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An empire thou couldst crush, command, rebuild,
But govern not thy pettiest passion, nor,
However deeply in men's spirits skill'd,

Look through thine own, nor curb the lust of war, Nor learn that tempted Fate will leave the loftiest star.

XXXIX.

Yet well thy soul hath brook'd the turning tide
With that untaught innate philosophy,
Which, be it wisdom, coldness, or deep pride,
Is gall and wormwood to an enemy.
When the whole host of hatred stood hard by,
To watch and mock thee shrinking, thou hast smiled
With a sedate and all-enduring eye;-

When Fortune fled her spoil'd and favourite child, He stood unbow'd beneath the ills upon him piled.

XL.

Sager than in thy fortunes; for in them
Ambition steel'd thee on too far to show
That just habitual scorn, which could contemn
Men and their thoughts ; ’t was wise to feel, not so
To wear it ever on thy lip and brow,
And spurn the instruments thou wert to use
Till they were turn'd unto thine overthrow;

'Tis but a worthless world to win or lose ; So hath it proved to thee, and all such lot who choose.

XLI.

If, like a tower upon a headlong rock,
Thou hadst been made to stand or fall alone,
Such scorn of man had help'd to brave the shock;
But men's thoughts were the steps which paved thy

throne,
Their admiration thy best weapon shone;

The part of Philip's son was thine, not then
(Unless aside thy purple had been thrown)

Like stern Diogenes to mock at men;
For sceptred cynics earth were far too wide a den. I

XLII.

But quiet to quick bosoms is a hell,
And there hath been thy bane; there is a fire
And motion of the soul which will not dwell
In its own narrow being, but aspire
Beyond the fitting medium of desire;
And, but once kindled, quenchless evermore,
Preys upon high adventure, nor can tire

Of aught but rest; a fever at the core,
Fatal to him who bears, to all who ever bore.

XLIII.

This makes the madmen who have made men mad By their contagion ; Conquerors and Kings, Founders of sects and systems, to whom add Sophists, Bards, Statesmen, all unquiet things Which stir too strongly the soul's secret springs, And are themselves the fools to those they fool; Envied, yet how unenviable! what stings

Are theirs ! One breast laid open were a school Which would unteach mankind the lust to shine or

rule:

1 The great error of Napoleon,“ if we have writ our annals true," was a continued obtrusion on mankind of his want of all com. munity of feeling for or with them ; perhaps more offensive to human vanity than the active cruelty of more trembling and suspicious tyranny. Such were his speeches to public assemblies as well as individuals; and the single expression which he is said to have used on returning to Paris after the Russian winter had destroyed his army, rubbing his hands over a fire, “ This is pleasanter than Moscow,” would probably alienate more favour from his cause than the destruction and reverses which led to the remark,

XLIV.

Their breath is agitation, and their life
A storm whereon they ride, to sink at last,
And yet so nursed and bigoted to strife,
That should their days, surviving perils past,
Melt to calm twilight, they feel overcast
With sorrow and supineness, and so die;
Even as a flame unfed, which runs to waste
With its own flickering, or a sword laid by,
Which eats into itself, and rusts ingloriously.

XLV.

He who ascends to mountain-tops, shall find
The loftiest peaks most wrapt in clouds and snow;
He who surpasses or subdues mankind,
Must look down on the hate of those below.
Though high above the sun of glory glow,
And far beneath the earth and ocean spread,
Round him are icy rocks, and loudly blow

Contending tempests on his naked head,
And thus reward the toils which to those summits led. 1

? [This is certainly.splendidly written, but we trust it is not true. From Macedonia's madman to the Swede - from Nimrod to Buonaparte, - the hunters of men have pursued their sport with as much gaiety, and as little remorse, as the hunters of other animals; and have lived as cheerily in their days of action, and as comfortably in their repose, as the followers of better pursuits. It would be strange, therefore, if the other active, but more innocent spirits, whom Lord Byron has here placed in the same predicament, and who share all their sources of enjoyment, without the guilt and the hardness which they cannot fail of contracting; should be more miserable or more unfriended than those splendid curses of their kind; and it would be passing strange, and pitiful, if the most precious gifts of Providence should produce only unhappiness, and mankind regard with hostility their greatest benefactors. --JEFFREY.]

XLVI.

Away with these! true Wisdom's world will be
Within its own creation, or in thine,
Maternal Nature! for who teems like thee,
Thus on the banks of thy majestic Rhine?
There Harold gazes on a work divine,
A blending of all beauties; streams and dells,
Fruit, foliage, crag, wood, cornfield, mountain, vine,

And chiefless castles breathing stern farewells
From gray but leafy walls, where Ruin greenly dwells.

XLVII.

And there they stand, as stands a lofty mind,
Worn, but unstooping to the baser crowd,
All tenantless, save to the crannying wind,
Or holding dark communion with the cloud.
There was a day when they were young and proud,
Banners on high, and battles pass'd below;
But they who fought are in a bloody shroud,

And those which waved are shredless dust ere now, And the bleak battlements shall bear no future blow.

XLVIII. Beneath these battlements, within those walls, Power dwelt amidst her passions; in proud state Each robber chief upheld his armed halls, Doing his evil will, nor less elate Than mightier heroes of a longer date. What want these outlaws i conquerors should have ? But History's purchased page to call them great ?

A wider space, an ornamented grave ? Their hopes were not less warm, their souls were full as

brave.

1 " What wants that knave that a king should have ?" was King James's question on meeting Johnny Armstrong and his followers in full accoutrements. - See the Ballad.

XLIX.

In their baronial feuds and single fields,
What deeds of prowess unrecorded died !
And Love, which lent a blazon to their shields,
With emblems well devised by amorous pride,
Through all the mail of iron hearts would glide ;
But still their flame was fierceness, and drew on
Keen contest and destruction near allied,

And many a tower for some fair mischief won,
Saw the discolour'd Rhine beneath its ruin run.

But Thou, exulting and abounding river !
Making thy waves a blessing as they flow
Through banks whose beauty would endure for ever
Could man but leave thy bright creation so,
Nor its fair promise from the surface mow
With the sharp scythe of conflict, then to see
Thy valley of sweet waters, were to know

Earth paved like Heaven ; and to seem such to me, Even now what wants thy stream ? — that it should

Lethe be.

LI.

A thousand battles have assail'd thy banks,
But these and half their fame have pass'd away,
And Slaughter heap'd on high his weltering ranks ;
Their very graves are gone, and what are they ?
Thy tide wash'd down the blood of yesterday,
And all was stainless, and on thy clear stream
Glass'd with its dancing light the sunny ray;

But o'er the blacken'd memory's blighting dream Thy waves would vainly roll, all sweeping as they seem.

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