Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/274

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238
[CANTO III.
CHILDE HAROLD’S PILGRIMAGE.

Millions of tongues record thee, and anew
Their children's lips shall echo them, and say—
"Here, where the sword united nations drew,[1]
Our countrymen were warring on that day!"
And this is much—and all—which will not pass away.


XXXVI.

There sunk the greatest, nor the worst of men,
Whose Spirit, antithetically mixed,
One moment of the mightiest, and again
On little objects with like firmness fixed;[2]
Extreme in all things! hadst thou been betwixt,
Thy throne had still been thine, or never been;
For Daring made thy rise as fall: thou seek'st[3][4]
Even now to re-assume the imperial mien,[5]
And shake again the world, the Thunderer of the scene!


    reckoning of the age of those who fell at Waterloo. A "fleeting span" the Psalmist's; but, reckoning by Waterloo, "more than enough." Waterloo grudges even what the Psalmist allows.]

  1. Here where the sword united Europe drew
    I had a kinsman warring on that day
    .—[MS.]

  2. On little thoughts with equal firmness fixed.—[MS.]
  3. For thou hast risen as fallen—even now thou seek'st
    An hour——
    .—[MS.]

  4. [Byron seems to have been unable to make up his mind about Napoleon. "It is impossible not to be dazzled and overwhelmed by his character and career," he wrote to Moore (March 17, 1815), when his Héros de Roman, as he called him, had broken open his "captive's cage" and was making victorious progress to the capital. In the Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte, which was written in April, 1814,
  5. [The stanza was written while Napoleon was still under the guardianship of Admiral Sir George Cockburn, and before Sir Hudson Lowe had landed at St. Helena; but complaints were made from the first that imperial honours which were paid to him by his own suite were not accorded by the British authorities.]