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Above his burnt-out brain, and sapless cinders.
If I might augur, I should rate but low
Their chances;-they're too numerous, like the thirty
Mock tyrants, when Rome's annals wax'd but dirty.

This is the literary lower empire,


Where the prætorian bands take up the matter;—
A dreadful trade,' like his who 'gathers samphire,'
The insolent soldiery to soothe and flatter,
With the same feelings as you'd coax a vampire.

Now, were I once at home, and in good satire,
I'd try conclusions with those Janizaries,
And show them what an intellectual war is.

I think I know a trick or two, would turn
Their flanks ;--but it is hardly worth my while
With such small gear to give myself concern :

Indeed I've not the necessary bile;

My natural temper's really aught but stern,

And even my Muse's worst reproof 's a smile; And then she drops a brief and modern curtsy, And glides away, assured she never hurts ye.



(CANTO XI, lxxxii—lxxxvi).

TALK not of seventy years as age; in seven

I have seen more changes, down from monarchs to The humblest individual under heaven,

Than might suffice a moderate century through. I knew that nought was lasting, but now even

Change grows too changeable, without being new: Nought's permanent among the human race, Except the Whigs not getting into place.

I have seen Napoleon, who seem'd quite a Jupiter,
Shrink to a Saturn. I have seen a Duke
(No matter which) turn politician stupider,

If that can well be, than his wooden look.


But it is time that I should hoist my 'blue Peter,' And sail for a new theme:-I have seen-and shook

To see it-the king hiss'd, and then caress'd;
But don't pretend to settle which was best.

I have seen the Landholders without a rap

I have seen Joanna Southcote-I have seen The House of Commons turn'd to a tax-trap

I have seen that sad affair of the late Queen-I have seen crowns worn instead of a fool's cap

I have seen a Congress doing all that 's mean— I have seen some nations, like o'erloaded asses, Kick off their burthens-meaning the high classes.

But carpe diem,' Juan, 'carpe, carpe !'
To-morrow sees another race as gay

I have seen small poets, and great prosers, and
Interminable-not eternal-speakers-

I have seen the funds at war with house and land--
I have seen the country gentlemen turn squeakers—
I have seen the people ridden o'er, like sand,


By slaves on horseback-I have seen malt liquors Exchanged for thin potations' by John BullI have seen John half detect himself a fool

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And transient, and devour'd by the same harpy. 'Life's a poor player,'-then


Ye villains!' and above all keep a sharp eye
Much less on what you do than what you say:
Be hypocritical, be cautious, be

Not what you seem, but always what you see.



play out the


(CANTO XIII, lvi-lxiv).

Ir stood embosom'd in a happy valley,

Crown'd by high woodlands, where the Druid oak Stood, like Caractacus, in act to rally

His host, with broad arms 'gainst the thunderstroke; And from beneath his boughs were seen to sally

The dappled foresters; as day awoke,
The branching stag swept down with all his herd,
To quaff a brook which murmur'd like a bird.

Before the mansion lay a lucid lake,

Broad as transparent, deep, and freshly fed By a river, which its soften'd way did take

In currents through the calmer water spread Around the wildfowl nestled in the brake And sedges, brooding in their liquid bed: The woods sloped downwards to its brink, and stood With their green faces fix'd upon the flood.

Its outlet dash'd into a deep cascade,

Sparkling with foam, until again subsiding,
Its shriller echoes-like an infant made
Quiet-sank into softer ripples, gliding
Into a rivulet: and thus allay'd,



Pursued its course, now gleaming, and now hiding Its windings through the woods; now clear, now blue, According as the skies their shadows threw.

A glorious remnant of the Gothic pile

(While yet the church was Rome's) stood half apart In a grand arch, which once screen'd many an aisle. These last had disappear'd-a loss to art: The first yet frown'd superbly o'er the soil,


And kindled feelings in the roughest heart, Which mourn'd the power of time's or tempest's march, In gazing on that venerable arch.

Within a niche, nigh to its pinnacle,

Twelve saints had once stood sanctified in stone; But these had fallen, not when the friars fell,

But in the war which struck Charles from his throne,

When each house was a fortalice-as tell

The annals of full many a line undone,The gallant cavaliers, who fought in vain For those who knew not to resign or reign.

This may be superstition, weak or wild;
But even the faintest relics of a shrine
Of any worship wake some thoughts divine.


But in a higher niche, alone, but crown'd,

The Virgin-Mother of the God-born Child, With her Son in her blessed arms, look'd round,

Spared by some chance when all beside was spoil'd; She made the earth below seem holy ground.


A mighty window, hollow in the centre,
Shorn of its glass of thousand colourings,
Through which the deepen'd glories once could enter,
Streaming from off the sun like seraph's wings,
Now yawns all desolate now loud, now fainter,

The gale sweeps through its fretwork, and oft sings

The owl his anthem, where the silenced quire
Lie with their hallelujahs quench'd like fire.

But in the noontide of the moon, and when
The wind is winged from one point of heaven,
There moans a strange unearthly sound, which then


Is musical-a dying accent driven Through the huge arch, which soars and sinks again. Some deem it but the distant echo given Back to the night wind by the waterfall, And harmonised by the old choral wall:

Others, that some original shape, or form

Shaped by decay perchance, hath given the power (Though less than that of Memnon's statue, warm In Egypt's rays, to harp at a fix'd hour) To this grey ruin, with a voice to charm,

Sad, but serene, it sweeps o'er tree or tower; The cause I know not, nor can solve; but such The fact:-I've heard it,—once perhaps too much.

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