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And there the Arab's camel kneels,
And there his steed the Tartar wheels;
The Turcoman hath left his herd,
The sabre round his loins to gird;
And there the volleying thunders pour,
Till waves grow smoother to the roar.
The trench is dug, the cannon's breath
Wings the far hissing globe of death ;
Fast whirl the fragments from the wall,
Which crumbles with the ponderous ball;
And from that wall the foe replies,
O'er dusty plain and smoky skies,
With fires that answer fast and well
The summons of the Infidel.

90

III.

100

But near and nearest to the wall
Of those who wish and work its fall,
With deeper skill in War's black art,
Than Othman's sons, and high of heart
As any Chief that ever stood
Triumphant in the fields of blood;
From post to post, and deed to deed,
Fast spurring on his reeking steed,
Where sallying ranks the trench assail,
And make the foremost Moslem quail ;
Or where the battery, guarded well,
Remains as yet impregnable,
Alighting cheerly to inspire
The soldier slackening in his fire;

1. The life of the Turcomans is wandering and patriarchal : they dwell in tents. 2. [Compare The Giaour, line 639 (vide ante, p. 116)

“ The deathshot hissing from afar.”]

IIO

The first and freshest of the host
Which Stamboul's Sultan there can boast,
To guide the follower o'er the field,
To point the tube, the lance to wield,
Or whirl around the bickering blade ;-
Was Alp, the Adrian renegade !!

IV.

I20

From Venice-once a race of worth
His gentle Sires-he drew his birth;
But late an exile from her shore,'.
Against his countrymen he bore
The arms they taught to bear; and now
The turban girt his shaven brow.
Through many a change had Corinth passed
With Greece to Venice' rule at last;
And here, before her walls, with those
To Greece and Venice equal foes,
He stood a foe, with all the zeal
Which young and fiery converts feel,
Within whose heated bosom throngs
The memory of a thousand wrongs.
To him had Venice ceased to be
Her ancient civic boast—"the Free;"

130

i. But now an erile -,-[MS. G.) 1. (Professor Kölbing admits that he is unable to say how " Byron met with the name of Alp." I am indebted to my cousin, Miss Edith Coleridge, for the suggestion that the name is derived from Mohammed (Lhaz-ed-Dyn-Abou-Choudja), surnamed Alp-Arslan (Arsslan), or “Brave Lion," the second of the Seljuk dynasty, in the eleventh century. “He conquered Armenia and Georgia but was assassinated by Yussuf Cothuol, Governor of Berzem, and was buried at Merw, in Khorassan." His epitaph moralizes his fate : “O vous qui avez vu la grandeur d'Alparslan élevée jusq'au ciel, regardez ! le voici maintenant en poussière.”—Hammer-Purgstall, Histoire de l'Empire Othoman, i. 13-15. (See, too, Gibbon, Decline and Fall, 1826, iv, 104.)]

And in the palace of St. Mark
Unnamed accusers in the dark
Within the “Lion's mouth” had placed
A charge against him uneffaced : 1
He fled in time, and saved his life,
To waste his future years in strife,
That taught his land how great her loss
In him who triumphed o'er the Cross,
'Gainst which he reared the Crescent high,
And battled to avenge or die.

140

V.
Coumourgi 2-he whose closing scene
Adorned the triumph of Eugene,
When on Carlowitz' bloody plain,
The last and mightiest of the slain,
He sank, regretting not to die,
But cursed the Christian's victory-
Coumourgi--can his glory cease,

i. To waste its future -:-(MS. G.) 1. ["The Lions' Mouths, under the arcade at the summit of the Giants' Stairs, which gaped widely to receive anonymous charges, were no doubt far more often employed as vehicles of private malice than of zeal for the public welfare.”—Sketches from Venetian History, 1832, ii. 380.)

2. Ali Coumourgi (Damad Ali or Ali Cumurgi (i.e. son of the charcoal-burner)], the favourite of three sultans, and Grand Vizier to Achmet III., after recovering Peloponnesus from the Venetians in one campaign, was mortally wounded in the next, against the Germans, at the battle of Peterwaradin (in the plain of Carlowitz), in Hungary, endeavouring to rally his guards. He died of his wounds next day (August 16, 1716). His last order was the decapi. tation of General Breuner, and some other German prisoners, and his last words, “Oh that I could thus serve all the Christian dogs !" a speech and act not unlike one of Caligula. He was a young man of great ambition and unbounded presumption : on being told that Prince Eugene, then opposed to him, “was a great general," he said, “I shall become a greater, and at his expense.”

(For his letter to Prince Eugene, “Eh bien! la guerre va décider entre nous,” etc., and for an account of his death, see Hammer. Purgstall, Historie de l'Empire Othoman, xiii. 300, 312.)

150

That latest conqueror of Greece,
Till Christian hands to Greece restore
The freedom Venice gave of yore?
A hundred years have rolled away
Since he refixed the Moslem's sway;
And now he led the Mussulman,
And gave the guidance of the van
To Alp, who well repaid the trust
By cities levelled with the dust;
And proved, by many a deed of death,
How firm his heart in novel faith.

VI.
The walls grew weak; and fast and hot
Against them poured the ceaseless shot, 160
With unabating fury sent
From battery to battlement;
And thunder-like the pealing din -
Rose from each heated culverin;
And here and there some crackling dome
Was fired before the exploding bomb;
And as the fabric sank beneath
The shattering shell's volcanic breath,
In red and wreathing columns flashed
The flame, as loud the ruin crashed,

170
Or into countless meteors driven,
Its earth-stars melted into heaven ; ii.
Whose clouds that day grew doubly dun,
Impervious to the hidden sun,
With volumed smoke that slowly grew

To one wide sky of sulphurous hue.
i. And death-like rolled - -,-[M$. G. erased.]
ii. Like comets in convulsion riven.-[MS. G. Copy erased.]
iii. Impervious to the powerless sun,
Through sulphurous smoke whose blackness grew.-

(MS. G. erased.]

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VII.

180

But not for vengeance, long delayed,
Alone, did Alp, the renegade,
The Moslem warriors sternly teach
His skill to pierce the promised breach :
Within these walls a Maid was pent
His hope would win, without consent
Of that inexorable Sire,
Whose heart refused him in its ire,
When Alp, beneath his Christian name,
Her virgin hand aspired to claim.
In happier mood, and earlier time,
While unimpeached for traitorous crime,
Gayest in Gondola or Hall,
He glittered through the Carnival;
And tuned the softest serenade
That e'er on Adria's waters played
At midnight to Italian maid.

190

VIII.

And many deemed her heart was won;
For sought by numbers, given to none,
Had young Francesca's hand remained
Still by the Church's bonds unchained:
And when the Adriatic bore
Lanciotto to the Paynim shore,
Her wonted smiles were seen to fail,
And pensive waxed the maid and pale;
More constant at confessional,
More rare at masque and festival;
Or seen at such, with downcast eyes,
Which conquered hearts they ceased to prize:

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i. In midnight courtship to Italian maid.-MS. G.)

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