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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 5.djvu/642

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[CANTO II.
THE ISLAND.

We too will see Licoo; but—oh I my heart!—
What do I say?—to-morrow we depart!


IV.

Thus rose a song—the harmony of times
Before the winds blew Europe o'er these climes.
True, they had vices—such are Nature's growth—
But only the barbarian's—we have both;
The sordor of civilisation, mixed
With all the savage which Man's fall hath fixed.70
Who hath not seen Dissimulation's reign,
The prayers of Abel linked to deeds of Cain?
Who such would see may from his lattice view
The Old World more degraded than the New,—
Now new no more, save where Columbia rears
Twin giants, born by Freedom to her spheres,
Where Chimborazo, over air,—earth,—wave,—
Glares with his Titan eye, and sees no slave.[1][2]


V.

Such was this ditty of Tradition's days,
Which to the dead a lingering fame conveys80
In song, where Fame as yet hath left no sign
Beyond the sound whose charm is half divine;
Which leaves no record to the sceptic eye,
But yields young History all to Harmony;
A boy Achilles, with the Centaur's lyre
In hand, to teach him to surpass his sire.
For one long-cherished ballad's[3] simple stave,

Rung from the rock, or mingled with the wave,
  1. Glares with his mountain eye——.—[MS. D. erased.]
  2. [The Morning Chronicle, November 6, 1822, prints the following proclamation of José Maria Carreno, Commandant-General of Panama: "Inhabitants of the Isthmus! The Genius of History, which has everywhere crowned our arms, announces peace to Colombia.... From the banks of Orinoco to the towering summits of Chimborazo not a single enemy exists, and those who proudly marched towards the abode of the ancient children of the Sun have either perished or remain prisoners expecting our clemency."]
  3. [Compare "a wise man's sentiment," as quoted by Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun: "He believed if a man were permitted to make all the Ballads, he need not care who should make the Laws."—An Account of a Conversation, etc., 1704, p. 10.]