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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/512

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468
THE CURSE OF MINERVA.

Look to the Baltic—blazing from afar,
Your old Ally yet mourns perfidious war.[1]
Not to such deeds did Pallas lend her aid,
Or break the compact which herself had made;
Far from such counsels, from the faithless field
She fled—but left behind her Gorgon shield;
A fatal gift that turned your friends to stone,
And left lost Albion hated and alone.220


"Look to the East,[2] where Ganges' swarthy race

Shall shake your tyrant empire to its base;
  1. [The affair of Copenhagen. Copenhagen was bombarded by sea by Admiral Lord Gambier (1756-1833), and by land by General Lord Cathcart (1755-1843), September 2-8, 1807. The citadel was given up to the English, and the Danes surrendered their fleet, with all the naval stores, and their arsenals and dockyards. The expedition was "promptly and secretly equipped" by the British Government "with an activity and celerity," says Koch (Hist. of Europe, p. 214), "such as they had never displayed in sending aid to their allies," with a view to anticipate the seizure and appropriation of the Danish fleet by Napoleon and Alexander (Green's Hist. English People (1875), p. 799).]
  2. ["The East" is brought within range of Minerva's curse, symmetriæ causâ, and it is hard to say to which "rebellion" she refers. A choice lies between the mutiny which broke out in 1809, during Sir George Barlow's presidency of Madras, among the officers of the Company's service, and which at one time threatened the continuance of British sway in India; and later troubles, in 1810, arising from the Pindárí hordes, who laid waste the villages of Central India and Hindostan, and from the Pathans, who invaded Berar under Ameer Khan. But here, as in lines 245-258 (vide infra, p. 470, note 1), Byron is taking toll of a note to Epics of the Ton, pp. 246, 247, which enlarges on the mutiny of native soldiers which took place at Vellore in 1806, where several "European officers and a considerable portion of the 69th Regiment were massacred," in consequence of "an injudicious order with respect to the dress of the Sepoys."—Gleig's History of the British Empire in India (1835), iii. 233, note.]