Enough of Battle's minions! let them play
Their game of lives, and barter breath for fame:
Fame that will scarce reanimate their clay,
Though thousands fall to deck some single name.
In sooth 'twere sad to thwart their noble aim
Who strike, blest hirelings! for their countiy's good,
And die, that living might have proved her shame;
Perished, perchance, in some domestic feud,
Or in a narrower sphere wild Rapine's path pursued.
Full swiftly Harold wends his lonely way
Where proud Sevilla triumphs unsubdued:
Yet is she free? the Spoiler's wished-for prey!
Soon, soon shall Conquest's fiery foot intrude,
Blackening her lovely domes with traces rude.
Inevitable hour! 'Gainst fate to strive
Where Desolation plants her famished brood
Is vain, or Ilion, Tyre might yet survive,
And Virtue vanquish all, and Murder cease to thrive
- Who sink in darkness ——.—[MS. erased.]
- —— swift Rapine's path pursued.—[MS. D.]
- To Harold turn we as ——.— [MS. erased.]
- [In this "particular" Childe Harold did not resemble his alter ego. Hobhouse and "part of the servants" (Joe Murray, Fletcher, a German, and the "page" Robert Rushton, constituted his "whole suite"), accompanied Byron in his ride across Spain from Lisbon to Gibraltar. (See Letters, 1898, i. 224, 236.)]
- Where proud Sevilha ——.—[MS. D.]