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There may you read, with spectacles on cyes, How many Wellesleys did embark for Spain, As if therein they meant to colonize, How many troops y-cross'd the laughing main That ne'er beheld the said return again: How many buildings are in such a place, How many leagues from this to yonder plain, How many relics each cathedral grace, And where Giralda stands on her gigantic base.
There may you read (Oh, Phoebus, save Sir John I That these my worls prophetic may not err) All that was said, or sung, or lost, or won, By vaunting Wellesley or by blundering Frere, He that wrote half the “Needy Knife-Grinder.”” Thus poesy the way to grandeur paves— Who would not such diplomatists prefer ? But cease, my Muse, thy speed some respite craves, Leave Legates to their house, and armies to their graves.
Yet here of Vulpcs mention may be made, Who for the Junta modell'd sapient laws, Taught them to govern ere they were obey'd: Certes, fit teacher to command, because His soul Socratic no Xantippe awes; Biest with a daine in Virtue's bosom nurst, — With her let silent admiration pause ! Truc to her second husband and her first : On such unshaken same let Satire do its worst.
1 sthe Honourable John Wingfield, of the Guards, who died of a fever at Coimbra (May 14. 1811). I had known him ten years, the better half of his life, and the happiest, part of mine. In the short space of one month, I have lost her who gave me being, and most of those who had made that being tolerable. To me the lines of Young are no fiction: – “ insatiate archer could not one suffice 2 Thy shaft flew thrice, and thrice my peace was slain, And thrice ere thrice yon moon had fill'd her horn." I should have ventured a verse to the memory of the late Charles Skinner Matthews, Fellow of Downing College, Cambridge, were he not too much above all praise of mine. His powers of mind, shown in the attainment of greater honours, against the ablest candidates, than those of any graduate on record at Cambridge, have sufficiently established
• The “Needy Knife-grinder," in the Anti-jacobin, was a joint production of Messrs. Frere and Canning.]
XCI. And thou, my friend — since unavailing woe Bursts from my heart, and mingles with the strain– Had the sword laid thee with the mighty low, Pride might forbid c'en Friendship to complain: But thus unlaurel'd to descend in vain, By all forgotten, save the lonely breast, And mix unbleeding with the boasted slain, While Glory crowns so many a meaner crest | What hadst thou done to sink so peacefully to rest?
XCII. Oh, known the earliest, and esteem'd the most 12 Dear to a heart where nought was left so dear ! Though to my hopeless days for ever lost, In dreams deny mc not to see thee here ! And Morn in secret shall renew the tear Of Consciousness awaking to her woes, And Fancy hover o'er thy bloodless bier, Till my frail frame return to whence it rose, And mourn’d and mourner lie united in repose.
XCIII. Here is one fytte of Harold's pilgrimage: Ye who of him may further seek to know, Shall find some tidings in a future page, If he that rhymeth now may scribble moe. Is this too much 7 stern Critic say not so: Patience 1 and ye shall hear what he beheld In other lands, where he was doom'd to go : Lands that contain the monuments of Eld, Ere Greece and Grecian arts by barbarous hands were quell'd. 3
his fame on the spot where it was acquired ; while his softer qualities live in the recollection of friends who loved him too well to envy his superiority. — [This and the following stanza were added in August, 1811. In one of his school-boy poems, entitled “Childish Recollections,” Lord Byron has thus drawn the portrait of young Wingfield:— “Alonzo best and dearest of my friends, Thy name ennobles him who thus commends : From this fond tribute thou canst gain no praise; The praise is his who now that tribute pays. Oh! in the promise of thy early youth, If hope anticipates the words of truth, Some loftier bard shall sing thy glorious name, . .---To build his own upon thy deathless fame. Friend of my heart, and föremost of the list Of those with whom I lived supremely blest, Oft have we drained the fount of ancient lore, Though drinking deeply, thirsting still for more; Yet when confinement's lingering hour was done, Our sports, our studies, and our souls were one. In every element, unchanged, the same, All, all that brothers should be, but the name.”
