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Now shall the blazon of the cross be
veiled, And British skill directing Othman
might, Thunder-strike rebel victory. Oh, keep
holy This jubilee of unrevenged blood ! Kill! crush! despoil! Let not a Greek
On the noon of time :
From the hungry clime.
To a sunnier strand,
To the Evening land !
What Paradise islands of glory
of their sky,
tudes breathe Burst, like morning on dream, or like
Heaven on death
The golden years return,
Her winter weeds outworn:
From waves serener far;
Against the morning star.
With the sunset's fire :
But the night is not born ; And, like loveliness panting with wild
desire While it trembles with fear and delight,
Hesperus flies from awakening night, And pants in its beauty and speed with
light Fast flashing, soft, and bright. Thou beacon of love! thou lamp of the
Guide us far, far away, To climes where now veiled by the
ardour of day
Thou art hidden
A loftier Argo cleaves the main,
Fraught with a later prize; Another Orpheus sings again,
And loves, and weeps, and dies. A new Ulysses leaves once more Calypso for his native shore.
Oh, write no more the tale of Troy,
If earth Death's scroll must be ! Nor mix with Laian rage the joy
Which dawns upon the free: Although a subtler Sphinx renew Riddles of death Thebes never knew.
Another Athens shall arise,
And to remoter time
The splendour of its prime;
Saturn and Love their long repose
the moral attributes of his nature, having Shall burst, more bright and good called us out of non-existence, and after Than all who fell, than One who rose, inflicting on us the misery of the commisThan many unsubdued :
sion of error, should superadd that of the Not gold, not blood, their altar punishment and the privations consequent dowers,
upon it, still would remain inexplicable
and incredible. That there is a true soluBut votive tears and symbol flowers.
tion of the riddle, and that in our present Oh, cease! must hate and death return? state that solution is unattainable by us,
are propositions which may be regarded Cease! must men kill and die ?
as equally certain: meanwhile, as it is the Cease! drain not to its dregs the urn
province of the poet to attach himself to Of bitter prophecy.
those ideas which exalt and ennoble The world is weary of the past, humanity, let him be permitted to have Oh, might it die or rest at last ! conjectured the condition of that futurity
towards which we are all impelled by an
inextinguishable thirst for immortality. NOTES
Until better arguments can be produced (1) The quenchless ashes of Milan (p. 434] than sophisms which disgrace the cause,
Milan was the centre of the resistance this desire itself must remain the strongest of the Lombard league against the Austrian and the only presumption that eternity is
the inheritance of every thinking being. tyrant. Frederic Barbarossa burnt the city to the ground, but liberty lived in its (3) No hoary priests after that Patriarch ashes, and it rose like an exhalation from
[p. 437) its ruin. See Sismondi's Histoire des The Greek Patriarch after having been Républiques Italiennes, a book which has compelled to fulminate anathema done much towards awakening the Italians against the insurgents was put to death by to an imitation of their great ancestors. the Turks. (2) The Chorus [p. 434).
Fortunately the Greeks have been taught The popular notions of Christianity are tion, and the Turks, though equally
that they cannot buy security by degradarepresented in this chorus as true in their relation to the worship they superseded,
are less cunning than the smooth-faced and that which in all probability they will his Holiness might as well have thrown
tyrants of Europe. As to the anathema, supersede, without considering their merits in a relation more universal. The first
his mitre at Mount Athos for any effect
that it produced. The chiefs of the stanza contrasts the immortality of the living and thinking beings which inhabit Greeks are almost all men of comprehenthe planets, and to use a common and sion and enlightened views on religion and inadequate phrase, clothe themselves in
politics. matter, with the transience of the noblest (4) The freedman of a western poet chief manifestations of the external world.
[p. 443] The concluding verses indicate a pro- A Greek who had been Lord Byron's gressive state of more or less exalted exist- servant commands the insurgents in Attica. ence, according to the degree of perfection This Greek, Lord Byron informs me, which every distinct intelligence may have though a poet and an enthusiastic patriot, attained. Let it not be supposed that I gave him rather the idea of a timid and mean to dogmatise upon a subject, con-unenterprising person. It appears that cerning which all men are equally ignorant, circumstances make men what they are, or that I think the Gordian knot of the and that we all contain the germ of a origin of evil can be disentangled by that degree of degradation or of greatness or any similar assertions. The received whose connection with our character is hypothesis of a Being resembling men in determined by events.
