hear
This tale of yore so aptly sung;
And while some nymphs in haste to tell
The workers of that fairy spell
How crowned with praise their task had been
Stole in behind the curtained scene,
The rest in happy converse strayed--
Talking that ancient love-tale o'er--
Some to the groves that skirt the glade,
Some to the chapel by the shore,
To look what lights were on the sea.
And think of the absent silently.

But soon that summons known so well
Thro' bower and hall in Eastern lands,
Whose sound more sure than gong or bell
Lovers and slaves alike commands,--
The clapping of young female hands,
Calls back the groups from rock and field
To see some new-formed scene revealed;--
And fleet and eager down the slopes
Of the green glades like antelopes
When in their thirst they hear the sound
Of distant rills, the light nymphs bound.

Far different now the scene--a waste
Of Libyan sands, by moonlight's ray;
An ancient well, whereon were traced
The warning words, for such as stray
Unarmed there, "Drink and away!"[20]
While near it from the night-ray screened,
And like his bells in husht repose,
A camel slept--young as if weaned
When last the star Canopus rose.[21]

Such was the back-ground's silent scene;--
While nearer lay fast slumbering too
In a rude tent with brow serene
A youth whose cheeks of wayworn hue
And pilgrim-bonnet told the tale
That he had been to Mecca's Vale:
Haply in pleasant dreams, even now
Thinking the long wished hour is come
When o'er the well-known porch at home
His hand shall hang the aloe bough--
Trophy of his accomplished vow.[22]

But brief his dream--for now the call
Of the camp-chiefs from rear to van,
"Bind on your burdens,"[23] wakes up all
The widely slumbering caravan;
And thus meanwhile to greet the ear
Of the young pilgrim as he wakes,
The song of one who lingering near
Had watched his slumber, cheerly breaks.


SONG.


Up and march! the timbrel's sound
Wakes the slumbering camp around;
Fleet thy hour of rest hath gone,
Armed sleeper, up, and on!
Long and weary is our way
O'er the burning sands to-day;
But to pilgrim's homeward feet
Even the desert's path is sweet.

When we lie at dead of night,
Looking up to heaven's light,
Hearing but the watchman’s tone
Faintly chanting "God is one,"[24]
Oh what thoughts then o'er us come
Of our distant village home,
Where that chant when evening sets
Sounds from all the minarets.

Cheer thee!--soon shall signal lights,
Kindling o'er the Red Sea heights,
Kindling quick from man to man,
Hail our coming caravan:[25]
Think what bliss that hour will be!
Looks of home again to see,
And our names again to hear
Murmured out by voices dear.

* * * * *

So past the desert dream away,
Fleeting as his who heard this lay,
Nor long the pause between, nor moved
The spell-bound audience from that spot;
While still as usual Fancy roved
On to the joy that yet was not;--
Fancy who hath no present home,
But builds her bower in scenes to come,
Walking for ever in a light
That flows from regions out of sight.

But see by gradual dawn descried
A mountain realm-rugged as e'er
Upraised to heaven its summits bare,
Or told to earth with frown of pride
That Freedom's falcon nest was there,
Too high for hand of lord or king
To hood her brow, or chain her wing.

'Tis Maina's land--her ancient hills,
The abode of nymphs--her countless rills
And torrents in their downward dash
Shining like silver thro' the shade
Of the sea-pine and flowering ash--
All with a truth so fresh portrayed
As wants but touch of life to be
A world of warm reality.

And now light bounding forth a band
Of mountaineers, all smiles, advance--
Nymphs with their lovers hand in hand
Linked in the Ariadne dance;
And while, apart from that gay throng,
A minstrel youth in varied song
Tells of the loves, the joys, the ills
Of these wild children of the hills,
The rest by turns or fierce or gay
As war or sport inspires the lay
Follow each change that wakes the strings
And act what thus the lyrist sings:--


SONG.


