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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/69

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What! though he knows not how his fathers bled,
When civil discord pil'd the fields with dead,
When Edward bade his conquering bands advance,
Or Henry trampled on the crest of France:
Though marvelling at the name of Magna Charta
Yet well he recollects the laws of Sparta;
Can tell, what edicts sage Lycurgus made,
While Blackstone's on the shelf, neglected laid;20
Of Grecian dramas vaunts the deathless fame,
Of Avon's bard, rememb'ring scarce the name.

Such is the youth whose scientific pate
Class-honours, medals, fellowships, await;
Or even, perhaps, the declamation prize,
If to such glorious height, he lifts his eyes.
But lo! no common orator can hope
The envied silver cup within his scope:
Not that our heads much eloquence require,
Th' Athenian's[1] glowing style, or Tully's fire.30
A manner clear or warm is useless, since[2]
We do not try by speaking to convince;
Be other orators of pleasing proud
We speak to please ourselves, not move the crowd:
Our gravity prefers the muttering tone,

A proper mixture of the squeak and groan:
  1. Demosthenes.
  2. The manner of the speech is nothing, since.—[4to. P. on V. Occasions.]