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And shake him from thee; the vile strength he wields
For earth's destruction thou dost all despise,

Spurning him from thy bosom to the skies,
And send'st him, shivering in thy playful spray
And howling, to his Gods, where haply lies

His petty hope in some near port or bay, And dashest him again to earth :—there let him lay. 1620


The armaments which thunderstrike the walls
Of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake,
And monarchs tremble in their capitals,
The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs make
Their clay creator the vain title take
Of lord of thee, and arbiter of war-
These are thy toys, and, as the snowy flake,

They melt into thy yeast of waves, which mar
Alike the Armada's pride or spoils of Trafalgar.




Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee-
Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they?
Thy waters washed them power while they were free,
And many a tyrant since; their shores obey
The stranger, slave, or savage; their decay
Has dried up realms to deserts :—not so thou;
Unchangeable, save to thy wild waves' play,

Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure brow:
Such as creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest now.




Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form
Glasses itself in tempests; in all time,-
Calm or convulsed, in breeze, or gale, or storm,
Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime

Dark-heaving-boundless, endless, and sublime,
The image of eternity, the throne
Of the Invisible; even from out thy slime

1645 The monsters of the deep are made; each zone Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone.



And I have loved thee, Ocean! and my joy
Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be
Borne, like thy bubbles, onward: from a boy
I wantoned with thy breakers- they to me
Were a delight; and if the freshening sea
Made them a terror—'twas a pleasing fear,
For I was as it were a child of thee,

And trusted to thy billows far and near,
And laid my hand upon thy mane-as I do here.




My task is done, my song hath ceased, my theme
Has died into an echo; it is fit
The spell should break of this protracted dream.
The torch shall be extinguished which hath lit
My midnight lamp-and what is writ, is writ;
Would it were worthier! but I am not now
That which I have been—and my visions flit

Less palpably before me--and the glow
Which in my spirit dwelt is fluttering, faint, and low.



Farewell! a word that must be, and hath been-
A sound which makes us linger;-yet-farewell!


Ye! who have traced the Pilgrim to the scene
Which is his last, if in your memories dwell
A thought which once was his, if on ye swell
A single recollection, not in vain
He wore his sandal shoon and scallop shell;

Farewell! with him alone may rest the pain,
If such there were-with you, the moral of his strain.




The isles of Greece, the isles of Greece!

Where burning Sappho 1 loved and sung,
Where grew the arts of war and peace,

Where Delos 2 rose, and Phæbus 2 sprung!
Eternal summer gilds them yet,
But all, except their sun, is set.




The Scian 3 and the Teian 4 muse,

The hero's harp, the lover's lute,
Have found the fame your shores refuse:

Their place of birth alone is mute 1 A Greek poetess who was in the zenith of her fame about B.C. 600. The glory of Lesbos (Mitylene) was that Sappho was its citizen, and its chief fame centers in the fact of her celebrity.The poet Swinburne calls Sappho

Love's priestess, mad with pain and joy of song,

Song's priestess, mad with joy and pain of love." 2 An island fabled to have been raised from the sea by Neptune for Latona, mother of the twin children Apollo (Phoebus) and Diana, born on Delos.

3 Homer, born at Scio.
4 Anacreon, born on the isle of Teos.

To sounds which echo further west
Than your sires “ Islands of the Blest.” 1



The mountains look on Marathon 2

And Marathon looks on the sea;
And musing there an hour alone,

I dreamed that Greece might still be free;
For standing on the Persians' grave,
I could not deem myself a slave.

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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?


1 The vñool uakápwv of the Greek poets were supposed to have been the Cape Verde Islands or the Canaries ” (Byron).

2 In Attica,- the scene of one of the world's decisive battles. Here, in B.C. 490, 11,000 Greeks under Miltiades defeated 100,000 Persians. On this and the other historic events mentioned in the poem, consult some good Greek history.

3 Xerxes, king of the Persians.

4 An island of ancient Greece, opposite Athens, - the scene of the famous victory over the Persians by the Greek fleet under Themistocles, B.C. 480.

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