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But wan her cheek, her footsteps insecure,
And anxious pleasure beamed in her faint eye,
As she had newly left a couch of pain,
Pale convalescent ! (yet some time to rule
With power exclusive o'er the willing world,
That blest prophetic mandate then fulfilled
Peace be on Earth !) A happy while, but brief,
She seemed to wander with assiduous feet,
And healed the recent harm of chill and blight,
And nursed each plant that fair and virtuous grew.
But soon a deep precursive sound moaned hollow :
Black rose the clouds, and now, (as in a dream)
Their reddening shapes, transformed to warrior-hosts,
Coursed o'er the sky, and battled in mid-air.
Nor did not the large blood-drops fall from heaven
Portentous ! while aloft were seen to float,
Like hideous features booming on the mist,
Wan stains of ominous light ! Resigned, yet sad,
The fair Form bowed her olive-crowned brow,
Then o'er the plain with oft reverted eye
Fled till a place of tombs she reached, and there
Within a ruined sepulchre obscure
"The delegated Maid
Gazed through her tears, then in sad tones exclaimed ;-
“Thou mild-eyed Form! wherefore, ah ! wherefore fled ?
The power of Justice like a name all light,
Shone from thy brow ; but all they, who unblamed
Dwelt in thy dwellings, call thee Happiness.
Ah! why, uninjured and unprofited,
Should multitudes against their brethren rush ?
Why sow they guilt, still reaping misery?
Lenient of care, thy songs, O Peace ! are sweet,
As after showers the perfumed gale of eve,
That Alings the cool drops on a feverous cheek;
And gay thy grassy altar piled with fruits.
But boasts the shrine of demon War one charm,
Save that with many an orgie strange and foul,
Dancing around with interwoven arms,
The maniac Suicide and giant Murder
Exult in their fierce union ! I am sad,
And know not why the simple peasants crowd
Beneath the Chieftains' standard!” Thus the Maid.
To her the tutelary Spirit said :
“When luxury and lust's exhausted stores
No more can rouse the appetites of kings;
When the low flattery of their reptile lords
Falls flat and heavy on the accustomed ear ;
When eunuchs sing, and fools buffoonery make,
And dancers writhe their harlot-limbs in vain ;
Then War and all its dread vicissitudes
Pleasingly agitate their stagnant hearts;
Its hopes, its fears, its victories, its defeats,
Insipid royalty's keen condiment !
Therefore uninjured and unprofited,
(Victims at once and executioners)
The congregated husbandmen lay waste
The vineyard and the harvest. As along
The Bothnic coast, or southward of the Line,
Though hushed the winds and cloudless the high noon,
Yet if Leviathan, weary of ease,
In sports unwieldy toss his island-bulk,
Ocean behind him billows, and before
A storm of waves breaks foamy on the strand.
And hence, for times and seasons bloody and dark,
Short Peace shall skin the wounds of causeless War,
And War, his strained sinews knit anew,
Still violate the unfinished works of Peace.
But yonder look ! for more demands thy view !"
He said : and straightway from the opposite Isle
A vapour sailed, as when a cloud, exhaled
From Egypt's fields that steam hot pestilence,
Travels the sky for many a trackless league,
Till o'er some death-doomed land, distant in vain,
It broods incumbent. Forthwith from the plain,
Facing the Isle, a brighter cloud arose,
And steered its course which way the vapour went.
The Maiden paused, musing what this might mean.
But long time passed not, ere that brighter cloud
Returned more bright; along the plain it swept ;
And soon from forth its bursting sides emerged
A dazzling form, broad-bosomed, bold of eye,
And wild her hair, save where with laurels bound.
Not more majestic stood the healing God,
When from his bow the arrow sped that slew
Huge Python. Shriek'd Ambition's giant throng,
And with them hissed the locust-fiends that crawled
And glittered in Corruption's slimy track.
Great was their wrath, for short they knew their reign;
And such commotion made they, and uproar,
As when the mad tornado bellows through
The guilty islands of the western main,
What time departing from their native shores,
Eboe, or * Koromantyn's plain of palms, * The Slaves in the West-Indies consider death as a passport to their native country. This sentiment is thus expressed in the introduction to a Greek Prize-Ode on the Slave-Trade, of which the thoughts are better than the language in which they are conveyed.
Ω σκότου πύλας, θάνατε, προλείπων
'Ες γένος σπεύδους υποζευχθέν "Ατα:
Ου ξενισθήση γενύων σπαραγμούς, ,
The infuriate spirits of the murdered make
Fierce merriment, and vengeance ask of Heaven.
Warmed with new influence, the unwholesome plain
Sent up its foulest fogs to meet the morn :
The Sun that rose on Freedom, rose in blood !
“Maiden beloved, and Delegate of Heaven !
(To her the tutelary Spirit said)
Soon shall the morning struggle into day,
The stormy morning into cloudless noon.
Much hast thou seen, nor all canst understand-
But this be thy best omen-Save thy Country!”
Thus saying, from the answering Maid he passed,
And with him disappeared the heavenly Vision.
“Glory to Thee, Father of Earth and Heaven !
All conscious presence of the Universe !
Nature's vast ever-acting energy!
In will, in deed, impulse of All to All !
Whether thy Love with unrefracted ray
Beam on the Prophet's purged eye, or if
Diseasing realms the enthusiast, wild of thought,
Scatter new frenzies on the infected throng,
Thou both inspiring and predooming both,
Fit instruments and best, of perfect end :
Glory to Thee, Father of Earth and Heaven !”
