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So sunk in dulness, and so lost to shame,
Let Aberdeen and Elgin* still pursue That Smythe and Hodgson scarce redeem thy The shade of fame through regions of virtù ; fame!
Waste useless thousands on their Phidian freaks, But where fair Isis rolls her purer wave,
Misshapen monuments and maim'd antiques;
And make their grand saloons a general mart
To stun mankind with poesy or prose.
Thus far I've held my undisturb'd career,
Prepared for rancour, steeld 'gainst selfish The host of idiots that infest her age :
fear; No just applause her honour'd name shall lose,
This thing of rhyme, I ne'er disdain'd to own-As first in freedom, dearest to the muse.
Though not obtrusive, yet not quite unknown: Oh I would thy bards but emulate thy fame,
My voice was heard again, though not so loud; And rise more worthy, Albion, of thy name! My page, though nameless, never disavow'd; What Athens was in science, Rome in power, And now at once I tear the veil away What Tyre appear'd in her meridian hour,
Cheer on the pack! the quarry stands at bay. 'Tis thine at once, fair Albion, to have been
Unscared by all the din of Melbourne House,
Edina's brawny sons and brimstone page.
And feel they too oare penetrable stuff:'
Who conquers me shall find a stubborn foe.
The time hath been, when no harsh sound would And urge thy bards to gain a name like thine.
From lips that now may seem imbued with gall; Then, hapless Britain, be thy rulers blest,
Nor fools nor follies tempt me to despise The senate's oracles, thy people's jest,
The meanest thing that crawld beneath my Still hear thy motley orators dispense
eyes; The flowers of rhetoric, though not of sense, While Canning's colleagues hate him for his wit,
But now, so callous grown, so changed since
youth, And old dame Portlandt fills the place of Pitt.
I've learn'd to think, and sternly speak the truth ;
Learn'd to deride the critic's starch decree,
And break him on the wheel he meant for me;
To spurn the rod a scribbler bids me kiss, And Stamboulsij minarets, must greet my sight:
Nor care if courts and crowds applaud or hiss : Thence shall I stray through beauty's native clime, 9 Nay more, though all my rival rhymesters frown, Where Kaff** is clad in rocks, and crown'd with
I too can hunt a poetaster down ; snows sublime.
And, arm'd in proof, the gauntlet cast at once But should I back return, no letter'd rage
To Scotch marauder, and to southern dunce.
Thus much I've dared to do; how far my lay
Hath wrong'd these righteous times, let others And equal him whose work he sought to nar:
say: This let the world, which knows not how to spare,
Yet rarely blames unjustly, now declare. Decline and Fall, page 83, vol. ii. There is no reason to doubt the truth of this assertion; the breed is still in high perfection.
: The Aboriginal Britons, an excellent poem by forthcoming, with due decorations, graphical, topo. Richards.
graphical, and typographical) deposed, on Sir John Cassandra was the daughter of Priam, King of Carr's unlucky suit. that Dubois's satire prevented his Troy. Apollo bestowed on her the gift of prophecy : purchase of the Stranger in Ireland. Oh fie, my but added to it the curse that no one should believe Lord I has your Lordship no more feeling for a her predictions.
fellow-tourist? But two of a trade,' they say, etc. 1 A friend of mine being asked why his Grace of P. * Lord Elgin would fain persuade us that all the was likened to an old woman, replied, he supposed figures, with and without noses, in his stone-shop, are it was because he was past bearing:
the work of Phidias! Credat Judæus ! Calpe is the ancient name of Gibraltar.
+ Mr. Gell's Topography of Troy and Ithaca can. Stainboul is the Turkish word for Constantinople. not fail to ensure the approbation of every man
Georgia, remarkable for the beauty of its inhabi- possessed of classical taste, as well for the infortants.
ination Mr. G. conveys to the mind of the reader, as ** Mount Caucasus.
for the ability and research the respective works ft Lord Valentia (whose tremendous travels are display.
