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The greatest danger here was from a shark,
That carried off his neighbor by the thigh;
Nor yet had he arrived but for the oar,
Which, providentially for him, was wash'd Just as his feeble arms could strike no more,
And the hard wave o'erwhelm'd him as 'twas dash'd Within his grasp : he clung to it, and sore
The waters beat while he thereto was lash'd; At last, with swimming, wading, scrambling, he Roll'd on the beach, half-senseless, from the sea.
There, breathless, with his digging nails he clung
Fast to the sand, lest the returning wave, From whose reluctant roar his life he wrung,
Should suck him back to her insatiate grave :
Before the entrance of a cliff-worn cave,
With slow and staggering effort he'arose,
But sunk again upon his bleeding knee
Who long had been his mates upon the sea;
died two days before, and now had found An unknown barren beach for burial ground,
And as he gazed, his dizzy brain spun fast,
And down he sunk; and as he sunk, the sand Swam round and round, and all his senses pass'd:
He fell upon his side, and his stretch'd hand Droop'd dripping on the oar (their jury-mast);
And, like a wither'd lily, on the land
He knew not, for the earth was gone for him,
For his congealing blood and senses dim : And how this heavy faintness pass'd away
He knew not, till each painful pulse and limb, And tingling vein, seem'd throbbing back to life, For Death, though vanquish'd, still retired with strife.
DON JUAN : THE ISLES OF GREECE
FROM CANTO III.
gave the different nations something national; 'Twas all the same to him—“God, save the king,”
*Or“ Ça ira,” according to the fashion all: His muse made increment of anything,
From the high lyric down to the low rational : If Pindar sang horse-races, what should hinder Himself from being as pliable as Pindar?
In England, a six-canto quarto tale ;
In Spain, he'd make a ballad or romance on
The last war- -much the same in Portugal; In Germany, the Pegasus he'd prance on
Would be old Goethe's—(see what says De Staël); In Italy, he'd ape the “ Trecentisti”; In Greece he'd sing some sort of hymn like this t'ye:
The isles of Greece! the isles of Greece!
Where burning Sappho loved and sung,
Where Delos rose and Phæbus sprung!
The Scian and the Teian muse,
The hero's harp, the lover's lute,
Their place of birth alone is mute
sires' “ Islands of the Blest.”
And Marathon looks on the sea;
I dream'd that Greece might still be free;
Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis;
And men in nations ;– all were his !
5. And where are they? and where art thou,
My country? On thy voiceless shore The heroic lay is tuneless now
The heroic bosom beats no more! And must thy lyre, so long divine, Degenerate into hands like mine?
6. 'Tis something, in the dearth of fame,
Though link'd among a fetter'd race,
Even as I sing, suffuse my face:
7. Must we but weep o'er days more blest ?
Must we but blush?_Our fathers bled. Earth! render back from out thy breast
A remnant of our Spartan dead !
Ah, no ;--the voices of the dead Sound like a distant torrent's fall,
And answer, “Let one living head, But one, arise—we come, we come!” 'Tis but the living who are dumb.
9. In vain--in vain : strike other chords.
Fill high the cup with Samian wine! Leave battles to the Turkish hordes,
And shed the blood of Scio's vine ! Hark! rising to the ignoble call,How answers each bold Bacchanal !
You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet,
Where is the Pyrrhic phalanx gone ? Of two such lessons, why forget
The nobler and the manlier one ? You have the letters Cadmus gaveThink ye he meant them for a slave ?
Fill high the bowl with Samian wine !
We will not think of themes like these! It made Anacreon's
The tyrant of the Chersonese
Was freedom's best and bravest friend; That tyrant was Miltiades !
Oh, that the present hour would lend Another despot of the kind ! Such chains as his were sure to bind.
13. Fill high the bowl with Samian wine !
On Suli's rock, and Parga's shore, Exists the remnant of a line
Such as the Doric mothers bore : And there, perhaps, some seed is sown, The Heracleidan blood might own.
14. Trust not for freedom to the Franks
They have a king who buys and sells : In native swords and native ranks,
The only hope of courage dwells ; But Turkish force and Latin fraud Would break your shield, however broad.