Stanzas on the Battle of Navarino


Hearts of oak that have bravely delivered the brave,
And uplifted old Greece from the brink of the grave,
'Twas the helpless to help and the hopeless to save
That your thunderbolts swept o'er the brine;
And as long as yon sun shall look down on the wave
The light of your glory shall shine.

For the guerdon ye sought with your bloodshed and toil,
Was it slaves, or dominion, or rapine, or spoil?
No! your lofty emprise was to fetter and foil
The uprooter of Greece's domain!
When he tore the last remnant of food from her soil,
Till her famished sank pale as the slain!

Yet, Navarin's heroes! does Christendom breed
The base hearts that will question the fame of your deed?
Are they men? — let ineffable scorn be their meed,
And oblivion shadow their graves!
Are they women? — to Turkish serails let them speed,
And be mothers of Mussulman slaves!

Abettors of massacre! dare ye deplore
That the death-shriek is silenced on Hellas's shore?
That the mother aghast sees her offspring no more
By the hand of Infanticide grasped?
And that stretched on yon billows, distained by their gore,
Missolonghi's assassins have gasped?

Prouder scene never hallowed war's pomp to the mind
Than when Christendom's pennons wooed social the wind,
And the flower of her brave for the combat combined,
Their watchword humanity's vow;
Not a sea-boy that fought in that cause, but mankind
Owes a garland to honour his brow!

Nor grudge by our side that to conquer or fall
Came the hardy rude Russ and the high-mettled Gaul;
For whose was the genius that planned at its call
Where the whirlwind of battle should roll?
All were brave! but the star of success over all
Was the light of our Codrington's soul.

That star of the day-spring, regenerate Greek!
Dimmed the Saracen's moon and struck pallid his cheek:
In its first flushing morning thy Muses shall speak
When their lore and their lutes they reclaim;
And the first of their songs from Parnassus's peak
Shall be Glory to Codrington's name!
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