POSTSCRIPT TO THE SECOND EDITION. I HAVE been informed, since the present edition went to the press, that my trusty and well-beloved cousins, the Edinburgh Reviewers, are preparing a most vehement critique on my poor, gentle, unresisting Muse, whom they have already so bedeviled with their ungodly ribaldry :
• Tantæne animis coelestibus irr :' I suppose I must say of Jeffrey as Sir Andrew Aguecheek saith. ‘An' I had known he was so cunning of fence, I had seen him d-dere I had fought him.' What a pity it is that I shall be beyond the Bosphorus before the next number has passed the Tweed! But I yet hope to light my pipe with it in Persia.
My Northern friends have accused me, with justice, of personality towards their great literary anthropo. phagus, Jeffrey: but what else was to be done with him and his dirty pack, who feed by ‘lying and slandering: and slake their thirst by 'evil speaking ?" I have adduced facts already well known, and of Jeffrey's mind I have stated my free opinion ; nor has he hence sustained any injury: what scavenger was ever soiled by being pelted with mud? It may be said that I quit England because I have censured there 'persons of honour and wit about town;' but I am coming back again, and their vengeance will keep hot till my return. Those who know me can testify that my motives for leaving England are very different from fears, literary or personal; those who do not, may one day be convinced. Since the publication of this thing, my name has not been concealed : I have been mostly in London, ready to answer for my transgressions, and in daily expectation of sundry cartels; but, alas, 'the age of chivalry is over,' or, in the vulgar tongue, there is no spirit now-a-days.
There is a youth yclept Hewson Clarke (Subaudi Esquire), a Sizer of Emanuel College, and I believe a denizen of Berwick-upon-Tweed, whom I have introduced in these pages to much better company than he has been accustomed to meet. He is, notwithstanding, a very sad dog. and for no reason that I can discover, except a personal quarrel with a bear, kept by me at Cambridge to sit for a fellowship, and whom the jealousy of his Trinity contemporaries prevented from success, has been abusing me, and, what is worse, the de. fenceless innocent above mentioned, in the Satirist, for one year and soine months. I am utterly unconscious of having given him any provocation ; indeed, I am guiltless of having heard his name till coupled with the Satirist. He has therefore no reason to coinplain, and I dare say that, like Sir Fretful Plagiary, he is rather pleased than otherwise. I have now mentioned all who have done me the honour to notice me and mine, that is, my bear and my book, except the Editor of the Satirist, who, it seems, is a gentleman, God wot! I wish he could impart a little of his gentility to his subordinate scribblers. I hear that Mr. Jerningham is about to take up the cudgels for his Maecenas, Lord Carlisle. I hope not: he was one of the few who, in the very short intercourse I had with him, treated me with kindness when a boy; and whatever he may say or do, «pour on, I will endure. I have nothing further to add, save a general note of thanksgiving to readers, purchasers, and publisher; and, in :he words of Scott, I wish
*To all and each a fair good night,
The CURSE OF MINERVA.*
WRITTEN 1811,--PUBLISHED 1828.
* Pallas, te hoc vulnere, Pallas
SLOW sinks, more lovely cre his race be run, O'er the hushd deep the yellow beam he throws, Along Morea's hills the setting sun;
Gilds the green wave that trembles as it glows. Not, as in Northern climes, obscurely bright, On old Ægina's rock and Hydra's isle But one unclouded blaze of living light;
The god of gladness sheds his parting smile ;
O'er his own regions lingering loves to shine, *This Satire on I.ord Elgin for bringing the remains Though there his altars are no more divine. of Grecian art from Parther to England, was Descending fast, the moun in-shadows kiss not published by Lord Byron. He suppressed it, and Thy glorious gulf, unconquerid Salamis ! used the beautiful opening lines in his poem Corsair It was given to the public four years after Their azure arches through the long expanse, his death, in 1828.
