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And when, in raising him from where he bore
He did not dash himself thereby, nor tear
But strove to stand and gaze, but reeld and fell,
That trying moment hath at once reveald
The secret long and yet but half conceald; Save that when struggling nearer to his last,
In baring to revive that lifeless breast, Upon that page his eye was kindly cast;
Its grief seem'd ended, but the sex confess'd;
What now to her was Womanhood or Fame ?
And Lara sleeps not where his fathers sleep, That raised his arm to point where such had been,
But where he died his grave was dug as deep ; Scarce Kaled seem'd to know, but turn'd away,
Nor is his mortal slumber less profound, As if his heart abhorr'd that coming day,
Though priest nor bless'd, nor marble deck'd the And shrunk his glance before that norning light,
mound; To look on Lara's brow - where all grew night.
And he was mourn'd by one whose quiet grief, Yet sense seem'd left, though better were its loss;
Less loud, outlasts a people's for their chief. For when one near display'd the absolving cross,
Vain was all question ask'd her of the past, And proffer'd to his touch the holy bead,
And vain e'en menace - silent to the last ; Of which his parting soul might own the need,
She told nor whence, nor why she left behind He look'd upon it with an eye profane,
Her all for one who seem'd but little kind. And smiled - Heaven pardon! if 't were with disdain:
Why did she love him ? Curious fool!- be still — And Kaled, though he spoke not, nor withdrew
Is human love the growth of human will ? From Lara's face his fix'd despairing view,
To her he might be gentleness; the stern With brow repulsive, and with gesture swift,
Have deeper thoughts than your duil eyes discern, Flung back the hand which held the sacred gift, And when they love, your smilers guess not how As if such but disturb'd the expiring man,
Beats the strong heart, though less the lips avow. Nor secm'd to know his life but then began,
They were not common links, that form'd the chain That life of Immortality, secure
That bound to Lara Kaled's heart and brain; To none, save them whose faith in Christ is sure.
But that wild tale she brook'd not to unfold,
And seal'd is now each lip that could have told.
Besides the wound that sent his soul to rest,
They found the scatter'd dints of many a scar, It beats no more, but Kaled will not part
Which were not planted there in recent war; With the cold grasp, but feels, and feels in vain,
Where'er had pass'd his summer years of life, For that faint throb which answers not again.
It seems they vanish'd in a land of strife; “ It beats !” – Away, thou dreamer! he is gone
But all unknown his glory or his guilt, It once was Lara which thou look'st upon.
These only told that somewhere blood was spilt,
And Ezzelin, who might have spoke the past,
Return'd no more — that night appear'd his last.
[The death of Lara is, by far, the finest passage in the the church of S. Pietro ad vincula ; several other persons poem, and is fully equal to any thing else which the author being present at the entertainment. A late hour approaching,
The physical horror of the event, though and the cardinal having reminded his brother, that it was described with a terrible force and fidelity, is both relieved time to retum to the apostolic palace, they mounted their and enhanced by the beautiful pictures of mental energy and horses or mules, with only a few attendants, and proceeded affection with which it is combined. The whole sequel of the together as far as the palace of Cardinal Ascanio Sforza, when poem is written with equal vigour and feeling, and may be put the duke informed the cardinal that, before he returned home. in competition with any thing that poetry has produced, in he had to pay a visit of pleasure. Dismissing therefore all point either of pathos or energy. – JEFFREY.)
