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When eve thy azure book expands,
Great Sovereign of etherial light.
That opens in celestial day.
And when this earthly mouldering form
That hurls the vicious from thy face.
XXIII. LIBERTY TO ATHENS,
THE flag of freedom floats once more
It waves, as waved the palm of yore,
Pours down its light around those tow'rs, And once again the Greeks arise,
As in their country's noblest hours;
While man shall live, and time shall be.
The pride of all her shrines went down;
The Goth, the Frank, the Turk, had reft The laurel from her civic crown ;
Her helm by many a sword was cleft: She lay among the ruins low
Where grew the palm, the cypress rose; And, crush'd and bruis'd by many a blow, She cower'd beneath her savage foes; But now again she springs from earth,
Her loud, awakening trumpet speaks; She rises in a brighter birth,
And sounds redemption to the Greeks.
It is the classic jubilee-
Their servile years have roll'd away; The clouds that hover'd o'er them flee,
They hail the dawn of freedom's day; From Heaven the golden light descends,
The times of old are on the wing, And glory there her pinion bends,
And beauty wakes a fairer spring; The hills of Greece, her rocks, her waves,
Are all in triumph's pomp arrayed; A light that points their tyrants' graves, Plays round each bold Athenian's blade. The Parthenon, the sacred shrine,
Where wisdom held her pure abode : The hill of Mars, where light divine
Proclaim'd the true, but unknown God; Where justice held unyielding sway,
And trampled all corruption down, And onward took her lofty way
To reach at truth's unfading crown: The rock, where liberty was full,
Where eloquence her torrents roll'd, And loud, against the despot's rule,
A knell the patriot's fury toll'd: The stage whereon the drama spake,
In tones that seem'd the words of heav'n, Which make the wretch in terror shake, As by avenging furies driv'n: The groves and gardens, where the fire Of wisdom, as a fountain, burn'd, And every eye, that dar'd aspire
To truth, has long in worship turn'd: The halls and porticos, where trod
The moral sage, severe, unstain'd, And where the intellectual god
In all the light of science reign'd: The schools, where rose in symmetry
The simple, but majestic pile, Where marble threw its roughness by,
To glow, to frown, to weep, to smile, Where colours made the canvas live,
Where music roll'd her flood along, And all the charms that art can give,
Were blent with beauty, love and song; The port from whose capacious womb
Her navies took their conquering road, The heralds of an awful doom
To all, who would not kiss her rod;
On these a dawn of glory springs,
Her weeds, her shackles, and her shame; Again her ancient souls awake,
Harmodious bares anew his sword; Her sons in wrath their fetters break, And freedom is their only lord.
First we'll pledge the shrouded dead;
Let us pledge them with a tear!
Be their slumbers sweet and blest,
O'er their lonely place of rest.
Let us pledge our early hours-
O'er our being's faded flowers?
Let us pledge our countless foes,
Be their hatred what it may;