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The sighing of the island slave
Was answered, when the Aegean wave
The keels of Mithridates clove,
And the vines shrivelled in the breath of war.
‘Robbers of Chios! hark,’
The victor cried, “to Heaven's decree!
Pluck your last cluster from the vine,
Drain your last cup of Chian wine;
Slaves of your slaves, your doom shall be,
In Colchian mines by Phasis rolling dark.”
Then rose the long lament
From the hoar sea-god's dusky caves:
The priestess rent her hair and cried,
‘Woe! woe! The gods are sleepless-eyed!’
And, chained and scourged, the slaves of slaves,
The lords of Chios into exile went.
‘The gods at last pay well,’
So Hellas sang her taunting song,
“The fisher in his net is caught,
The Chian hath his master bought;”
And isle from isle, with laughter long,
Took up and sped the mocking parable.
Once more the slow, dumb years
Bring their avenging cycle round,
And, more than Hellas taught of old,
Our wiser lesson shall be told,
Of slaves uprising, freedom-crowned,
To break, not wield, the scourge wet with their blood and tears.
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