(5) The Greeks expect a Saviour from the omnia tellus." Let these great names be west [p. 443]
my authority and my excuse, It is reported that this Messiah had
(8) Saturn and Love their long repose arrived at a seaport near Lacedæmon in
shall burst [p. 452). an American brig. The association of names and ideas is irresistibly ludicrous, of a real or imaginary state of innocence
Saturn and Love were among the deities but the prevalence of such a rumour and happiness. All those who fell, or strongly marks the state of popular the Gods of Greece, Asia, and Egypt ; enthusiasm in Greece.
the One who rose, or Jesus Christ, at whose (6) The sound as of the assault of an
appearance the idols of the Pagan World Imperial city [p. 447].
were amerced of their worship; and the For the vision of Mahmud of the taking of the idolatry of China, India, the An.
many unsubdued, or the monstrous objects of Constantinople in 1453, see Gibbon's tarctic islands, and the native tribes of Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, America, certainly have reigned over the vol. xii. p. 223. The manner of the invocation of the in succession, during periods in which all
understandings of men in conjunction or spirit of Mahomet the Second will be
we know of evil has been in a state of censured as over subtle. I could easily have made the Jew a regular conjuror, and portentous, and, until the revival of learn
ing and the arts, perpetually increasing the Phantom an ordinary ghost. I have
activity. The Grecian gods seem indeed preferred to represent the Jew as disclaiming all pretension, or even belief, in although it cannot be said, that as far as
to have been personally more innocent, supernatural agency, and as tempting Mahmud to that state of mind in which temperance and chastity are concerned, ideas may be supposed to assume the force they gave so edifying an example as their
The sublime human character of sensations through the confusion of of Jesus Christ was deformed by an imthought with the objects of thought, and
puted identification with a power,
who the excess of passion animating the crea
tempted, betrayed, and punished the tions of imagination. It is a sort of natural magic, susceptible existence by his sole will; and for the
innocent beings who were called into of being exercised in a degree by any one
period of a thousand years, the spirit of who should have made himself master
this most just, wise, and benevolent of of the secret associations of another's
men, has been propitiated with myriads thoughts.
of hecatombs of those who approached the (7) The Chorus [p. 451].
nearest to his innocence and wisdom,
sacrificed under every aggravation of The final chorus is indistinct and
atrocity and variety of torture. The obscure, as the event of the living drama horrors of the Mexican, the Peruvian, and whose arrival it foretells. Prophecies of the Indian superstitions are well known. wars, and rumours of wars, etc., may safely be made by poet or prophet in any age, but to anticipate however darkly a NOTE ON HELLAS, BY MRS. period of regeneration and happiness is a
SHELLEY more hazardous exercise of the faculty which bards possess or feign. It will THE South of Europe was in a state remind the reader magno nec proximus of great political excitement at the beintervallo" of Isaiah and Virgil, whose ginning of the year 1821. The Spanish ardent spirits overleaping the actual reign Revolution had been a signal to Italy; of evil which we endure and bewail, already secret societies were formed; and, when saw the possible and perhaps approaching Naples rose to declare the Constitution, state of society in which the “lion shall the call was responded to from Brundusium lie down with the lamb," and "omnis feret to the foot of the Alps. To crush these
attempts to obtain liberty, early in 1821
The interest he took in the prothe Austrians poured their armies into gress of affairs was intense. When Genoa the Peninsula : at first their coming declared itself free, his hopes were at rather seemed to add energy and resolu- their highest. Day after day he read the tion to a people long enslaved. The bulletins of the Austrian army, and sought Piedmontese asserted their freedom; eagerly to gather tokens of its defeat. Genoa threw off the yoke of the King of He heard of the revolt of Genoa with Sardinia; and, as if in playful imitation, emotions of transport. His whole heart the people of the little state of Massa and soul were in the triumph of the cause. and Carrara gave the congé to their We were living at Pisa at that time; and sovereign, and set up a republic.
several well-informed Italians, at the head Tuscany alone was perfectly tranquil. of whom we may place the celebrated It was said that the Austrian minister Vacca, were accustomed to seek for sympresented a list of sixty Carbonari to pathy in their hopes from Shelley: they the Grand Duke, urging their imprison- did not find such for the despair they too ment; and the Grand Duke replied, generally experienced, founded on “I do not know whether these sixty men tempt for their southern countrymen. are Carbonari, but I know, if I imprison While the fate of the progress of the them, I shall directly have sixty-thousand Austrian armies then invading Naples start up." But, though the Tuscans had was yet in suspense, the news of another no desire to disturb the paternal govern- revolution filled him with exultation. We ment beneath whose shelter they slum- had formed the acquaintance at Pisa of bered, they regarded the progress of the several Constantinopolitan Greeks, of the various Italian revolutions with intense family of Prince Caradja, formerly Hosinterest, and hatred for the Austrian was podar of Wallachia ; who, hearing that the warm in every bosom. But they had bowstring, the accustomed finale of his slender hopes; they knew that the Nea. viceroyalty, was on the road to him, politans would offer no fit resistance to escaped with his treasures, and took up the regular German troops, and that the his abode in Tuscany. Among these was overthrow of the constitution in Naples the gentleman to whom the drama of would act as a decisive blow against all Hellas is dedicated. Prince Mavrocordato struggles for liberty in Italy.
