Lo! here, despite of war and wasting fire,
I saw successive Tyrannies expire;
'Scaped from the ravage of the Turk and Goth,
Thy country sends a spoiler worse than both.
Survey this vacant, violated fane;
Recount the relics torn that yet remain:100
These Cecrops placed, this Pericles adorned,
That Adrian reared when drooping Science mourned.
What more I owe let Gratitude attest—
Know, Alaric and Elgin did the rest.
That all may learn from whence the plunderer came,
Ah, Athens! scarce escaped from Turk and Goth,
Hell sends a paltry Scotchman worse than both.—[MS.]
- This is spoken of the city in general, and not of the Acropolis in particular. The temple of Jupiter Olympius, by some supposed the Pantheon, was finished by Hadrian; sixteen columns are standing, of the most beautiful marble and architecture.
- [The following lines, of which the first two were written on the original MS., are in Byron's handwriting:—
"Aspice quos Scoto Pallas concedit honores;
Subter stat nomen, facta superque vide.
Scote miser! quamvis nocuisti Palladis ædi,
Infandum facinus vindicat ipsa Venus.
Pygmalion statuam pro sponsâ arsisse refertur;
Tu statuam rapias, Scote, sed uxor abest."
Compare Horace in London, by the authors of Rejected Addresses (James and Horace Smith), London, 1813, ode xv., "The Parthenon," "Pastor quum traheret per freta navibus."
"And Hymen shall thy nuptial hopes consume,
Unless, like fond Pygmalion, thou canst wed
Statues thy hand could never give to bloom.
In wifeless wedlock shall thy life be led,
No marriage joys to bless thy solitary bed."