Matthews, the idol of Lord Byron at college, was drowned, while bathing in the Cam, on the 2d of August. The following passage of a letter from Newstead to his friend Scrope Davies, written innediately after the event, bears the impress of strong and even agonised feelings : —“My dearest Davies; some curse hangs over me and mine. My mother lies a corpse in the house; one of my best friends is drowned in a ditch. What can I say, or think, or do 2 I received a letter from him the day before yesterday. My dear Scrope, if you can spare a moment, do come down to me — I want a friend. Matthews's last letter was written on Friday, - on Saturday he was not. In ability, who was like Matthews 2 How did we all shrink before him. You do me but justice in saying I would have risked my paltry existence to have preserved his. This very evening did I mean to write, inviting him, as I invite you, my very dear friend, to visit me. What will our poor Hobhouse feel ? His letters breathe but of Matthews. Come to me, Scrope, I am almost desolate — left almost alone in the world !”–Matthews was the son of John Matthews, Esq. (the representative of Herefordshire, in the parliament of 1802–6), and brother of the author of “The Diary of an Invalid,” also untimely snatched away.]
1 Part of the Acropolis was destroyed by the explosion of a magazine during the Venetian siege.— [Ón the highest part of Lycabettus, as Chandler was informed by an eye-witness, the Venetians, in 1687, placed four mortars and six pieces of cannon, when they battered the Acropolis. One of the bombs was fatal to some of the sculpture on the west front of the Parthenon. “ In 1667,” says Mr. Hobhouse, “every antiquity of which there is now any trace in the Acropolis, was in a tolerable state of preservation. This great temple might, at that period, be called entire; — having been previously a Christian church, it was then a mosque, the most beautiful in the world. At present, only twenty-nine of the Doric columns, some of which no longer support their entablatures, and part of the left wall of the cell, remain standing. Those of the north side, the angular ones excepted, have all fallen. The portion yet standing, cannot fail to fill the mind of the indifferent spectator with sentiments of astonishment and awe; and the same reflections arise upon the sight even of the enormous masses of marble ruins which are spread upon the area of the temple. Such scattered fragments will soon constitute the sole remains of the Temple of Minerva.”]
* We can all feel, or imagine, the regret with which the ruins of cities, once the capitals of empires, are beheld : the reflections suggested by such objects are too trite to require recapitulation. But never did the littleness of man, and the vanity of his very best virtues, of patriotism to exalt, and of valour to defend his country, appear more conspicuous than in the record of what Athens was, and the certainty of what she now is. This theatre of contention between mighty factions, of the struggles of orators, the exaltation and deposition of tyrants, the triumph and punishment of generals, is now become a scene of petty intrigue and o: disturbance, between the bickering agents of certain British nobility and gentry. “The wild foxes, the owls and serpents in the ruins of Babylon,” were surely less degrading than such inhabitants. The Turks have the plea of conquest for their tyranny, and the Greeks have only suffered the fortune of war, incidental to the bravest ; but how are the mighty fallen, when two painters contest the privilege of plundering the Parthenon, and triumph in turn, according to the tenor of each succeeding firman : Sylla could but punish, Philip subdue, and Xerxes burn Athens, but it remained for the paltry antiquarian, and his despicable agents, to render her contemptible as himself and his pursuits. The Parthenon, before its destruction in part, by fire during the Venetian siege, had been a temple, a
church, and a mosque. In each point of view it is an object of regard: it changed its worshippers; but still it was a place of worship thrice sacred to devotion: its violation is a triple sacrifice. But – “Man, proud man, Drest in a little brief authority, Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven As make the angels weep."