his attendants, excepting his staffiero, or footman, and a ? The erent in this section was suggested by the description person in a mask, who had paid him a visit whilst at supper, of the death, or rather burial, of the Duke of Gandia. The and who, during the space of a month or thereabouts, previous most interesting and particular account of it is given by Bur. to this time, had called upon him almost daily, at the apostolic chard, and is in substance as follows:-“On the eighth day palace, he took this person behind him on his mule, and of June, the Cardinal of Valenza and the Duke of Gandia, proceeded to the street of the Jews, where he quitted his sons of the Pope, supped with their mother, Vanozza, near servant, directing him to remain there until a certain hour ;
When Cynthia's light almost gave way to morn,
But if in sooth a star its bosom bore, And nearly veil'd in mist her waning horn;
Such is the badge that knighthood ever wore, A Sert, that rose betimes to thread the wood,
And such 't is known Sir Ezzelin had worn And hew the bough that bought his children's Upon the night that led to such a morn. food,
If thus he perish'd, Heaven receive his soul ! Pass'd by the river that divides the plain
His undiscover'd limbs to ocean roll;
And charity upon the hope would dwell
And Kaled - Lara — Ezzelin, are gone, Roused by the sudden sight at such a time,
Alike without their monumental stone ! And some foreboding that it might be crime,
The first, all efforts vainly strove to wean Pimself unheeded watch'd the stranger's course, From lingering where her chieftain's blood had been; Who reach'd the river, bounded from his horse, Grief had so tamed a spirit once too proud, And lifting thence the burthen which he bore, Her tears were few, her wailing never loud; Heared up the bank, and dash'd it from the shorc, But furious would you tear her from the spot Then paused, and look'd, and turn'd, and seem'd to Where yet she scarce believed that he was not, watch,
Her eye shot forth with all the living fire
She talk'd all idly unto shapes of air,
And she had shorn, but saved her raven hair,
And oft would snatch it from her bosom there, But ere he well could mark the buoyant trunk, And fold, and press it gently to the ground, A massy fragment smote it, and it sunk:
As if she stanch'd anew some phantom's wound. It roze again, but indistinct to view,
Herself would question, and for him reply ; And left the waters of a purple hue,
Then rising, start, and beckon him to fly Then deeply disappeard : the horseman gazed From some imagined spectre in pursuit; Till ebb'd the latest eddy it had raised ;
Then seat her down upon some linden's root, Then turning, vaulted on his pawing steed,
And hide her visage with her meagre hand, And instant spurr'd him into panting speed.
Or trace strange characters along the sand His face was mask'd - the features of the dead, This could not last - she lies by him she loved ; If dead it were, escaped the observer's dread;
Her tale untold her truth too dearly proved.?
ba, if he did not return, he might repair to the palace. their strength fung it into the river. The person on horse The duke then seated the person in the mask behind him, back then asked if they had thrown it in ; to which they and rode, I know not whither; but in that night he was replied Signor, si (yes, Sir). He then looked towards the assassinated, and thrown into the river. The servant, alter river, and seeing a mantle floating on the stream, he inquired having been dismissed, was also assaulted and mortally what it was that appeared black, to which they answered, it Founded ; and although he was attended with great care, yet was a mantle ; and one of them threw stones upon in consuch was his situation, that he could give no intelligible sequence of which it sunk. The attendants of the pontit account of what had befallen his master. In the morning, then inquired from Giorgio, why he had not revealed this to the duke not having returned to the palace, his servants began the governor of the city ; to which he replied, that he had to be alarmed : and one of them intormed the pontiff of the seen in his time a hundred dead bodies thrown into the river evening excursion of his sons, and that the duke had not yet at the same place, without any inquiry being made respecting made his appearance. This gave the pope no small anxiety ; them ; and that he had not, therefore, considered it as a but he conjectured that the duke had been attracted by some matter of any importance. The fishermen and seamen were courtesan to pass the night with her, and, not choosing to quit then collected, and ordered to search the river, where, on the the house in open day, had waited till the following evening following evening, they found the body of the duke, with his to return home. When, however, the evening arrived, and habit entire, and thirty ducats in his purse. He was pierced be found himself disappointed in his expectations, he became with nine wounds, one of which was in his throat, the others deeply afflicted, and began to make inquiries from different in his head, body, and limbs. No sooner was the pontiff inpersons, whom he ordered to attend him for that purpose. formed of the death of his son, and that he had been thrown, amongst these was a man named Giorgio Schiavoni, who, like filth, into the river, than, giving way to his grief, he shut having discharged some timber from a bark in the river, had himself up in a chamber, and wept bitterly. The Cardinal of renained on board the vessel to' watch it, and being in- Segovia, and other attendants on the pope, went to the door, terrugated whether he had seen any one thrown into the and after many hours spent in persuasions and exhortations, river on the night preceding, he replied, that he saw two prevailed upon him to admit them. From the evening of men on foot, who came down the street, and looked diligently Wednesday till the following Saturday the pope took no about, to observe whether any person was passing. That food ; nor did he sleep from Thursday morning till the same sering no one, they returned, and a short time alterwards two
hour on the ensuing day. At length, however, giving way to others came, and looked around in the same manner as the the entreaties of his attendants, he began to restrain his former: no person still appearing, they gave a sign to their sorrow, and to consider the injury which his own health might companions, when a man came, mounted on a white horse,
sustain, by the further indulgence of his grief." — Roscoe's haring behind him a dead body, the head and arms of which Leo the Tenth, vol. i. p.
