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KUBLA KHAN.

27

KUBLA KHAN:

A FRAGMENT.

IN Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man

Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced;
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail:
And ʼmid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,

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KUBLA KHAN.

Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!

The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves;
Where was heard the mingled measure

From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,

To such a deep delight 'twould win me
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

THE ISLES OF GREECE.

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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 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,
Have found the fame your shores refuse;

Their place of birth alone is mute
To sounds which echo further 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?

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THE ISLES OF GREECE.

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!

What, silent still? 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!”
'Tis 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!

THE ISLES OF GREECE.

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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

ye

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 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.

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