* [In the original MS. we find the following note to this and the five following stanzas, which had been prepared for publication, but was afterwards withdrawn, “from a fear,” says the poet, “that it might be considered rather as an attack, than a defence of religion:” – “In this age of bigotry, when the puritan and priest have changed places, and the wretched Catholic is visited with the “sins of his fathers,” even unto generations far beyond the pale of the commandment, the cast of opinion in these stanzas will, doubtless, meet with many a contemptuous anathema. But let it be remembered, that the spirit they breathe is desponding, not sneering, scepticism; that he who has seen the Greek and Moslem superstitions contending for mastery over the former shrines of Polytheism — who has left in his own, ‘Pharisees, thanking God that they are not like publicans and sinners,' and Spaniards in theirs, abhorring the heretics, who have holpen them in their need, - will be not a little bewildered, and begin to think, that as only one of them can be right, they may, most of them, be wrong. With regard to morals, and the effect of religion on mankind, it appears, from all historical testimony, to have had less effect in making them love their neighbours, than inducing that cordial Christian abhorrence between sectaries and schismatics. The Turks and Quakers are the most tolerant: if an Infidel pays his heratch to the former, he may pray how, when, and where he pleases; and the mild tenets, and devout demeanour of the latter, make their lives the truest commentary on the Sermon on the Mount.”]
VI. Look on its broken arch, its ruin'd wall, Its chambers desolate, and portals foul : Yes, this was once Ambition's airy hall, The dome of Thought, the palace of the Soul : Behold through each lack-lustre, eyeless hole, The gay recess of Wisdom and of Wit And Passion's host, that never brook'd control : Can all saint, sage, or sophist ever writ, People this lonely tower, this tenement refit 2
VII. Well didst thou speak, Athena's wisest son : “All that we know is, nothing can be known.” Why should we shrink from what we cannot shun ? Each hath his pang, but feeble sufferers groan With brain-born dreams of evil all their own. Pursue what Chance or Fate proclaimeth best; Peace waits us on the shores of Acheron : There no forced banquet claims the sated guest, But Silence spreads the couch of ever welcome rest.
Yet if, as holiest men have deem'd, there be
right | 1
IX. There, thou ! — whose love and life together fled, Have left me here to love and live in vain – Twined with my heart, and can I deem thee dead, When busy memory flashes on my brain 7 Well — I will dream that we may meet again, And woo the vision to my vacant breast: If aught of young Remembrance then remain, Be as it may Futurity's behest, For me 'twere bliss enough to know thy spirit blest 12
[In the original MS., for this magnificent stanza, we find what follows: “Frown not upon me, churlish Priest that I Look not for life, where life may never be ; I am no sneerer at thy phantasy; Thou pitiest me, – alas! I envy thee, Thou bold discoverer in an unknown sea, Of happy isles and happier tenants there ; I ask thee not to prove a Sadducee : Still dream of Paradise, thou know'st not where, But lov'st too well to bid thine erring brother share.”]
* [Lord Byron wrote this stanza at Newstead, in October, 1811. on hearing of the death of his Cambridge friend, young Eddiestone : “making," he says, “the sixth, within four months, of friends and relations that I have lost between May and the end of August.” See post, Hours of Idleness, “The Cornelian.”] * [“. The thought and the expression,” says Professor Clarke, in a letter to Lord Byron, “are here so truly Pe. trarch's, that I would ask you whether you ever read, – * Poi quando "1 vero sgombra Quel dolce error purli medesmo assido, Me freddo, pietra morta in pietra viva; guisa d'uom ché pensi e piange e scriva; *
“Thus rendered by Wilmot, —
X. Here let me sit upon this massy stone, 3 The marble column's yet unshaken base ; Here, son of Saturn was thy fav'rite throne : + Mightiest of many such Hence let me trace The latent grandeur of thy dwelling-place. It may not be : nor ev'n can Fancy's eye Restore what Time hath labour'd to deface. Yet these proud pillars claim no passing sigh ; Unmoved the Moslem sits, the light Greek carols by.
