The Isles of Greece! The isles of Greece
Wherefore this amnesia, drunk from Lethe?
Have you forgotten the warrior race
Whose swords smote down kings and forthwith
‘Here be warriors that knew no fear’
Went thus message post-haste far an’ near?
Sparta led and the hordes of foes
Before their tight phalanxes melted:
In Athens no less brave were demos
Before whose iron resolve tyrants fled.
Spartan or rich in tastes at best
Were men who deemed their own lives least.
What service has the Turks bestowed
That you let your blood and honor
Be trod and your wives as slaves sold?
Martyrs for faith in Asia minor
Lay forgotten as of no value.
For a slave race this’s nothing new.
Spare me your woes with Euro bail-out
Or the Golden Dawn spawn’d from hell.
How slaves for long living on hand-out
Are undone is a sad chronicle:
A land of slaves shall ne’er regain
Unless Greece unlearn past as one.
THE isles of Greece! the isles of Greece!
Where burning Sappho loved and sung,
Where grew the arts of war and peace,—
Where Delos rose and Phoebus sprung!
Eternal summer gilds them yet,
But all, except their sun, is set.
The Scian and the Teian muse,
The hero’s harp, the lover’s lute,
Have found the fame your shores refuse;
Their place of birth alone is mute
To sounds which echo further west
Than your sires’ “Islands of the Blest.”
Place me on Sunium’s marble steep—
Where nothing, save the waves and I,
May hear our mutual murmurs sweep:
There, swan-like, let me sing and die;
A land of slaves shall ne’er be mine—
Dash down yon cup of Samian wine!