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An empire thou couldst crush, command, rebuild,
Look through thine own, nor curb the lust of war, Nor learn that tempted Fate will leave the loftiest star.
Yet well thy soul hath brook'd the turning tide
When Fortune fled her spoil'd and favourite child, He stood unbow'd beneath the ills upon him piled.
Sager than in thy fortunes; for in them
'Tis but a worthless world to win or lose ; So hath it proved to thee, and all such lot who choose.
If, like a tower upon a headlong rock,
The part of Philip's son was thine, not then
Like stern Diogenes to mock at men;
But quiet to quick bosoms is a hell,
Of aught but rest; a fever at the core,
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
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,
Their breath is agitation, and their life
He who ascends to mountain-tops, shall find
Contending tempests on his naked head,
? [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.]
Away with these! true Wisdom's world will be
And chiefless castles breathing stern farewells
And there they stand, as stands a lofty mind,
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
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.
In their baronial feuds and single fields,
And many a tower for some fair mischief won,
But Thou, exulting and abounding river !
Earth paved like Heaven ; and to seem such to me, Even now what wants thy stream ? — that it should
A thousand battles have assail'd thy banks,
But o'er the blacken'd memory's blighting dream Thy waves would vainly roll, all sweeping as they seem.