265. hung on one side, and the feet on the other side of the horse ; the to persons on foot supporting the body, to prevent its 1 [Lara, though it has many good passages, is a further falling. "They thus proceeded towards that part, where the prooi of the melancholy fact, which is true of all sequels, from filth of the city is usually discharged into the river, and the continuation of the Eneid, by one of the famous Italian turning the horse, with his tail towards the water, the two poets of the middle ages, down to “ l'olly, a sequel to the persons took the dead body by the arms and feet, and with all Beggar's Opera," that “more last words"
may generally be
tion, but stormed the place with so much fury, that
they took it, and put most of the garrison, with Sig" The grand army of the Turks (in 1715), under the nior Minotti, the governor, to the sword.
The rest, Prime Vizier, to open to themselves a way into the with Antonio Bembo, proveditor extraordinary, were heart of the Morea, and to form the siege of Napoli made prisoners of war." — llistory of the Turks, di Romania, the most considerable place in all that
vol. iii. p. 151. country', 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 hold out against so mighty a force, thought it fit to beat a parley : but while they were
The Siege of Corinth.' treating about the articles, one of the magazines in the Turkista camp, wherein they had six hundred barrels of powder, blew up by accident, whereby six or seven hundred men were killed; which so enraged In the year since Jesus died for men, the infidels, that they would not grant any capitula- Eighteen hundred years and ten,
spared, without any great detriment to the world. - BISHOP HEBER.
Lara has some charms which the Corsair has not. It is more domestic ; it calls forth more sympathies with polished society ; it is more intellectual, but much less passionate, less vigorous, and less brilliant ; it is sometimes even languid, at any rate, it is more diffuse. - SIR E BRIDGES.
Lara, obviously the sequel of “ The Corsair," maintains in general the same tone of deep interest and losty feeling ;though the disappearance of Vedora from the scene deprives it of the enchanting sweetness by which its terrors are there redeemed, and makes the hero, on the whole, less captivating. The character of Lara, too, is rather too elaborately finished, and his nocturnal encounter with the apparition is worked up too ostentatiously. There is infinite beauty in the sketch of the dark Page, and in many of the moral or general reflec. tions which are interspersed with the narrative. - JEFFREY.]
! [The “Siege of Corinth," which appears, by the original MS., to have been begun in July, 1815, made its appearance in January, 1816. Mr. Murray having enclosed Lord Byron a thousand guineas for the copyright of this poem and of " Pa. risina," he replied, “ Your offer is liberal in the extreme, and much more than the two poems can possibly be worth ; but I cannot accept it, nor will not. You are most welcome to them as additions to the collected volumes; but I cannot consent to their separate publication. I do not like to risk any fame (whether merited or not) which I have been favoured with upon compositions which I do not feel to be at all equal to my own notions of what they should be ; though they may do very well as things without pretension, to add to the pub. lication with the lighter pieces. I have enclosed your drait torn, for fear of accidents by the way - I wish you would not throw temptation in mine. It is not from a disdain of the universal idol, nor from a present super fuity of his treasures, I can assure you, that I refuse to worship him ; but what is right is right, and inust not yield to circumstances. I am very glad that the handwriting was a favourable omen of the morale of the piece; but you must not trust to tbat, for my copyist would write out any thing I desired, in all the ignorance of innocence – I hope, however, in this instance, with no great peril to either.' The copyist was Lady Byron. Lord Byron gave Mr. Gifford carte-blanche to strike out or alter
. [" What do the Reviewers mean by 'elaborate ?' Lara I wrote while undressing, after coininhome from balls and masquerades, in the year of rerelry, 1814." - Lyron Letters, 1822.)
any thing at his plcasure in this poem, as it was passing through the press ; and the reader will be amused with the varie lectiones which had their origin in this extraordinary confidence. Mr. Gifford drew his pen, it will be seen, through at least one of the most admired passages.]
