Page images
PDF
EPUB

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! You have the letters Cadmus gaveThink you he meant them for a slave ?

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 !

Oh! that the present hour would lenà
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

And there, perhaps, some seed is sown, The Heracleidan blood might own.

Trust not for freedom to the Franks

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

But gazing on each glowing maid, My own the burning tear-drop laves, To think such breasts must suckle slaves.

Place me on Sunium's marbled steep

Where nothing save the waves and I, May hear our mutual murmurs sweep;

There, swan-like, let me sing and die : A land of slaves shall ne'er be mine Dash down yon cup of Samian wine!

KEATS

FROM “ISABEL

Fair Isabel, poor simple Isabel !

They could not in the self-same mansion dwell

Without some stir of heart, some malady; They could not sit at meals but feel how well

It soothed each to be the other by; They could not, sure, beneath the same roof sleep But to each other dream, and nightly weep.

With every morn their love grew tenderer,

With every eve deeper and tenderer still ; He might not in house, field, or garden stir,

But her full shape would all his seeing fill; And his continual voice was pleasanter

Her lute-string gave an echo of his name,
She spoilt her half-done broidery with the same.

He knew whose gentle hand was at the latch,

Before the door had given her to his eyes ; And from her chamber-window he would catch

Her beauty farther than the falcon spies; Aud constant as her vespers would he watch,

Because her face was turned to the same skies ; And with sick longing all the night outwear, To hear her morning step upon the stair.

With her two brothers this fair lady dwelt,

And for them many a weary hand did swelt

In torched mines and noisy factories,
And many once proud-quivered loins did melt

In blood from stinging-whip—with hollow eyes ;
Many all day in dazzling river stood,
To take the rich-ored driftings of the flood.

For them the Ceylon diver held his breath,

And went all naked to the hungry shark ; For them his ears gushed blood; for them in death

The seal on the cold ice with piteous bark
Lay full of darts : for them alone did seethe

A thousand men in troubles wide and dark :
Half-ignorant, they turned an easy wheel,
That set sharp racks at work, to pinch and peel

In the mid-days of Autumn, on their eves

The breath of Winter comes from far away, And the sick west continually bereaves

Of some gold tinge, and plays a roundelay Of death among the bushes and the leaves,

To make all bare before he dares to stray From his north cavern. So sweet Isabel

By gradual decay from beauty fell,

Because Lorenzo came not. Oftentimes

Striving to be itself, what dungeon climes

Could keep him off so long? They spake a tale

Came on them, like a smoke from Hinnom's vale ; And every night in dreams they groaned aloud,

To see their sister in her snowy shroud.

TO AUTUMN.

Season of mist and mellow fruitfulness,

Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless

With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run; To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees, And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core ;

To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,

And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimmed their clammy cells.

« PreviousContinue »