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And she would sit beneath the very tree Herself would question, and for him reply; Where lay his drooping head upon her knce; Then rising, start, and beckon him to fly And in that posture where she saw him fall, From some imagined spectre in pursuit; His words, his looks, his dying grasp recal;| Then seat her down upon some linden's And she had shorn, but saved her raven
And hide her visage with her meagre hand, And oft would snatch it from her bosom Or trace strange characters along the sand
This could not last - she lies by him she And fold, and press it gently to the ground,
loved; As if she staunch'd anew some phantom's Her tale untold her truth too dearly wound.
THE SIEGE OF CORINTH.
THIS POEM 18 INSCRIBED BY HIS
and the governor seeing it was imposJOHN HOBHOUSE, ESQ.
sible to hold out against so mighty a force, thought it fit to beat a parley : bnt while
they were treating about the articles, ono FRIEND.
of the magazines in the Turkish camp, January 22, 1816.
wherein they had six hundred barrels of ADVERTISEMENT.
powder, blew up by accident, whereby sis
or seven hundred men were killed: which "The grand army of the Turks (in 1715), so enraged the infidels, that they would under the Prime Vizier, to open to them- not grant any capitulation, but stormed the selves a way into the heart of the Morea, place with so much fury, that they took it, and to form the siege of Napoli di Romania, and put most of the garrison, with Signior the most considerable place in all that Minotti, the governor, to the sword. The country, thought it best in the first place rest, with Antonio Bembo, proveditor extrato attack Corinth, upon which they made ordinary, were made prisoners of war."several storms. The garrison being weakened,' History of the Turks, vol. III. p. 151.
Many a vanish'd year and age,
On dun Cithaeron's ridge appears And tempest's breath, and battle's rage, The gleam of twice ten thousand spears ; Have swept o'er Corinth; yet she stands And downward to the Isthmian plain A fortress form'd to Freedom's hands. From shore to shore of either main, The whirlwind's wrath, the earthquake's The tent is pitch'd, the crescent shines
Along the Moslem's leaguering lines; Hare left untouch'd her hoary rock, And the dusk Spahi's bands advance The keystone of a land, which still, Beneath each bearded pasha's glance; Though fall'n, looks proudly on that hill, And far and wide as eye can reach The land-mark to the double tide
The turban'd cohorts throng the beach; That purpling rolls on either side,
And there the Arab's camel kneels, As if their waters chafed to meet,
And there his steed the Tartar wheels; Yet pause and crouch beneath her feet. The Turcoman hath left his herd, But could the blood before her shed The sabre round his loins to gird; Since first Timoleon's brother bled, And there the volleying thunders pour, Or baffled Persia's despot fled,
Till waves grow smoother to the roar. Arise from out the earth which drank The trench is dug, the cannon's breath The stream of slaughter as it sank, Wings the far hissing globe of death ; That sanguine ocean would o'erflow Fast whirl the fragments from the wall, Her isthmus idly spread below:
Which crumbles with the pouderous ball; Or could the bones of all the slain, And from that wall the foe replies, Who perish'd there, be piled again, O’er dusty plain and smoky skies, That rival pyramid would rise
With fires that answer fast and well More mountain-like, through those clear The summons of the Infidel.
skies, Than yon tower-capt Acropolis
But near and nearest to the wall Which scems the very clouds to kiss. Of those who wish and work its fall,
With deeper skill in war's black art
The walls grew weak; and fast and hos
From Venice-once a race of worth
But not for vengeance, long delay'd, His gentle sires-he drew his birth;
Alone, did Alp, the renegade, But late an exile from her shore,
The Moslem warriors sternly teach Against his countrymen he bore
His skill to pierce the promised breach: The arms they taught to bear; and now
Within these walls a maid was pent The turban girt his shaven brow.
