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The Fast.


THE dawn again is breaking o'er the deep;
Shall we still journey onward, or yet keep
The fast in Athens? The sea heaves
And murmurs, as the yellow autumn leaves
At eastern winds, and nought relieves
The masses of grey clouds, but ever dark
They stand; and on this day no song
Said of the lark.

For is not now this day a day of tears,
Kept through the long-past years?
Kept and is keeping,
In fast and in weeping.
Now in the city where they stand,
Sorrowing in dark attire,
Wailing at the priest's command
A dirge, while with a lamp of fire
Slowly he lights the sacred pyre
With sad desire.

See, for thy sake is weariness;
Queen for thy sake is great distress.
Let us not perish, kind earth mother,
Sister by sister, brother by brother;
But heavy with thy heaviness,
Mourning and weeping on the temple floor,
Let there be pity for our great complaint.
And as by the sea shore,
We, washing, all were freed from taint;
Turn to us, mighty Queen, and weep no more.

So passed the day in mourning and in fast.