Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/188

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But, midst the throng in merry masquerade,
Lurk there no hearts that throb with secret pain,
Even through the closest searment[1] half betrayed?
To such the gentle murmurs of the main
Seem to re-echo all they mourn in vain;
To such the gladness of the gamesome crowd
Is source of wayward thought and stern disdain:
How do they loathe the laughter idly loud,
And long to change the robe of revel for the shroud!


This must he feel, the true-born son of Greece,
If Greece one true-born patriot still can boast:
Not such as prate of War, but skulk in Peace,
The bondsman's peace, who sighs for all he lost,
Yet with smooth smile his Tyrant can accost,
And wield the slavish sickle, not the sword:
Ah! Greece! they love thee least who owe thee most—
Their birth, their blood, and that sublime record[2]
Of hero Sires, who shame thy now degenerate horde!

  1. [It has been assumed that "searment" is an incorrect form of "cerement," the cloth dipped "in melting wax, in which dead bodies were enfolded when embalmed" (Hamlet, act i. sc. 4), but the sense of the passage seems rather to point to "cerecloth," "searcloth," a plaster to cover up a wound. The "robe of revel" does but half conceal the sore and aching heart.]
  2. [For the accentuation of the word, compare Chaucer, "The Sompnour's Tale" (Canterbury Tales, line 7631)—

    "And dronkennesse is eke a foul recórd
    Of any man, and namely of a lord."]