No life is like the mountaineer's,
His home is near the sky,
Where throned above this world he hears
Its strife at distance die,
Or should the sound of hostile drum
Proclaim below, "We come--we come,"
Each crag that towers in air
Gives answer, "Come who dare!"
While like bees from dell and dingle,
Swift the swarming warriors mingle,
And their cry "Hurra!" will be,
"Hurra, to victory!"

Then when battle's hour is over
See the happy mountain lover
With the nymph who'll soon be bride
Seated blushing by his side,--
Every shadow of his lot
In her sunny smile forgot.
Oh, no life is like the mountaineer's.
His home is near the sky,
Where throned above this world he hears
Its strife at distance die.
Nor only thus thro' summer suns
His blithe existence cheerly runs--
Even winter bleak and dim
Brings joyous hours to him;
When his rifle behind him flinging
He watches the roe-buck springing,
And away, o'er the hills away
Re-echoes his glad "hurra."

Then how blest when night is closing,
By the kindled hearth reposing,
To his rebeck's drowsy song,
He beguiles the hour along;
Or provoked by merry glances
To a brisker movement dances,
Till, weary at last, in slumber's chain,
He dreams o'er chase and dance again,
Dreams, dreams them o'er again.

* * * * *

As slow that minstrel at the close
Sunk while he sung to feigned repose,
Aptly did they whose mimic art
Followed the changes of his lay
Portray the lull, the nod, the start,
Thro' which as faintly died away
His lute and voice, the minstrel past,
Till voice and lute lay husht at last.

But now far other song came o'er
Their startled ears--song that at first
As solemnly the night-wind bore
Across the wave its mournful burst,
Seemed to the fancy like a dirge
Of some lone Spirit of the Sea,
Singing o'er Helle's ancient surge
The requiem of her Brave and Free.

Sudden amid their pastime pause
The wondering nymphs; and as the sound
Of that strange music nearer draws,
With mute inquiring eye look round,
Asking each other what can be
The source of this sad minstrelsy?
Nor longer can they doubt, the song
Comes from some island-bark which now
Courses the bright waves swift along
And soon perhaps beneath the brow
Of the Saint's Bock will shoot its prow.

Instantly all with hearts that sighed
'Twixt fear's and fancy's influence,
Flew to the rock and saw from thence
A red-sailed pinnace towards them glide,
Whose shadow as it swept the spray
Scattered the moonlight's smiles away.
Soon as the mariners saw that throng
From the cliff gazing, young and old,
Sudden they slacked their sail and song,
And while their pinnace idly rolled
On the light surge, these tidings told:--

'Twas from an isle of mournful name,
From Missolonghi, last they came--
Sad Missolonghi sorrowing yet
O'er him, the noblest Star of Fame
That e'er in life's young glory set!--
And now were on their mournful way,
Wafting the news thro' Helle's isles;--
News that would cloud even Freedom's ray
And sadden Victory mid her smiles.

Their tale thus told and heard with pain,
Out spread the galliot's wings again;
And as she sped her swift career
Again that Hymn rose on the ear--
"Thou art not dead--thou art not dead!"
As oft 'twas sung in ages flown
Of him, the Athenian, who to shed
A tyrant's blood poured out his own.


SONG.


Thou art not dead--thou art not dead!
No, dearest Harmodius, no.
Thy soul to realms above us fled
Tho' like a star it dwells o'er head
Still lights this world below.
Thou art not dead--thou art not dead!
No, dearest Harmodius, no.

Thro' isles of light where heroes tread
And flowers ethereal blow,
Thy god-like Spirit now is led,
Thy lip with life ambrosial fed
Forgets all taste of woe.
Thou art not dead--thou art not dead!
No, dearest Harmodius, no.

The myrtle round that falchion spread
Which struck the immortal blow,
Throughout all time with leaves unshed--
The patriot's hope, the tyrant's dread--
Round Freedom's shrine shall grow.
Thou art not dead--thou art not dead!
No, dearest Harmodius, no.