XI. But who, of all the plunderers of yon fane On high, where Pallas linger'd, loth to flee The latest relic of her ancient reign ; The last, the worst, dull spoiler, who was he Blush, Caledonial such thy son could be England I joy no child he was of thine : Thy free-born men should spare what once was free; Yet they could violate each saddening shrine, And bear these altars o'er the long-reluctant brine. 5
XII. But most the modern Pict's ignoble boast, To rive what Goth, and Turk, and Time hath spared : Cold as the crags upon his native coast, 6 His mind as barren and his heart as hard, Is he whose head conceived, whose hand prepared, Aught to displace Athena's poor remains: Her sons too weak the sacred shrine to guard, Yet felt some portion of their mother's pains, 7 And never knew, till then, the weight of Despot's chains.
XIII. What I shall it e'er be said by British tongue, Albion was happy in Athena's tears 7 Though in thy name the slaves her bosom wrung, Tell not the deed to blushing Europe's ears; . The ocean queen, the free Britannia, bears The last poor plunder from a bleeding land: Yes, she, whose gen'rous aid her name endears, Tore down those remnants with a harpy's hand, Which envious Eld forbore, and tyrants left to stand. 8
* The temple of Jupiter Olympius, of which sixteen columns, entirely of marille, yet survive: originally there were one hundred and o; These columns, however, are by many supposed to have belonged to the Pantheon. * See Appendix to this Canto [A], for a note too long to be placed here. The ship was wrecked in the Archipelago. * [“Cold and accursed as his native coast.”— MS.] 7 I cannot resist availing myself of the permission of my friend Dr. Clarke, whose name requires no comment with the public, but whose sanction will add- tenfold weight to my testimony, to insert the following extract from a very obliging letter of his to me, as a note to the above lines: — "When the last of the metopes was taken from the Parthenon, and, in moving of it, great part of the superstructure with one of the triglyphs was thrown down by the workmen whom Lord Elgin employed, the Disdar, who beheld the mischief done to the building, took his pipe from his mouth, dropped a tear, and, in a supplicating tone of voice, said to Lusieri, Tixo, — I was present.” The Disdar alluded to was the father of the present Disdar. * [After stanza xiii. the original MS. has the following: —
“Come, then, ye classic Thanes of each degree,
Than ye should bear one stone from wrong’d Athena's site.
XXIV. Thus bending o'er the vessel's laving side, To gaze on Dian's wave-reflected sphere. The soul forgets her schemes of Hope and Pride, And slics unconscious o'er each backward year. None are so desolate but something dear, Dearer than self, possesses or possess'd A thought, and claims the homage of a tear; A flashing pang ! of which the weary breast Would still, albeit in vain, the heavy heart divest.
XXV. To sit on rocks, to muse o'er flood and fell, To slowly trace the forest's shady scene, Where things that own not man's dominion dwell, And mortal foot hath ne'er or rarely been; To climb the trackless mountain all unseen, With the wild flock that never needs a fold; Alone o'er steeps and foaming falls to lean ; This is not solitude; 'tis but to hold [unroll’d. Converse with Nature's charms, and view her stores
XXVI. But 'midst the crowd, the hum, the shock of men, To hear, to see, to feel, and to possess, And roam along, the world's tired denizen, With none who bless us, none whom we can bless; Minions of splendour shrinking from distress None that, with kindred consciousness endued, If we were not, would seem to smile the less Of all that flatter'd, follow'd, sought, and sued ; This is to be alone; this, this is solitude :
XXVII. More blest the life of godly eremite, Such as on lonely Athos may be seen," Watching at eve upon the giant height, Which looks o'er waves so blue, skies so serene, That he who there at such an hour hath been Will wistful linger on that hallow'd spot; Then slowly tear him from the 'witching scene, Sigh forth one wish that such had been his lot, Then turn to hate a world he had almost forgot.
