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Thinking, with lips that mov'd in Of many a stanza, this alone pray'r,
Had scaped oblivion-like the one Of Sappho and that fearful flood : Stray fragment of a wreck, that thrown, While some, who ne'er till now had With the lost vessel's name, ashore, known
Tells who they were that live no more. How much their hearts resembled hers,
When thus the heart is in a vein Felt as they made her griefs their own, Of tender thought, the simplest strain That they, too, were Love's worship. Can touch it with peculiar powerpers.
As when the air is warm, the scent
Of the most wild and rustic flower At length a murmur, all but mute,
Can fill the whole rich elementSo faint it was, came from the lute And, in such moods, the homeliest
tone Of a young melancholy maid, Whose fingers, all uncertain play'd
That's link'd with feelings, once our From chord to chord, as if in chase Of some lost melody, some strain
With friends or joys gone by–will be Of other times, whose faded trace
Worth choirs of loftiest harmony ! She sought among those chords again.
But some there were, among the group Slowly the half-forgotten theme
Of damsels there, too light of heart (Though born in feelings ne'er forgot) To let their fancies longer droop, Came to her memory—as a beam Ev'n under music's melting art:
Falls broken o'er some shaded spot;- And one upspringing, with a bound, And while her lute's sad symphony From a low bank of flowers, look'd Filld up each sighing pause between ; round And Love himself might weep to see With eyes that, though they laugh'd (As fays behold the wither'd
with light, Where late they danced) what misery Had still a lingering tear within; May follow where his steps have And while her hand in dazzling flight, been
Flew o'er a fairy mandolin, Thus simply to the list’ning throng Thus sung the song her lover late She breath'd her melancholy song. Had sung to her—the eve before
That joyous night, when, as of yore,
All Zia met, to celebrate
The Feast of May, on the sea-shore.
WEEPING for thee, my love, through
the long day, Lonely and wearily life wears away, Weeping for thee, my love, through
the long night, No rest in darkness, no joy in light ! Nought left but Memory, whose dreary
tread Sounds through this ruin'd heart, where
all lies deadWakening the echoes of joy long fled !
WHEN the Balaikal
Is heard o'er the sea,
By moonlight with thee.
Should steal on our play,
Shall chase them away.”
1 This word is defrauded here, I suspect, of a ing the Romaika upon the sand; in some of syllable; Dr. Clarke, if I recollect right, makes those groups, the girl who ied them chased it Balalaika.'
the retreating wave.'— Douglas on the Modern 2 I saw above thirty parties engaged in danc- Greeks.
When the Balaika
With hand in hand, likelinks, enlock’d, Is heard o'er the sea,
Through the light air they seem'd to Thou’lt dance the Romaika,
flit My own love, with me.
In labyrinthine maze, that mock'd
Each dazzled eye that follow'd it?' Then, at the closing
Some call'd aloud 'the Fountain Dance!' Of each merry lay,
While one young, dark eyed Amazon, We'll lie reposing,
Whose step was air-like, and whose Beneath the night ray !
glance Or if, declining,
Flash’d, like a sabre in the sun,
Sportively said, “Shame on these soft We'll talk by the shining
And languid strains we hear so oft. Of each other's eyes.
Daughters of Freedom ! have not we
Learn'd from our lovers and our sires Oh then, how featly The dance we'll renew,
The Dance of Greece, while Greece was
That Dance, where neither flutes nor Its light mazes through !! Till stars shining o'er us
But sword and shield clash on the ear, From heaven's high bow'rs, Would give their bright chorus
A music tyrants quake to hear ??
Heroines of Zia, arm with me,
And dance the dance of Victory!'
Thus saying, she, with playful grace, Thou’lt dance the Romaika, Loos'd the wide hat, that o'er her face My own love, with me.
(From Anatolia: came the maid)
Hung, shadowing each sunny charmi:
And, with a fair young armourer's aid, How changingly for ever veers
Fixing it on her rounded arm, The heart of youth, 'twixt smiles and A mimic shield with pride display'd; tears!
Then, springing tow'rds a grove that Ev'n as in April, the light vane
spread Now points to sunshine, now to rain. Its canopy of foliage near, Instant this lively lay dispell’d Pluck'd off a lance-like twig, and said,
The shadow from each blooming brow, To arms, to arms!' while o'er her head And Dancing, joyous Dancing, held She wav'd
the light branch, as a spear Full empire o'er each fancy now.
