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From the purest metal cast;
A spoil—the richest, and the last.

XXXIII.

So near they came, the nearest stretch'd
To

grasp the spoil he almost reach'd,
When old Minotti's hand
Touch'd with the torch the train-

'Tis fired!
Spire, vaults, the shrine, the spoil, the slain,

The turban'd victors, the Christian band,
All that of living or dead remain,
Hurl'd on high with the shiver'd fane,

In one wild roar expired!
The shatter'd town—the walls thrown down-
The wayes a moment backwards bent-
The hills that shake, although unrent,

As if an earthquake pass'd-
The thousand shapeless things all driven
In cloud and flame athwart the heaven,

By that tremendous blast
Proclaim'd the desperate conflict o'er
On that too long afflicted shore :
Up to the sky like rockets go
All that mingled there below :
Many a tall and goodly man,
Scorch'd and shrivell’d to a span,
When he fell to earth again,
Like a cinder strew'd the plain :
Down the ashes shower like rain ;
Some fell in the gulf, which received the sprinkles
With a thousand circling wrinkles ;
Some fell on the shore, but, far away,
Scatter'd o'er the isthmus lay ;
Christian or Moslem, which be they?
Let their mothers see and say !
When in cradled rest they lay,
And each nursing mother smiled
On the sweet sleep of her child,
Little deem'd she such a day
Would rend those tender limbs away.
Not the matrons that them bore
Could discern their offspring more;
That one moment left no trace
More of human form or face,
Save a scatter'd scalp or bone :
And down came blazing rafters, strown
Around, and many a falling stone,

Deeply dinted in the clay,
All blacken’d there and reeking lay.
All the living things that heard
That deadly earth-shock disappear'd :
The wild birds flew, the wild dogs fled,
And howling left the unburied dead;
The camels from their keepers broke ;
The distant steer forsook the yoke-
The nearer steed plunged o'er the plain,
And burst his girth, and tore his rein;
The bull-frog's note, from out the marsh,
Deep-mouth'd arose, and doubly harsh ;
The wolves yell’d on the cavern'd hill,
Where echo rolled in thunder still;
The jackal's troop, in gather'd cry,
Bay'd from afar complainingly,
With a mix'd and mournful sound,
Like crying babe and beaten hound:
With sudden wing and ruffled breast,
The eagle left his rocky nest,

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!

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NOTES.

Note 1. Page 266.

The Turcoman hath left his herd.
The life of the Turcomans is wandering and patriarchal: they dwell in tents.

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.

000

PARISINA.

TO SCROPE BERDMORE DAVIES, ESQ.

THE FOLLOWING POEM IS INSCRIBED,

BY ONE WHO HAS LONG ADMIRED HIS TALENTS, AND VALUED HIS FRIENDSHIP.

January 22, 1816.

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