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That goodly thing it cleaveth to, so fondly and so fast, Is struck to earth by lightning, or shattered by the

blast. 'T is ever thus, –’t is ever thus, with beams of mor

tal bliss, With looks too bright and beautiful for such a world

as this ; One moment round about us their angel lightnings

play, Then down the veil of darkness drops, and all hath passed away.

'T is ever thus, – ’t is ever thus, with sounds too sweet for earth, –

Seraphic sounds, that float away (borne heavenward) in their birth ; *

The golden shell is broken, the silver chord is mute,

The sweet bells all are silent, and hushed the lovely lute.

'T is ever thus, – ’t is ever thus, with all that 's best below, The dearest, noblest, loveliest, are always first to go; The bird that sings the sweetest, the pine that crowns the rock, The glory of the garden, the flower of the flock.

'T is ever thus, – ’t is ever thus, with creatures heavenly fair,

Too finely framed to 'bide the brunt more earthly creatures bear;

A little while they dwell with us, blest ministers of love,

Then spread the wings we had not seen, and seek their home above.

270 EMPLOYMEN T.

EMPLOYMENT. — George Herbert.

IF, as a flower doth spread and die,
Thou wouldst extend me to some good,
Before I were by frost's extremity
Nipt in the bud, -

The sweetness and the praise were thine; But the extension and the room, Which in thy garland I should fill, were mine At thy great doom.

For as thou dost impart thy grace,
The greater shall our glory be.
The measure of our joys is in this place,
The stuff with thee.

Let me not languish, then, and spend
A life as barren to thy praise
As is the dust, to which that life doth tend,
But with delays.

All things are busy; only I Neither bring honey with the bees, Nor flowers to make that, nor the husbandry To water these.

I am no link of thy great chain, But all my company is as a weed. Lord, place me in thy concert, give one strain To my poor reed.

THE ISLES OF GREECE. Byron,

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 Phoebus 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,
IIave 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 sat 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 P

And where are they 2 and where art thou,
My country 2 On thy voiceless shore

The heroic lay is tuneless now, -
The heroic bosom beats no more l

272

THE ISLES OF GREECE.

And must thy lyre, so long divine,
Degenerate into hands like mine 2

'T is 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 2
For Greeks a blush, – for Greece a tear.

Must we but weep o'er days more blest?

Must we but blush 2 — 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 Thermopylae.

What, silent still P and silent all ?
Ah! no ; – the voices of the dead
Sound like a distant torrent’s fall,
And answer, “Let one living head,
But one, arise, – we come, we come I’”
'T is but the living who are dumb.

In vain, – in vain; strike other chords;
Fill high the cup with Samian wine !
Leave battles to the Turkish hordes,
And shed the blood of Scio's vine !
Hark! rising to the ignoble call,
How answers each bold bacchanal |

You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet, —
Where is the Pyrrhic phalanx gone?

Of two such lessons, why forget
The nobler and the manlier one 2

You have the letters Cadmus gave, –
Think ye he meant them for a slave 2

Fill high the bowl with Samian wine !
We will not think of themes like these !
It made Anacreon's song divine :
He served — but served Polycrates —
A tyrant; but our masters then
Were still, at least, our countrymen.

The tyrant of the Chersonese
Was freedom’s best and bravest friend ;
That tyrant was Miltiades 1
O, that the present hour would lend
Another despot of the kind
Such chains as his were sure to bind.

Fill high the bowl with Samian wine !
On Suli's rock, and Parga's shore,
Exists the remnant of a line
Such as the Doric mothers bore ;
And there, perhaps, some seed is sown,
The Heracleidan blood might own.

Trust not for freedom to the Franks,—
They have a king who buys and sells.
In native swords and native ranks
The only hope of courage dwells;
But Turkish force and Latin fraud
Would break your shield, however broad.

Fill high the bowl with Samian wine !
Our virgins dance beneath the shade, –
I see their glorious black eyes shine ;
But, gazing on each glowing maid,
My own the burning tear-drop laves,
To think such breasts must suckle slaves.

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