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There was a city, the home of the free,
Where wisdom and wit were abiding;
The boast of the land, the queen of the sea,
Where her fleets were gallantly riding.
The great and the good, the fair and the brave,
All, all in that city abounded;
She never had stooped to bow as the slave
Nor by tyrants had been confounded.
Oh! she was a city to liberty dear!
And never had dreamed of danger;
Her wealth was the boast of the far and near, And none to her home was a stranger.
There was a home, like the one above,
A home of many the dearest ;
Where the mother clasped in tenderest love,
All that to her heart was nearest.
The sire, and the son, and the daughter fair,
And the youth to whom she was plighted,
In a bower of bliss and beauty, where
A seraph had been delighted.
They were bound in the dearest of earthly ties;
They loved, and in love requited
Had learned the bliss of their lot to prize,
Ere the bud of hope was blighted.
There rose on the earth a mighty one,
On a blood-dyed charger mounted;
His arms were bright in the morning sun,
And fame his deeds recounted.
With a great and valorous host he came,
In a whirlwind fury speeding;
With him rode Might, but Want and Flame,
And Ruin and Death succeeding.
And he hath polluted that altar's fane,
Like the demon of wrath descending;
And they who worshipped shall never again
In its marble courts be bending.
For low they are sleeping the sleep of the slain ;
They are laid in death's long slumbers;
And that altar's stone hath a crimson stain,
From the heart's best blood of numbers.
And none now regard those windows high,
Nor gaze on that antique story;
And its beautiful, chequering lustres lie
On a pavement soiled and gory.
That mighty one hath forged a chain
For that city so wise and glorious ;
Her children of freedom no more remain;
Her wealth hath lured the victorious.
And her boasted name is a boast no more;
And past is her pride of bravery;
And they who never were bound before
Are wearing the bonds of slavery.
Her walls, and her domes, and her princely towers,
And her fleet's imperial token,
Are seen no more; and in distant bowers
The hearts of the great are broken.
He has parted hence, and rapine and fire
Have levelled that love-hallowed dwelling:
And she, who erst had her hearts desire,
With anguish the gale is swelling.
And she, whose tresses of raven hair
That nuptial morn were braided,
Is pale with the frenzy of wild despair
Like a drooping lily faded.
And those they loved, in the field of fight,
Are cold in the pale moon's beaming,
Where the raven rests from its weary flight,
In dolorous dirges screaming.
THE PARTING OF HECTOR AND
HECTOR now passed, with sad presaging heart,
To seek his spouse, his soul's far dearer part;
At home he sought her, but he sought in vain :
She, with one maid of all her menial train,
Had thence retired; and with her second joy,
The young Astyanax, the hope of Troy :
Pensive she stood on Ilion's towery height,
Beheld the war, and sickened at the sight;
There her sad eyes in vain her lord explore,
Or weep the wounds her bleeding country bore.
Hector, this heard, returned without delay;
Swift through the town he trod his former way,
Through streets of palaces, and walks of state;
And met the mourner at the Scæan gate.
With haste to meet him sprung the joyful fair,
His blameless wife, Aetion's wealthy heir.
The nurse stood near, in whose embraces pressed,
His only hope hung smiling at her breast,
Whom each soft charm and early grace adorn,
Fair as the new-born star that gilds the morn.
Silent the warrior smiled, and pleased resigned
To tender passions all his mighty mind;
His beauteous princess cast a mournful look,
Hung on his hand, and then dejected spoke;
Her bosom laboured with a boding sigh,
And the big tear stood trembling in her eye :-
"Too daring prince! ah, whither dost thou run? Ah, too forgetful of thy wife and son!
And thinkest thou not how wretched we shall be,—
A widow I, a helpless orphan he!
For sure such courage length of life denies ;
And thou must fall, thy virtue's sacrifice.
Greece in her single heroes strove in vain ;
Now hosts oppose thee, and thou must be slain!
Oh grant me, gods! ere Hector meets his doom,
All I can ask of heaven, an early tomb!
So shall my days in one sad tenor run,
And end with sorrows as they first begun.
No parent now remains my griefs to share,
No father's aid, no mother's tender care.
The fierce Achilles wrapt our walls in fire,
Laid Thebe waste, and slew my warlike sire!
His fate compassion in the victor bred;
Stern as he was, he yet revered the dead;
His radiant arms preserved from hostile spoil,
And laid him decent on the funeral pile;
By the same arm my seven brave brothers fell;
In one sad day beheld the gates of hell:
While the fat herds and snowy flocks they fed,
Amid their fields the hapless heroes bled!
My mother lived to bear the victor's bands,
The queen of Hippoplacia's sylvan lands:
Redeemed too late, she scarce beheld again
Her pleasing empire and her native plain,
When, ah! oppressed by life-consuming woe,
She fell a victim to Diana's bow.
Yet, while my Hector still survives, I see
My father, mother, brethren, all in thee;
Alas! my parents, brothers, kindred, all
Once more will perish, if my Hector fall.
Thy wife, thy infant, in thy danger share :
O prove a husband's and a father's care!
That quarter most the skilful Greeks annoy,
Where yon wild fig-trees join the wall of Troy;
Thou from this tower defend the important post;
There Agamemnon points his dreadful host,
That pass Tydides, Ajax, strive to gain,
And there the vengeful Spartan fires his train.
Thrice our bold foes the fierce attack have given,
Or led by hopes, or dictated from heaven.
Let others in the field their arms employ,
But stay my Hector here, and guard his Troy."
The chief replied: "That post shall be my care,
Not that alone, but all the works of war.
How would the sons of Troy, in arms renowned, And Troy's proud dames, whose garments sweep the ground,
Attaint the lustre of my former name,
Should Hector basely quit the field of fame!
My early youth was bred to martial pains,
My soul impels me to the embattled plains:
Let me be foremost to defend the throne,
And guard my father's glories, and my own.
Yet come it will, the day decreed by fates:
(How my heart trembles while my tongue relates!)
The day when thou, imperial Troy! must bend,
And see thy warriors fall, thy glories end.
And yet no dire presage so wounds my mind,
My mother's death, the ruin of my kind,
Not Priam's hoary hairs defiled with gore,
Not all my brothers gasping on the shore;
As thine, Andromache! thy griefs I dread ;
I see thee trembling, weeping, captive led!
In Argive looms our battles to design,
And woes, of which so large a part was thine!
To bear the victor's hard commands, or bring
The weight of waters from Hyperia's spring.
There, while you groan beneath the load of life,
They cry, Behold the mighty Hector's wife!'
Some haughty Greek, who lives thy tears to see,
Embitters all thy woes, by naming me.
The thoughts of glory past, and present shame,
A thousand griefs shall waken at the name!