Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/85

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CANTO I.]
51
CHILDE HAROLD’S PILGRIMAGE.

By myriads, when they dare to pave their way
With human hearts—to what?—a dream alone.
Can Despots compass aught that hails their sway?[1]
Or call with truth one span of earth their own,
Save that wherein at last they crumble bone by bone?


XLIII.

Oh, Albuera! glorious field of grief![2][3]
As o'er thy plain the Pilgrim pricked his steed,
Who could foresee thee, in a space so brief,
A scene where mingling foes should boast and bleed![4]
Peace to the perished! may the warrior's meed[5]
And tears of triumph their reward prolong![6]
Till others fall where other chieftains lead
Thy name shall circle round the gaping throng,
And shine in worthless lays, the theme of transient song.[7][8]


  1. —— a fancied throne?
    As if they compassed half that hails their sway.—[MS. erased.]

  2. —— glorious sound of grief.—[D.]
  3. [The battle of Albuera (May 16, 1811), at which the English, under Lord Beresford, repulsed Soult, was somewhat of a Pyrrhic victory. "Another such a battle," wrote the Duke, "would ruin us. I am working hard to put all right again." The French are said to have lost between 8000 and 9000 men, the English 4158, the Spaniards 1365.]
  4. A scene for mingling foes to boast and bleed.—[D.]
  5. Yet peace be with the perished ——.—[D. erased.]
  6. And tears and triumph make their memory long.—[D. erased.]
  7. —— there sink with other woes.—[D. erased.]
  8. [Albuera was celebrated by Scott, in his Vision of Don Roderick. The Battle of Albuera, a Poem (anon.), was published in October, 1811.]