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The Age of Bronze;
CARMEN SECULARE ET ANNUS HAUD MIRABILIS. (1)
“ Impar Congressus Achilli."
He wept for worlds to conquer-hulf the earth Tue “good old times”-all times when old are Knows not his name, or but his death, and birth, good
And desolation; while his native Greece
Hath all of desolation, save its peace.
He“wept for worlds to conquer!” he who ne'er Want little of more mortals but their will:
Conceived the globe he panted not to spare! A wider space, a greener field, is given,
With even the busy Northern Isle unknown, To those who play their “tricks before high Heaven." Which holds his urn, and never knew his throne.(4) I know not if the angels weep, but men
But where is he, the modern, mightier far,
Who, born no king, made monarchs draw his car; All is exploded-be it good or bad.
The new Sesostris, whose unharness'd kings, (5) Reader! remember when thou wert a lad, Freed from the bit, believe themselves with wings, Then Pitt was all; or, if not ll, so much,
And spurn the dust o'er which they crawld of late, His very rival almost deem'd him such.(2)
Chain'd to the chariot of the chieftain's state ? We, we have seen the intellectual race
Yes! where is he, the champion and the child Of giants stand, like Titans, face to face Of all that's great or little, wise or wild ? Athos and Ida, with a dashing sea
Whose game was empires, and whose stakes were Of eloquence between, which flow'd all free,
thrones? As the deep billows of the Ægean roar
Whose table earth-whose dice were human bones? Betwixt the Hellenic and the Phrygian shore. Behold the grand result in yon lone isle,(6) But where are they-the rivals!—a few feet And, as thy nature urges, weep or smile. Of sullen earth divide each winding-sheet.(3) Sigh to behold the eagle's lofty rage How peaceful and how powersul is the grave
Reduced to nibble at his narrow cage; Which hushes all! a calm unstormy wave
Smile to survey the queller of the nations Which oversweeps the world. The theme is old Now daily squabbling o'er dispuled rations; Of“ dust to dust ;"bul half its tale untold: Weep to perceive him mourning, as he dines, Time tempers not its terrors-still the worm O’er curtaild dishes and o'er stinted wines; Winds its cold folds, the tomb preserves its form, O’er petty quarrels upon petty things: Varied above, but still alike below;
Is this the man who scourged or feasted kings ? The urn may shine, the ashes will not glow, Behold the scales in which his fortune hangs, Though Cleopatra's mummy cross the sea
A surgeon's (7) statement, and an earl's (8) haO’er which from empire she lured Antony;
rangues ! Though Alexander's urn a show be grown
A bust delay'd,(9) a book refused, can shake On shores he wept to conquer, though unknown- The sleep of him who kept the world awake. How vain, how worse than vain, at length appear Is this indeed the tamer of the great, The madman's wish, the Macedonian's tear! Now slave of all could tease or irritatem
(1) This poem was written by Lord Byron al Genoa, in the dust of Alexander, which came into the possession of the English early part of the year 1823; and published in London, by Mr. John army, in consequence of the capitulation of Alexandria, in FebruHunt. Ils authenticity was much disputed at the time.-E. ary, 1802, was presented by George III. to the British Museum. (2) Mr. Fox used to say-"I never want a word, but Pilt never
-E. wants the word.” The story occurs in many memoirs of the time. (8) Sesostris is said, by Diodorus, to have had his chariot drawn
by eight vanquished sovereigns.- E. (3) The grave of Mr. For, in Westminster Abbey, is withio (6) St. Helena.-E. (7) Mr. Barry O'Meara.-E. righteen incbes of tbal of Mr. Pill.-E.
(8) Earl Bathurst.-E. (A) A sarcophagus, of breccia, supposed to have contained the 9) The bust of his son.-E.
The paltry gaoler (1) and the prying spy,
Refusing one poor line along the lid,
The feels that sweep before the easiern blast
The rocky isle that holds or held his dust, So free from homicide-o doubt's a crime ! Shall crown the Atlantic like the hero's bust, And the stiff surgeon, who maintain’d his cause, And mighty nature o'er his obsequies Hath lost his place, and gain'd the world's ap- Do more than niggard envy still denies. plause.(3)
But what are these to him? Can glory's lust But smile-though all the pangs of brain and heart Touch the freed spirit or the fetter'd dust? Disdain, defy, the tardy aid of art;
Small care hath be of what his tomb consists;
Of this last consolation, though so scant;
Her honour, fame, and faith demand his bones A conscious twilight of his blazing reign,
To rear above a pyramid of thrones;
Or carried onward in the battle's van,
To form, like Guesclin's (5) dust, her talisman.