? 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 1810-1); and, in the course of journeying through the country from ny 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 Gull of Athens to that of Lepanto. Both the routes are picturesque and beautiful, though very diferent: that by sea has more sameness; but the voyage being always within sight of land, and often very near it, presents many attractire views of the islands Salamis, Ægina, Poro, &c. and the coast of the Continent.
s(" With regard to the observations on carelessness, &c.," wro:e Lord Byron to a friend, “I think, with all humility, that the gentle reader has considered a rather uncommon, and decidedly irregular, versification for haste and negligence. The measure is not that of any of the other poems, which (I believe) were allowed to be tolerably correct, according to Byshe and the fingers - or ears -- by which bards write, and readers reckon. Great part of the Siege' is in (I think) what the learned call anapests, (though I am not sure, being heinously forgetful of my metres and my Gradus,) and many of the lines intentionally longer or shorter than its rhyming companion ; and the rhyme also occurring at greater or less intervals of caprice or convenience. I mean not to say that this is right or good, but merely that I could have been smoother, had it appeared to me of advantage ; and that I was not otherwise without being aware of the deviation, though I now feel sorry for it, as I would undoubtedly rather please than not. My wish has been to try at something different from my former efforts ; as I endeavoured to make them differ from each other. The versification of the · Corsair' is not that of' Lara: 'nor the. Giaour that of the · Bride:'. Childe llaroli' is, again, varied from these ; and I strove to vary the last somewhat from all of the others. Excuse all this nonsense and egotism. The fact is, that I am rather trying to think on the subject of this note, than really thinking on it." - Byron Letters, Feb. 1816.)
* [On Christinas-lay, 1815, Lord Byron, enclosing this fragment to Mr. Murray, says, “I send some lines, written some time ago, and intended as an opening to the • Siege of
Over the earth, and through the air,
We were a gallant company,
All our thoughts and words had scope,
We had health, and we had hope,
And some, or I mis-say, of neither;
Nor find a motlier crew nor blither.
I. Many a vanish'd year and age, And tempest's breath, and battle's rage, Have swepi o'er Corinth; yet she stands, A fortress form'd to Freedom's hands. S The whirlwind's wrath, the earthquake's shock, Have left untouch'd her hoary rock, The keystone of a land, which still, Though fall'n, looks proudly on that hill, The landmark to the double tide That purpling rolls on either side, As if their waters chated to meet, Yet pause and crouch beneath her fect. But could the blood before her shed Since first Timoleon's brother bled, 4 Or baffled Persia's despot fled, Arise from out the earth which drank The stream of slaughter as it sank, That sanguine ocean would o'erflow Her isthmus idly spread below: Or could the bones of all the slain, Who perish'd there, be piled again, That rival pyramid would rise More mountain-like, through those clear skies, Than yon tower-capp'd Acropolis, Which seems the very clouds to kiss. 5
But those hardy days few cheerily,
Corinth.' I had forgotten them, and am not sure that they had not better be left out now ;-on that, you and your synod can determine.”—“They are written," says Doore, " in the loosest form of that rambling style of metre, which his admi. ration of Mr. Coleridge's Christabel' led him, at this time, to adopt.” It will be seen, hereaiter, that the poet had never read - Christabel" at the time when he wrote these lines;he had, however, the “ Lay of the Last Minstrel." With re. gard to the character of the species of versification at this time so much in favour, it may be observed, that feeble imitations have since then vulgarised it a good deal to the general ear, but that, in the hands of Mr. Coleridge, Sir Walter Scott, and Lord Byron himself, it has often been employed with the most happy eflect. Its irregularity, when moulded under the guidance of a delicate taste, is more to the eye than to the ear, and in fact not greater than was admitted in some of the most delicious of the lyrical measures of the ancient Greeks.]
(In one of his sea excursions, Lord Byron was nearly lost in a Turkish ship of war, owing to the ignorance of the captain and crew * Fletcher," he says, “yelled; the Greeks called on all the saints; the Mussulmans on Alla; while the captain burst into tears, and ran below deck. I did what I could to console Fletcher; but finding him incorrigible, I wrapped myselí up in my Albanian capote, and lay down to wait the worst." This striking instance of the poet's coolness and courage is thus contirmed by Mr. Hobhouse : --" Finding that, from his lameness, he was unable to be of any service in the exertions which our very serious danger called for, after a laugh or two at the panic of his valet, he not only wrapped himself up and lay down, in the manner he has described, but when our difficulties were terminated was found fast asleep."]
