Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/303

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CANTO III.]
271
THE CORSAIR.


And tenderest tints, along their summits driven,
Mark his gay course, and own the hues of Heaven;
Till, darkly shaded from the land and deep,
Behind his Delphian cliff he sinks to sleep.


On such an eve, his palest beam he cast,
When—Athens! here thy Wisest looked his last.
How watched thy better sons his farewell ray,
That closed their murdered Sage's[1] latest day! 1190
Not yet—not yet—Sol pauses on the hill—
The precious hour of parting lingers still;
But sad his light to agonising eyes,
And dark the mountain's once delightful dyes:
Gloom o'er the lovely land he seemed to pour,
The land, where Phœbus never frowned before:
But ere he sunk below Cithæron's head,
The cup of woe was quaffed—the Spirit fled;
The Soul of him who scorned to fear or fly—
Who lived and died, as none can live or die! 1200


But lo! from high Hymettus to the plain,
The Queen of night asserts her silent reign.[2]
No murky vapour, herald of the storm,
Hides her fair face, nor girds her glowing form;
With cornice glimmering as the moon-beams play,
There the white column greets her grateful ray,
And bright around with quivering beams beset,
Her emblem sparkles o'er the Minaret:
The groves of olive scattered dark and wide

  1. Socrates drank the hemlock a short time before sunset (the hour of execution), notwithstanding the entreaties of his disciples to wait till the sun went down.
  2. The twilight in Greece is much shorter than in our own country: the days in winter are longer, but in summer of shorter duration.