And first a landscape rose
More wild and waste and desolate than where
The white bear, drifting on a field of ice,
Howls to her sundered cubs with piteous rage
And savage agony.
'Αλλά και κύκλοισι χοροι τύποισι,
Κασμάτων χαρα φοβερός μεν εσσι,
'Αλλ όμως Ελευθερία συνοικείς,
Στυγνέ Τύραννε ! !
Δασκίοις επί πτερύγεσσι σησι
*Α! θαλάσσιον καθορώντες οίδμα
Αιθεροπλάγκτοις υπό ποσσ' ανείσι
Πατρίδ' επ' αθαν. .
"Ενθα μάν 'Ερασται Έρωμενησιν
'Αμφί πηγή σιν κιτρίνων υπ' άλσων,
"Οσσ’ υπό βροτοίς έπαθον βροτοί, τα
LITERAL TRANSLATION. Leaving the gates of darkness, O Death ! hasten thou to a race yoked with misery! Thou wilt not be received with lacerations of cheeks, nor with funeral ululation—but with circling dances and the joy of songs. Thou art terrible indeed, yet thou dwellest with Liberty, stern Genius! Borne on thy dark pinions over the swelling of Ocean, they return to their native country. There, by the side of fountains beneath citron-groves, the lovers tell to their beloved what horrors, being men, they had endured from men.
ODE TO THE DEPARTING YEAR.*
'Iov, lov, ö ü kaká.
Υπ' αυ με δεινός ορθομαντείας πόνος
Στροβεί, ταράσσων φροιμίοις εφημίοις.
Το μέλλον ήξει. Και συ μ εν τάχει παρών
''Αγαν γ' αληθόμαντιν οικτείρας έρείς. .
Æschyl. Agam. 1225.
ARGUMENT. THE Ode commences with an address to the Divine Providence, that regulates into one vast harmony all the events of time, however calamitous some of them may appear to mortals. The second Strophe calls on men to suspend their private joys and sorrows, and devote them for a while to the cause of human nature in general. The first Epode speaks of the Empress of Russia, who died of an apoplexy on the 17th of November, 1796; having just concluded a subsidiary treaty with the Kings combined against France. The first and second Antistrophe describe the image of the Departing Year, &c., as in a vision. The second Epode prophesies, in anguish of spirit, the downfall of this country.
SPIRIT who sweepest the wild harp of Time!
It is most hard, with an untroubled ear
Thy dark inwoven harmonies to hear!
Yet, mine eye fixed on Heaven's unchanging clime,
Long had I listened, free from mortal fear,
With inward stillness, and a bowed mind;
When lo! its folds far waving on the wind,
I saw the train of the departing Year!
Starting from my silent sadness,
Then with no unholy madness
Ere yet the entered cloud foreclosed my sight,
I raised the impetuous song, and solemnised his flight.
Hither, from the recent tomb;
From the prison's direr gloom,
From distemper's midnight anguish;
And thence, where poverty doth waste and languish!
Or where, his two bright torches blending,
Love illumines manhood's maze;
Or where o'er cradled infants bending
Hope has fixed her wishful gaze ;
Hither, in perplexed dance,
Ye Woes! ye young-eyed Joys! advance i
By Time's wild harp, and by the hand
Whose indefatigable sweep
Raises its fateful strings from sleep,
I bid you haste, a mixed tumultuous band!
This Ode was composed on the 24th, 25th, and 26th days of December, 1796 ; and was first published on the last day of that year.
From every private bower,
And each domestic hearth,
Haste for one solemn hour;
And with a loud and yet a louder voice,
O'er Nature struggling in portentous birth,
Weep and rejoice !
Still echoes the dread name that o'er the earth
Let slip the storm, and woke the brood of hell:
And now advance in saintly jubilee
Justice and Truth! They too have heard thy spell !
They too obey thy name, divinest Liberty!
I marked Ambition in his war-array!
I heard the mailed Monarch's troublous cry-
“Ah! wherefore does the Northern Conqueress stay!
Groans not her chariot on its onward way?”
Fly, mailed Monarch, fly!
Stunned by Death's twice mortal mace,
No more on murder's lurid face
The insatiate hag shall gloat with drunken eye!
Manes of the unnumbered slain!
Ye that gasped on Warsaw's plain!
Ye that erst at Ismail's tower,
When human ruin choked the streams,
Fell in conquest's glutted hour,
'Mid women's shrieks and infants' screams!
Spirits of the uncoffined slain,
Sudden blasts of triumph swelling, Oft, at night, in misty train,
Rush around her narrow dwelling! The exterminating fiend is fled
(Foul her life, and dark her doom) Mighty armies of the dead
Dance, like death-fires, round her tomb!
Then with prophetic song relate,
Each some tyrant-murderer's fate!
Departing Year! 'twas on no earthly shore
My soul beheld thy vision! Where alone,
Voiceless and stern, before the cloudy throne, Aye Memory sits: thy robe inscribed with gore, With many an unimaginable groan
Thou storied'st thy sad hours! Silence ensued, Deep silence o'er the ethereal multitude, Whose locks with wreaths, whose wreaths with glories shone.
Then, his eye wild ardours glancing,
From the choired gods advancing,
The Spirit of the Earth made reverence meet,
And stood up, beautiful, before the cloudy seat.