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But most the modern Pict's ignoble boast,
To rive what Goth, and Turk, and Time hath spared:(6)
Cold as the crags upon his native coast,
His mind as barren and his heart as hard,
Is he whose head conceived, whose hand prepared,
Aught to displace Athena's poor remains :
Her sons too weak the sacred shriné to guard,
Yet felt some portion of their mother's pains, (7)
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 appall?d
Stern Alaric and Havoc on their way ? (8)
Where Peleus son? whom Hell in vain enthrall’d,
His shade from Hades upon that dread day,
Bursting to light in terrible array!
What! could not Pluto
the chief once more,
To scare a second robber from his prey ?
Idly he wander'd on the Stygian shore,
Nor now preserved the walls he loved to shield before.
Cold is the heart, fair Greece ! that looks on thee,
Nor feels as lovers o'er the dust they loved;
Dull is the eye that will not weep to see
Thy walls defaced, thy mouldering shrines removed
By British hands, which it had best behoved
To guard those relics ne'er to be restored.
Curst be the hour when from their isle they roved,
And once again thy hapless bosom gored,
And snatch'd thy shrinking Gods to northern climes abhorråd!
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 loved-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.
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-reeved guns, the netted canopy,(9)
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, however stern, which tends their strength to nerve.
Blow ! swiftly blow, thou keel-compelling gale !
Till the broad sun withdraws his lessening ray;
Then must the pennant-bearer slacken sail,
That lagging barks may make their lazy way.
Ah! grievance sore, and listless dull delay,
To waste on sluggish hulks the sweetest breeze!
What leagues are lost before the dawn of day,
Thus loitering pensive on the willing seas;
The flapping sail haul'd down to halt for logs like these !
The moon is up; by Heaven a lovely eve!
Long streams of light o'er dancing waves expand;
Now lads on shore may sigh, and maids believe:
Such be our fate when we return to land !
Meantime some rude Arion's restless hand
Wakes the brisk harmony that sailors love;
A circle there of merry listeners stand,
Or to some well-known measure featly move, Thoughtless, as if on shore they still were free to rove.