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The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 1/Fragments of School Exercises


Μηδάμ' ὁ πάντα νέμων, κ.τ.λ.[1]

Great Jove! to whose Almighty Throne
Both Gods and mortals homage pay,
Ne'er may my soul thy power disown,
Thy dread behests ne'er disobey.
Oft shall the sacred victim fall,
In sea-girt Ocean's mossy hall;
My voice shall raise no impious strain,
'Gainst him who rules the sky and azure main.


How different now thy joyless fate,
Since first Hesione thy bride,
When plac'd aloft in godlike state,
The blushing beauty by thy side,
Thou sat'st, while reverend Ocean smil'd,
And mirthful strains the hours beguil'd;
The Nymphs and Tritons danc'd around,
Nor yet thy doom was fix'd, nor Jove relentless frown'd.[2]

Harrow, December 1, 1804.

  1. [The Greek heading does not appear in the Quarto, nor in the three first Editions.]
  2. ["My first Harrow verses (that is, English, as exercises), a translation of a chorus from the Promeiheus of Æschylus, were received by Dr. Drury, my grand patron (our headmaster), but coolly. No one had, at that time, the least notion that I should subside into poetry."—Life p. 20. The lines are not a translation but a loose adaptation or paraphrase of part of a chorus of the Promtheus Vinctus, l. 528, sq.]