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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 4.djvu/602

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POEMS 1816-1823.

Let the wine flow around the old Bacchanal's throne,
Like their blood which has flowed, and which yet has to flow.


But let not his name be thine idol alone—
On his right hand behold a Sejanus appears!
Thine own Castlereagh! let him still be thine own!
A wretch never named but with curses and jeers!


Till now, when the Isle which should blush for his birth,
Deep, deep as the gore which he shed on her soil,
Seems proud of the reptile which crawled from her earth,
And for murder repays him with shouts and a smile.[1]


Without one single ray of her genius,—without
The fancy, the manhood, the fire of her race—
The miscreant who well might plunge Erin in doubt[2]
If she ever gave birth to a being so base.


If she did—let her long-boasted proverb be hushed,
Which proclaims that from Erin no reptile can spring—
See the cold-blooded Serpent, with venom full flushed,
Still warming its folds in the breast of a King![3]


Shout, drink, feast, and flatter! Oh! Erin, how low
Wert thou sunk by misfortune and tyranny, till
Thy welcome of tyrants hath plunged thee below
The depth of thy deep in a deeper gulf still.

  1. ["The Marquis of Londonderry was cheered in the Castle-yard." "He was," says the correspondent of the Morning Chronicle, "the instrument of Ireland's degradation—he broke down her spirit, and prostrated, I fear, for ever her independence. To see the author of this measure cheered near the very spot," etc.]
  2. —— might make Humanity doubt.—[MS. M.]
  3. —— in the heart of a king.—[Medwin. MS. M. erased.]