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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 4.djvu/600

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POEMS 1816-1823.

But Grattan sprung up like a god from the tomb
Of ages, the first, last, the saviour, the one![1]


12.

With the skill of an Orpheus to soften the brute;
With the fire of Prometheus to kindle mankind;
Even Tyranny, listening, sate melted or mute,
And Corruption shrunk scorched from the glance of his mind.


13.

But back to our theme! Back to despots and slaves![2]
Feasts furnished by Famine! rejoicings by Pain!
True Freedom but welcomes, while Slavery still raves,
When a week's Saturnalia hath loosened her chain.


14.

Let the poor squalid splendour thy wreck can afford,
(As the bankrupt's profusion his ruin would hide)
Gild over the palace, Lo! Erin, thy Lord!
Kiss his foot with thy blessing—his blessings denied![3]


15.

Or if freedom past hope be extorted at last,[4]
If the idol of brass find his feet are of clay,
Must what terror or policy wring forth be classed
With what monarchs ne'er give, but as wolves yield their prey?


16.

Each brute hath its nature; a King's is to reign,—
To reign! in that word see, ye ages, comprised
The cause of the curses all annals contain,
From Cæsar the dreaded to George the despised!


  1. ["After the stanza on Grattan,... will it please you to cause insert the following Addenda, which I dreamed of during to-day's Siesta."—Letter to Moore, September 20, 1821.]
  2. Aye! back to our theme ——.—[Medwin.]
  3. Kiss his foot, with thy blessing, for blessings denied!—[Medwin.]
  4. Or if freedom ——.—[Medwin.]