His hope would win, without consent Through many a change had Corinth pass'a of that inexorable sire, With Greece to Venice' rule at last;
Whose heart refused him in its ire, And here, before her walls, with those When Alp, beneath his Christian name, To Greece and Venice equal foes,
Her virgin hand aspired to claim. He stood a foe, with all the zeal
In happier mood, and earlier time, Which young and fiery converts feel,
While unimpeach'd for traitorous crime, Within whose heated bosom throngs
Gayest in gondola or hall, The memory of a thousand wrongs.
He glitter'd through the Carnival ; To him had Venice ceased to be
And tuned the softest serenade Her ancient civic boast_"the Free;"
That e'er on Adria's waters play'd And in the palace of St. Mark
At midnight to Italian maid. Unnamed accusers in the dark Within the Lion's mouth” had placed And many deem'd her heart was won; A charge against him uneffaced :
For sought by numbers, given to none, He fled in time, and saved his life, Had young Francesca's hand remain'd To waste his future years in strife, Still by the church's bonds unchain'd: That taught his land how great her loss And when the Adriatic bore In bim who triumph'd o'er the Cross, Lanciotto to the Paynim shore, 'Gainst which he rear'd the Crescent high, Her wonted smiles were seen to fail, And battled to avenge or die.
And pensive wax'd the maid and pale;
More constant at confessional, Coumourgi-he whose closing scene
More rare at masque and festival; Adorn'd the triumph of Eugene,
Or seen at such, with downcast eyes, When on Carlowitz bloody plain,
Which conquer'd hearts they ceased to prize: The last and mightiest of the slain,
With listless look she seems to gaze;
With humbler care her form arrays;
Her voice less lively in the song ;
Her step, though light, less fleet among That latest conqueror of Greece,
The pairs, on whom the Morning's glance Till Christian hands to Greece restore Breaks, yet unsated with the dance. The freedom Venice gave of yore? A hundred years have rollid away
Sent by the state to guard the land, Since he relix'd the Moslem's sway; (Which, wrested from the Moslem's hand, And now he led the Mussulinan,
While Sobieski tamed his pride And gave the guidance of the van
By Buda's wall and Danube's side, To Alp, who well repaid the trust The chiefs of Venice wrung away By cities levellid with the dust;
From Patra to Euboea's bay), And proved, by many a deed of death, Minotti held in Corinth's towers How firm his heart in novel faith. The Doge's delegated powers,
While yet the pitying eye of Peace Of that strange sense its silence framed;
The tent of Alp was on the shore,
The sound was hush'd, the prayer was o'er ; What woes await on lawless love,
The watch was set, the night-round made, Had fairer form adorn'd the shore
All mandates issued and obey'd :
'Tis but another anxious night,
With all revenge and love can pay,
Of slaughter; but within his soul
He stood alone among the host;
The stern exaltedness of zeal,
When battling on the parent soil. Blue roll the waters, blue the sky
He stood alone-a renegade Spreads like an ocean hung on high,
Against the country he betray'd;
He stood alone amidst his band,
Without a trusted heart or hand :
They follow'd him, for he was brave, And turn'd to earth without repining,
And great the spoil he got and gave; Nor wish'd for wings to flee away,
They crouch'd to him, for he had skill And mix with their eternal ray?
To warp and wield the vulgar will:
But still his Christian origin
With them was little less than sin.
He earn'd beneath a Moslem-name;
Since he, their mightiest chief, had been The banners droop'd along their staves,
In youth a bitter Nazarene. And, as they fell around them furling,
They did not know how pride can stoop, Above them shone the crescent curling;
When baffled feelings withering droop; And that deep silence was unbroke,
They did not know how hate can burn Save where the watch his signal spoke,
In hearts once changed from soft to stemn; Save where the steed neigh'd oft 'and Nor all the false and fatal zeal
The convert of revenge can feel. And echo answer'd from the hill,
He ruled them—man may rule the worst, And the wide hum of that wild host
By ever daring to be first: Rustled like leaves from coast to coast,
So lions o'er the jackal sway; As rose the Muezzin's voice in air
The jackal points, he fells the prey, In midnight call to wonted prayer;
Then on the vulgar yelling press, It rose, that chanted mournful strain,
To gorge the relics of success. Like some lone spirit's o'er the plain: 'Twas musical, but sadly sweet,
His head grows feverd, and his pulse Such as when winds and harp-strings meet, The quick successive throbs convulse; And take a long unmeasured tone,
In vain from side to side he throws To mortal minstrelsy unknown.
