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Yet are Spain's maids no race of Amazons, But form'd for all the witching arts of love: Though thus in arms they emulate her sons, And in the horrid phalanx dare to move, 'Tis but the tender fierceness of the dove, Pecking the hand that hovers o'er her mate: In softness as in firmness far above Remoter females, famed for sickening prate; Her mind is nobler sure, her charms perchance as
The seal Love's dimpling finger hath impress'd
How poor their forms appear ! how languid, wan,
dismal truth, –yet consolatory and full of joy, - that when a people are called suddenly to fight for their liberty, and are sorely pressed upon, their best field of battle is the floors upon which their children have played; the chambers where the family of each man has slept; upon or under the roofs by which they have been sheltered; in the gardens of their recreation; in the street, or in the market-place; before the altars of their temples, and among their congregated dwellings, blazing or uprooted.”—El
(1) “Sigilla in mento impressa Amoris digitulo
Match me, ye climes! which poets love to laud; Match me, ye harams of the land! where now (1) I strike my strain, far distant, to applaud Beauties that ev'n a cynic must avow; Match me those Houries, whom ye scarce allow To taste the gale lest Love should ride the wind, With Spain's dark-glancing daughters (*)—deign to know, There your wise Prophet's paradise we find, His black-eyed maids of Heaven, angelically kind.
LX. Oh, thou Parnassus!(8) whom I now survey, Not in the phrensy of a dreamer's eye, Not in the fabled landscape of a lay, But soaring snow-clad through thy native sky, In the wild pomp of mountain majesty! What marvel if I thus essay to sing? The humblest of thy pilgrims passing by Would gladly woo thine Echoes with his string, Though from thy heights no more one Muse will wave her wing.
(1) This stanza was written in Turkey.
(2) [“Long black hair, dark languishing eyes, clear olive complexions, and forms more graceful in motion than can be conceived by an Englishman, used to the drowsy, listless air of his countrywomen, added to the most becoming dress, and, at the same time, the most decent in the world, render a Spanish beauty irresistible.”— B. to his Mother, Aug. 1809.]
LXI. Oft have I dream'd of Thee! whose glorious name Who knows not, knows not man's divinest lore: And now I view thee, ’tis, alas! with shame That I in feeblest accents must adore. When I recount thy worshippers of yore I tremble, and can only bend the knee; Nor raise my voice, nor vainly dare to soar, But gaze beneath thy cloudy canopy In silent joy to think at last I look on Thee! (1) LXII. Happier in this than mightiest bards have been, Whose fate to distant homes confined their lot, Shall I unmoved behold the hallow'd scene, Which others rave of, though they know it not? Though here no more Apollo haunts his grot, And thou, the Muses' seat, art now their grave, (2) Some gentle spirit still pervades the spot, Sighs in the gale, keeps silence in the cave, And glides with glassy foot o'er yon melodious wave.
(1) [“Upon Parnassus, going to the fountain of Delphi (Castri), in 1809, I saw a flight of twelve eagles (Hobhouse says they were vultures – at least in conversation), and I seized the omen. On the day before, I composed the lines to Parnassus (in Childe Harold), and on beholding the birds, had a hope that Apollo had accepted my homage. I have at least had the name and fame of a poet, during the poetical period of life (from twenty to thirty); — whether it will last is another matter: but I have been a votary of the deity and the place, and am grateful for what he has done in my behalf, leaving the future in his hands, as I left the past.” — B. Diary, 1821.]
(2) [“Casting the eye over the site of ancient Delphi, one cannot possibly imagine what has become of the walls of the numerous buildings which are mentioned in the history of its former magnificence,—buildings which covered two miles of ground. With the exception of the few terraces or supporting walls, nothing now appears. The various robberies by Scylla, Nero, and Constantine, are inconsiderable; for the removal of the statues of bronze, and marble, and ivory, could not greatly affect the general apLXIII.
Of thee hereafter.—Ev’n amidst my strain
Nor let thy votary's hope be deem'd an idle vaunt.
LXIV. But ne'er didst thou, fair Mount when Greece was young,
See round thy giant base a brighter choir,
As Greece can still bestow, though Glory fly her
pearance of the city. The acclivity of the hill, and the foundations being placed on rock, without cement, would no doubt render them comparatively easy to be removed or hurled down into the vale below; but the vale exhibits no appearance of accumulation of hewn stones; and the modern village could have consumed but few. In the course of so many centuries, the débris from the mountain must have covered up a great deal, and even the rubbish itself may have acquired a soil sufficient to conceal many noble remains from the light of day. Yet we see no swellings or risings in " the ground, indicating the graves of the temples. All therefore is mystery, and the Greeks may truly say, ‘Where stood the walls of our fathers? scarce their mossy tombs remain! ”—H. W. Williams's Travels in Greece, vol. ii. p. 254.]
I,XV. Fair is proud Seville; let her country boast Her strength, her wealth, her site of ancient But Cadiz, rising on the distant coast, [days; (1) Calls forth a sweeter, though ignoble praise. Ah, Vice! how soft are thy voluptuous ways! While boyish blood is mantling, who can 'scape The fascination of thy magic gaze? A Cherub-hydra round us dost thou gape, And mould to every taste thy dear delusive shape. LXVI. When Paphos fell by time—accursed Time! The Queen who conquers all must yield to thee— The Pleasures fled, but sought as warm a clime; And Venus, constant to her native sea, To nought else constant, hither deign'd to flee; And fix’d her shrine within these walls of white; Though not to one dome circumscribeth she Her worship, but, devoted to her rite, A thousand altars rise, for ever blazing bright, (2) LXVII. From morn till night, from night till startled Morn Peeps blushing on the revel's laughing crew, The song is heard, the rosy garland worn; Devices quaint, and frolics ever new, Tread on each other's kibes. A long adieu He bids to sober joy that here sojourns: Nought interrupts the riot, though in lieu Of true devotion monkish incense burns, And love and prayer unite, or rule the hour by turns. (1) Seville was the Hispalis ef the Romans. (2) [“Cadiz, sweet Cadiz!—it is the first spot in the creation. The