« AnteriorContinuar »
When, as the wandering clouds unveiled or hid Her boundless light, he saw two adverse fleets Stalk through the night in the horizon's
glimmer, Mingling fierce thunders and sulphureous
gleams, And smoke which strangled every infant wind That soothed the silver clouds through the deep
At length the battle slept, but the Scirocco 630
Enter an Attendant.
Your Sublime Highness, The Jew, who-
Could not come more seasonably : Bid him attend. I'll hear no more! too long 640 We gaze on danger through the mist of fear, And multiply upon our shattered hopes The images of ruin, Come what will! To-morrow and to-morrow are as lamps Set in our path to light us to the edge Through rough and smooth, nor can we suffer
aught Which he inflicts not in whose hand we are.
I would leave
The spirits of eve A shroud for the corpse of the day to weave From other threads than mine! Bask in the deep blue noon divine
Who would, not I.
SEMICHORUS I. Where the rocks that gird th' Ægean Echo to the battle pæan
Of the free
I would flee
My golden rain
For the Grecian slain
And my solemn thunder knell
The rack and the rain ?
The storms are free,
Killing its flowers and leaving its thorns
bare! Thy touch has stamped these limbs with
crime, These brows thy branding garland bear; But the free heart, the impassive soul, 680
Scorn thy control!
Persia, as the sand does foam;
Discord, Macedon, and Rome: And lastly thou!
Temples and towers,
And may be thine, and must decay;
Rule the present from the past;
Their seal is set.
Hear ye the blast, Whose Orphic thunder thrilling calls
From ruin her Titanian walls ? Whose spirit shakes the sapless bones
Of Slavery ? Argos, Corinth, Crete Hear, and from their mountain thrones
The dæmons and the nymphs repeat The harmony.
SEMICHORUS II. The world's eyeless charioteer,
Destiny, is hurrying by! What faith is crushed, what empire bleeds Beneath her earthquake-footed steeds ? What eagle-winged victory sits At her right hand ? what shadow flits Before? what splendour rolls behind ?
Ruin and renovation cry “ Who but We?"
I hear! I hear!
I hear! I hear!
Fear, Revenge and Wrong bring forth their kind,
The foul cubs like their parents are ; 730 Their den is in the guilty mind,
And Conscience feeds them with despair.
Of Wisdom, Pity's altar stood :
Love for hate and tears for blood.
Enter MAHMUD and AHASUERUS,
But raised above thy fellow men By thought, as I by power.
Thou sayest so. 740
MAHMUD. Thou art an adept in the difficult lore Of Greek and Frank philosophy; thou num
berest The flowers, and thou measurest the stars; Thou severest element from element;
i The word Fear was substituted for For by Mr. Rossetti. The emendation is conjectural, but is supported by the sense and sound of the passage.-ED,