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What, silent still? and silent all?
Ah! no ;-the voices of the dead Sound like a distant torrent's fall,
And answer, "Let one living head,
And shed the blood of Scio's vine!
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 song divine:
He served but served Polycrates,
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. 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.
Trust not for freedom to the Franks--
The only hope of courage dwells;
Our virgins dance beneath the shade-
But, gazing on each glowing maid,
Place me on Sunium's marbled steep,
Where nothing, save the waves and I,
There, swan-like, let me sing and die;
FARE THEE WELL.*
FARE thee well! and if for ever,
Would that breast were bared before thee,
* These verses were addressed to Lady Byron, the poet's wife, who separated from him in 1816, taking with her their infant daughter-the Ada of Byron's poems.
Would that breast, by thee glanced over,
Though the world for this commend thee;
Although my many faults defaced me,
Yet, oh yet, thyself deceive not:
Love may sink by slow decay, But by sudden wrench, believe not Hearts can thus be torn away.
Still thine own its life retaineth ;
Still must mine, though bleeding, beat; And the undying thought which paineth that we no more may meet. These are words of deeper sorrow Than the wail above the dead; Both shall live, but every morrow Wake us from a widowed bed.
And when thou wouldst solace gather,
Though his care she must forego?
When her little hands shall press thee,
Should her lineaments resemble
Those thou never more mayst see,
Wither; yet with thee they go.
Pride, which not a world could bow,
E'en my soul forsakes me now.
Words from me are vainer still;
Force their way without the will.
BORN in Dublin, and educated at Winchester and Trinity College, Dublin. Took holy orders in 1817, and was appointed to a curacy in the county of Tyrone. Hard parochial work, and inattention perhaps to his health, brought him to an early grave in 1823. Wolfe was the author of several small works; but his fame as poet rests upon his well-known ode on The Burial of Sir John Moore.
THE BURIAL OF SIR JOHN MOORE. NOT a drum was heard, nor a funeral note,
As his corse to the ramparts we hurried: Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot,
O'er the grave where our hero we buried.
We buried him darkly at dead of night,
No useless coffin enclosed his breast,
Nor in sheet nor in shroud we wound him;
Few and short were the prayers we said,
We thought, as we hollowed his narrow bed,
The foe and the stranger would tread o'er his head, And we far away on the billow!
Lightly they'll talk of the spirit that's gone,
But half of our heavy task was done,
When the clock struck the hour for retiring; And we heard the distant and random gun That the foe was sullenly firing..
Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
From the field of his fame fresh and gory; We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone, But we left him alone with his glory.