Promptly the laughing maidens all But say-what shall the measure be? Obey'd their Chief's heroic call ;
"Shall we the old Romaika tread' Round the shield-arm of each was tied (Some eager ask'd) • as anciently Hat, turban, shawl, as chance might
'Twas by the maids of Delos led, When, slow at first, then circling fast, The grove, their verdant armoury, As the gay spirits rose—at last, Falchion and lance4 alike supplied ;
"In dancing the Romaika (says Mr. Douglas) her in all her movements, without breaking the they begin in slow and solemn step till they have chain, or losing the measure.' gained the time, but by degrees the air becomes 2 For a description of the Pyrrhic Dance, see more sprightly; the conductress of the dance De Guys, &c.--It appears from Apuleius lib. x.) sometimes se ing to her partner, sometimes that this war-dance was, among the ancients, darting before the rest, and leading them through sometimes performed by females. the most rapid revolutions; sometimes crossing 3 See the costumes of ihe Greek women of Na. under the hands which are held up to let her tolia in Castellan & Mæurs des Othomans. pass, and giving as much liveliness and intricacy 4 The gword was the weapon chiefly used in as she can to the figures, into which she conducts this dance. her companions, while their business is to follow
And as their glossy locks, let free, That morning dawu'd by whose im-
Such was the Spartan heroes' dance. And now they stepp'd with measured
tread, Martially, o'er the shining field : Now, to the mimic combat led
Scarce had they clos'd this martial lay A heroine at each squadron's head
When, flinging their light spears away, Struck lance to lance and sword to The combatants, in broken ranks, shield :
All breathless from the war-field fly;
'Fond girls !' an aged Zian said-
And now, with feelings, half delight,
Half sadness, watch'd their mimic
fight• RAISE the buckler-poise the lance- Fond maids! who thus with War Now here—now there-retreat-ad
can jest, vance !'
Like Love, in Mars's helmet drest, Such were the sounds, to which the When, in his childish innocence,
Pleas'd with the shade that helmet warrior boy Danc'd in those happy days, when He thinks not of the blood, that thence
flings, Greece was free;
Is dropping o'er his snowy wings. When Sparta's youth, ev'n in the hour
Ay-true it is, young patriot maids, Thus train’d their steps to war and Did luck but shine on righteous blades,
Did Honour's arm still win the fray, victory; · Raise the buckler-poise the lance
War were a game for gods to play! Now here—now there-retreat-ad
But, no, alas !--hear one, who well
Hath track'd the fortunes of the vance !
braveSuch was the Spartan warriors' dance.
Hear me, in mournful ditty, tell Grasp the falchion
What glory waits the patriot's shield
grave. • Attack--defend-do all, but yield.'
SONG. Thus did thy sops, oh Greece, one As by the shore, at break of day, glorious night,
A vanquish'd Chief expiring lay, Dance by a moon like this, till o'er Upon the sands, with broken sword,
He trac'd his farewell to the Free;
1 Homer, II. ii. 753. 2 It is said that Leonidas and his companions employed themselves, on the eve of the battle, in music and the gymnastic exercises of their country,
And, there, the last unfinish'd word And said, 'Oh Love! whate'er my lot,
He dying wrote was · Liberty !' Still let this soul to thee be trueAt night a Sea-bird shriek'd the knell Rather than have one bliss forgot,
Be all my pains remember'd too!' Of him who thus for Freedom fell; The words he wrote, ere evening came, The group that stood around, to shade
Were cover'd by the sounding sea ;- The blushes of that bashful maid, So pass away the cause and name Had, by degrees, as swell'd the lay Of him who dies for Liberty ! More strongly forth, retir'd away,
Like a fair shell, whose valves divide,
To show the fairer pearl inside: That tribute of subdued applause For such she was—à creature, bright A charm’d, but timid, audience pays,
And delicate as those day-flowers, That murmur, which a minstrel draws Which, while they last, make up, in light From hearts, that feel, but fear to
And sweetness, what they want in praise,
hours. Follow'd this song, and left a pause Of silence after it, that hung
So rich upon the ear had grown Like a fix'd spell on every tongue. Her voice's melody-its tone At length, a low and tremulous sound Gath’ring new courage, as it found
An echo in each bosom roundWas heard from midst a group, that That, ere the nymph (with downcast eye round
Still on the chords) her lute laid by, A bashful maiden stood, to hide Her blushes, while the lute she tried And each some matchless fav’rite nam'd;
• Another Song,' all lips exclaim'd, Like roses, gath'ring round to veil
While blushing, as her fingers ran The song of some young nightingale,
O'er the sweet chords, she thus began. Whose trembling notes steal out be. tween
Thou paintest joy gone by ;
Like rainbows, thy pictures Came, with a stronger sweetness, o'er But mournfully shine and die. Th' attentive ear, this strain was
Or, if some tints thou keepest, heard.
