Yet one smile more, departing, distant sun!
One mellow smile through the soft vapoury air,
Ere, o’er the frozen earth, the loud winds run,
Or snows are sifted o’er the meadows bare.
One smile on the brown hills and naked trees,
And the dark rocks whose summer wreaths are cast,
And the blue gentian flower, that, in the breeze,
Nods lonely, of her beauteous race the last.
Yet a few sunny days, in which the bee
Shall murmur by the hedge that skirts the way,
The cricket chirp upon the russet lea,
And man delight to linger in thy ray.
Yet one rich smile, and we will try to bear
The piercing winter frost, and winds, and darkened air.
I buckle to my slender side
The pistol and the scimitar,
And in my maiden flower and pride
Am come to share the tasks of war.
And yonder stands my fiery steed,
That paws the ground and neighs to go,
My charger of the Arab breed,—
I took him from the routed foe.
My mirror is the mountain spring,
At which I dress my ruffled hair;
My dimmed and dusty arms I bring,
And wash away the blood-stain there.
Why should I guard from wind and sun
This cheek, whose virgin rose is fled?
It was for one—oh, only one—
I kept its bloom, and he is dead.
But they who slew him—unaware
Of coward murderers lurking nigh—
And left him to the fowls of air,
Are yet alive—and they must die.
They slew him—and my virgin years
Are vowed to Greece and vengeance now,
And many an Othman dame, in tears,
Shall rue the Grecian maiden’s vow.
I touched the lute in better days,
I led in dance the joyous band;
Ah! they may move to mirthful lays
Whose hands can touch a lover’s hand.
The march of hosts that haste to meet
Seems gayer than the dance to me;
The lute’s sweet tones are not so sweet
As the fierce shout of victory.
Beautiful cloud! with folds so soft and fair,
Swimming in the pure quiet air!
Thy fleeces bathed in sunlight, while below
Thy shadow o’er the vale moves slow;
Where, midst their labour, pause the reaper train
As cool it comes along the grain.
Beautiful cloud! I would I were with thee
In thy calm way o’er land and sea:
To rest on thy unrolling skirts, and look
On Earth as on an open book;
On streams that tie her realms with silver bands,
And the long ways that seem her lands;
And hear her humming cities, and the sound
Of the great ocean breaking round.
Ay—I would sail upon thy air-borne car
To blooming regions distant far,
To where the sun of Andalusia shines
On his own olive-groves and vines,
Or the soft lights of Italy’s bright sky