Liberty to Athens

The flag of freedom floats once more
Around the lofty Parthenon;
It waves, as waved the palm of yore.
In days departed long and gone;
As bright a glory, from the skies,
Pours down its light around those towers,
And once again the Greeks arise,
As in their country's noblest hours;
Their swords are girt in virtue's cause,
Minerva's sacred hill is free; —
O, may she keep her equal laws,
While man shall live, and time shall be!

The pride of all her shrines went down;
The Goth, the Frank, the Turk, had reft
The laurel from her civic crown;
Her helm by many a sword was cleft:
She lay among her ruins low, —
Where grew the palm, the cypress rose,
And, crushed and bruised by many a blow,
She cowered beneath her savage foes;
But now again she springs from earth,
Her loud, awakening trumpet speaks;
She rises in a brighter birth,
And sounds redemption to the Greeks.

It is the classic jubilee; —
Their servile years have rolled away;
The clouds that hovered o'er them flee,
They hail the dawn of freedom's day;
From Heaven the golden light descends,
The times of old are on the wing,
And Glory there her pinion bends,
And Beauty wakes a fairer spring; —
The hills of Greece, her rocks, her waves,
Are all in triumph's pomp arrayed;
A light that points their tyrants' graves
Plays round each bold Athenian's blade.

The Parthenon, the sacred shrine
Where Wisdom held her pure abode:
The hill of Mars, where light divine
Proclaimed the true, but unknown God;
Where Justice held unyielding sway,
And trampled all corruption down,
And onward took her lofty way
To reach at Truth's unfading crown:
The rock, where Liberty was full,
Where Eloquence her torrents rolled,
And loud, against the despot's rule,
A knell the patriot's fury tolled:
The stage, whereon the drama spake,
In tones that seemed the words of Heaven,
Which made the wretch in terror shake,
As by avenging furies driven:
The groves and gardens, where the fire
Of wisdom, as a fountain, burned,
And every eye, that dared aspire
To truth, has long in worship turned:
The halls and porticoes, where trod
The moral sage, severe, unstained,
And where the intellectual God
In all the light of science reigned:
The schools, where rose in symmetry
The simple, but majestic pile,
Where marble threw its roughness by,
To glow, to frown, to weep, to smile,
Where colors made the canvas live,
Where Music rolled her flood along,
And all the charms that art can give
Were blent with beauty, love, and song:
The port, from whose capacious womb
Her navies took their conquering road,
The heralds of an awful doom
To all, who would not kiss her rod:
On these a dawn of glory springs,
These trophies of her brightest fame;
Away the long-chained city flings
Her weeds, her shackles, and her shame;
Again her ancient souls awake,
Harmodius bares anew his sword;
Her sons in wrath their fetters break,
And Freedom is their only lord.
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