Where hearts like thine have broke or bled,
Tho' quenched the vital glow,
Their memory lights a flame instead,
Which even from out the narrow bed
Of death its beams shall throw.
Thou art not dead--thou art not dead!
No, dearest Harmodius, no.

Thy name, by myriads sung and said,
From age to age shall go,
Long as the oak and ivy wed,
As bees shall haunt Hymettus' head,
Or Helle's waters flow.
Thou art not dead--thou art not dead!
No, dearest Harmodius, no.

* * * * *

'Mong those who lingered listening there,--
Listening with ear and eye as long
As breath of night could towards them bear
A murmur of that mournful song,--
A few there were in whom the lay
Had called up feelings far too sad
To pass with the brief strain away,
Or turn at once to theme more glad;
And who in mood untuned to meet
The light laugh of the happie train,
Wandered to seek some moonlight seat
Where they might rest, in converse sweet,
Till vanisht smiles should come again.

And seldom e'er hath noon of night
To sadness lent more soothing light.
On one side in the dark blue sky
Lonely and radiant was the eye
Of Jove himself, while on the other
'Mong tiny stars that round her gleamed,
The young moon like the Roman mother
Among her living "jewels" beamed.

Touched by the lovely scenes around,
A pensive maid--one who, tho' young,
Had known what 'twas to see unwound
The ties by which her heart had clung--
Wakened her soft tamboura's sound,
And to its faint accords thus sung:--


SONG.


Calm as beneath its mother's eyes
In sleep the smiling infant lies,
So watched by all the stars of night
Yon landscape sleeps in light.
And while the night-breeze dies away,
Like relics of some faded strain,
Loved voices, lost for many a day,
Seem whispering round again.
Oh youth! oh love! ye dreams that shed
Such glory once--where are ye fled?

Pure ray of light that down the sky
Art pointing like an angel's wand,
As if to guide to realms that lie
In that bright sea beyond:
Who knows but in some brighter deep
Than even that tranquil, moonlit main,
Some land may lie where those who weep
Shall wake to smile again!
With cheeks that had regained their power
And play of smiles,--and each bright eye
Like violets after morning's shower
The brighter for the tears gone by,
Back to the scene such smiles should grace
These wandering nymphs their path retrace,
And reach the spot with rapture new
Just as the veils asunder flew
And a fresh vision burst to view.

There by her own bright Attic flood,
The blue-eyed Queen of Wisdom stood;--
Not as she haunts the sage's dreams,
With brow unveiled, divine, severe;
But softened as on bards she beams
When fresh from Poesy's high sphere
A music not her own she brings,
And thro' the veil which Fancy flings
O'er her stern features gently sings.

But who is he--that urchin nigh,
With quiver on the rose-trees hung,
Who seems just dropt from yonder sky,
And stands to watch that maid with eye
So full of thought for one so young?--
That child--but, silence! lend thine ear,
And thus in song the tale thou'lt hear:--


SONG.


As Love one summer eve was straying,
Who should he see at that soft hour
But young Minerva gravely playing
Her flute within an olive bower.
I need not say, 'tis Love's opinion
That grave or merry, good or ill,
The sex all bow to his dominion,
As woman will be woman still.

Tho' seldom yet the boy hath given
To learned dames his smiles or sighs,
So handsome Pallas looked that even
Love quite forgot the maid was wise.
Besides, a youth of his discerning
Knew well that by a shady rill
At sunset hour whate'er her learning
A woman will be woman still.

Her flute he praised in terms extatic,--
Wishing it dumb, nor cared how soon.--
For Wisdom's notes, howe'er chromatic,
To Love seem always out of tune.
But long as he found face to flatter,
The nymph found breath to shake and thrill;
As, weak or wise--it doesn't matter--
Woman at heart is woman still.

