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Long shall thine annals and immortal tongue
Which sages venerate and bards adore,
When wandering slow by Delphi's sacred side,
So may’st thou prosper where thy youth was reared, By every honest joy , of love and life endeared!
Since cold each kinder heart that might approve,
Would they had never been, or were to come!
All thou could'st have of mine , stern Death! thou hast;
And grief witlı grief continuing still to blend,
Smiles from the channel of a future tear,
Since Time hath rest whate'er my soul enjoyed,
NOTES. TO CANTO I.
Yes! sighed o’er Delphi's long-deserted shrine.
Stanza i. line 6. The little village of Castri stands partly on the site of Delphi. Along the path of the mountain, from Chrysso , are the remains of sepulchres hewn in and from the rock : « One, » said the guide, « of a king who broke his neck hunting. » His Majesty had certainly chosen the fittest spot for such an achievement.
A little above Castri is a cave, supposed the Pythian , of immense depth ; the upper part of it is paved, and now a cowhouse.
On the other side of Castri stands a Greek monastery ; some way above which is the cleft in the rock, with a range of caverns difficult of ascent, and apparently leading to the interior of the mountain ; probably to the Corycian Cavern mentioned by Pausanias. From this part descend the fountain and the « Dews of Castalie. »
And rest ye at our « Lady's house of woe. »
Stanza xx. line 4. . The Convent of « Our Lady of Punishment , » Nossa Senora de Pena *, on the summit of the rock. Below, at some distance, is the Cork Convent, where St. Honorius dug his den, over which is his epitaph. From the hills, the sea adds to the beauty of the view.
* Since the publication of this poem , I have been informed of the misapprehension of the term Nossa Senora de Pena. It was owing to the want of the tilde or mark over the n, which allers the signification of the word : with it, Pera signifies a rock ; without it Pena has the sense I adopted. I do not think it necessary to alter the passage, às though the common acceptation affixed to it is « our Lady of the Rock, » I may well assume the other sense from the severities practised there.
Throughout this purple land , where law secures not life.
Stanza xxi, line last. It is a well known fact, that in the year 1809 the assassinations in the streets of Lisbon and its vicinity were not confined by the Portuguese to their countrymen; but that Englishmen were daily butchered ; and so far from redress being obtained, we were requested not to interfere if we perceived any compatriot defending himself against his allies. I was once stopped in the way to the theatre at eight o'clock in the evening, when the streets were not more empty than they generally are at that hour, opposite to an open shop, and in a carriage with a friend; had we not fortunately been armed , I have not the least doubt that we should have adorned a tale instead of telling one. The crime of assassination is not confined to Portugal : in Sicily and Malta we are knocked on the head at a handsome average nightly, and not a Sicilian or Mallese is ever punished !
Behold the hall where chiefs were late convcned !
Stanza xxiv. line 1. The Conveution of Cintra was signed in the palace of the Marchese Marialva. The late exploits of Lord Wellington have effaced the follies of Cintra. He has, indeed , done wonders : he has perhaps changed the character of a nation, reconciled rival superstitions, and baffled an enemy who never retreated before his predecessors.
Yet Mafra shall one moment claim delay.
Stanza xxix. line 1.
The extent of Mafra is prodigious; it contains a palace; convent, aud most superb church. The six organs are the most beautiful I ever beheld in point of décoration ; we did not hear them, but were told that their tones were correspondent to their splendour. Mafra is termed the Escurial of Portugal.