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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.
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