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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.
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!
THE world's great age begins anew,
The golden years return,
The earth doth like a snake renew
Her winter weeds outworn:
Heaven smiles, and faiths and empires gleam
Like wrecks of a dissolving dream.
A brighter Hellas rears its mountains
From waves serener far;
A new Peneus rolls his fountains
Against the morning star;
Where fairer Tempes bloom, there sleep
Young Cyclads on a sunnier deep.
A loftier Argo cleaves the main,
Fraught with a later prize;
Another Orpheus sings again,
And loves, and weeps, and dies;
A new Ulysses leaves once more
Calypso for his native shore.
Oh! write no more the tale of Troy,
If earth death's scroll must be-
Nor mix with Laian rage the joy
Which dawns upon the free,
Although a subtler Sphinx renew
Riddles of death Thebes never knew.
Another Athens shall arise,
And to remoter time
Bequeath, like sunset to the skies,
The splendour of its prime;
And leave, if nought so bright may live,
All earth can take or heaven can give.
Saturn and Love their long repose
Shall burst, more bright and good
Than all who fell, than one who rose,
Than many unsubdued:
Not gold, not blood, their altar dowers,
But votive tears and symbol flowers.
Oh cease! must hate and death return?
Cease! must men kill and die?
Cease! drain not to its dregs the urn
Of bitter prophecy!
The world is weary of the past,-
Oh might it die or rest at last!
P. B. Shelley.
THE BOWL OF LIBERTY,
BEFORE the fiery sun,
The sun that looks on Greece with cloudless eye,
In the free air, and on the war-field won,
Our fathers crown'd the Bowl of Liberty.
Amidst the tombs they stood,
The tombs of heroes! with the solemn skies
And the wide plain around, where patriot-blood
Had steep'd the soil in hues of sacrifice.
They call’d the glorious dead,
In the strong faith which brings the viewless nigh,
And pour'd rich odours o'er the battle-bed,
And bade them to the rite of Liberty.
They call'd them from the shades,
The golden-fruited shades, where minstrels tell
How softer light th' immortal clime pervades,
And music floats o’er meads of Asphodel.
Then fast the bright-red wine
Flow'd to their names who taught the world to die,
And made the land's green turf a living shrine,
Meet for the wreath and Bowl of Liberty.
THOUGHT, LIFE, AND DEATH.
So the rejoicing earth
Took from her vines again the blood she gave,
And richer flowers to deck the tomb drew birth
From the free soil, thus hallow'd to the brave.
We have the battle-fields,
The tombs, the names, the blue majestic sky,
We have the founts the purple vintage yields ;-
When shall we crown the Bowl of Liberty?
THOUGHT, LIFE, AND DEATH.
Hast thou seen, with flash incessant,
Bubbles gliding under ice,
Bodied forth and evanescent,
No one knows by what device?
Such are Thoughts. A wind-swept meadow
Mimicking a troubled sea-
Such is Life; and Death, a shadow
From the rock, Eternity.