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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/483

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THE SIEGE OF CORINTH.




In the year since Jesus died for men/ Eighteen hundred years and ten,^ We were a gallant company, Riding o'er land, and sailing o'er sea. Oh ! but we went merrily ! ^ We forded the river, and clomb the high hill, Never our steeds for a day stood still ; . [The introductory lines, 1-45, are not included in the copy of the poem in Lady Byron's handwriting, nor were they published in the First Edition. On Christmas Day, 181 5, Eyron, enclosing this fragment to Murray, says, *' I send some lines written some time ago, and intended as an opening to the S/co-^' of Corinth. I had forgotten them, and am not suie that they had not better be left out now ; — on that you and your Synod can determine." They are headed in the MS., "The Stranger's Tale," October 23rd. First published in Ldtcrs aud Jourfials^ 1S30, i. 638, they were included among the Ocrasional Poems in the edition of 1831, and first prefixed to the poem in the edition of 1832.] . [The metrical render ing of the date (miscalculated from the death instead of the birlh of Christ) may be traced to the opening lines of an old ballad (Kolbing's Siege of Corinth^ p. 53) —

  • ' Upon the sixteen hunder year

Of God, and fifty-three. From Christ was born, that bought us dear, As writings testifie," etc. See "The Life and Age of Man" [Burns' Selected PoemSy ed. by J. L. Robertson, 1889, p. 191).] . [Compare letter to Hodgson, July 16, 1809 : " How merrily

we lives that travellers be !" — Letters^ 1898^ i. 233.]