The following poem is the first poem to be
presented in the English language.
Lord Byron is a national hero in the country
of Greece, as a result of the efforts he made in the liberation of Greece
from the Ottoman Empire. An article on Lord Byron will appear this
week on Greek Spider!
The Isles of Greece
The isles of Greece, the isles of Greece!
Where burning Sappho loved and sung, Where grew the arts of war and peace,
Where Delos rose, and Phoebus sprung! Eternal summer gilds them yet, But
all, except their sun, is set...
The mountains look on Marathon-- And
Marathon looks on the sea; And musing there an hour alone, I dreamed that
Greece might still be free; For standing on the Persians' grave, I could not
deem myself a slave.
A king sat on the rocky brow Which looks o'er sea-born
Salamis; And ships, by thousands, lay below, And men in nations--all were
his! He counted them at break of day-- And when the sun set, where were
And where are they? And where art thou? My country? On thy voiceless
shore The heroic lay is tuneless now-- The heroic bosom beats no more! And
must thy lyre, so long divine, Degenerate into hands like mine?
something, in the dearth of fame, Though linked among a fettered race, To
feel at least a patriot's shame, Even as I sing, suffuse my face; For what
is left the poet here? For Greeks a blush--for Greece a tear...
the bowl with Samian wine! Our virgins dance beneath the shade-- I see their
glorious black eyes shine; But gazing on each glowing maid, My own the
burning teardrop laves, To think such breasts must suckle slaves.
on Sunium's marbled steep, Where nothing, save the waves and I, May hear our
mutual murmurs sweep; There, swanlike, let me sing and die: A land of slaves
shall ne'er be mine-- Dash down yon cup of Samian wine!
- Lord Byron
Directly Related: A
poem by Lord, Byron (In