was warmed by those aspirations for the We have seen the rise and progress of independence of his country which filled reform. But the Holy Alliance was alive the hearts of many of his countrymen. and active in those days, and few could He often intimated the possibility of an dream of the peaceful triumph of liberty. | insurrection in Greece; but we had no It seemed then that the armed assertion idea of its being so near at hand, when, of freedom in the South of Europe was on the ist of April 1821, he called on the only hope of the liberals, as, if it pre- Shelley, bringing the proclamation of his vailed, the nations of the north would cousin, Prince Ypsilanti, and, radiant imitate the example, Happily the reverse with exultation and delight, declared that has proved the fact. The countries ac- henceforth Greece would be free. customed to the exercise of the privileges Shelley had hymned the dawn of liberty of freemen, to a limited extent, have in Spain and Naples, in two odes dictated extended, and are extending, these limits. by the warmest enthusiasm; he felt himFreedom and knowledge have now a self naturally impelled to decorate with chance of proceeding hand in hand; and, poetry the uprise of the descendants of if it continue thus, we may hope for the that people whose works he regarded with durability of both. Then, as I have said — deep admiration, and to adopt the vatiin 1821--Shelley, as well as every other cinatory character in prophesying their lover of liberty, looked upon the struggles in success. Hellas was written in a moment Spain and Italy as decisive of the destinies of enthusiasm. It is curious to remark of the world, probably for centuries to how well he overcomes the difficulty of
forming a drama out of such scant the individuals who composed our intimaterials. His prophecies, indeed, came mate society, but left unfinished. I have true in their general, not their particular, preserved a sketch of the
story as purport. He did not foresee the death of far as it had been shadowed in the poet's Lord Londonderry, which was to be the mind. epoch of a change in English politics, par- An Enchantress, living in one of the ticularly as regarded foreign affairs; nor islands of the Indian Archipelago, saves that the navy of his country would fight the life of a Pirate, a man of savage but for instead of against the Greeks, and by noble nature. She becomes enamoured the battle of Navarino secure their enfran- of him; and he, inconstant to his mortal chisement from the Turks. Almost against love, for a while returns her passion; but reason, as it appeared to him, he resolved at length, recalling the memory of her to believe that Greece would prove trium-whom he left, and who laments his loss, phant; and in this spirit, auguring ulo he escapes from the Enchanted Island, timate good, yet grieving the and returns to his lady. His mode of vicissitudes to be endured in the interval, life makes him again go to sea, and the he composed his drama.
Enchantress seizes the opportunity to Hellas was among the last of his com- bring him, by a spirit-brewed tempest, positions, and is among the most beautiful. back to her Island.
M. W. S. The choruses are singularly imaginative, and melodious in their versification. There are some stanzas that beautifully SCENE, BEFORE THE CAVERN OF THE exemplify Shelley's peculiar style; as, for INDIAN ENCHANTRESS. The En. instance, the assertion of the intellectual CHANTRESS comes forth. empire which must be for ever the inheritance of the country of Homer,
Enchantress. Sophocles, and Plato:
He came like a dream in the dawn of “ But Greece and her foundations are
lise, Built below the tide of war;
He fled like a shadow before its Based on the crystalline sea Of thought and its eternity.”
noon; And again, that philosophical truth felici- He is gone, and my peace is turned to tously imaged forth
strife, Revenge and Wrong bring forth their kind: And I wander and wane like the
The foul cubs like their parents are; Their den is in the guilty mind,
weary moon. And Conscience feeds them with despair."
Oh, sweet Echo, wake, The conclusion of the last chorus is
And for my sake among the most beautiful of his lyrics. Make answer the while my heart shall The imagery is distinct and majestic;
break! the prophecy, such as poets love to dwell upon, the Regeneration of Mankind But my heart has a music which Echo's and that regeneration reflecting back lips, splendour on the foregone time, from
Though tender and true, yet can which it inherits so much of intellectual
answer not, wealth, and memory of past virtuous
And the shadow that moves in the soul's deeds, as must render the possession of
eclipse happiness and peace of tenfold value.
Can return not the kiss by his now FRAGMENTS OF
Sweet lips! he who hath AN UNFINISHED DRAMA
On my desolate path The following fragments are part of a Cast the darkness of absence, worse Drama undertaken for the amusement of