Imágenes de páginas

Where are the vineyards, with their joyous throngs,

The red grapes pressing when the foliage fades? The lyres, the wreaths, the lovely Dorian songs, And the pine forests, and the olive shades?

-Far in my own bright land !

Where the deep haunted grots, the laurel bowers,

The Dryad's footsteps, and the minstrel's dreams? -Oh! that my life were as a southern flower's ! I might not languish then by these chill streams,

Far from my own bright land !



“Les Chants Funèbres par lesquels on déplore en Grèce la mort de ses proches, prennent le nom particulier de Myriologia, comme qui dirait, Discours de lamentation, complaintes. Un malade vient-il de rendre le dernier soupir, sa femme, sa mère, ses filles, ses sæurs, celles, en un mot, de ses plus proches parentes qui sont là, lui ferment les yeux et la bouche, en épanchant librement, chacune selon son naturel et sa mesure de tendresse pour le défunt, la douleur qu'elle ressent de sa perte. Ce premier devoir rempli, elles se retirent toutes chez une de leurs parentes ou de leurs amies. Là elles changent de vêtemens, s'habillent de blanc, comme pour la cérémonie nuptiale, avec cette différence, qu'elles gardent la tête nue, les cheveux épars et pendants. Ces apprêts terminés, les parentes reviennent dans leur parure de deuil; toutes se rangent en circle autour du mort, et leur douleur s'exhale de nouveau, et, comme la première fois, sans règle et sans contrainte. A ces plaintes spontanées succèdent bientôt des lamentations d'une autre espèce : ce sont les Myriologues. Ordinairement c'est la plus proche parente qui prononce le sien la première ; après elle les autres parentes, les amies, les simples voisines. Les Myriologues sont toujours composés et chantés par les femmes. Ils sont toujours improvisés, toujours en vers, et toujours chan. tés sur un air qui diffère d'un lieu à un autre, mais qui, dans un lieu donné, reste invariablement consacré à ce genre de poësie.”

Chants Populaires de la Grèce Moderne, par C. Fauriel.

A WAIL was heard around the bed, the death-bed

of the young, Amidet her tears the Funeral Chant a mournful

mother sung. “ Ianthis! dost thou sleep ?- Thou sleep’st !-but

this is not the rest, The breathing and the rosy calm, I have pillow'd on

my breast ! I lull’d thee not to this repose, Ianthis! my sweet

son ! As in thy glowing childhood's time by twilight I have

done! -How is it that I bear to stand and look upon thee

now? And that I die not, seeing death on thy pale glorious


"I look upon thee, thou that wert of all most fair and

brave ! I see thee wearing still too much of beauty for the

grave! Though mournfully thy smile is fix'd, and heavily

thine eye

Hath shut above the falcon-glance that in it loved to lie!

And fast is bound the springing step, that seem'd on

breezes borne, When to thy couch I came and said,— Wake, hun

ter, wake ! 'tis morn!' Yet art thou lovely still, my flower! untouch'd by

slow decay, -And I, the wither'd stem, remain-I would that

grief might slay!

“Oh! ever when I met thy look, I knew that this

would be ! I knew too well that length of days was not a gift

for thee! I saw it in thy kindling cheek, and in thy bearing

high ; A voice came whispering to my soul, and told me

thou must die! That thou must die, my fearless one! where swords

were flashing red.-Why doth a mother live to say—my first-born and

my dead?

They tell me of thy youthful fame, they talk of vic

tory won-Speak thou, and I will hear ! my child, Ianthis!

my sweet son !"

A wail was heard around the bed, the deathbed of

the young, A fair-hair'd bride the Funeral Chant amidst her

weeping sung.

“ Ianthis! look'st thou not on me?

Can love indeed be fled ? When was it woe before to gaze upon thy stately

head ? I would that I had follow'd thee, Ianthis, my beloved ! And stood as woman oft hath stood where faithful

hearts are proved! That I had bound breastplate on, and battled at

thy side-It would have been a blessed thing together had

we died!

“ But where was I when thou didst fall beneath the

fatal sword? Was I beside the sparkling fount, or at the peaceful

board ? Or singing some sweet song of old, in the shadow of.

the vine, Or praying to the saints for thee, before the holy

shrine ? And thou wert lying low the while, the life-drops

from thy heart Fast gushing like a mountain-spring !-and couldst

thou thus depart? Couldst thou depart, nor on my lips pour out thy

fleeting breath? -Oh! I was with thee but in joy, that should have

been in death!

« AnteriorContinuar »