His form, in courtship of repose; It seem'd to those within the wall
Or if he dozed, a sound, a start A cry prophetic of their fall:
Awoke him with a sunken heart. It struck even the besieger's ear
The turban on his hot brow press'd, With something ominous and drear, The mail weigh'd lead-like on his breast, An undefined and sudden thrill,
Though oft and long beneath its weight Which makes the heart a moment still, Upon his eyes had slumber sate, Then beat with quicker pulse, ashamed
Without or couch or canopy,
Except a rougher field and sky
Their phalanx marshallid on the plain, Than now might yield a warrior's bed, Whose bulwarks were not then in vain. Than now along the heaven was spread. They fell devoted, but undying ; He could not rest, he could not stay The very gale their names seem'd sighing: Within his tent to wait for day,
The waters murmur'd of their name; But walk'd hiin forth along the sand, The woods were peopled with their fame; Where thousand sleepers strew'd the strand. The silent pillar, lone and gray, What pillow'd them ? and why should he Claim'd kindred with their sacred clay; More wakeful than the humblest be! Their spirits wrapt the dusky mountain, Since more their peril, worse their toil, Their memory sparkled o'er the fountain ; And yet they fearless dream of spoil; The meanest rill, the mightiest river While he alone, where thousands passed Rollid mingling with their fame for ever. A night of sleep, perchance their last, Despite of every yoke she bears, In sickly vigil wander'd on,
That land is glory's still and theirs ! And envied all he gazed upon.
'Tis still a watch-word to the earth :
When man would do a deed of worth He felt his soul become more light
lle points to Greece, and turns to tread, Beneath the freshness of the night.
So sanction'd, on the tyrant's head : Cool was the silent sky, though calm,
He looks to her, and rushes on
Where life is lost, or freedom won.
Still by the shore Alp mutely mused, Lepanto's gulf: and, on the brow
And woo'd the fresliness Night diffused. Of Delphi's hill, unshaken snow,
There shrinks no ebb in that tideless sea, High and eternal, such as shone
Which changeless rolls eternally ; Through thousand summers brightly gone, so that wildest of waves, in their angriest Along the gulf, the mount, the clime;
mood, It will not melt, like man, to time: Scarce break on the bounds of the land for Tyrant and slave are swept away,
a rood; Less form'd to wear before the ray; And the powerless moon beholds them flow, But that white veil, the lightest, frailest, Heedless if she come or go: Which on the mighty mount thou hailest, Calm or high, in main or bay, While tower and tree are torn and rent, On their course she hath no sway. Shines o'er its craggy battlement;
The rock unworn its base doth bare, In form a peak, in height a cloud,
And looks o'er the surf, but it comes not In texture like a hovering shroud,
there: Thus high by parting Freedoin spread, And the fringe of the foam may be seen below, As from her fond abode she fled,
On the line that it left long ages ago: And linger’d on the spot, where long A smooth short space of yellow sand Her prophet-spirit spake in song:
Between it and the greener land.
He wander'd on, along the beach,
Till within the range of a carbine's reach But vain her voice, till better days
Of the leaguer'd wall; but they saw him not, Dawn in those yet remember'd rays
Or how could he 'scape from the hostile shot? Which shone upon the Persian flying,
Did traitors lurk in the Christian's hold ? And saw the Spartan smile in dying.
