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Know ye the land where the cypress and myrtle
Are emblems of deeds that are done in their clime ? Where the rage of the vulture, the love of the turtle,
Now melt into sorrow, now madden to crime !
Know the land of the cedar and vine,
Where the flowers ever blossom, the beams ever shine:
Where the light wings of Zephyr, oppress'd with perfume,
Wax faint o'er the gardens of Gûl in her bloom ;
Where the citron and olive are fairest of fruit,
And the voice of the nightingale never is mute;
Where the tints of the earth, and the hues of the sky,
In colour though varied, in beauty may vie,
And the purple of ocean is deepest in dye;
Where the virgins are soft as the roses they twine,
And all, save the spirit of man, is divine ?
'Tis the clime of the East : 'tis the land of the Sun-
Can he smile on such deeds as his children have done?
Oh! wild as the accents of laver's farewell
Are the hearts which they bear, and the tales which they tell
BYRON. Bride of Abydos.
AND yet how lovely in thine age of woe,
Land of last gods and god-like men, art thou !
Thy vales of evergreen, thy hills of snow,
Proclaim thee Nature's varied favourite now:
Thy fanes, thy temples to the surface bow,
Commingling slowly with heroic earth,
Broke by the share of every rustic plough :
So perish monuments of mortal birth,
So perish all in turn, save well-recorded worth.
Save where some solitary column mourns
Above its prostrate brethren of the cave,
Save where Tritonia's airy shrine adorns
Colonna's cliff, and gleams along the wave;
Save o'er some warrior's half-forgatten grave,
Ages, but not oblivion, feebly brave;
While strangers only not regardless pass,
Lingering like me, perchance to gaze, and sigh “ Alas !”
Yet are thy skies as blue, thy crags as wild;
Sweet are thy groves, and verdant are thy fields,
Thine olive ripe as when Minerva smiled,
And still his honey'd wealth Hymettus yields;
There the blithe bee his fragrant fortress builds,
The free-born wanderer of thy mountain-air;
Apollo still thy long, long summer gilds,
Still in his beam Mendele's marbles glare,
Art, Glory, Freedom fail, but Nature still is fair.
Where'er we tread 'tis haunted, holy ground;
No earth of thine is lost in vulgar mould,
But one vast realm of wonder spreads around,
And all the Muse's tales seem truly told,
Till the sense aches with gazing to behold
The scenes our earliest dreams have dwelt upon ;
Each hill and dale, each deepening glen and wold
Defies the power which crush'd thy temples gone;
Age shakes Athena's tower, but spares gray Marathon.
Yet to the remnants of thy splendour past
Shall pilgrims, pensive, but unwearied, throng;
Long shall the voyager, with th' Ionian blast
Hail the bright clime of battle and of song;
Long shall thy annals and immortal tongue,
Fill with thy fame the youth of many a shore;
Boast of the aged ! lesson of the young!
Which sages venerate and bards adore,
As Pallas and the muse unveil their awful lore.
The parted bosom clings to wonted home,
If aught that's kindred cheer the welcome hearth;
He that is lonely, hither let him roam,
And gaze complacent on congenial earth.
Greece is no lightsome iand of social mirth :
But he whom sadness sootheth may abide,
And scarce regret the region of his birth,
When wandering slow by Delphi's sacred side,
Or gazing o'er the plains where Greek and Persian died.
Childe Harold, Canto II.
SUPERSTITION. SUPERSTITION always inspires littleness, Religion grandeur of mind; the superstitious raises beings inferior to himself to deities.
THEY that are against superstition oftentimes run into it of the wrong side. If I wear all colours but black, then I am superstitious in not wearing black.*
SELDEN. THE master of superstition is the people, and in all superstition wise men follow fools, and arguments are fitted to practise in a reversed order.
Bacon. Essays. As it is the chief concern of wise men to retrench the evils of life by the reasonings of philosophy, it is the employment of fools to multiply them by the sentiments of superstition.
BENEATH those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed,
The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her evening care:
No children run to lisp their sire's return,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.
GRAY. Elegy. 'Tis well ; 'tis something; we may stand
Where he in English earth is laid,
And from his ashes may be made
The violet of his native land.
'Tis little ; but it looks in truth
As if the quiet bones were blest
Among familiar names to rest,
And in the places of his youth.
TENNYSON. In Memoriam.
* There is sometimes superstition shown in avoiding superstitions, when men think to do best by receding farthest from the superstition that before prevailed.
' A SOLITARY GRAVE.
But she sleeps well
By the sea-shore, whereon she loved to dwell.
That isle is now all desolate and bare,
Its dwellings down, its tenants pass'd away; None but her own and father's grave is there,
And nothing outward tells of human clay ; Ye could not know where lies a thing so fair,
No stone is there to show, no tongue to say, What was; no dirge, except the hollow seas, Mourns o'er the beauty of the Cyclades.
Don Juan, Canto IV.
WHEN by a good man’s grave I muse alone,
Methinks an angel sits upon the stone;
Like those of old, on that thrice-hallowed night,
Who sat and watched in raiment heavenly bright,
And with a voice inspiring joy, not fear,
Says, pointing upward, that he is not here,
That he is risen!
ROGERS. Human Life.
THERE, through the long, long summer hours,
The golden light should lie,
And thick, young herbs and groups of flowers,
Stand in their beauty by.
The oriole should build, and tell
His love-tale, close beside my cell ;
The idle butterfly
Should rest him there, and there be heard
The housewife bee and humming bird.
And what, if cheerful shouts, at noon,
Come, from the village sent,
Or songs of maids, beneath the moon,
With fairy laughter blent ?
And what if, in the evening light,
Betrothed lovers walk in sight
Of my low monument ?
I would the lovely scene around
· Might know no sadder sight nor sound.
I know, I know I should not see
The seasons' glorious show,
Nor would its brightness shine for me,
Nor its wild music flow;
But if, around my place of sleep,
The friends I love should come to weep,
They might not haste to go.
Soft airs, and song, and light, and bloom,
Should keep them lingering by my tomb.
These to their soften'd hearts should bear
The thought of what has been,
And speak of one who cannot share
The gladness of the scene;
Whose part in all the pomp that fills
The circuit of the summer hills,
Is—that his grave is green;
And deeply would their heart rejoice
To hear again his living voice.
It is no scandal, nor aspersion,
Upon a great and noble person,
To say he nat'rally abhorr'd
Th’ old-fashion'd trick, To keep his word;
Though 'tis perfidiousness and shame
In meaner men to do the same;
For to be able to forget,
Is found more useful to the great,
Than gout, or deafness, or bad eyes,
To make 'em pass for wond'rous wise.
Hudibras, Epistle to his Lady. So ready to give his word to everybody, that he never keeps it.
SWIFT. Tale of a Tub.
WORDS and promises, that yoke
The conqueror, are quickly broke;
Like Samson's cuffs, though by his own
Direction and advice put on.
Hudibras, Part I., Canto 2. It may be proper for all to remember, that they ought not to raise expectations which it is not in their power to satisfy; and