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TRANSLATION OF THE ROMAIC SONG,
“ Μπενω μες ’τσ' περιβόλι
Ωραιότατη Χάηδή,” &c.*
i ENTER thy garden of roses,
Beloved and fair Haidée,
Each morning where Flora reposes,
see her in thee.
Oh, Lovely! thus low I implore thee.
Receive this fond truth from my tongue,
Which utters its song to adore thee,
Yet trembles for what it has sung;
As the branch at the bidding of Nature,
Adds fragrance and fruit to the tree,
Through her eyes, through her every feature,
Shines the soul of the young Haidée.
But the loveliest garden grows hateful
When love has abandon'd the bowers;
Bring me hemlock-since mine is ungrateful,
That herb is more fragrant than flowers.
The poison, when pour'd from the chalice,
Will deeply embitter the bowl;
But when drunk to escape from thy malice,
The draught shall be sweet to my soul.
Too cruel! in vain I implore thee
My heart from these horrors to save:
Will nought to my bosom restore thee?
Then open the gates of the grave.
As the chief who to combat advances
Secure of his conquest before,
Thus thou, with those eyes for thy lances,
Hast piereed through my heart to its core.
Ah, tell me, my soul! must I perish
By pangs which a smile would dispel?
Would the hope, which thou once bad'st me cherish
For torture repay me too well?
Now sad is the garden of roses,
Beloved but false Haidée!
There Flora all wither'd reposes,
And mourns o'er thine absence with me.
* The song from which this is taken is a great favourite with the young girls of Athens of all ciasses. Their manner of singing it is hy verses in rotation, the whole a bet present joining in the chorus. The air is plaintive and pretty.
THE CURSE OF MINERVA.*
'Pallas te hoc vulnere, Pallas
Immolat, et pœnam scelerato ex sanguine sumit."-—£neid, Ill. E
BLOW sinks, more lovely ere his race be run,
Along Morea's hills the setting sun;
Not, as in northern climes, obscurely bright,
But one unclouded blaze of living light;
O'er the hush'd deep the yellow beam he throws,
Gilds the green wave that trembles as it glows
On old Ægina's rock and Hydra's isle
The god of gladness sheds his parting smile;
O'er his own regions lingering loves to shine,
Though there his altars are no more divine.
Descending fast, the mountain-shadows kiss
Why glorious gulf, unconquer'd Salamis !
Their azure arches through the long expanse,
More deeply purpled, meet his mellowing glance,
And tenderest tints, along their summits driven,
Mark his gay course, and own the hues of heaven;
Till darkly shaded from the land and deep,
Behind his Delphian rock he sinks to sleep.
On such an eve his palest beam he cast
When, Athens! here thy wisest look'd his last.
How watch'd thy better sons his farewell ray,
That closed their murder'd sage's+ latest day;
Not yet not yet-Sol pauses on the hill,
The precious hour of parting lingers still;
But sad his light to agonizing eyes,
And dark the mountain's once delightful dyes;
Gloom o'er the lovely land he seem'd to pour,
The land where Phoebus never frown'd before;
But ere he sunk below Citharon's head,
The cup of woe was quaff'd-the spirit fled;
The soul of him that scorn'd to fear or fly,
Who lived and died as none can live or die.
But, lo! from high Hymettus to the plain
The queen of night asserts her silent reign; ‡
No murky vapour, herald of the storm,
Hides her fair face, or girds her glowing form.
This severe animad version upon Lord Elgin for bringing to England the treasures of che Parthenon was suppressed by Lord Byron, but the opening lines are in the "Corsair." + Socrates drank the hemlock a short time before sunset (the hour of execution), no withstanding the entreaties of his disciples to wait till the sun went down.-B.
The twilight in Greece is much shorter than in our own country; the days in winter are longer, but in summer of less duration.-B.
With cornice glimmering as the moonbeams play,
There the white column greets her grateful ray,
And bright around, with quivering beams beset,
Her emblem sparkles o'er the minaret:
The groves of olive scatter'd dark and wide,
Where meek Cephisus sheds his scanty tide,
The cypress saddening by the sacred mosque,
The gleaming turret of the gay kiosk,*
And sad and sombre 'mid the holy calm,
Near Theseus' fane, yon solitary palm;
All, tinged with varied hues, arrest the eye;
And dull were his that pass'd them heedless by.
Again the Egean, heard no more afar,
Lulls his chafed breast from elemental war;
Again his waves in milder tints unfold
Their long expanse of sapphire and of gold,
Mix'd with the shades of many a distant isle,
That frown, where gentler ocean deigns to smile.
As thus, within the walls of Pallas' fane,†
I mark'd the beauties of the land and main,
Alone, and friendless, on the magic shore,
Whose arts and arms but live in poets' lore;
Oft as the matchless dome I turn'd to scan,
Sacred to gods, but not secure from man,
The past return'd, the present seem'd to cease,
And glory knew no clime beyond her Greece!
Hours rolled along, and Dian's orb on high
Had gain'd the centre of her softest sky;
And yet unwearied still my footsteps trod
O'er the vain shrine of many a vanish'd god:
But chiefly, Pallas! thine; when Hecate's glare,
Check'd by thy columns, fell more sadly fair
O'er the chill marble, where the startling tread
Thrills the lone heart like echoes from the dead.
Long had I mused, and treasured every trace
The wreck of Greece recorded of her race,
When, lo! a giant form before me strode,
And Pallas hail'd me in her own abode !