Love changed his plan, with warmth exclaiming,
"How rosy was her lips' soft dye!"
And much that flute the flatterer blaming,
For twisting lips so sweet awry.
The nymph looked down, beheld her features
Reflected in the passing rill,
And started, shocked--for, ah, ye creatures!
Even when divine you're women still.

Quick from the lips it made so odious.
That graceless flute the Goddess took
And while yet filled with breath melodious,
Flung it into the glassy brook;
Where as its vocal life was fleeting
Adown the current, faint and shrill,
'Twas heard in plaintive tone repeating,
"Woman, alas, vain woman still!"

* * * * *

An interval of dark repose--
Such as the summer lightning knows,
Twixt flash and flash, as still more bright
The quick revealment comes and goes,
Opening each time the veils of night,
To show within a world of light--
Such pause, so brief, now past between
This last gay vision and the scene
Which now its depth of light disclosed.
A bower it seemed, an Indian bower,
Within whose shade a nymph reposed,
Sleeping away noon's sunny hour--
Lovely as she, the Sprite, who weaves
Her mansion of sweet Durva leaves,
And there, as Indian legends say,
Dreams the long summer hours away.
And mark how charmed this sleeper seems
With some hid fancy--she, too, dreams!
Oh for a wizard's art to tell
The wonders that now bless her sight!
'Tis done--a truer, holier spell
Than e'er from wizard's lip yet fell.
Thus brings her vision all to light:--


SONG.


"Who comes so gracefully
"Gliding along
"While the blue rivulet
"Sleeps to her song;
"Song richly vying
"With the faint sighing
"Which swans in dying
"Sweetly prolong?"

So sung the shepherd-boy
By the stream's side,
Watching that fairy-boat
Down the flood glide,
Like a bird winging,
Thro' the waves bringing
That Syren, singing
To the husht tide.

"Stay," said the shepherd-boy,
"Fairy-boat, stay,
"Linger, sweet minstrelsy,
"Linger a day."
But vain his pleading,
Past him, unheeding,
Song and boat, speeding,
Glided away.

So to our youthful eyes
Joy and hope shone;
So while we gazed on them
Fast they flew on;--
Like flowers declining
Even in the twining,
One moment shining.
And the next gone!

* * * * *

Soon as the imagined dream went by,
Uprose the nymph, with anxious eye
Turned to the clouds as tho' some boon
She waited from that sun-bright dome,
And marvelled that it came not soon
As her young thoughts would have it come.

But joy is in her glance!--the wing
Of a white bird is seen above;
And oh, if round his neck he bring
The long-wished tidings from her love,
Not half so precious in her eyes
Even that high-omened bird[26] would be.
Who dooms the brow o'er which he flies
To wear a crown of royalty.

She had herself last evening sent
A winged messenger whose flight
Thro' the clear, roseate element,
She watched till lessening out of sight
Far to the golden West it went,
Wafting to him, her distant love,
A missive in that language wrought
Which flowers can speak when aptly wove,
Each hue a word, each leaf a thought.

And now--oh speed of pinion, known
To Love's light messengers alone I--
Ere yet another evening takes
Its farewell of the golden lakes,
She sees another envoy fly,
With the wished answer, thro' the sky.


SONG.


Welcome sweet bird, thro' the sunny air winging,
Swift hast thou come o'er the far-shining sea,
Like Seba's dove on thy snowy neck bringing
Love's written vows from my lover to me.
Oh, in thy absence what hours did I number!--
Saying oft, "Idle bird, how could he rest?"
But thou art come at last, take now thy slumber,
And lull thee in dreams of all thou lov'st best.

Yet dost thou droop--even now while I utter
Love's happy welcome, thy pulse dies away;
Cheer thee, my bird--were it life's ebbing flutter.
This fondling bosom should woo it to stay,
But no--thou'rt dying--thy last task is over--
Farewell, sweet martyr to Love and to me!
The smiles thou hast wakened by news from my lover,
Will now all be turned into weeping for thee.

