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A crimson cloud it spreads and glows,
By the sainted Seer of old, Show'ring down a fiery flood, Turning rivers into blood.1
The Chief has fallen, but not by you,
Vanquishers of Waterloo!
When the soldier citizen
Swayed not o'er his fellow-men —
Save in deeds that led them on
Where Glory smiled on Freedom's son —
Who, of all the despots banded,
With that youthful chief competed?
Who could boast o'er France de-
Till lone Tyranny commanded?
And thou, too, of the snow-white plume 1 Whose realm refused thee ev'n a tomb;J Better hadst thou still been leading France o'er hosts of hirelings bleeding,
■ See Rev. Chap. viii. V. y, etc., "The first angel mounded, and there followed hail and tire mingled with blood," etc. V. 8, "And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood," etc. V. io, "And the third angel sounded, and there fdl a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters." V. Ii, "And the name of the star is called Wormvuod: and the third part of the waters became ■jxjnrrjrvod; and many men died of the waters, becau.se they were made bitter."
1 Murat's remains are .said to have been torn from the grave and burnt. ["Poor dear Murat, what an end ... I His white plume used to be a rallying point in battle, like Henry the Fourth's. He refused a confessor and a bandage; so would neither suffer his soul or body to be bandaged." — Letter to Moore, November 4, Isis-1
Than sold thyself to death and shame
For a meanly royal name;
Such as he of Naples wears,
Who thy blood-bought title bears.
Little didst thou deem, when dashing On thy war-horse through the ranks, Like a stream which burst its banks,
While helmets cleft, and sabres clashing,
Shone and shivered fast around thee —
It rolled in air, the warrior's guide
And the battle's wreck lay thickest,
Of the eagle's burning crest — (There with thunder-clouds to fan her,
Who could then her wing arrest —
Victory beaming from her breast ?) While the broken line enlarging
Fell, or fled along the plain;
There he ne'er shall charge again!
O'er glories gone the invaders march, Weeps Triumph o'er each levelled
arch — But let Freedom rejoice, With her heart in her voice; But, her hand on her sword, Doubly shall she be adored; France hath twice too well been taught The "moral lesson" 1 dearly bought — Her safetv sits not on a throne, With Capet or Napoleon I But in equal rights and laws, Hearts and hands in one great cause —
1 ["Write, Britain, write the moral lesson down." ■
— Scott's Field of Waterloo, Conclusion, stanza vi. line 3.]
Freedom, such as God hath given
With a fierce and lavish hand
But the heart and the mind,
[First published, Morning Chronicle,
STANZAS FOR MUSIC.
There be none of Beauty's daughters
With a magic like thee;
Is thy sweet voice to me:
1 [" Talking of politics, as Caleb Quotcm says, pray look at the conclusion of my 1 Ode on Waterloo,' written in the year 1815, and comparing it with the Duke de Bcrri's catastrophe in 1820, tell me if I have not as good a right to the character of ' Vales,' in both senses of the word, as Fitzgerald and Coleridge?
'Crimson tears will follow yet;' —
and have not they?" — Letter to Murray, April 24, 1820.
In the Preface to The Tyrant's Downfall, etc., 1814. W. L. Fitzgerald "begs leave to refer his reader to the dales of his Xapoleonics ... to prove his legitimate title to the prophetical meaning of Vales." Coleridge claimed to have foretold the restoration of the Bourbons in his Rifgraphia Lilcraria (cap. x.).J
The waves lie still and gleaming.
And the Midnight Moon is weaving
Whose breast is gently heaving,
So the spirit bows before thee,
To listen and adore thee;
With a full but soft emotion,
Like the swell of Summer's ocean.
March 28 . [First published, Poems, 1816.]
ON THE STAR OF "THE LEGION
[FROM THE FRENCH.]
Star of the brave! — whose beam hath shed
Such glory o'er the quick and dead —
Souls of slain heroes formed thy rays;
Like lava rolled thy stream of blood. And swept down empires with its flood; Earth rocked beneath thee to her base. As thou didst lighten through all space; And the shorn Sun grew dim in air, And set while thou wert dwelling there.
Before thee rose, and with thee grew,
A rainbow of the loveliest hue
Of three bright colours,1 each divine,
1 The tricolour.
And 6t for that celestial sign;
For Freedom's hand had blended them,
Like tints in an immortal gem.
One tint was of the sunbeam's dyes; ■
Star of the brave! thy ray is pale,
And Freedom hallows with her tread
STANZAS FOR MUSIC.
They say that Hope is happiness;
But genuine Love must prize the past, And Memory wakes the thoughts that bless,
They rose the first — they set the last;
And all that Memory loves the most
And all that Hope adored and lost
Alas! it is delusion all:
The future cheats us from afar, N'or can we be what we recall,
Nor dare we think on what we are. [First published, Fugitive Pieces, 1829.]
