Song of the Greek Amazon

Author: William Cullen Bryant  | Date: 1824


I buckle to my slender side

The pistol and the scimitar,

And in my maiden flower and pride

Am come to share the task of war.

And yonder stands the fiery steed,

That paws the ground and neighs to go,

My charger of the Arab breed-

I took him from the routed foe.

My mirror is the mountain-spring,

At which I dress my ruffled hair;

My dimmed and dusty arms I bring,

And wash away the blood-stain there.

Why should I guard from wind and sun

This cheek, whose virgin rose is fled?

It was for one- oh, only one-

I kept its bloom, and he is dead.

But they who slew him- unaware

Of coward murderers lurking nigh-

And left him to the fowls of air,

Are yet alive- and they must die!

They slew him- and my virgin years

Are vowed to Greece and vengeance now,

And many an Othman dame, in tears,

Shall rue the Grecian maiden’s vow.

I touched the lute in better days,

I led in dance the joyous band;

Ah! they may move to mirthful lays

Whose hands can touch a lover’s hand.

The march of hosts that haste to meet

Seems gayer than the dance to me;

The lute’s sweet tones are not so sweet

As the fierce shout of victory.

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Chicago: William Cullen Bryant, Song of the Greek Amazon Original Sources, accessed June 24, 2024,

MLA: Bryant, William Cullen. Song of the Greek Amazon, Original Sources. 24 Jun. 2024.

Harvard: Bryant, WC, Song of the Greek Amazon. Original Sources, retrieved 24 June 2024, from