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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
Or fills with love the pilgrim on his way
Seeming to weep the dying day's decay;
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,
Perhaps the weakness of a heart not void
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.
END OF CANTO THIRD.
NOTES TO CANTO III.
Note 5, page 170, stanza xlv..
Io non credo piu al nero ch'all' azzurro;
E credo alcuna volta anco nel burro;
E molto piu nell'espro che il mangurro;
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.
Εσπερε παντα φερεις
Fragment of Sappho.
Note 6, page 195, stanza cvili.
Era gia l' ora che volge 'l disio,
« А’naviganti, e 'ntenerisce il cuore;
» E che lo nuovo peregrin' d' Amore
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;
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
That neither of their intellects are vast:
We know not this—the blood flows on too fast;