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CXCVIII The lady watched her lover and that
hour Of Love's, and Night's, and Ocean's
solitude, O'erflow'd her soul with their united
power; Amidst the barren sand and rocks so
rude She and her wave-worn love had made
their bower, Where nought upon their passion could
Some take a lover, some take drams or
prayers, Some mind their household, others dis
sipation; Some run away, and but exchange their
cares, Losing the advantage of a virtuous sta
tion; Few changes e'er can better their affairs,
Theirs being an unnatural situation, From the dull palace to the dirty hovel: Some play the devil, and then write a
“Stop!" So I stopped. — But to return:
that which Men call inconstancy is nothing more Than admiration due where nature's rich Profusion with young beauty covers
o'er Some favored object; and in the
niche A lovely statue we almost adore,
The heart is like the sky, a heaven,
1705 But changes night and day, too, like
the sky: Now o'er it clouds and thunder must be
driven, And darkness and destruction, as
high; But when it hath been scorched, and
pierced, and riven, Its storms expire in water-drops: the
eye Pours forth at last the heart's blood turned
to tears, Which make the English climate of our
LXXXIII But now being lifted into high society, And having picked up several odds and
ends Of free thoughts in his travels for variety, He deemed, being in a lone isle, among
friends, That, without any danger of a riot, he Might for long lying make himself
amends; And, singing as he sung in his warm
youth, Agree to a short armistice with truth.
The liver is the lazaret of bile,
But very rarely executes its function, For the first passion stays there such a
while That all the rest creep in and form a
junction, Like knots of vipers on a dunghill's soil, Rage, fear, hate, jealousy, revenge,
compunction: So that all mischiefs spring up from this
entrail, Like earthquakes from the hidden fire
In the mean time, without proceeding
In this anatomy, I've finished now Two hundred and odd stanzas as before,
That being about the number I'll allow Each canto of the twelve, or twentyfour;
1725 And, laying down my pen, I make my
bow, Leaving Don Juan and Haidée to plead For them and theirs with all who deign
Turks, and Franks,
nations; And having lived with people of all ranks, Had something ready upon most occa
sions Which got him a few presents and some
thanks. He varied with some skill his adula
tions: To "do at Rome as Romans do,” a piece Of conduct was which he observed in Greece.
LXXXV Thus, usually, when he was asked to sing, He gave the different nations something
national; 'Twas all the same to him — "God save
the king," Or "Ça ira," according to the fashion
all: His muse made increment of anything, From the high lyric down to the low
rational: If Pindar sang horse-races, what should
hinder Himself from being pliable as Pindar? 680
From Canto THIRD
The Isles of Greece: Ways of Poets
LXXXVI In France, for instance, he would write a
chanson; In England, a six canto quarto tale;
bellow The glorious meed of popular applause, 655 Of which the first ne'er knows the second
In Spain, he'd make a ballad or romance 'Tis something, in the dearth of fame, on
among fettered The last war much the same in Por
To feel at least a patriot's shame, In Germany, the Pegasus he'd prance Even as I sing, suffuse my face;
685 For what is left the poet here? Would be old Goethe's (see what says For Greeks a blush for Greece a tear.
Must but weep o'er days more In Greece, he'd sing some sort of hymn
blest? like this t’ye:
Must we but blush? - Our fathers bled.
Earth! render back from out thy breast The isles of Greece, the isles of Greece! A remnant of our Spartan dead! Where burning Sappho loved and
Of the three hundred grant but three,
To make a new Thermopylæ! sung, Where grew the arts of war and peace,
What, silent still? and silent all? Where Delos rose, and Phæbus sprung!
Ah! no: the voices of the dead Eternal summer gilds them yet,
Sound like a distant torrent's fall, But all, except their sun, is set.
And answer, “Let one living head,
But one arise, The Scian and the Teian muse,
we come, we come!” 735 695
'Tis but the living who are dumb. The hero's harp, the lover's lute, Have found the fame your shores refuse: In vain — in vain: strike other chords;
Their place of birth alone is mute Fill high the cup with Samian wine! To sounds which echo further west Leave battles to the Turkish hordes, Than your
sires' “Islands of the And shed the blood of Scio's vine! Blest."
700 Hark! rising to the ignoble call
How answers each bold Bacchanal!
You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet:
Where is the Pyrrhic phalanx gone?
745 I dreamed that Greece might still be
Of two such lessons, why forget free;
The nobler and the manlier one?
You have the letters Cadmus gave -
Think ye he meant them for a slave?
Fill high the bowl with Samian wine! A king sate on the rocky brow
We will not think of themes like Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis ;
these! And ships, by thousands, lay below,
It made Anacreon's song divine; And men in nations; all were his! 710
He served — but served Polycrates — He counted them at break of day
A tyrant; but our masters then And when the sun set, where were they?
Were still, at least, our countrymen. And where are they? and where art thou, The tyrant of the Chersonese
My country? On thy voiceless shore Was freedom's best and bravest friend; The heroic lay is tuneless now —
That tyrant was Miltiades! The heroic bosom beats no more!
Oh! that the present hour would lend And must thy lyre, so long divine, Another despot of the kind! Degenerate into hands like mine?
Such chains as his were sure to bind. 760