Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/183

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

When his Delhis[1] come dashing in blood o'er the banks,
How few shall escape from the Muscovite ranks!


Selictar![2] unsheathe then our chief's Scimitār;
Tambourgi! thy 'larum gives promise of War.[3]
Ye Mountains, that see us descend to the shore,
Shall view us as Victors, or view us no more!


Fair Greece! sad relic of departed Worth!N33
Immortal, though no more; though fallen, great!
Who now shall lead thy scattered children forth,
And long accustomed bondage uncreate?
Not such thy sons who whilome did await,
The helpless warriors of a willing doom,
In bleak Thermopylæ's sepulchral strait—
Oh! who that gallant spirit shall resume,
Leap from Eurotas' banks, and call thee from the tomb?[4]

  1. [The literal meaning of Delhi or Deli, is, says M. Darmesteter, "fou" ["properly madmen" (D'Herbelot)], a title bestowed on Turkish warriors honoris causâ. Byron suggests "forlorn hope" as an equivalent; but there is a wide difference between the blood-drunkenness of the Turk and the "foolishness" of British chivalry.]
  2. Sword-bearer.
  3. Tambourgi! thy tocsin——.—[MS. D. erased.]
  4. [Compare "The Isles of Greece," stanza 7 (Don Juan, Canto III.)—

    "Earth! render back from out thy heart
    A remnant of our Spartan dead!
    Of the three hundred grant but three
    To make a new Thermopylæ!"