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Ah! who would think that form had past
The Turkish tyrants now enclose;
And though I bid thee now farewell,
Since where thou art I may not dwell,
WRITTEN IN PASSING THE AMBRACIAN GULF,
NOVEMBER 14, 1809.
THROUGH cloudless skies, in silvery sheen,
Full beams the moon on Actium's coast: And on these waves, for Egypt's queen, The ancient world was won and lost.
And now upon the scene I look,
The azure grave of many a Roman ; Where stern Ambition once forsook
His wavering crown to follow woman.
Florence! whom I will love as well
Sweet Florence! those were pleasant times,
Though Fate forbids such things to be, Yet, by thine eyes and ringlets curl'd! I cannot lose a world for thee,
But would not lose thee for a world.
Composed October 11th, 1809, during the night, in a thunderstorm, when the guides had lost the road to Zitza, near the range of mountains formerly called Pindus, in Albania.
CHILL and mirk is the nightly blast,
Where Pindus' mountains rise,
And angry clouds are pouring fast
The vengeance of the skies.
Our guides are gone, our hope is lost,
But show where rocks our path have crost,
Is yon a cot I saw, though low?
When lightning broke the gloomHow welcome were its shade !—ah, no! "Tis but a Turkish tomb.
Through sounds of foaming waterfalls,
My way-worn countryman, who calls
A shot is fired-by foe or friend?
The mountain-peasants to descend,
Oh! who in such a night will dare
And who 'mid thunder peals can hear
Our signal of distress ?
And who that heard our shouts would rise
To try the dubious road?
Nor rather deem from nightly cries
That outlaws were abroad.
Clouds burst, skies flash, oh, dreadful hour!
More fiercely pours the storm!
Yet here one thought has still the power
While wand'ring through each broken path, O'er brake and craggy brow;
While elements exhaust their wrath,
Sweet Florence, where art thou?