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[60] {46}[On the sheet containing the original draft of these lines Lord Byron has written, “The following poem (as most that I have endeavoured to write) is founded on a fact; and this detail is an attempt at a serious imitation of the style of a great poet–its beauties and its defects: I say the _style_; for the thoughts I claim as my own. In this, if there be anything ridiculous, let it be attributed to me, at least as much as to Mr. Wordsworth: of whom there can exist few greater admirers than myself. I have blended what I would deem to be the beauties as well as defects of his style; and it ought to be remembered, that, in such things, whether there be praise or dispraise, there is always what is called a compliment, however unintentional.” There is, as Scott points out, a much closer resemblance to Southey’s “_English Eclogues,_ in which moral truths are expressed, to use the poet’s own language, ‘in an almost colloquial plainness of language,’ and an air of quaint and original expression a.s.sumed, to render the sentiment at once impressive and _piquant_.”]

[61] {47}[Compare–

“The under-earth inhabitants–are they But mingled millions decomposed to clay?”

_A Fragment_, lines 23, 24, _vide post_, p. 52.

It is difficult to “extricate” the meaning of lines 19-25, but, perhaps, they are intended to convey a hope of immortality. “As I was speaking, the s.e.xton (the architect) tried to answer my question by taxing his memory with regard to the occupants of the several tombs. He might well be puzzled, for ‘Earth is but a tombstone,’ covering an amalgam of dead bodies, and, unless in another life soul were separated from soul, as on earth body is distinct from body, Newton himself, who disclosed ‘the turnpike-road through the unpaved stars’ (_Don Juan_, Canto X. stanza ii. line 4), would fail to a.s.sign its proper personality to any given lump of clay.”]

[62] {48}[Compare–

“But here [i.e. in ‘the realm of death’] all is So shadowy and so full of twilight, that It speaks of a day past.”

_Cain_, act ii. sc. 2.

[63] [“Selected,” that is, by “frequent travellers” (_vide supra_, line 12).]


—-_then most pleased, I shook_ _My inmost pocket’s most retired nook,_ _And out fell five and sixpence_.–[MS.]

[64] [Byron was a lover and worshipper of Prometheus as a boy. His first English exercise at Harrow was a paraphrase of a chorus of the _Prometheus Vinctus_ of aeschylus, line 528, _sq._ (see _Poetical Works_, 1898, i. 14). Referring to a criticism on _Manfred_ (_Edinburgh Review_, vol xxviii. p. 431) he writes (October 12, 1817, _Letters_, 1900, iv.

174): “The _Prometheus_, if not exactly in my plan, has always been so much in my head, that I can easily conceive its influence over all or any thing that I have written.” The conception of an immortal sufferer at once beneficent and defiant, appealed alike to his pa.s.sions and his convictions, and awoke a peculiar enthusiasm. His poems abound with allusions to the hero and the legend. Compare the first draft of stanza xvi. of the _Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte_ (_Poetical Works_, 1900, iii.

312, var. ii.); _The Prophecy of Dante_, iv. 10, seq.; the _Irish Avatar_, stanza xii. line 2, etc.]

[65] {49}[Compare–

???a?t’ ?p????? t?? f??a????p?? t??p??

[Greek: Toiau~t’ e)pey/rou tou~ philanthro/pou tro/pou]

_P. V._, line 28.

Compare, too–

T??t??? d’ ?? ??.?t? p????e???, t??t?? t??e??

[Greek: Thnetous d’ e)n oi)/.kto| prothe/menos, tou/tou tychei~n]

??? ??????? a?t??

[Greek: Ou)k e)xio/then au)to?]

Ibid., lines 241, 242.]

[66] [Compare–

???? ??? d?spa?a?t?t?? f???e?.

[Greek: Dios gar dysparai/tetoi phre/nes.]

Ibid., line 34.

Compare, too–

…?????s????’ ?t?

[Greek: …gigno/skonth’ o(/ti]

?? t?? ??????? ?st’ ?d???t?? s?????

[Greek: To te~s a)na/nkes e)st’ a)de/riton sthe/nos]

Ibid., line 105.]

[67] {50}[Compare–

“The maker–call him Which name thou wilt; he makes but to destroy.”

_Cain_, act i. sc. 1.

Compare, too–

“And the Omnipotent, who makes and crushes.”

_Heaven and Earth_, Part I. sc. 3.]

[68] [Compare–

?t? ?a?e?? ?? ?st?? ?? pep??????

[Greek: O)/to| thanei~n me/n e)stin ou) peprome/non]

_P. V._, line 754.]


…p??ta p????ep?staa?

[Greek: …pa/nta prou)xepi/stamai]

S?e???? t? ?????ta [Greek: Skethro~s ta/ me/llonta]

Ibid., lines 101, 102.]

[70] [Compare–

T??t??? d’ ????? a?t?? e????? p?????.

[Greek: Thnetoi~s d’ a)e/gon au)tos eu(ro/men po/nous.]

Ibid., line 269.]

[71] {51}[Compare–

“But we, who name ourselves its sovereigns, we, Half dust, half deity.”

_Manfred_, act i. sc. 2, lines 39, 40, _vide post_, p. 95.]

[m] —-_and equal to all woes_.–[Editions 1832, etc.]


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