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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 4.djvu/235

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197
ODE ON VENICE.

The name of Freedom to her glorious struggles;120
Yet she but shares with them a common woe,
And called the "kingdom"[1] of a conquering foe,—
But knows what all—and, most of all, we know—
With what set gilded terms a tyrant juggles!


IV.

The name of Commonwealth is past and gone
O'er the three fractions of the groaning globe;
Venice is crushed, and Holland deigns to own
A sceptre, and endures the purple robe;[2]
If the free Switzer yet bestrides alone
His chainless mountains, 't is but for a time,130
For Tyrranny of late is cunning grown,
And in its own good season tramples down
The sparkles of our ashes. One great clime,
Whose vigorous offspring by dividing ocean[3]
Are kept apart and nursed in the devotion
Of Freedom, which their fathers fought for, and
Bequeathed—a heritage of heart and hand,
And proud distinction from each other land,
Whose sons must bow them at a Monarch's motion,
As if his senseless sceptre were a wand140
Full of the magic of exploded science—
Still one great clime, in full and free defiance,
Yet rears her crest, unconquered and sublime,
Above the far Atlantic!—She has taught
Her Esau-brethren that the haughty flag,

The floating fence of Albion's feebler crag,[4]
  1. [In 1814 the Italian possessions of the Emperor of Austria were "constituted into separate and particular states, under the title of the kingdom of Venetian Lombardy."—Koch's Europe, p. 234.]
  2. [The Prince of Orange ... was proclaimed Sovereign Prince of the Low Countries, December 1, 1813; and in the following year, August 13, 1814, on the condition that he should make a part of the Germanic Confederation, he received the title of King of the Netherlands.—Ibid., p. 233.]
  3. [Compare "Oceano dissociabili," Hor., Odes, I. iii. 22.]
  4. [In October, 1812, the American sloop Wasp captured the English brig Frolic; and December 29, 1812, the Constitution compelled the frigate Java to surrender. In the following year, February 24, 1813, the Hornet met the Peacock off the Demerara, and reduced her in fifteen minutes to a sinking condition. On June 28, 1814, the sloop-of-