SIEGE OF CORINTH.1
"Guns, Trumpets. Blunderbusses, Drums and Thunder.'' — Pope, Sat. i. 26.
JOHN HOBHOUSE, ESQ.,
TIIIS POEM IS INSCRIBED,
January 22nd, 1816.
"the grand army of the Turks (in 1715), under the Prime Vizier, to open to themselves a way into the heart of the Morea, and to form the siege of Napoli di Romania, the most considerable place in all that country,1 thought it best in the first place to attack Corinth, upon which they made several storms. The garrison being weakened, and the governor seeing it was impossible to
1 [The Siege of Corinth was written in the early spring of 1816 and was published (together with Parisina, which had been written in 1815) February 7, 1816.)
* Napoli di Romania is not now the most considerable place in the Morea. but Tripolitza,where the Pacha resides, and maintains his government. Napoli is near Argos. I visited all three in 1810-11; and, in the course of journeying through the country from my first arrival in 1809, I crossed the Isthmus eight times in my way from Attica to the Morea, over the mountains; or in the other direction, when passing from the Gulf of Athens to that of Lepanlo. Both the routes are picturesque and beautiful, though very different: that by sea has more sameness; but the voyage, being always within sight of land, and often very near it, presents many attractive views of the islands Salamis, Mgina, Poros, etc., and the coast of the Continent.
[" Independently of the suitableness of such an event to the power of Lord Byron's genius, the Fall of Corinth afforded local attractions, by the intimate knowledge which the poet had of the place and surrounding objects. . . . Thus furnished with that topographical information which could not be well obtained from books and maps, he was admirably qualified to depict the various operations and progress of the siege" —■ Memoir of the Life and Writings of the Right Honourable Lord Byron, London, 1822, p. 222.] hold out such a place against so mighty a force, thought it fit to beat a parley: but while they were treating about the articles, one of the magazines in the Turkish camp, wherein they had six hundred barrels of powder, blew up by accident, whereby six or seven hundred men were killed; which so enraged the infidels, that they would not grant any capitulation, but stormed the place with so much fury, that they took it, and put most of the garrison, with Signior Minotti, the governor, to the sword. The rest, with Signior or Antonio Bembo, Proveditor Extraordinary, were made prisoners of war." — A Compleal History of the Turks [London, 1719], iii. 151.
In the year since Jesus died for men,1
Never our steeds for a day stood still; Whether we lay in the cave or the shed,
Our sleep fell soft on the hardest bed; Whether we couched in our rough
capote, 10 On the rougher plank of our gliding
Or stretched on the beach, or our saddles spread, As a pillow beneath the resting head, Fresh we woke upon the morrow: All our thoughts and words had scope,
We had health, and we had hope,
• [The introductory lines, 1-45. were not published in the First Edition. First published in Letters and Journals, 1830, i. 638, they were included among the Occasional Poems in the edition of 1831, and first prefixed to the poem in the edition of 1832.]
• [The metrical rendering of the date (miscalculated from the death instead of the birth of Christ) may be traced to the opening lines of an old l>allad —
"Upon the sixteen hunder year
Toil and travel, but no sorrow.
And some, or I mis-say, of neither; Vet through the wide world might yi search,
Nor find a mother crew nor blither.
But some are dead, and some are gone.
That look along Epirus' valleys,
Where Freedom still at momenti rallies, • And pays in blood Oppression's ills;
And some are in a far countree, 30 And some all restlessly at home;
But never more, oh! never, we
And bear my spirit back again
Many a vanished year and age,
And Tempest's breath, and Battle's
Have swept o'er Corinth; yet she stands,
The landmark to the double tide
1 The last tidings recently heard of Dervish (one of the Arnauts who followed me) state him to be in revolt upon the mountains, at the head of some of the bands common in that country in times of trouble.
As. if their waters chafed to meet,
Than yon tower-capped Acropolis,
On dun Cithaeron's ridge appears
Along the Moslem's leaguering lines;
And the dusk Spahi's bands2 advance
Beneath each bearded Pacha's glance;
And far and wide as eye can reach .The turbaned cohorts throng the beach; 80
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; 00 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.
'[Timoleon, who had saved the life of his brother Timophanes in battle, afterwards put him to death for aiming at the supreme power in Corinth. 1
1 [Turkish holders of military fiefs.] J The life of the Turcomans is wandering and patriarchal: they dwell in tents.
But near and nearest to the wall
From Venice ■— once a race of worth
With Greece to Venice' rule at last;
1 [The name is probably derived from Mohammed surnamed Alp-Arslan or "Brave Lion," the second of the Scljuk dynasty, in the eleventh century.]
• (*' 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