Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/199

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Despite of War and wasting fire.

Stanza i. line 4.

Part of the Acropolis was destroyed by the explosion of a magazine during the Venetian siege.

[In 1684, when the Venetian Armada threatened Athens, the Turks removed the Temple of Victory, and made use of the materials for the construction of a bastion. In the autumn of 1687, when the city was besieged by the Venetians under Francesco Morosini (1618-1694; Doge of Venice, 1688), "mortars were planted ... near the north-east corner of the rock, which threw their shells at a high angle, with a low charge, into the Acropolis.... On the 25th of September, a Venetian bomb blew up a small powder-magazine in the Propylæa, and on the following evening another fell in the Parthenon, where the Turks had deposited ... a considerable quantity of powder.... A terrific explosion took place; the central columns of the peristyle, the walls of the cella, and the immense architraves and cornices they supported, were scattered around the remains of the temple. The Propylæa had been partly destroyed in 1656 by the explosion of a magazine which was struck by lightning."—Finlay's History of Greece, 1887, i. 185.]


But worse than steel, and flame, and ages slow,
Is the dread sceptre and dominion dire.

Stanza i. lines 6, 7.

We can all feel, or imagine, the regret with which the ruins of cities, once the capitals of empires, are beheld: the