* * * * *

While thus this scene of song (their last
For the sweet summer season) past,
A few presiding nymphs whose care
Watched over all invisibly,
As do those guardian sprites of air
Whose watch we feel but cannot see,
Had from the circle--scarcely missed,
Ere they were sparkling there again--
Glided like fairies to assist
Their handmaids on the moonlight plain,
Where, hid by intercepting shade
From the stray glance of curious eyes,
A feast of fruits and wines was laid--
Soon to shine out, a glad surprise!

And now the moon, her ark of light
Steering thro' Heaven, as tho' she bore
In safety thro' that deep of night
Spirits of earth, the good, the bright,
To some remote immortal shore,
Had half-way sped her glorious way,
When round reclined on hillocks green
In groups beneath that tranquil ray,
The Zeans at their feast were seen.
Gay was the picture--every maid
Whom late the lighted scene displayed,
Still in her fancy garb arrayed;--
The Arabian pilgrim, smiling here
Beside the nymph of India's sky;
While there the Mainiote mountaineer
Whispered in young Minerva's ear,
And urchin Love stood laughing by.

Meantime the elders round the board,
By mirth and wit themselves made young,
High cups of juice Zacynthian poured,
And while the flask went round thus sung:--


SONG.


Up with the sparkling brimmer,
Up to the crystal rim;
Let not a moonbeam glimmer
'Twixt the flood and brim.
When hath the world set eyes on
Aught to match this light,
Which o'er our cup's horizon
Dawns in bumpers bright?

Truth in a deep well lieth--
So the wise aver;
But Truth the fact denieth--
Water suits not her.
No, her abode's in brimmers,
Like this mighty cup--
Waiting till we, good swimmers,
Dive to bring her up.

* * * * *

Thus circled round the song of glee,
And all was tuneful mirth the while,
Save on the cheeks of some whose smile
As fixt they gaze upon the sea,
Turns into paleness suddenly!
What see they there? a bright blue light
That like a meteor gliding o'er
The distant wave grows on the sight,
As tho' 'twere winged to Zea's shore.
To some, 'mong those who came to gaze,
It seemed the night-light far away
Of some lone fisher by the blaze
Of pine torch luring on his prey;
While others, as 'twixt awe and mirth
They breathed the blest Panaya's[27] name,
Vowed that such light was not of earth
But of that drear, ill-omen'd flame
Which mariners see on sail or mast
When Death is coming in the blast.
While marvelling thus they stood, a maid
Who sate apart with downcast eye,
Not yet had like the rest surveyed
That coming light which now was nigh,
Soon as it met her sight, with cry
Of pain-like joy, "'Tis he! 'tis he!"
Loud she exclaimed, and hurrying by
The assembled throng, rushed towards the sea.
At burst so wild, alarmed, amazed,
All stood like statues mute and gazed
Into each other's eyes to seek
What meant such mood in maid so meek?

Till now, the tale was known to few,
But now from lip to lip it flew:--
A youth, the flower of all the band,
Who late had left this sunny shore,
When last he kist that maiden's hand,
Lingering to kiss it o'er and o'er.
By his sad brow too plainly told
The ill-omened thought which crost him then,
That once those hands should lose their hold,
They ne'er would meet on earth again!
In vain his mistress sad as he,
But with a heart from Self as free
As generous woman's only is,
Veiled her own fears to banish his:--
With frank rebuke but still more vain,
Did a rough warrior who stood by
Call to his mind this martial strain,
His favorite once, ere Beauty's eye
Had taught his soldier-heart to sigh:--


SONG.


March! nor heed those arms that hold thee,
Tho' so fondly close they come;
Closer still will they enfold thee
When thou bring'st fresh laurels home.
Dost thou dote on woman's brow?
Dost thou live but in her breath?
March!--one hour of victory now
Wins thee woman's smile till death.

Oh what bliss when war is over
Beauty's long-missed smile to meet.
And when wreaths our temples cover
Lay them shining at her feet.
Who would not that hour to reach
Breathe out life's expiring sigh,--
Proud as waves that on the beach
Lay their war-crests down and die.

