Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/366

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328
[CANTO IV.
CHILDE HAROLD’S PILGRIMAGE.

A thousand Years their cloudy wings expand
Around me, and a dying Glory smiles
O'er the far times, when many a subject land
Looked to the wingéd Lion's marble piles,
Where Venice sate in state, throned on her hundred isles![1]


II.

She looks a sea Cybele,[2] fresh from Ocean,
Rising with her tiara of proud towers
At airy distance, with majestic motion,

A Ruler of the waters and their powers:

    appeared as if they had been called up from the Ocean by the wand of an enchanter."]

  1. ——throned on her Seventy Isles.—[MS. M. altern. reading, D.]
  2. Sabellicus, describing the appearance of Venice, has made use of the above image, which would not be poetical were it not true.—"Quo tit ut qui supernè [ex specula aliqua eminentiore] urbem contempletur, turritam telluris imaginem medio Oceano figuratam se putet inspicere." [De Venetæ Urbis situ Narratio, lib. i. Ital. Ill. Script., 1600, p. 4. Marcus Antonius Coccius Sabellicus (1436-1506) wrote, inter alia, a History of Venice, published in folio in 1487, and Rhapsodiæ Historiarum Enneades, a condito mundo, usque ad A.C. 1504. His description of Venice (vide supra) was published after his death in 1527. Hofmann does not give him a good character: "Obiit A.C. 1506, turpi morbo confectus, ætat. 70, relicto filio notho." But his Αὐτοεπιτάφιον implies that he was satisfied with himself.

    "Quem non res hominum, non omnis ceperat ætas,
    Scribentem capit hæc Coccion urna brevis."

    Lexicon Universale, art. "Marcus," etc.

    Cybele (sometimes written Cybelle and Cybēle), the "mother of the Goddesses," was represented as wearing a mural crown—"coronamque turritam gestare dicitur" (Albricus Phil., De Imag. Deor., xii.). Venice with her tiara of proud towers is the earth-goddess Cybele, having "suffered a sea-change."]