Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/191

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Thine olive ripe as when Minerva[1] smiled,
And still his honied wealth Hymettus[2] yields;
There the blithe Bee his fragrant fortress builds,
The free-born wanderer of thy mountain-air;
Apollo still thy long, long summer gilds,
Still in his beam Mendeli's marbles glare:[3]
Art, Glory, Freedom fail, but Nature still is fair.


Where'er we tread 'tis haunted, holy ground;
No earth of thine is lost in vulgar mould,
But one vast realm of Wonder spreads around,
And all the Muse's tales seem truly told,
Till the sense aches with gazing to behold
The scenes our earliest dreams have dwelt upon;
Each hill and dale, each deepening glen and wold
Defies the power which crushed thy temples gone:
Age shakes Athenæ's tower, but spares gray Marathon.[5]

  1. [Athené's dower of the olive induced the gods to appoint her as the protector and name-giver of Athens. Poseidon, who had proffered a horse, was a rejected candidate. (See note by Rev. E. C. Owen, Childe Harold., 1897, p. 175.)]
  2. ["The wild thyme is in great abundance; but there are only two stands of bee-hives on the mountains, and very little of the real honey of Hymettus is to be now procured at Athens.... A small pot of it was shown to me as a rarity" (Travels in Albania, i. 341). There is now, a little way out of Athens, a "honey-farm, where the honey from Hymettus is prepared for sale" (Handbook for Greece, p. 500).]
  3. Pentele's marbles glare.—[MS. D. erased.]
  4. [Stanzas lxxxviii.-xc. are not in the MS., but were first included in the seventh edition, 1814.]
  5. [Byron and Hobhouse, after visiting Colonna, slept at Keratea, and proceeded to Marathon on January 25, returning to Athens on the following day.]