BETA

Constantinople.

Say whence the loud clangour that deafens the ear,1
The war sound that swells on the gale ?2
’Tis the fierce shout of contest, the accent of fear ; —3
Shall the cross or the crescent prevail ?4
O’er the dark waves of Danube, o’er Balkan’s steep height,5
See Russia’s long columns unfold !6
Still onward, unwearied, resistless in might,7
They press—and their stern purpose hold.8
Still onward !  Proud foeman, why struggle in vain ?9
’Tis the torrent of triumph that flows.10
Lo !  the towers of Istamboul they frown o’er the main,11
And the last hope of Islam enclose !12
Ten centuries long, o’er Justinian’s proud dome,13
The cross its mild influence shed,14
But the spoiler rush’d forth from his Turcoman home,15
And planted the crescent instead.16
Then the standard of Mahomet swung o’er the walls,17
Where the light of the gospel had beam’d ;18
And the voice of the Imaum polluted those halls,19
Where the organ’s rich melody stream’d.20
Ah ! where was the flower of Europe that day,21
The Briton—the Spaniard—the Gaul22
Did they coldly look on, and the death-strife survey,23
While the Moslem beleaguer’d the wall ?24
When the last and the best of the Constantines died,25
On yon rampart bedew’d with his blood,26
Not an arm was stretch’d forth, not an effort they tried,27
And in triumph the Ottoman stood.28
And time has roll’d on, and long past are those days,29
Since his empire has moulder’d away ;30
But the embers that slumber’d have burst into blaze,31
That shall wither the Mussulman sway.32
Oh ! deep are the wrongs that our faith has endured33
Through ages of outrage and scorn ;34
But the cup has been quaff’d to its dregs, and secured35
Be the guerdon of vengeance this morn.36