Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/383

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CANTO IV.]
341
CHILDE HAROLD’S PILGRIMAGE.

Thin streets, and foreign aspects, such as must
Too oft remind her who and what enthrals,N7
Have flung a desolate cloud o'er Venice' lovely walls.


XVI.

When Athens' armies fell at Syracuse,
And fettered thousands bore the yoke of war,
Redemption rose up in the Attic Muse,[1]
Her voice their only ransom from afar:[2]
See! as they chant the tragic hymn, the car
Of the o'ermastered Victor stops—the reins
Fall from his hands—his idle scimitar
Starts from its belt—he rends his captive's chains,
And bids him thank the Bard for Freedom and his strains.[3]


XVII.

Thus, Venice! if no stronger claim were thine,

Were all thy proud historic deeds forgot—
  1. [The story is told in Plutarch's Life of Nicias, cap. xxix. (Plut. Vit., Lipsiæ, 1813, v. 154). "The dramas of Euripides were so popular throughout all Sicily, that those Athenian prisoners who knew ... portions of them, won the affections of their masters.... I cannot refrain from mentioning this story, though I fear its trustworthiness ... is much inferior to its pathos and interest."—Grote's History of Greece, 1869, vii. 186.]
  2. And won her hopeless children from afar.—[MS. M., D. erased.]
  3. And sends him ransomeless to bless his poet's strains.—[MS. M.]
    or, And sends him home to bless the poet for his strains.—[MS. D. erased.]