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take captive and bear away the susceptible heart. His wit, too, is playful and brilliant, and his sarcasm venomous and blistering. His leading characteristic is energy: he is never languid or tame; and in his highest moods, his words flash, and burn like lightning from the cloud, and hurry the reader along with the breathless speed of the tempest.
Much of Lord Byron's poetry is objectionable in a moral point of view. Some of it ministers undisguisedly to the evil passions, and confounds the distinctions between right and wrong; and still more of it is false and morbid in its tone, and teaches, directly or indirectly, the mischievous and irreligious doctrine, that the unhappiness of men is just in proportion to their intellectual superiority.
There was little that was respectable or estimable in Lord Byron's life. lie had no fixed principles, and was the sport of every whim or passion that assailed him. For many years, he lived an outcast from his home and country, in open defiance of the laws of God and man; not without spasms of selfrcproach and half purposes of reform. His joining the Greeks sliowed that his profligate and self-indulgent habits had not destroyed in him the power of vigorous action and generous sacrifice.
The following extract is from “Childe Harold's Pilgrimage.” Thermopylæ is a narrow pass leading from Thessaly into Southern Greece, where Leonidas, and a small band of Spartan heroes, resisting an immense Persian host, were all slain. The town of Sparta, or Lacedæmon, was upon the river Eurotas, Thrasybulus was an Athenian general who overthrew the power of the Thirty Tyrants in Athens B, C. 403. He first seized the fortress of Phyle, which was about fifteen miles from Athens. The Helots were slaves to the Spartans. Colonna, or Colonni, anciently Sunium, is a promontory forming the southern extremity of Attica, where there was a temple to Minerva, who was also called Tritonia. Hymettus and Pentelicus were mountains near Athens, the former famous for honey, and the latter for marble. The modern name of Pentelicus 18 Menileli. Athena was a name by which the Greeks called Minerva, the literary goddess of Athens.]
1 Fair Greece ! sad relic of departed worth !
Immortal, though no more; though fallen, great!
And long accustomed bondage uncreate ?
Not such thy sons who whilome did await
In bleak Thermopylæ’s sepulchral strait: 0! who that gallant spirit shall resume, Leap from Eurotas' banks and call thee from the tomb !
Spirit of Freedom! when on Phyle's brow
Thou sat'st with Thrasybulus and his train,
Dims the green beauties of thine Attic plain ?
Not thirty tyrants now enforce the chain,
Nor rise thy sons, but idly rail in vain,
3 In all, save form alone, how changed ! and who
That marks the fire still sparkling in each eye,
With thy unquenched beam, lost Liberty !
And many dream withal the hour is nigh
For foreign arms and aid they fondly sigh,
4 Hereditary bondmen! know ye not
Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow? By their right arms the conquest must be wrought:
Will Gaul, or Muscovite, redress ye? — No!
True, they may lay your proud despoilers low ; But not for you will Freedom's altars flame.
Shades of the Helots! triumph o'er your foe! Greece! change thy lords: thy state is still the same: Thy glorious day is o'er, but not thy years of shame.
5 When riseth Lacedæmon's hardihood,
When Thebes Epaminondas rears again, When Athens' children are with hearts endued,
When Grecian mothers shall give birth to men,
Then thou mayst be restored; but not till then.
An hour may lay it in the dust; and when
8 And yet, how lovely, in thine age of woe,
Land of lost gods, and godlike men, art thou !
Proclaim thee Nature's varied favorite now.
Thy fanes, thy temples, to thy surface bow,
Broke by the share of every rustic plough:
7 Save where some solitary column mourns
Above its prostrate brethren of the cave;
Colonna's cliff, and gleams along the wave;
Save o'er some warrior's half-forgotten grave,
Ages, but not oblivion, feebly brave,
8 Yet are thy skies as blue, thy crags as wild;
Sweet are thy groves, and verdant are thy fields,
And still his honeyed wealth Hymettus yields.
There the blithe bee his fragrant fortress builds,
Apollo still thy long, long summer gilds,
Where'er we tread 't is haunted, holy ground;
No earth of thine is lost in vulgar mould;
And all the Muse's tales seem truly told,
The scenes our earliest dreams have dwelt upon.
Each hill and dale, cach deepening glen and wold Defies the power which crushed thy temples gone : Age shakes Athena's tower, but spares gray Marathon.
10 Long, to the remnants of thy splendor past,
Shall pilgrims pensive, but unwearied, throng;
Hail the bright clime of battle and of song.
Long shall thine annals and immortal tongue
Boast of the aged ! lesson of the young!
XC. — THE INFLUENCE OF ATHENS.
[The following extract is from a review of “Mitford's History of Greece," Juvenal was a Roman satirist. Dante was an illustrious Italian poet, born in 1265. Cervantes was a great Spanish writer, the author of “Don Qnixote." Bacon was a great philosopher and writer of England. Butler was the author of “Hudibras,” the wittiest poem in the English language. Erasmus was a celebrated scholar, a native of Holland. Pascal was an eminent writer and philosopher of France. Mirabeau was an eloquent French orator, who took a leading part in the early movements of the French revolution. Galileo was an illustrious philosopher and scientific discoverer, a native of Pisa in Italy. Algernon Sidney was an English statesman and patriot, who was executed upon a false charge of treason in the reign of Charles II.]
If we consider merely the subtlety of disquisition, the force of imagination, the perfect energy and elegance of expression, which characterize the great works of Athe
nian genius, we must pronounce them intrinsically most 5 valuable. But what shall we say when we reflect that from
hence have sprung, directly or indirectly, all the noblest creations of the human intellect; that from hence were the
vast accomplishments and the brilliant fancy of Cicero, the withering fire of Juvenal, the plastic imagination of Dante, the humor of Cervantes, the comprehension of Ba
con, the wit of Butler, the supreme and universal excel5 lence of Shakspeare ?
All the triumphs of truth and genius over prejudice and power, in every country and in every age, have been the triumphs of Athens. Wherever a few great minds have
made a stand against violence and fraud, in the cause of 10 liberty and reason, there has been her spirit in the midst
of them ; inspiring, encouraging, consoling; — by the lonely lamp of Erasmus, by the restless bed of Pascal, in the tribune of Mirabeau, in the cell of Galileo, on the
scaffold of Sidney. 15 But who shall estimate her influence on private happi
ness? Who shall say how many thousands have been made wiser, happier, and better, by those pursuits in which she has taught mankind to engage; to how many
the studies which took their rise from her have been 20 wealth in poverty, liberty in bondage, health in sickness, society in solitude.
Her power is, indeed, manifested at the bar, in the senate, in the field of battle, in the schools of philosophy.
But these are not her glory. Wherever literature consoles 25 sorrow, or assuages pain; wherever it brings gladness to
eyes which fail with wakefulness and tears, and ache for the dark house and the long sleep, — there is cxhibited, in its noblest form, the immortal influence of Athens.
The dervise, in the Arabian tale, did not hesitate to 30 abandon to his comrade the camels with their load of
jewels and gold, while he retained the casket of that mysterious juice which enabled him to behold at one glance all the hidden riches of the universe. Surely it is no ex
aggeration to say, that no external advantage is to be 35 compared with that purification of the intellectual eye,
which gives us to contemplate the infinite wealth of the