More deeply purg led, meet his inellowing glance;
And tenderest tints, along their sunimits driven, Hours rolled along, and Dian's orb on high
But chiefly, Pallas, thine; when Hecate's glare, On such an eve his palest beam he cast,
Check d by thy columns, fell more sadly fair When, Athens! here thy wisest look'd his last. O'er the chill marble, where the startling tread How watch'd thy better sons his farewell ray,
Thrills the lone heart like echoes from the dead. That closed their murder'd sage's* latest day;
Long had I mused, and treasured every trace Not yet-not yet-Sol pauses on the hill,
The wreck of Greece recorded of her race, The precious hour of parting lingers still;
When, lol a giant form before me strode,
And Pallas hail'd me in her own abode!
Yes, 'twas Minerva's self; but, ah, how changed The land where Phoebus never frown'd before ;
Since o'er the Dardan field in arms she ranged ! But ere he sank below Cithæron's head,
Not such as erst, by her divine command, The cup of woe was quaff'd-the spirit filed;
Her form appear'd from Phidias' plastic hand :
Gone were the terrors of her awful brow,
Her idle degis bore no Gorgon now;
Her helm was dinted, and the broken lance But, lo ! from high Hymettus to the plain,
Seem'd weak and shaftless e'en to mortal glance ; The queen of night asserts her silent reign :t
The olive branch, which still she deign'd to clasp, No inurky vapour, herald of the storm,
Shrunk from her touch, and wither'd in her grasp; Hides her fair face, or girds her glowing form ;
And, ah, though still the brightest of the sky, With cornice glimmering as the moonbeams play,
Celestial tears bedimm'd her large blue eye; There the white column greets her grateful ray;
Round the rent casque her owlet circled slow, And bright around, with quivering beams beset,
And mourn'd his mistress with a shriek of woe! Her emblem sparkles o'er the minaret:
"Mortal !'~'twas thus she spake that blush of The groves of olive scatter'd dark and wide,
shame Where meek Cephisus sheds his scanty tide,
Proclaims thee Briton, once a noble name: The cypress saddening by the sacred mosque,
First of the mighty, foremost of the free,
Now honour'd less hy all, and least by me:
Chief of thy foes shall Pallas still be found.
Seek'st thou the cause of loathing !-look around. And dull were his that passed them heedless by.
Lo! here, despite of war and wasting fire,
Scaped from the ravage of the Turk and Goth,
Thy country sends a spoiler worse than botli.
Survey this vacant, violated fane ;
Recount the relics torn that yet remain:
These Cecrops placed, this pericles adorn'd, *
That Adrian rear'd when drooping Science mourn'd.
What more I owe, let gratitude attest As thus, within the walls of Pallas' fane,
Know Alaric and Elgin did the rest. I mark'd the beauties of the land and main,
That all may learn from whence the plunderer came,
The insulted wall sustains his hated name :
For Elgin's fame thus grateful Pallas pleads,
Below, his name-above, behold his deeds! Oft as the matchless dome I tum'd to scan,
Be ever hail'd with equal honour here Sacred to gods, but not secure from man,
The Gothic monarch and the Pictish peer : The past return'd, the present seem'd to cease,
Arms gave the first his right, the last had none, And giory knew no clime beyond her Greece!
But basely stole what less barbarians won.
So when the lion quits his fell repast, • Socrates drank the hemlock a short time before. Next prowls the wolf, the filthy jackal last : sunset (the hour of execution); notwithstanding the Flesh, limbs, and blood the former make their own, entreaties of his disciples to wait till the sun went The last poor brute sécurely gnaws the bone. down + The twilight in Greece is much shorter than in our
Yet still the gods are just, and crimes are cross'd : own country'; the days in winter are longer, but in See here what Elgin won, and what he lost ! summer of less duration.
The kiosk is a Turkish summer-house; the palm is without the present walls of Athens, not far from * This is spoken of the city in general, and not of the temple of Theseus, between which and the tree the Acropolis in particular. The temple of Jupiter the wall intervenes. Cephisus' stream is indeed Olympius, by some supposed the Parthenon, was scanty, and Ilissus has no stream at all.
finished by Hadrian; sixteen columns are standing, The Parthenon, or Temple of Minerva,
of the most beautiful marble architecture.
