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CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE.

CANTO THE SECOND.

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COME, blue-eyed maid of heaven !-- but thou, alas!
Didst never yet one mortal song inspire -
Goddess of Wisdom! here thy temple was,
And is, despite of war and wasting fire, 1
And years, that bade thy worship to expire :
But worse than steel, and flame, and ages slow,
Is the dread sceptre and dominion dire

Of men who never felt the sacred glow [bestow. That thoughts of thee and thine on polish'd breasts

1 Part of the Acropolis was destroyed by the explosion of a magazine during the Venetian siege. - [On 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. The portion yet standing cannot fail to fill the mind of the most 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."]

II.
Ancient of days ! august Athena! 1 where,
Where are thy men of might? thy grand in soul ?
Gone — glimmering through the dream of things

that were :
First in the race that led to Glory's goal,
They won, and pass'd away—is this the whole ?
A schoolboy's tale, the wonder of an hour !
The warrior's weapon and the sophist's stole

Are sought in vain, and o'er each mouldering tower, Dim with the mist of years, gray flits the shade of power.

1 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 perpetual 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."

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