Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/509

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465
THE CURSE OF MINERVA.

Yet Caledonia claims some native worth,[1]
As dull Bœotia gave a Pindar birth;150
So may her few, the lettered and the brave,
Bound to no clime and victors of the grave,
Shake off the sordid dust of such a land,
And shine like children of a happier strand;
As once, of yore, in some obnoxious place,
Ten names (if found) had saved a wretched race."


"Mortal!" the blue-eyed maid resumed, "once more
Bear back my mandate to thy native shore.[2]
Though fallen, alas! this vengeance yet is mine,
To turn my counsels far from lands like thine.160
Hear then in silence Pallas' stern behest;
Hear and believe, for Time will tell the rest.


"First on the head of him who did this deed
My curse shall light,—on him and all his seed:
Without one spark of intellectual fire,
Be all the sons as senseless as the sire:
If one with wit the parent brood disgrace,
Believe him bastard of a brighter race:

Still with his hireling artists let him prate,
  1. [Lines 149-156 not in original MS.]
  2. [Compare Horace in London, ode xv.:—

    "All who behold my mutilated pile,
    Shall brand its ravages with classic rage;
    And soon a titled bard from Britain's isle
    Thy country's praise and suffrage shall engage,
    And fire with Athens' wrongs an angry age."]