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Here let me sit upon this massy stone,
The marble column’s yet unshaken base;
Here, son of Saturn! was thy fav’rite throne:
Mightiest of many such! Hence let me trace
The latent grandeur of thy dwelling place.
It may not be: nor ev'n can Fancy's eye
Restore what Time hath labour'd to deface.
Yet these proud pillars claim no passing sigh, Unmov'd the Moslem sits, the light Greek carols by.
But who, of all the plunderers of yon fane
On high-where Pallas linger’d, loth to flee
The latest relic of her ancient reign-
The last, the worst, dull spoiler, who was he?
Blush, Caledonia! such thy son could be !
England! I joy no child he was of thine:
Thy free-born men should spare what once was free;
Yet they could violate each saddening shrine,
And bear these altars o'er the long-reluctant brine.s
XII. But most the modern Pict's ignoble boast, .. To rive what Goth, and Turk, and Time hath spar'd :Cold as the crags upon his native coast, His mind as barren and his heart as hard, Is he whose head conceiv’d, whose hand prepard, Aught to displace Athena's poor remains: Her sons too weak the sacred shrine to guard,
Yet felt some portion of their mother's pains," And never knew, till then, the weight of Despot's chains.
What! shall it e'er be said by British tongue,
Albion was happy in Athena's tears ?
Though in thy name the slaves her bosom wrung,
Tell not the deed to blushing Europe's ears;
The ocean queen, the free Britannia bears
The last poor plunder from a bleeding land:
Yes, she, whose gen'rous aid her name endears,
Tore down those remnants with a Harpy's hand, Which envious Eld forbore, and tyrants left to stand.
Where was thine Ægis, Pallas! that appalld
Stern Alaric and Havoc on their way? 8
Where Peleus' soni whom Hell in vain enthralld,
His shade from Hades upon that dread day,
Bursting to light in terrible array!
What! could not Pluto spare the chief once more,
To scare a second robber from his prey ?
Idly he wander'd on the Stygian shore,
Nor now preserv'd the walls he lov'd to shield before.
Cold is the heart, fair Greece! that looks on thee,
Nor feels as lovers o'er the dust they lov’d;
Dull is the eye that will not weep to see
Thy walls defac'd, thy mouldering shrines remov'd
By British hands, which it had best behov'd
To guard those relics ne'er to be restor’d.
Curst be the hour when from their isle they rov'd,
And once again thy hapless bosom gord,
Andsnatch'd thy shrinking Gods to northern climes abhorr'd!
XVI. But where is Harold? shall I then forget To urge the gloomy wanderer o'er the wave? Little reck'd he of all that men regret; No lov’d-one now in feign’d lament could rave; No friend the parting hand extended gave, Ere the cold stranger pass'd to other climes : Hard is his heart whom charms may not enslave;
But Harold felt not as in other times, And left without a sigh the land of war and crimes.
XVII. He that has sail'd upon the dark blue sea, Has view'd at times, I ween, a full fair sight; When the fresh breeze is fair as breeze may be, The white sail set, the gallant frigate tight; Masts, spires, and strand retiring to the right, The glorious main expanding o’er the bow, The convoy spread like wild swans in their flight,
The dullest sailer wearing bravely now, So gaily curl the waves before each dashing prow.
And oh, the little warlike world within!
The well-reev'd guns, the netted canopy,
The hoarse command, the busy humming din,
When, at a word, the tops are mann'd on high:
Hark to the Boatswain's call, the cheering cry! :
While through the seaman's hand the tackle glides;
Or school-boy Midshipman that, standing by,
Strains his shrill pipe as good or ill betides,
And well the docile crew that skilful urchin guides.
White is the glassy deck, without a stain,
Where on the watch the staid Lieutenant walks:
Look on that part which sacred doth remain
For the lone chieftain, who majestic stalks,
Silent and fear’d by all—not oft he talks
With aught beneath him, if he would preserve
That strict restraint, which broken, ever balks
Conquest and Fame: but Britons rarely swerve
From Law, howeverstern, which tends theirstrength tonerve.