There! I see thy soul is burning--
She herself who clasps thee so
Paints, even now, thy glad returning,
And while clasping bids thee go.
One deep sigh to passion given,
One last glowing tear and then--
March!--nor rest thy sword till Heaven
Brings thee to those arms again.

* * * * *

Even then ere loath their hands could part
A promise the youth gave which bore
Some balm unto the maiden's heart,
That, soon as the fierce fight was o'er,
To home he'd speed, if safe and free--
Nay, even if dying, still would come,
So the blest word of "Victory!"
Might be the last he'd breathe at home.
"By day," he cried, "thou'lt know my bark;
"But should I come thro' midnight dark,
"A blue light on the prow shall tell
"That Greece hath won and all is well!"

Fondly the maiden every night,
Had stolen to seek that promised light;
Nor long her eyes had now been turned
From watching when the signal burned.
Signal of joy--for her, for all--
Fleetly the boat now nears the land,
While voices from the shore-edge call
For tidings of the long-wished band.

Oh the blest hour when those who've been
Thro' peril's paths by land or sea
Locked in our arms again are seen
Smiling in glad security;
When heart to heart we fondly strain,
Questioning quickly o'er and o'er--
Then hold them off to gaze affain
And ask, tho' answered oft before,
If they indeed are ours once more?

Such is the scene so full of joy
Which welcomes now this warrior-boy,
As fathers, sisters, friends all run
Bounding to meet him--all but one
Who, slowest on his neck to fall,
Is yet the happiest of them all.

And now behold him circled round
With beaming faces at that board,
While cups with laurel foliage crowned,
Are to the coming warriors poured--
Coming, as he, their herald, told,
With blades from victory scarce yet cold,
With hearts untouched by Moslem steel
And wounds that home's sweet breath will heal.

"Ere morn," said he,--and while he spoke
Turned to the east, where clear and pale
The star of dawn already broke--
"We'll greet on yonder wave their sail!"
Then wherefore part? all, all agree
To wait them here beneath this bower;
And thus, while even amidst their glee,
Each eye is turned to watch the sea,
With song they cheer the anxious hour.


SONG.


"'Tis the Vine! 'tis the Vine!" said the cup-loving boy
As he saw it spring bright from the earth,
And called the young Genii of Wit, Love, and Joy,
To witness and hallow its birth.
The fruit was full grown, like a ruby it flamed
Till the sunbeam that kist it looked pale;
"'Tis the Vine! 'tis the Vine!" every Spirit exclaimed
"Hail, hail to the Wine-tree, all hail!"

First, fleet as a bird to the summons Wit flew,
While a light on the vine-leaves there broke
In flashes so quick and so brilliant all knew
T'was the light from his lips as he spoke.
"Bright tree! let thy nectar but cheer me," he cried,
"And the fount of Wit never can fail:"
"'Tis the Vine! 'tis the Vine!" hills and valleys reply,
"Hail, hail to the Wine-tree, all hail!"

Next Love as he leaned o'er the plant to admire
Each tendril and cluster it wore,
From his rosy mouth sent such a breath of desire,
As made the tree tremble all o'er.
Oh! never did flower of the earth, sea, or sky,
Such a soul-giving odor inhale:
"'Tis the Vine! 'tis the Vine!" all re-echo the cry,
"Hail, hail to the Wine-tree, all hail!"

Last, Joy, without whom even Love and Wit die,
Came to crown the bright hour with his ray;
And scarce had that mirth-waking tree met his eye,
When a laugh spoke what Joy could not say;--
A laugh of the heart which was echoed around
Till like music it swelled on the gale:
"T is the Vine! 'tis the Vine!" laughing myriads resound,
"Hail, hail to the Wine-tree, all hail!"

Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'Evenings In Greece' by Thomas Moore

comments powered by Disqus

Home | Search | About this website | Contact | Privacy Policy