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Thanks for that lesson-it will teach
That led them to adore
Those Pagod things of sabre sway,
The triumph, and the vanity,
The Desolator desolate !
The Victor overthrown!
The Arbiter of others' fate
A Suppliant for his own!
Is it some yet imperial hope
That with such change can calmly cope?
Or dread of death alone?
To die a prince-or live a slave
Thy choice is most ignobly brave!
I knew they were light in the balance of mortality; but I thought their living dust weighed more carats. Alas! this imperial diamond hath a flaw in it, and is now hardly fit to stick in a glazier's pencil;-the pen of the historian won't rate it worth a ducat. Psha! 'something too much of this.' But I won't give him up even now; though all his admirers have, like the Thanes, fallen from him."-Byron Diary, April 9.]
2Certaminis gaudia"-the expression of Attila in his harangue to his army, previous to the battle of Chalons, given in Cassiodorus.
He who of old would rend the oak,
The Roman, when his burning heart
Yet left him such a doom!
His only glory was that hour
Of self-upheld abandon'd power.
The Spaniard, when the lust of sway
A strict accountant of his beads,
Yet better had he neither known
A bigot's shrine, nor despot's throne.
3 ["Like Milo, he would rend the oak; but it closed again, wedged his hands, and now the beasts-lion, bear, down to the dirtiest jackal-may all tear him."B. Diary, April 8.]
4 Sylla. [We find the germ of this stanza in the Diary of the evening before it was written :-"Methinks Sylla did better; for he revenged, and resigned in the height of his sway, red with the slaughter of his foes-the finest instance of glorious contempt of the rascals upon record. Dioclesian did well too-Amurath not amiss, had he become aught except a dervise-Charles the Fifth but so so; but Napoleon worst of all."B. Diary, April 9.]
5 [Charles the Fifth resigned, in 1555, his imperial crown to his brother Ferdinand,
But thou-from thy reluctant hand
Too late thou leav'st the high command
To which thy weakness clung;
All Evil Spirit as thou art,
It is enough to grieve the heart
To see thine own unstrung;
To think that God's fair world hath been
And Earth hath spilt her blood for him,
And Monarchs bow'd the trembling limb,
Fair Freedom! we may hold thee dear,
and the kingdom of Spain to his son Philip, and retired to a monastery in Estremadura, where he conformed to all the rigour of monastic austerity. Not satisfied with this, he dressed himself in his shroud, was laid in his coffin, joined in the prayers which were offered up for the rest of his soul, and mingled his tears with those which his attendants shed, as if they had been celebrating a real funeral.]
["But who would rise in brightest day
Weigh'd in the balance, hero dust
To all that pass away:
But yet methought the living great
Some higher sparks should animate,
To dazzle and dismay :
Nor deem'd Contempt could thus make mirth
And she, proud Austria's mournful flower,
Thy still imperial bride;
How bears her breast the torturing hour?
Still clings she to thy side?
Must she too bend, must she too share
Thou throneless Homicide?
If still she loves thee, hoard that gem,-
7 [It is well known that Count Neipperg, a gentleman in the suite of the Emperor of Austria, who was first presented to Maria Louisa within a few days after Napoleon's abdication, became, in the sequel, her chamberlain, and then her husband. He is said to have been remarkably plain. The Count died in 1831.]
8 ["Dionysius at Corinth was yet a king to this."-B. Diary, April 9. Dionysius the Younger, esteemed a greater tyrant than his father, on being for the second time banished from Syracuse, retired to Corinth, where he was obliged to turn schoolmaster for a subsistence.]
Thou Timour! in his captive's cage'
All sense is with thy sceptre gone,
Or, like the thief of fire from heaven,'
His vulture and his rock!
He in his fall preserved his pride,
And, if a mortal, had as proudly died!
There was a day-there was an hour,
While earth was Gaul's-Gaul thine-
Unsated to resign
Had been an act of
Than gathers round Marengo's name
Through the long twilight of all time,
9 The cage of Bajazet, by order of Tamerlane.
"He suffered for kind acts to men,
At least of kingly stock;
Since he was good, and thou but great,
"The very fiend's arch mock
To lip a wanton, and suppose her chaste."-SHAKSPEARE.
[He alludes to the unworthy amour in which Napoleon engaged on the evening of his arrival at Fontainebleau.]