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From the purest metal cast;
So near they came, the nearest stretch'd
grasp the spoil he almost reach'd,
The turban'd victors, the Christian band,
In one wild roar expired!
As if an earthquake pass'd-
By that tremendous blast
Deeply dinted in the clay,
And mounted nearer to the sun,
The clouds beneath him seem'd so dun; Their smoke assail'd his startled beak, And made him higher soar and shriek
Thus was Corinth lost and won!
Note 1. Page 266.
The Turcoman hath left his herd.
Note 2. Page 267.
Coumourgi-he whose closing scene. 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 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.”
Note 3. Page 273.
There shrinks no ebb in that tideless sea. The reader need hardly be reminded that there are no perceptible tides in the Mediterranean.
Note 4. Page 274.
And their white tusks crunch'd o'er the whiter skull. This spectacle I have seen, such as described, beneath the wall of the Seraglio at Constantinople, in the little cavities worn by the Bosphorus in the rock, a narrow terrace of which projects between the wall and the water. I think the fact is also mentioned in Hobhouse's Travels. The bodies were probably those of some refractory Janizaries.
Note 5. Page 274.
And each scalp had a single long tuft of hair. This tuft, or long lock, is left froin a superstition that Mahomet will draw them into paradise by it.
Note 6. Page 276. I must here acknowledge a close, though unintentional, resemblance in these twelve lines to a passage in an unpublished poem of Mr. Coleridge, called “ Christabel.” It was not till after these lines were written that I heard that wild and singularly original and beautiful poem recited; and the MS. of that production I never saw till very recently, by the kindness of Mr. Coleridge himself, who, I hope, is convinced that I have not been a wilful plagiarist. The original idea undoubtedly pertains to Mr Coleridge, whose poem has been composed above fourteen years. Let me conclude by a hope that he will no longer delay the publication of a production, of which I can only add my mite of approbation to the applause of far more competent judges.
Note 7. Page 278.
There is a light cloud by the moon. I have been told that the idea expressed fro:n lines 598 to 603 have been admired by those whose approbation is valuable. I am glad of it: but it is not original-at least not mine; it may be found much better expressed in pages 182-3-4 of the English version of “Vathek” (I forget the precise page of the French), a work to which I have before referred; and never recur to, or read, without a renewal of gratification.
Note 8. Page 279.
The horse-tails are pluck'd from the ground, and the sword. The horse-tail, fixed upon a lance, a pacha's standard.
Note 9. Page 282.
And since the day, when in the strait. In the naval battle at the mouth of the Dardanelles, between the Venetians and the Turks.
Note 10. Page 288.
The jackal's troop, in gather'd cry. I believe I have taken a poetical license to transplant the jackal from Asia. In Greece I never saw nor heard these animals; but among the ruins of Ephesus I have heard them by hundreds. They haunt ruins, and follow armies.