2 The last tidings recently heard of Dervish (one of the Arnaouts 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. 3 [In the original MS.
“ A marvel from her Moslem bands."]
4 [Timoleon, who had saved the life of his brother Timophanes in battle, afterwards killed him for aiming at the supreme power in Corinth, preferring his duty to his country to all the obligations of blood. Dr. Warton says, that Pope once intended to write an epic poem on the story, and that Dr. Akenside had the same design.)
[The Giaour, the Bride of Abydos, the Corsair, Lara, the Siege of Corinth, followed each other with a celerity, which was only rivalled by their success; and if at times the author seemed to pause in his poetic career, with the threat of forbearing further adventure for a time, the public eagerly pardoned the breach of a promise by keeping which they must have been sufferers. Exquisitely beautiful in themselves, these tales received a new charm from the romantic climes into which they introduced us, and from the oriental costume so strictly preserved and so picturesquely exhibited. Greece, the cradle of the poetry with which our earliest studies are familiar, was presented to us among her ruins and her sorrows. Her delightful scenery, once dedicated to those deities who, though dethroned from their own Olympus, still preserve a poe. tical empire, was spread before usin Lord Byron's poetry, varied by all the moral effect derived froin what Greece is and what she has been, while it was doubled by comparisons, perpetually excited, between the philosophers and heroes who iormerly inhabited that romantic country, and their descendants, who either stoop to their Scythian conquerors, or maintain, among the recesses of their classical mountains, an independence 26 wild and savage as it is precarious. The oriental manners also and diction, so peculiar in their picturesque cffect that they can cast a charm even over the absurdities of an eastern tale, had here the more honourable occupation of decorating that which in itself was beautiful, and enhancing by novelty what would have bcen captivating without its aid. The powerful impression produced by this peculiar species of poetry confirmed us in a principle, which, though it will hardly be challenged when stated as an axiom, is very rarely coni plied with in practicc. It is, that every author should, lile Lord Byron, form to himself, and communicate to the reader, a precise, defineel, and distinct view of the landscape, sentiment, or action which he intends to describe to the reader. SIR WALTER Scotr.]
IL On dun Cithæron's ridge appears The gleam of twice ten thousand spears ; And downward to the Isthmian plain, From shore to shore of either main, The tent is pitch'd, the crescent shines Along the Moslem's leaguering lines; And the dusk Spahi's bands ' advance Beneath each bearded pacha's glance ; And far and wide az eye can reach The turban'd cohorts throng the beach; And there the Arab's camel kneels, And there his stced the Tartar wheels; The Turcoman hath left his herd, 2 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.
He stood a foe, with all the zeal
V. Coumourgis - he whose closing scene Adorn'd the triuniph 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, That latest conqueror of Greece, Till Christian hands to Greece restore The freedom Venice gave of yore ? A hundred years have rollid away Since he retix'd 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 leveli'd with the dust; And proved, by many a deed of death, How firm his heart in novel faith.
III. 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 ; 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 !
VI. The walls grew weak; and fast and hot Against them pour'd the ceaseless shot, 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 dompe Was fired before the exploding bomb: And as the fabric sank beneath The shattering shell's volcanic breath, In red and wreathing columns flash'd The flame, as loud the ruin crash'd, Or into countless meteors driven, Its earth-stars melted into heaven; 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.
IV. 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 pass'd With Greece to Venice' rule at last; And here, before her walls, with those To Greece and Venice equal foes,
VII. But not for vengeance, long delay'd, Alone, did Alp, the renegade,
! [Turkish holders of military fiefs, which oblige them to join the army, mounted at their own expense.]
2 The life of the Turcomans is wandering and patriarchal : they dwell in tents.
3 Ali Coumourgi, 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. His last order was the decapitation 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 Ca. ligula. He was a young man of great ambition and unbounded presumption : on being told that Prince Eugene, then opposed to hiin, “ was a great general," he said, “I shall become a greater, and at his expense."