But be it as it is-The lime may come
His name shall beat the alarm, like Ziska's drum.(6) Though first in glory, deepest in reverse,
V. He tasted empire's blessings and its curse; O heaven! of which he was in power a feature; Though kings, rejoicing in their late escape ( earth! of which he was a noble creature; From chains, would gladly be their tyrant's ape; Thou isle! to be remember'd long and well, How must he smile, and turn to yon lone grave, Thal sa w'st the unfledged eaglet chip his shell! The proudest sea-mark that o’erlops the wave! Ye Alps, whick view'd him in his dawning flights What though his gaoler, duleous to the last, Hover, the victor of a hundred fights! Scarce deem'd the coffin's lead could keep him fast, Thou Rome, who saw'st thy Cæsar's deeds outdone!
í) Sir Hudson Lowe.-E.
to have lost moment in communicating it to the Admiral on the (2) Captain Basil Hall's interesting account of his interview spot, or to the Secretary of Stale, or to their Lordships. An with the ex-emperor occurs in bis Voyage to Loo-choo.-E.
overture so monstrous in itsell, and so deeply involving, not (3) The circumstances under which Mr. O'Meara's dismissal merely the personal character of the governor, but the honour of from his Majesty's service took place will suffice lo show how the nation, and the important interest commilled to liis charge, little “the still surgeon" merited the applause of Lord Byron. should not have been reserved in your own breast for two years, lo a letter to the Admiralty Board by Mr. O'M., dated Oct. 28, to be produced at last, not (as it would appear) from a sense of 1818, lbere occurred the following paragraph:-"In the third in- public duty, but in furtherance of your own personal hostilly terview which Sir Hudson Lowe had with Napoleon Bonaparle, in against the governor. Either the charge is in the last degree May, 1816, he proposed to the latter to send me away, and to raise and calumnious, or you can have no possible excuse for replace me by Mr. Baxter, who had been several years surgeon having hitherto suppressed it. In either case, and without adin the Corsican Rangers. Failing in this attempt, he adopted the verting to the general tenour of your conduct, as stated in your resolution of manisesting great confidence in me, by loading me letter, my Lords consider you to be an improper person lo conwith civilities, inviling me constantly lo dine with him, conversing Linue in his Majesty's service; and they have directed your name for bours together with me alone, both in his own house and to be erased from the list of naval surgeons accordingly."-E. grounds, and at Longwood, either in my own room, or under the (4) Bonaparte died the 5th of May, 1821.-E. trees and elsewhere. On some of these occasions he made to me (5) Guesclin, constable of France, died in the midst of bis observalions upon the benefit which would result !o Europe from iriumphs, before Chateauneuf de Randon, in 1380. The English the death of Napoleon Bonaparte: of which event he spoke in a garrison, which had conditioned to surrender at a certain time, manner which, considering his situation and mine, was peculiarly marched out the day after his death: and the commander resdistressing to me." The Secretary to the Admirally was in- pectfully laid the keys of the fortress on the bier, so that it might strucled to answer in these terms:-."It is impossible to doubt appear to have surrendered to his ashes. the meaning which this passage was intended to convey; and my (6) John Ziska-a distinguished leader of the Hussites. It is Lords can as fille doubt that the insinuation is a calumnious recorded of him, that, in dying, he ordered his skin to be made falsetood: bul if it were true, and is so horrible a suggestion were the covering of a drum. The Bohemians bold his memory in su made to you, directly or indirectly, it was your bounden duly not perstitious veneration.-E.
Alas! why pass d ne too the Rubicon
Thou other element! all strong and stern, The Rubicon of man's awaken'd rights,
To teach a lesson conquerors will not learn!To herd with vulgar kings and parasites ?
