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Poem by Thomas Aird


These juvenile lines were written 
on hearing the death of the poet.

A sunburst of heaven
Smote that Mountain of Wonder,
With its summit all riven
In the ranges of thunder:
The seat of the mighty,
The bards of old name;
How glad and how bright aye,
Ensphered in their fame!
How he flashed on his track,
How he flew up the slope,
That Shape! He looked back
From the terrible top.
One throb in his lip
Told of peril and toil;
But the smile lighted up,
Which no passion can spoil,
Through the tear in his eye
Of indignant appeal,
That a pinion so high
Might his spirit reveal.
Up in heaven's clear portals
His summit he had;
'Mid the highest immortals
He sat, and was glad.
Triumphant, entranced,
Rose his bosom in swell;
And the visions advanced
To the might of his spell.
The setting sun flushed
On Old Greece, like a crown;
And the white temples blushed
On her hills of renown.
The palm-lands were flooded
In the moons of the east;
But the myrtles were blooded,
The vultures had feast.
From the bow they stepped down
Of the heavens, when brightest;
From the cataract's crown,
Where its spray is the lightest;
From the bubbles of storms,
Sun-tinted, their birth;
Young feminine forms
All light on our earth.
But each young bosom breaking,
With love was o'er-drunk:
All clasping and shrieking
They came and they sunk.
Show the foul blots of Hell,
Let the visions increaseЧ
But he dashed the wild spell
With a cry for Old Greece.
How started each bard
Of her ancient renown,
And each forehead was scarred
With a slave-quelling frown!

O'er their harps then each look
Bowed indignant in tears;
And their locks fiercely shook,
The dread vintage of years.
And the tempest arose
Of old war-cries again,
Insulting her foes
At each break in the strain.
And they hailed the young Bard
In each pause of that flow,
As the battle was heard
In the valley below;
As proudly he swelled
In his warrior form,
The red spear he held
Waving sway to the storm.
And aye his black lyre
In moments he took,
And its chord-rows of fire
With agony shook;
Wild, thrilling, O Greece,
Thou lost star of our morn,
That the long cloud may cease,
And thy beauty return.
How wished! since thy name
Can yet kindle such strains:
From his dark harp they came,
Like the bursting of chains.
Give the tyrants no breath!
Smite again! Smite again!Ч
But a quick shriek of death
Rent the war-song in twain. 

Thomas Aird

Thomas Aird's other poems:
  1. The Devil's Dream on Mount Aksbeck
  2. My Mother's Grave
  3. Fitte the First
  4. Song the Seventh
  5. Fall of Babylon

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