Yes, 'twas Minerva's self; but, ah! how changed
Since o'er the Dardan field in arms she ranged;
Not such as erst, by her divine command,
Her form appear'd from Phidias' plastic hand:
Gone were the terrors of her awful brow,
Her idle ægis bore no Gorgon now;
Her helm was dinted, and the broken lance
Seem'd weak and shaftless e'en to mortal glance;
The olive branch, which still she deign'd to clasp,
Shrunk from her touca, and wither'd in her grasp;
The kiosk is a Turkish summer-house; the palm is without the present walls o Athens, not far from the temple of Theseus, etween which and tre the wall inter venes. Cephisus' stream is indeed scanty, and Ilissus has no stream at all.-B.
The Parthenon, or Temple of Minerva
And, ah! though still the brightest of the sky,
Celestial tears bedimm'd her large blue eye;
Round the rent casque her owlet circled slow,
And mourn'd his mistress with a shriek of woe !
"Mortal!"-'twas thus she spake "that blush of shame
Proclaims thee Briton, once a noble name;
First of the mighty, foremost of the free,
Now honour'd less by all, and least by me:
Chief of thy foes shall Pallas still be found.
Seek'st thou the cause of loathing ?-look around.
Lo! here, despite of war and wasting fire,
I saw successive tyrannies expire.
'Scaped from the ravage of the Turk and Goth,
Thy country sends a spoiler worse than both.
Survey this vacant, violated fane;
Recount the relics torn that yet remain :
These Cecrops placed, this Pericles adorn'd,*
That Adrian rear'd when drooping Science mourn'd.
What more I owe let gratitude attest-
Know Alaric and Elgin did the rest.
That all may learn from whence the plunderer came,
The insulted wall sustains his hated name;
For Elgin's fame thus grateful Pallas pleads,
Below, his name-above, behold his deeds!
Be ever hail'd with equal honour here
The Gothic monarch and the Pictish peer:
Arms gave the first his right, the last had none,
But basely stole what less barbarians won.
So when the lion quits his fell repast,
Next prowls the wolf, the filthy jackal last:
Flesh, limbs, and blood the former make their own,
The last poor brute securely gnaws the bone.
Yet still the gods are just, and crimes are cross'd:
See here what Elgin won, and what he lost!
Another name with his pollutes my shrine:
Behold where Dian's beams disdain to shine!
Some retribution still might Pallas claim,
When Venus half avenged Minerva's shame."
She ceased awhile, and thus I dared reply,
To soothe the vengeance kind'ing in her eye:
"Daughter of Jove! in Britain's injured name,
A true-born Briton may the deed disclaim.
Frown not on England; England owns him not:
Athena, no! thy plunderer was a Scot.
Ask'st thou the difference? From fair Phylo's towers
Survey Boeotia ;-Caledonia 's ours.
This is spoken of the city in general, and not of the Acropolis in particular. The temple of Jupiter Olympius, by some supposed the Parthenon, was finished by Hadrian; sixteen columns are standing, of the most beautiful marble architecture.-B.
+ His lordship's name, and that of one who no longer bears it, are carved conspicuously on the Parthenon; above, in a part not far distant, are the turn remnants of the buses relievos, destroyed in a vain attempt to remove them.-B.
And well I know within that bastard land
Hath Wisdom's goddess never held command;
A barren soil, where Nature's germs, confined
To stern sterility, can stint the mind;
Whose thistle well betrays the niggard carth,
Emblem of all to whom the land gives birth;
Each genial influence nurtured to resist ;
A land of meanness, sophistry, and mist.
Each breeze from foggy mount and marshy plain
Dilutes with drivel every drizzly brain,
Till, burst at length, each watery head o'erflows,
Foul as their soil, and frigid as their snows.
Then thousand schemes of petulance and pride
Despatch her scheming children far and wide:
Some east, some west; some everywhere but nort!
In quest of lawless gain, they issue forth.
And thus--accursèd be the day and year!—
She sent a Pict to play the felon here.
Yet Caledonia claims some native worth,
As dull Boeotia gave a Pindar birth;
So may her few, the letter'd and the brave,
Bound to no clime, and victors of the grave,
Shake off the sordid dust of such a land,
And shine like children of a happier strand;
As once of yore in some obnoxious place,
Ten names (if found) had saved a wretched race.'
"Mortal!" the blue-eyed maid resumed, "once more
Bear back my mandate to thy native shore.
Though fallen, alas! this vengeance yet is mine,
To turn my counsels far from lands like thine.
Hear then in silence Pallas' stern behest;
Hear and believe, for Time will tell the rest.
"First on the head of him who did this deed
My curse shall light, on him and all his seed;
Without one spark of intellectual fire,
Be all the sons as senseless as the sire:
If one with wit the parent bro disgrace,
Believe him bastard of a brighter race:
Still with his hireling artists let him prate,
And Folly's praise repay for Wisdom's hate;
Long of their patron's gusto let them tell,
Whose noblest, native gusto is-to sell:
To sell, and make-may shame record the day!
The state receiver of his pilfer'd prey.
Meantime, the flattering, feeble dotard, West,
Europe's worst dauber, and poor Britain's best,
With palsied hand shall turn each model o'er,
And own himself an infant of fourscore.+
• "Irish bastards," according to Sir Callaghan O'Brallaghan.-B.
Mr. West, on seeing the "Elgin Collection" (I suppose we shall hear of the "A bar Shaw" and "Jack Shephard" collection), declares himself" a mere tyro" in