Whose icy wing flapp'd o'er the faltering foe, Egypt! from whose all dateless tombs arose Till fell a hero with each fake of snow; Forgolten Pharaohs from their long repose, How did thy numbing beak and silent fang And shook within their Pyramids to hear
Pierce, till hosts perish'd with a single pang! A new Cambyses thundering in their ear;
In vain shall Seine look up along his banks While the dark shades of forty ages stood
For the gay thousands of his dashing ranks! Like startled giants by Nile's famous flood; (1) In vain shall France recall beneath her vines Or from the pyramid's tall pinnacle
Her youth-Their blood flows faster than her wines; Beheld the desert peopled, as from hell,
Or stagnant in their human ice remains With clashing hosts, who strew'd the barren sand In frozen mummies on the Polar plains. To re-manure the uncultivated land!
In vain will Italy's broad sun awaken Spain! which, a moment mindless of ihe Cid, Her offspring chill'd; its beanis are now forsaken. Beheld his banner flouting thy Madrid !
Of all the trophies gather'd from the war, Austria! which saw thy twice-ta’en capital What shall return?—The conqueror's broken car! Twice spared, to be the traitress of his fall! The conqueror's yet unbroken heart! Again Ye race of Frederic!- Frederics but in name The horn of Roland sounds, and not in vain. And falsehood—heirs to all except his fame; Lutzen, where fell the Swede of victory,(?) Who crush'd at Jena, crouch'd at Berlin, fell Beholds him conquer, but, alas! not die: First, and but rose to follow! Ye who dwell Dresden surveys three despots fly once more Where Kosciusko dwelt, remembering yet
Before their sovereign,-sovereign as before; The unpaid amount of Catherine's bloody debt! But there exhausted Fortune quits the field, Poland! o'er which the avenging angel pass'di, And Leipsic's treason bids the unvanquish'd yield; But left thee, as he found thee, still a waste, The Saxon jackal leaves the lion's side Forgetting all thy still enduring claim,
To turn the bear's, and wolf's, and fox's guide; Thy lotted people and extinguish d name,
And backward to the den of his despair Thy sigh for freedom, thy long-Howing tear, The forest monarch shrinks, but finds no lair! That sound that crashes in the tyrant's ear Oh ye! and each, and all! Oh France! who found Kosciusko! On-on-on-the thirst of war Thy long fair fields, plough'd up as hostile ground. Gasps for the gore of serfs and of their czar.
Disputed foot by foot, till treason, still The half-barbaric Moscow's minarets
His only victor, from Montmartre's bill Gleam in the sun, but 'tis a sun that sels! Look'd down o'er trampled Paris !and thou Isle, (3) Moscow ! thou limit of his long career,
Which seest Etruria from thy ramparts smile, For which rude Charles had wept his frozen tear Thou momentary shelter of his pride, To see in vain-he saw thee-how ? with spire Till woo'd by danger, his yet weeping bride! And palace fuel to one common fire.
Oh, France! retaken by a single march, To this the soldier lent his kindling match, Whose path was through one long triumphal arch! To this the peasant gave his coltage thatch, Oh, bloody and most bootless Waterloo! To this the merchant flung his hoarded store, Which proves how fools may have their fortune too, The prince his hall—and Moscow was no more! Won half by blunder, half by treachery: Sublimest of volcanos! Etna's flame
Oh, dull Saint Helen! with thy gaoler nighPales, before thine, and quenchless Hecla's tame; Hear! hear Prometheus (4) from his rock appeal Vesuvius shows his blaze, a usual sight
To earth, air, ocean, all that felt or feel
A name eternal as the rolling year;
(1) At the ballle of the Pyramids, in July, 1798, Bonaparte said, -"Soldiers! from the summit of yonder pyramids forty ages behold you.”-E.
(2) Gustavus Adolphus sell at the great balile of Lulzen, in November, 1632.-E.
(3) The Isle of Elba.-E.
(4) I refer the reader to the first address of Prometheus in Æschylus, when he is left alone by his allendants, and Lefore the arrival of the Chorus of Sea-Nymphs.
“ Etherial wir, and, ye swill-winged winds;
Ye rivers springing froz fresh founts, ye waves,
That o'er the interminable ocean wreath
For favours shown
Poller's translation. E.
So oft, so vainly-learn to do no wrong!
The Spartan knows himself once more a Greek, A single step into the right had made
Young freedom plumes the crest of each cacique; This man the Washington of worlds betray'd : Debating despots, hemm'd on either shore, A single step into the wrong has given
Shrink vainly from the roused Atlantic's roar; His name a doubt to all the winds of heaven; Through Calpe's strait the rolling tides advance, The reed of Fortune, and of thrones the rod, Sweep slightly by the half-tamed land of France, Of Fame the Moloch or the demigod;
Dash o'er the old Spaniard's cradle, and would fain His country's Cæsar, Europe's Hannibal,
Unite Ausonia to the mighly main: Without their decent dignity of fall.
