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Soft hour!6 which wakes the wish and melts the heart

Of those who sail the seas, on the first day
When they from their sweet friends are torn apart;

Or fills with love the pilgrim on his way
As the far bell of vesper makes him start,

Seeming to weep the dying day's decay;
Is this a fancy which our reason scorns?
Ah! surely nothing dies but something mourns!


When Nero perish'd by the justest doom

Which ever the destroyer yet destroy'd, Amidst the roar of liberated Rome,

Of nations freed, and the world overjoy'd,
Some hands unseen strew'd flowers upon his tomb:7

Perhaps the weakness of a heart not void
Of feeling for some kindness done, when power
Had left the wretch an uncorrupted hour.


But I'm digressing: what on earth has Nero,

Or any such like sovereign buffoons, To do with the transactions of my hero,

More than such madmen's fellow-man-the moon's? Sure my invention must be down at zero,

And I grown one of many « wooden spoons » Of verse (the name with which we Cantabs please To dub the last of honours in degrees).


I feel this tediousness will never do

'T is being too epic, and I must cut down (In copying) this long canto into two;

They'll never find it out, unless I own The fact, excepting some experienced few;

And then as an improvement 't will be shown: I'll prove that such the opinion of the critic is From Aristotle passim.—See Mountiang.



Note 5, page 170, stanza xlv..
For none likes more to hear himself converse.
Rispose allor' Margatte, a dir tel tosto,

Io non credo piu al nero ch'all' azzurro;
Ma nel cappone, o lesso, o vuogli arrosto,

E credo alcuna volta anco nel burro;
Nella cervogia, e quando io n' ho nel mosto,

E molto piu nell'espro che il mangurro;
Ma sopra tutto nel buon vino ho fede,
E credo che sia salvo chi gli crede.

Pulci, Morgante Maggiore, canto 18, stanza 151.

Note 2, page 178, stanza lxxi.

That e'er by precious metal was held in. This dress is Moorish, and the bracelets and bar are worn in the manner described. The reader will perceive hereafter, that as the mother of Haidee was of Fez, her daughter wore the garb of the country.

Note 3, page 179, stanza LXXII.

A like gold bar above her instep roll'd etc. The bar of gold above the instep is a mark of sovereign rank in the women of the families of the deys, and is worn as such by their female relatives.

Note 4, page 179, stanza LxxIII.

Her person if allow'd at large to run, etc. This is no exaggeration; there were four women whom I remember to have seen, who possessed their hair in this profusion; of these, three were English, the other was a Levantine. Their hair was of that length and quantity, that when let down, it almost entirely shaded the person, so as nearly to render dress a superfluity. Of these, only one had dark hair; the Oriental's had, perhaps, the lightest colour of the four.

Note 5, page 194, stanza cvii.
Oh Hesperas ! thou bringest all good things-etc.

Εσπερε παντα φερεις
Φερεις δινον φερεις αιγα
Φερεις ματερι παιδα. .

Fragment of Sappho.

Note 6, page 195, stanza cvili.
Soft hour! which wakes the wish and melts the heart.

Era gia l' ora che volge 'l disio,

« А’naviganti, e 'ntenerisce il cuore;
« Lo di ch' han detto a' dolci amici a dio;

» E che lo nuovo peregrin' d' Amore
· Punge, se ode Squilla di lontano,
Che paia 'l giorno pianger che si muore.»

Dante's Purgatory, canto 8. This last line is the first of Gray's Elegy, taken by him without acknowledgment.

Note 7, page 195, stanza cıx. Some hands unseen strew'd flowers upon his tomb: etc.

See Suetonius for this fact.




Nothing so difficult as a beginning

In poesy, unless perhaps the end;
For oftentimes when Pegasus seems winning

The race, he sprains a wing, and down we tend, Like Lucifer when hurl’d from heaven for sinning;

Our sin the same, and hard as his to mend, Being pride, which leads the mind to soar too far, Till our own weakness shows us what we are.


But time, which bring all beings to their level,

And sharp adversity, will teach at last
Man,—and, as we would hope,-perhaps the devil,

That neither of their intellects are vast:
While youth's hot wishes in our red veins revel,

We know not this—the blood flows on too fast;
But as the torrent widens towards the ocean,
We ponder deeply on each past emotion.

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