The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 3/Fragment from the "Monk of Athos"

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Beside the confines of the Ægean main,
Where northward Macedonia bounds the flood,
And views opposed the Asiatic plain,
Where once the pride of lofty Ilion stood,
Like the great Father of the giant brood,
With lowering port majestic Athos stands,
Crowned with the verdure of eternal wood,
As yet unspoiled by sacrilegious hands,
And throws his mighty shade o'er seas and distant lands.


And deep embosomed in his shady groves
Full many a convent rears its glittering spire,
Mid scenes where Heavenly Contemplation loves
To kindle in her soul her hallowed fire,
Where air and sea with rocks and woods conspire
To breathe a sweet religious calm around,
Weaning the thoughts from every low desire,
And the wild waves that break with murmuring sound
Along the rocky shore proclaim it holy ground.


Sequestered shades where Piety has given
A quiet refuge from each earthly care,
Whence the rapt spirit may ascend to Heaven!

Oh, ye condemned the ills of life to bear!
As with advancing age your woes increase,
What bliss amidst these solitudes to share
The happy foretaste of eternal Peace,
Till Heaven in mercy bids your pain and sorrows cease.

[First published in the Life of Lord Byron, by the
Hon. Roden Noel, London, 1890, pp. 206, 207.]

  1. [Given to the Hon. Roden Noel by S. McCalmont Hill, who inherited it from his great-grandfather, Robert Dallas. No date or occasion of the piece has been recorded.—Life of Lord Byron, 1890, p. 5.]