But driven from thence a while, yet not for aye, Yet Vanity herself had better taught
Break o'er the Ægean, mindful of the day A surer path even to the fame he sought,
Of Salamis!-there, there the waves arise, By pointing out on history's fruitless page
Not to be lull'd by tyrani victories. Ten thousand conquerors for a single sage. Lone, lost, abandon’d in their utmost need While Franklin's quiet memory climbs to heaven, By Christians, unto whom they gave their creed, Calming the lightning which he thence hath riven, The desolated lands, the ravaged isle, Or drawing from the no less kindlcd earth The foster'd feud encouraged to beguile, Freedom and peace to that which boasts his birth; (1) The aid evaded, and the cold delay, While Washington's a watchword, such as ne'er Prolong'd but in the hope to make a prey;(5)Shall sink while there's an echo left to air :(2) These, these shall tell the tale, and Greece can show While even the Spaniard's thirst of gold and war The false friend worse than the infuriate foe. forgets Pizarro, lo shout Bolivar!(3)
But this is well: Greeks only should free Greece, Alas! why must the same Atlantic wave
Not the barbarian, with his mask of peace.
Better still serve the haughty Mussulman,
The slave of slaves, before a Russian gate,-
Number'd by hordes, a human capital,
A live estate, existing but for thrall, But 'I will not be-the spark's awaken'd-lo!
Lotted by thousands, as a meet reward The swarthy Spaniard feels his former clow;
For the first courtier in the Czar's regard; The same high spirit which beat back the Moor
While their immediate owner never tastes Through eight long ages of alternate gore
His sleep, sans dreaming of Siberia's wastes: Revives and where ? in that evening clime
Better succumb even to their own despair, Where Spain was once synonymous with crime,
And drive the camel than purvey the bear. Where Cortez' and Pizarro's banner flew,
VII. The infant world redeems her name of “New." *T is the old aspiration breathed afresh,
But not alone within the hoariest clime To kindle souls within degraded flesh,
Where Freedom dates her birth with that of Time, Such as repulsed the Persian from the shore And not alone where, plunged in night, a crowd Where Greece was—No? she still is Greece once Of Inkas darken to a dubious cloud,
The dawn revives : renown'd romantic Spain One common cause makes myriads of one breast, Holds back the invader from her soil again. Slaves of the east, or helots of the west;
Not now the Roman tribe nor Punic horde On Andes' and on Athos' peaks unfurld,
Demand her fields as lists to prove the sword; The self-same standard streams o’er either world; Not now the Vandal or the Visigoth The Athenian wears again Harmodius' sword; (4) Pollute the plains, alike abhorring both : The Chili chief abjures his foreign lord;
Nor old Pelayo on his mountain rears
(1) The celebrated molto on a French medal of Franklin was (4 The famous hymn, ascribed to Callistratus:“ Eripuit ccelu fulmen, sceptrumque tyrannis."
» Cover'd with myrtle-wreaths, I'll wear my sword
Like brave Harinodius, and his patriot friend (2) To be the first man (not the Dictator), not the Sylla, but
Aristozeilon, who the laws restored, the Washington, or Aristides, the leader in talent and truth, is
The tyrant slew; and bade oppression end," etc. etc.-E. to be next to the Divinity. B. Diary." (3) Simon Bolivar, the liberator of Colombia and Peru, died at
(8) For the first authentic account of the Russian intrigues iu San Pedro, December 1830, of an illness brought on by excessive Greece, in the years alluded to, see Gordon's History of the fatigue and exertion. For an account of Lord Byron's scheme of Greek Revolution (1822), vol. i.-E. selling in South America in 1912, see Moore's Life of Byron.-E.
The warlike fathers of a thousand years.
The unerring rifle of the Catalan; That seed is sown and reap'd, as oft the Moor The Andalusian courser in the van; Sighs to remember on his dusky shore.