Another name with his pollutes my shrine :
Long of their patron's gusto let them tell, Behold where Dian's beams disdain to shine !
Whose noblest, native gusto is—to sell : Some retribution still might Pallas claim,
To sell, and make-may shame record the day!-When Venus half avenged Minerva's shame.'*
The state receiver of his pilfer'd prey.
Meantime, the flattering, feeble dotard, West, She ceased awhile, and thus I dared reply, Europe's worst dauber, and poor Britain's best, To soothe the vengeance kindling in her eye: With palsied hand shall turn each model o'er,
Daughter of Jove! in Britain's injured name, And own himself an infant of fourscore.
Be all the bruisers cull'd from all St. Giles', Frown not on England; England owns him not: That art and nature may compare their styles ; Athena, no! thy plunderer was a Scot.
While brawny brutes in stupid wonder stare, Ask'st thou the difference? From fair Phyle's And marvel at his Lordship's "stone shop" there. towers
Round the throng'd gates shall sauntering coxcombs Survey Bootia ;-Caledonia's ours.
creep, And well I know within that bastard landt
To lounge and lucubrate, to prate and peep; Hath Wisdom's goddess never held command;
While many a languid maid, with longing sigh, A barren soil, where Nature's germs, confined On giant statues casts the curious eye; To stern sterility, can stint the mind;
The room with transient glance appears to skim, Whose thistle well betrays the niggard earth, Yet marks the mighty back and length of limb; Emblem of all to whom the land gives birth ;
Mourns o'er the difference of now and then; Each genial influence nurtured to resist;
Exclaims, " These Greeks indeed were proper men." A land of meanness, sophistry, and mist.
Draws sly comparisons of these and those, Each breeze from foggy mount and marshy plain And envies Laïs all her Attic beaux. Dilutes with drivel every drizzly brain,
When shall a modern maid have swains like these !
And last of all amidst the gaping crew,
Oh, loath'd in life, nor pardon'd in the dust,
May hate pursue his sacrilegious lust! She sent a Pict to play the felon here.
Link'd with the fool that fired the Ephesian dome, Yet Caledonia claims some native worth,
Shall vengeance follow far beyond the tomb, As dull Bæotia gave a Pindar birth.
And Eratostratos* and Elgin shine So may her few, the letter'd and the brave,
In many a branding page and burning line; Bound to no clime, and victors of the grave,
Alike reserved for aye to stand accursed, Shake off the sordid dust of such a land,
Perchance the second blacker than the first. And shine like children of a happier strand;
So let him stand through ages yet unborn, As once of yore in some obnoxious place,
Fix'd statue on the pedestal of scorn; Ten names (if found) had saved a wretched race.'
Though not for him alone revenge shall wait,
But fits thy country for her coming fate. Mortall the blue-eyed maid resumed, once
Hers were the deeds that taught her lawless son more
To do what oft Britannia's selt had done. Bear back my mandate to thy native shore.
Look to the Baltic-blazing from atar, Though fallen, alas, this vengeance yet is mine,
Your old ally yet mourns perfidious war. To turn my counsels far from lands like thine.
Not to such deeds did Pallas lend her aid, Hear then in silence Pallas' stern behest;
Or break the compact which herself had made: Hear and believe, for Time will tell the rest.
Far from such councils, from the faithless field
She fled, but left behind her Gorgon shield; First on the head of him who did this deed
A fatal gift, that turn'd your friends to stone,
And left lost Albion hated and alone.
Look to the east, where Ganges' swarthy race If one with wit the parent brood disgrace,
Shall shake your tyrant empire to its base ; Believe him bastard of a brighter race:
Lo! there Rebellion rears her ghastly head, Still with his hireling artists let him prate,
And glares the Nemesis of native dead; And Folly's praise repay for Wisdom's hate; Till Indus rolls a deep purpureal flood,
And claims his long arrear of northern blood. * His Lordship's name, and that of one who no
So may ye perish —Pallas, when she gave longer bears it, are carved conspicuously on the Par. Your freeborn rights, forbade ye to enslave. thenon; above, in a part not far distant, are the torn remnants of the Sso-relievos, destroyed in a vain attempt to remove them.
