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He perish’d—but his wreath was won

He perish'd on his height of fame! Then sank the cloud on Athens' sun;

Yet still she conquer'd in his name. Fill'd with his soul, she could not die Her conquest was posterity!


HARK to the knell !
It comes in the swell

Of the stormy ocean wave ;
'Tis no earthly sound,
But a toll profound

From the mariner's deep sea grave.
When the billows dash,
And the signals flash,

And the thunder is on the gale ;
And the ocean is white
In its own wild light,

Deadly, and dismal, and pale.
When the lightning's blaze
Smites the seaman's gaze,

And the sea rolls in fire and in foam ;
And the surges' roar
Shakes the rocky shore,

We hear the sea-knell come.
There 'neath the billow,
The sand their pillow,

Ten thousand men lie low;
And still their dirge
Is sung by the surge,

When the stormy night-winds blow.
Sleep, warriors ! sleep
On your pillow deep

In peace! for no mortal care,
No art can deceive,
No anguish can heave


Shout for the mighty men
Who died along this shore,
Who died within this mountain glen
For never nobler chieftain's head
Was laid on valour's crimson bed,
Nor ever prouder gore
Sprang forth, than theirs who won the day
Upon thy strand, Thermopylae

Shout for the mighty men,
Who on the Persian tents,
Like lions from their midnight den,
Bounding on the slumbering deer,
Rush’d—a storm of sword and spear—
Like the roused elements,
Let loose from an immortal hand,
To chasten or to crush a land 1

But there are none to hear;
Greece is a hopeless slave.
LEoNIDAs no hand is near
To lift thy fiery falchion now :
No warrior makes the warrior's vow
Upon thy sea-wash’d grave.
The voice that should be raised by men,
Must now be given by wave and glen.

And it is given the surge—
The tree—the rock—the sand—
On freedom's kneeling spirit urge,
In sounds that speak but to the free,
The memory of thine and thee!
The vision of thy band
Still gleams within the glorious dell,
Where their gore hallow'd, as it fell!

And is thy grandeur done?
Mother of men like these !
Has not thy outcry gone
Where Justice has an ear to hear 2
Be holy! God shall guide thy spear;
Till in thy crimson'd seas
Are plunged the chain and scimitar,


It was the wild midnight,
A storm was on the sky;

The lightning gave its light,
And the thunder echoed by.

The torrent swept the glen,
The ocean lash'd the shore;

Then rose the Spartan men,
To make their bed in gore

Swift from the deluged ground
Three hundred took the shield;

Then, silent, gather'd round
The leader of the field.

He spoke no warrior-word,
He bade no trumpet blow ;

But the signal thunder roar'd,
And they rush’d upon the foe.

The fiery element
Show'd, with one mighty gleam,

Rampart, and flag, and tent,
Like the spectres of a dream.

All up the mountain side,
All down the woody vale,
All by the rolling tide

Waved the Persian banners pale.

And King Leonidas.
Among the slumbering band,
Sprang foremost from the pass,

Like the lightning's living brand.

Then double darkness fell,
And the forest ceased its moan :

But there came a clash of steel,

Anon, a trumpet blew,

And a fiery sheet burst high, That o'er the midnight threw

A blood-red canopy.

A host glared on the hill,

A host glared by the bay; But the Greeks rush'd onwards still,

Like leopards in their play.

The air was all a yell,

And the earth was all a flame, Where the Spartan's bloody steel

On the silken turbans came.

And still the Greek rush'd on

Beneath the fiery fold, Till, like a rising sun,

Shone Xerxes' tent of gold.

They found a royal feast,

His midnight banquet, there! And the treasures of the east

Lay beneath the Doric spear.

Then sat to the repast

The bravest of the brave! That feast must be their last,

That spot must be their grave.

They pledged old Sparta's name

In cups of Syrian wine,
And the warrior's deathless fame

Was sung in strains divine.

They took the rose-wreath'd lyres

From eunuch and from slave ; And taught the languid wires

The sounds that freedom gave.

But now the morning star

Crown'd Eta's twilight brow : And the Persian horn of war

o Up rose the glorious rank, To Greece one cup pour'd high, Then, hand in hand, they drank “To Immortality 1"

Fear on King Xerxes fell,
When, like spirits from the tomb,

With shout and trumpet-knell,
He saw the warriors come.

But down swept all his power,
With chariot and with charge;

Down pour'd the arrowy shower,
Till sank the Dorian's targe.

They march'd within the tent,
With all their strength unstrung;

To Greece one look they sent,
Then on high their torches flung.

To heaven the blaze uproll'd,
Like a mighty altar-fire;

And the Persians' gems and gold
Were the Grecians' funeral pyre.

Their king sat on the throne,
His captains by his side,-

While the flame rush'd roaring on,
And their paean loud replied

Thus fought the Greek of old,—
Thus will he fight again!

Shall not the selfsame mould
Bring forth the selfsame men 2

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