That former days recall,
As o'er each line thou weepest,
Thy tears efface them all.
But, Memory, too truly
Thou paint'st the grief that's past;
Joy's colours are fleeting, The other cold Oblivion's tide.
But those of Sorrow last. • Oh Love!' said I, in thoughtless mood,
And while thou bring'st before us As o'er my lips the Lethe pass’d, • Here in this dark and chilly stream
Dark pictures of past ill,
Life's evening, closing o'er us. Be all my pains forgot at last.'
But makes them darker still. But who could bear that gloomy blank,
Where joy was lost as well as pain ? Quickly of Mem'ry's fount I drank, So went the moonlight hours along,
And brought the past all back again: In this sweet glade; and so, with song
1. This morning we paid our visit to the Cave of Trophonius, and the Fountains of Memory and Oblivion, just upon the water of Hercyna, which flows through stupendous rocks.'-Williams's Travels in Greece,
Andwitching sounds--not such as they, As if some echo, that among
The cymbalists of Ossa, play'd, Those minstrel halls had slumber'd long To chase the moon's eclipse away, Were murm'ring into life again.
But soft and holy_did each maid Lighten her heart's eclipse awhile,
But, no—the nymphs knew well the And win back sorrow to a smile.
A maiden of their train, who lov’d, Not far from this secluded place,
Like the night-bird, to sing alone, On the sea-shore a ruin stood ;
Had deep into those ruins roved, A relic of th’ extinguish'd race,
And there, all other thoughts forgot, Whq once look'å o'er that foamy A lay that, on that very spot,
Was warbling o'er in lone delight, flood,
Her lover sung When fair Ioulis, by the light
one moonlight Of golden sunset, on the sight
night :Of mariners who sail'd that sea,
AH! where are they, who heard, in This ruin-now by barb'rous hands
former hours, Debas'd into a motley shed,
The voice of Song in these neglected
bow'rs! Where the once splendid column stands Inverted on its leafy head
They are gone—they all are gone ! Was, as they tell, in times of old,
The youth, who told his pain in such The dwelling of that bard, whose lay
sweet tone, Could melt to tears the stern and cold, That all who heard him, wished his And sadden, 'mid their mirth, the
pain their owngay
He is gone-he is gone! Simonides, 3 whose fame, through years And ages past, still bright appears- And she, who, while he sung, sat Like Hesperus, a star of tears !
And thought, to strains like these 'twere 'Twas hither now—to catch a view
sweet to die Of the white waters, as they play'd
She is gone--she too is gone ! Silently in the light a few
Of the more restless damsels stray'd; | 'Tis thus, in future hours, some bard And some would linger ’mid the scent
Of hanging foliage, that perfum'd Of her, who hears, and him, who sings The ruin'd walls; while others went,
this layCulling whatever floweret bloom'd
They are gone-they both are gone! In the lone leafy space between, Where gilded chambers once had been ; Or, turning sadly to the sea,
The moon was now, from Heaven's Sent o'er the wave a sigh unblest steep, To some brave champion of the Free- Bending to dip her silvery urn And thought, alas, how cold might be, Of light into the silent deepAt that still hour, his place of rest ! And the young nymphs, on their re
turn Meanwhile there came a sound of song from those romantic ruins, found
From the dark ruins— a faint strain, Their other playmates, rang’d around
1 This superstitious custom of the Thessalians 'extend from the shore, quite into a valley exists also, as Pietro della Valle tells us, among watered by the streams of a fountain, whence the Persians.
loulis received its name.' % An ancient city of Zia, the walls of which 3 Zia was the birthplace of this poet, whose were of marble.
Its remains (says Clarke) verses are by Catullus called ' tears.'