Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/404

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362
[CANTO IV.
CHILDE HAROLD’S PILGRIMAGE.

For thy destructive charms; then, still untired,
Would not be seen the arméd torrents poured
Down the deep Alps; nor would the hostile horde
Of many-nationed spoilers from the Po
Quaff blood and water; nor the stranger's sword
Be thy sad weapon of defence—and so,
Victor or vanquished, thou the slave of friend or foe.


XLIV.

Wandering in youth, I traced the path of him,
The Roman friend of Rome's least-mortal mind,[1]
The friend of Tully: as my bark did skim
The bright blue waters with a fanning wind,
Came Megara before me, and behind

Ægina lay—Piræus on the right,
  1. The celebrated letter of Servius Sulpicius to Cicero, on the death of his daughter, describes as it then was, and now is, a path which I often traced in Greece, both by sea and land, in different journeys and voyages. "On my return from Asia, as I was sailing from Ægina towards Megara, I began to contemplate the prospect of the countries around me: Ægina was behind, Megara before me; Piræus on the right, Corinth on the left: all which towns, once famous and flourishing, now lie overturned and buried in their ruins. Upon this sight, I could not but think presently within myself, Alas! how do we poor mortals fret and vex ourselves if any of our friends happen to die or be killed, whose life is yet so short, when the carcasses of so many noble cities lie here exposed before me in one view."—See Middleton's Cicero, 1823, ii. 144.

    [The letter is to be found in Cicero's Epist. ad Familiares, iv. 5. Byron, on his return from Constantinople on July 14, 1810, left Hobhouse at the Island of Zea, and made his own way to Athens. As the vessel sailed up the Saronic Gulf, he would observe the "prospect" which Sulpicius describes.]