* Eratostratos, who, in order to make his name re + Irish bastards, according to Sir Callaghan membered, set fire to the Temple of Diana at Ephe O'Bralaghan.
'Look on your Spain !-she clasps the hand she Or, back returning, sees rejected stores hates,
Rot piecemeal on his own encumber'd shores : But boldly clasps, and thrusts you from her gates. The starved mechanic breaks his rusting loom, Bear witness, bright Barossa! thou canst tell And desperate mans him 'gainst the coming doom. Whose were the sons that bravely fought and fell. Then in the senate of your sinking state But Lusitania, kind and dear ally,
Show me the man whose counsels may have weight. Can spare a few to fight, and sometimes fly.
Vain is each voice where tones could once conOh, glorious field! by Famine fiercely won,
mand; The Gaul retires for once, and all is done!
E'en factions cease to charm a factious land :But when did Pallas teach, that one retreat
Yet jarring sects convulse a sister isle, Retrieved three long Olympiads of defeat !
And light with maddening hands the mutual pile. • Look last at home-you love not to look there,
''Tis done, 'tis past, since Pallas warns in vain; On the grim sinile of comfortless despair:
The Furies seize her abdicated reign :
Wide o'er the realm they wave their kindling brands,
And wring her vitals with their fiery hands.
But one convulsive struggle still remains,
And Gaul shall weep ere Albion wear the chains. “Blest paper credit,'* who shall dare to sing?
The banner'd pomp of war, the glittering files, It clogs like lead Corruption's weary wing. Yet Pallas plucked each premier by the ear,
O'er whose gay trappings stern Bellona smiles ;
The brazen trump, the spirit-stirring drum, Who gods and men alike disdained to hear;
That bid the foe defiance ere they come; But one, repentant o'er a bankrupt state,
The hero bounding at his country's call, On Pallas calls,—but calls, alas, too late :
The glorious death that consecrates his fall, Then raves for .; to that mentor bends,
Swell the young heart with visionary charms, Though he and Pallas never yet were friends.
And bid it antedate the joys of arms. Him senates hear, whom never yet they heard,
But know, a lesson you may yet be taught, Contemptuous once, and now no less absurd.
With death alone are laurels cheaply bought : So, once of yore, each reasonable frog
Not in the conflict Havoc seeks delight, Swore faith and fealty to his sovereign " log."
His day of mercy is the day of fight. Thus haild your rulers their patrician clod,
But when the field is fought, the battle won, As Egypt chose an onion for a god.
Though drench'd with gore, his woes are but begun: Now fare ye well! enjoy your little hour;
His deeper deeds as yet ye know by name; Go, grasp the shadow of your vanish'd power; The slaughter'd peasant and the ravish'd dame, Gloss o'er the failure of each fondest scheme: The rifled mansion and the foe-reap'd field, Your strength a name, your bloated wealth a dream. Ill suit with souls at home, untaught to yield. Gone is that gold the marvel of mankind,
Say with what eye along the distant down And pirates barter all that's left behind.t
Would flying burghers mark the blazing town? No more the hirelings, purchased near and far,
How view the column of ascending flames Crowd to the ranks of mercenary war;
Shake his red shadow o'er the startled Thames The idle merchant on the useless quay
Nay, frown not, Albion ! for the torch was thine Droops o'er the bales no bark may bear away;
That lit such pyres from Tagus to the Rhine :
Go, ask thy bosom who deserves them most. • Blest paper credit ! last and best supply,
The law of heaven and earth is life for life, That lends Corruption lighter wings to fly.'
POPE, And she who raised, in vain regrets, the strife.' † The Deal and Dover traffickers in specie.