XXVIII. Pass we the long, unvarying course, the track Oft trod, that never leaves a trace behind ; Pass we the calm, the gale, the change, the tack, And each well known caprice of wave and wind; Pass we the joys and sorrows sailors find, Coop'd in their winged sea-girt citadel; The foul, the fair, the contrary, the kind, As breezes rise and fall and billows swell, Till on some jocund morn—lo, land 1 and all is well.
! some of Lord Byron's chief delights was, as he himself states in one of his journals, after bathing in some retired st-t, to seat himself on a high rock above the sea, and there remain for hours, gazing upon the sky and the waters. “He led the life,” says Sir Egerton Brydges, “as he wrote the strains, of a true poct. He could sleep, and very frequently did sleep, wrapped | in his rough great coat, on the hard boards of a deck, while the winds and the waves were roaring round him on every side, and could subsist on a crust and a glass of water. It would be difficult to persuade me, that he who is a coxcomb in his manners, and artificial in his habits of life. could write good poetry.”]
* Goza is said to have been the island of Calypso. —C“The identity of the habitation assigned by poets to the nymph Calypso, has occasioned much discussion and variety of gtonion. Some place it at Malta, and some at Goza.” – Hoare's Classical Tour.]
* - For an account of this accomplished but eccentric lady,
XXIX. But not in silence pass Calypso's isles, 2 The sister tenants of the middle deep ; There for the weary still a haven smiles, Though the fair goddess long hath ceased to weep, And o'er her cliffs a fruitless watch to keep For him who dared prefer a mortal bride: Here, too, his boy essay'd the dreadful leap Stern Mentor urged from high to yonder tide; While thus of both bereft, the nymph-queen doubly sighed. XXX. Her reign is past, her gentle glorics gone: But trust not this; too easy youth, beware : A mortal sovereign holds her dangerous throne, And thou may'st find a new Calypso there. Sweet Florence I could another ever share This wayward, loveless heart, it would be thine: But check'd by every tie, I may not dare To cast a worthless offering at thy shrine, Nor ask so dear a breast to feel one pang for mine.
XXXI. Thus Harold deem’d, as on that lady's cye He look'd, and met its beam without a thought, Save Admiration glancing harmless by : Love kept aloof, albeit not far remote, Who knew his votary often lost and caught, But knew him as his worshipper no more, And ne'er again the boy his bosom sought: Since now he vainly urged him to adore, Well deem'd the little God his ancient sway was o'er.
XXXII. Fair Florence 3 found, in sooth with some amaze, One who, 't was said, still sigh'd to all he saw, Withstand, unmoved, the lustre of her gaze, Which others hail'd with real or mimic awe, [law; Their hope, their doom, their punishment, their "All that gay Beauty from her bondsmen claims: And much she marvell'd that a youth so raw Nor felt, nor feign'd at least, the oft-told flames, Which, though sometimes they frown, yet rarely anger dames. XXXIII. Little knew she that seeming marble heart, Now mask'd in silence or withheld by pride, Was not unskilful in the spoiler's art, 4. And spread its snares licentious far and wide ; 5 Nor from the base pursuit had turn’d aside, As long as aught was worthy to pursue : But Harold on such arts no more relied; And had he doted on those eyes so blue, Yet never would he join the lover's whining crew.
whose acquaintance the poet formed at Malta, see Miscellaneous Poems, September, 1809, “To Florence.” “In one so imaginative as Lord Byron, who, while he infused so much of his life into his poetry, mingled also not a little of poetry with his life, it is difficult,” says Moore, “in unravelling the texture of his feelings, to distinguish at all times between the fanciful and the real. His description here, for instance, of the unmoved and “loveless heart," with which he contemplated even the charms of this attractive person, is wholly at variance with the statements in many of his letters; and, above all, with one of the most graceful of his lesser poems, addressed to this same lady, during a thunder-storm on his road to Zitza.”] * [Against this line it is sufficient to set the poet's own declaration, in 1821: – “I am not a Joseph, nor a Scipio, but . I can safely affirm, that I never in my life seduced any woman.”] * [“We have here another instance of his propensity to