The Torch to make a Moscow of Madrid; Long in the peasant's song or poet's page
And in each heart the spirit of the Cid:Has dwelt the memory of Abencerrage;
Such have been, such shall be, such are. Advance, The Zegri, and the captive victors, flung
And win-not Spain, but thine own freedom, Back to the barbarous realm from whence they
VIII. But these are gone—their faith, their swords, their But lo! a Congress !(4) What! that hallow'd name Yet left more anti-christian foes than they: (sway, which freed the Atlantic? May we hope the same The bigot monarch and the butcher priest,
For outworn Europe? With the sound arise The inquisition, with her burning feast,
Like Samuel's shade to Saul's monarchic eyes, The faith's red “auto,” fed with human fuel,
The prophets of young Freedom, summon'd far While sate the catholic Moloch, calmly cruel,
From climes of Washington and Bolivar; Enjoying, with inexorable eye,
Henry, the forest-born Demosthenes, That fiery festival of agony !
Whose thunder shook the Philip of the seas; (5) The stern or feeble sovereign, one or both
And stoic Franklin's energetic shade, By turns; the haughtiness whose pride was sloth : Robed in the lightnings which his hand allayd ; The long degenerate noble; the debased
And Washington, the tyrant-tamer, wake, Hidalgo, and the peasant less disgraced,
To bid us blush for these old chains, or break. But more degraded; the unpeopled realm;
But who compose this senate of the few The once proud navy which forgot the helm;
That should redeem the many? Who renew The once impervious phalanx disarray'd;
This consecrated name, till now assign'd The idle forge that form’d Toledo’s blade;
To councils held to benefit mankind ? The foreign wealth that flow'd on every shore,
Who now assemble at the holy call ? Save hers who earn'd it with the natives' gore;
The blest Alliance, which says three are all! The very language, which might vie with Rome's, An earthly trinity! which wears the shape And once was known to nations like their homes, of heaven’s, as man is mimick'd by the ape. Neglected or forgotten :-such was Spain;
A pious unity! in purpose oneBut such she is not, nor shall be again.
To melt three fools to a Napoleon. These worst, these home invaders, felt and feel
Why, Egypt's gods were rational to these; The new Numantine soul of old Castile.
Their dogs and oxen knew their own degrees, Up! up again! undaunted Tauridor!
And, quiet in their kennel or their shed, The bull of Phalaris renews his roar;
Cared little, so that they were duly fed; Mount, chivalrous Hidalgo! not in vain
But these, more hungry, must have something more, Revive the cry—“Iago! and close Spain!" (1)
The power to bark and bite, to loss and gore. Yes, close her with your armed bosoms round,
Ah! how much happier were good Æsop's frogs And form the barrier which Napoleon found,
Than we! for ours are animated logs, The exterminating war, the desert plain,
With ponderous malice swaying to and fro, The streets without a tenant, save the slain;
And crushing nations with a stupid blow: The wild sierra, with its wilder troop
All dully anxious to leave little work
Unto the revolutionary stork.
Thrice-blest Verona! since the holy three Waving her more than Amazonian blade ; (2) With their imperial presence shine on thee; The knife of Arragon, (3) Toledo's steel;
Honour'd by them, thy treacherous site forgets The famous lance of chivalrous Castile;
The vaunted tomb of“ all the Capulets;” (6)
(1) “Santiago y cierra Espana!"the old Spanish warcry. Tbird-~” Henry was interrupled with a shout of “Treason! (2) See Childe Harolde, c. I. st. 54.
treason!”but coolly finished the sentence with "George the (3) The Arragonians are peculiarly dexterous in the use of Third may profit by their example." -E. this weapon, and displayed it particularly in former French wars. (6) “I have been over Verona. The amphitheatre is wonder
(4) Tbe congress of the Sovereigns of Russia, Austria, Prussia, rul-beats even Greece. or the truth of Juliet's story, they seem etc. etc. etc. which assembled at Verona, in the Autumn of 1822. tenacious to a degree, insisting on the fact-giving a dale (1305), -E.
and showing a lomb. It is a plain, open, and partly-decayed sar(3) Patrick Henry, of Virginia, a leading member of the Amecophagus, with withered leaves in it, in a wild and desolate conrican Congress, died in June, 1797. Lord Byron alludes to his ventual garden, once a cemetery, now ruined to the very graves. famous speech in 1765, in which, on saying, “ Cæsar had his The situation struck me as very appropriate to the legend, being Brutus-Charles the First had his Cromwell-and George the blighted as their love. I have brought away a few pieces of the