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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/503

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459
THE CURSE OF MINERVA.

The soul of Him that scorned to fear or fly,[1]
Who lived and died as none can live or die.


But lo! from high Hymettus to the plain
The Queen of Night asserts her silent reign;[2][3]
No murky vapour, herald of the storm,[4]
Hides her fair face, or girds her glowing form;
With cornice glimmering as the moonbeams play,
There the white column greets her grateful ray,
And bright around, with quivering beams beset,
Her emblem sparkles o'er the Minaret:40
The groves of olive scattered dark and wide,
Where meek Cephisus sheds his scanty tide,
The cypress saddening by the sacred mosque,
The gleaming turret of the gay kiosk,[5]
And sad and sombre 'mid the holy calm,
Near Theseus' fane, yon solitary palm;
All, tinged with varied hues, arrest the eye;
And dull were his that passed them heedless by.[6]


  1. The soul of him who ——.—[Corsair, III. st. i. l. 31.]
  2. —— silver reign.—[MS.]
  3. The twilight in Greece is much shorter than in our own country; the days in winter are longer, but in summer of less duration.
  4. How sweet and Silent, not a passing cloud
    Hides her fair face with intervening shroud
    .—[MS.]

  5. The kiosk is a Turkish summer-house; the palm is without the present walls of Athens, not far from the temple of Theseus, between which and the tree the wall intervenes. Cephisus' stream is indeed scanty, and Ilissus has no stream at all.
  6. ["The Temple of Theseus is the most perfect ancient edifice in the world. In this fabric, the most enduring