Were their hands grown stiff, or their hearts
I know not, in sooth; but from yonder wall Not mindless of these mighty times There flash'd no fire, and there hiss'd no ball, Was Alp, despite his flight and crimes; Though he stood beneath the bastion's frown, And through this night, as on he wander'd, That flank'd the sea-ward gate of the town; And o'er the past and present ponder'd, Though he heard the sound, and could And thought upon the glorious dead
almost tell Who there in better cause had bled, The sullen words of the sentinel, He felt how faint and feebly dim
As his measured step on the stone below The fame that could accrue to him, Clank'd, as he paced it to and fro; Who cheer'd the band, and waved the sword, And he saw the lean dogs beneath the wall A traitor in a turban'd horde;
Hold o'er the dead their carnival, And led them to the lawless siege, Gorging and growling o'er carcase and limb; Whose best success were sacrilege. They were too busy to bark at him! Not so had those his fancy number'd, From a Tartar's skull they had stripp'd the The chiefs whose dust around him slum
As ye peel the fig when its fruit is fresh;
And their white tusks crunch'd o'er the O'er that which hath been, and v'er that whiter skull,
which must be : As it slipp'd through their jaws, when their What we have seen, our sons shall see;
edge grew dull, Remnants of things that have pass’d away, As they lazily mumbled the bones of the Fragments of stone, rear'd by creatures of dead,
clay! When they scarce could rise from the spot
where they fed ; So well had they broken a lingering fast
He sate him down at a pillar's base, With those who had fallen for that night's Like one in dreary musing mood,
And pass'd his hand athwart his face;
repast. And Alp knew, by the turbans that rolla Declining was his attitude;
on the sand,
His head was drooping on his breast, The foremost of these were the best of his Fever'd, throbbing, and opprest;
And o'er his brow, so downward bent, Crimson and green were the shawls of their
Oft his beating fingers went,
Hurriedly, as you may see wear,
Your own run over the ivory key,
Ere the measured tone is taken
By the chords you would awaken.
There he sate all heavily,
As he heard the night-wind sigh.
stone, away, Scared by the dogs, from the human prey; But it was unrippled as glass may be ;
He lifted his head, and he look'd on the sea, But he seized on his share of a steed that lay, He look'd on the long grass-it waved not Pick'd by the birds, on the sands of the bay.
How was that gentle sound convey'd ? Alp turn'd him from the sickening sight: He lookd to the banners-each flag lay still, Never had shaken his nerves in fight; So did the leaves on Cithaeron's hill, But he better could brook to behold the And he felt not a breath come over his
dying, Deep in the tide of their warm blood lying, What did that sudden sound bespeak? Scorch'd with the death-thirst, and writhing He turn’d to the left, is he sure of sight?
There sate a lady, youthful and bright! Than the perishing dead who are past all
pain. . There is something of pride in the perilous Than if an armed foe were near.
He started up with more of fear
hour, Whate’er be the shape in which death may who art thou, and wherefore sent
"God of my fathers ! what is here?
lower ; For Fame is there to say who bleeds,
So near a hostile armament?” And Honour's eye on daring deeds!
His trembling hands refused to sign But when all ‘is past, it is humbling to The cross he deem'd no more divine :
He had resumed it in that hour, O'er the weltering field of the tombless But conscience wrung away the power,
He gazed, he saw: he knew the face And see worms of the earth, and fowls of Of beauty, and the form of grace;
It was Francesca by his side, Beasts of the forest, all gathering there ;
The maid who might have been his bride! All regarding man as their prey, All rejoicing in his decay.
The rose was yet upon her cheek,
But mellow'd with a tenderer streak : There is a temple in ruin stands, Where was the play of her soft lips fled ? Fashion'd by long forgotten hands; Gone was the smile that enlivend their red. Two or three columns, and many a stone, The ocean's calm within their view, Marble and granite, with grass o’ergrown! Beside her eye had less of blue; Out upon Time! it will leave no more But like that cold wave it stood still, of the things to come than the things And its glance, though clear, was chill.
Around her form a thin robe twining, Out upon Time! who for ever will leave Nought conceal'd her bosom shining; But enough of the past for the future to Through the parting of her hair,
Floating darkly downward there,