276. THE ISLES OF GREECE. The isles of Greece, the isles of Greece!

Where burning Sappho loved and sung, Where grew the arts of war and peace,

Where Delos rose, and Phæbus sprung!
Eternal summer gilds them yet,
But all, except their sun, is set.
The Scian and the Teian muse,

The hero's harp, the lover's lute,
Have found the fame your shores refuse;

Their place of birth alone is mute
To sounds which echo farther west
Than your sires' “ Islands of the Blest.”

The mountains look on Marathon

And Marathon looks on the sea; And musing there an hour alone,

I dreamed that Greece might still be free; For standing on the Persians' grave, I could not deem myself a slave.

A king sate on the rocky brow

Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis;
And ships, by thousands, lay below,

And men in nations; - all were his !
He counted them at break of day-
And when the sun set where were they?

And where are they? and where art thou,

My country? On thy voiceless shore The heroic lay is tuneless now —

The heroic bosom beats no more! And must thy lyre, so long divine, Degenerate into hands like mine?

'Tis something, in the dearth of fame,

Though linked among a fettered race,
To feel at least a patriot's shame,

Even as I sing, suffuse my face;
For what is left the poet here?
For Greeks a blush — for Greece a tear.

Must we but weep o'er days more blest?

Must we but blush? Our fathers bled. Earth! render back from out thy breast

A remnant of our Spartan dead !
Of the three hundred grant but three,
To make a new Thermopylæ!

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On my arrival at Venice, in the year 1816, I found my mind in a state which required study, and study of a nature which should leave iittle scope for the imagination, and furnish some difficulty in the pursuit.

At this period I was much struck - in common, I believe, with every other traveller — with the society of the Convent of St. Lazarus, which appears to unite all the advantages of the monastic institution, without any of its vices.

The neatness, the comfort, the gentleness, the unaffected devotion, the accomplishments, and the virtues of the brethren of the order, are well fitted to strike the man of the world with the conviction that 6. there is another and a better” even in this life.

These men are the priesthood of an oppressed and a noble nation, which has partaken of the proscription and bondage of the Jews and of the Greeks, without the sullenness of the former or the servility of the latter. This people has attained riches without usury, and all the

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honors that can be awarded to slavery without intrigue. But they have long occupied, nevertheless, a part of the “House of Bondage,” who has lately multiplied her many mansions. It would be difficult, perhaps, to find the annals of a nation less stained with crimes than those of the Armenians, whose virtues have been those of peace, and their vices those of compulsion. But whatever may have been their destiny — and it has been bitter — whatever it may be in future, their country must ever be one of the most interesting on the globe; and perhaps their language only requires to be more studied to become more attractive. If the Scriptures are rightly understood, it was in Armenia that Paradise was placed - Armenia, which has paid as dearly, as the descendants of Adam for that fleeting participation of its soil in the happiness of him who was created from its duşt. It was in Armenia that the flood first abated, and the dove alighted. But with the disappearance of Paradise itself may be dated almost the unhappiness of the country; for though long a powerful kingdom, it was scarcely ever an independent one, and the satraps of Persia and the pachas of Turkey have alike desolated the region where God created man in his own image.

THOMAS MOORE. 1779–1852. (Manual, pp. 404-411.)



One morn a Peri at the gate
Of Eden stood, disconsolate;
And as she listened to the Springs

Of Life within, like music flowing,
And caught the light upon her wings

Through the half-open portal glowing,
She wept to think her recreant race
Should e'er have lost that glorious place!
“How happy,” exclaimed this child of air,
Are the holy Spirits who wander there,

'Mid flowers that never shall fade or fall;
Though mine are the gardens of earth and sea,
And the stars themselves have flowers for me,

One blossom of Heaven outblooms them all!
Though sunny the Lake of cool Cashmere,
With its plane-tree isle reflected clear,

And sweetly the founts of that Valley fall;
Though bright are the waters of Sing-su-hay,
And the golden floods that thitherward stray,
Yet – O! 'tis only the Blest can say

How the waters of Heaven outshine them all!

Go, wing thy flight from star to star, From world to luminous world, as far

As the universe spreads its flaming wall: Take all the pleasures of all the spheres, And multiply each through endless years,

One minute of Heaven is worth them all!"
The glorious Angel, who was keeping
The gates of Light, beheld her weeping!
And, as he nearer drew and listened
To her sad song, a tear-drop glistened
Within his eyelids, like the spray

From Eden's fountain, when it lies
On the blue flower, which — Bramins say-

Blooms nowhere but in Paradise !
“Nymph of a fair but erring line!”
Gently he said — “One hope is thine,
'Tis written in the Book of Fate,

The Peri yet may be forgiven Who brings to this Eternal gate

The Gift that is most dear to Heaven ! Go seek it, and redeem thy sin 'Tis sweet to let the Pardoned in!”

Cheered by this hope she bends her thither;

Still laughs the radiant eye of Heaven,

Nor have the golden bowers of Éven In the rich West begun to wither;. When, o'er the vale of Balbec winging

Slowly, she sees a child at play,
Among the rosy wild-flowers singing,

As rosy and as wild as they ;
Chasing, with eager hands and eyes,
The beautiful blue damsel-flies,
That Auttered round the jasmine stems,
Like wingéd flowers or flying gems: -
And, near the boy, who tired with play,
Now nestling 'mid the roses lay,
She saw a wearied man dismount

From his hot steed, and on the brink
Of a small imaret's rustic fount

Impatient Aling him down to drink. Then swift his haggard brow he turned

To the fair child, who fearless sat,
Though never yet hath day-beam burned

Upon a brow more fierce than that,
Sullenly fierce- - a mixture dire,
Like thunder-clouds, of gloom and fire !

In which the Peri's eye could read
Dark tales of many a ruthless deed;
The ruined maid the shrine profaned -
Oaths broken — and the threshold stained
With blood of guests ! — there written, all,
Black as the damning drops that fall
From the denouncing Angel's pen,
Ere Mercy weeps them out again!

Yet tranquil now that man of crime,
(As if the balmy evening time
Softened his spirit) looked and lay,
Watching the rosy infant's play;-
Though still, whene'er his eye by chance
Fell on the boy's, its lurid glance

Met that unclouded, joyous gaze,
As torches, that have burnt all night
Through some impure and godless rite,

Encounter morning's glorious rays.

But hark! the vesper call to prayer,

As slow the orb of daylight sets,
Is rising sweetly on the air,

From Syria's thousand minarets !
The boy has started from the bed
Of flowers, where he had laid his head,
And down upon the fragrant sod

Kneels, with his forehead to the south
Lisping the eternal name of God

From purity's own cherub mouth, And looking, while his hands and eyes Are lifted to the glowing skies, Like a stray babe of Paradise, Just lighted on that flowery plain, And seeking for its home again! O, 'twas a sight - that Heaven - that Child A scene, which might have well beguiled E'en haughty Eblis of a sigh For glories lost and peace gone by!

And how felt he, the wretched Man
Reclining there — while memory ran
O’er many a year of guilt and strife,
Flew o'er the dark flood of his life,
Nor found one sunny resting-place,
Nor brought him back one branch of grace!
“ There was a time,” he said, in mild,
Heart-humbled tones " thou blesséd child !

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