Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/88

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Ah, Monarchs! could ye taste the mirth ye mar,
Not in the toils of Glory would ye fret;[1]
The hoarse dull drum would sleep, and Man be happy yet!


How carols now the lusty muleteer?
Of Love, Romance, Devotion is his lay,
As whilome he was wont the leagues to cheer,
His quick bells wildly jingling on the way?
No! as he speeds, he chants "Vivā el Rey!"N8
And checks his song to execrate Godoy,
The royal wittol Charles, and curse the day
When first Spain's queen beheld the black-eyed boy,
And gore-faced Treason sprung from her adulterate joy.


On yon long level plain, at distance crowned[2]

With crags, whereon those Moorish turrets rest,
  1. Not in the toils of Glory would ye sweat.—[MS. erased, D.]
  2. [The scene is laid on the heights of the Sierra Morena. The travellers are looking across the "long level plain" of the Guadalquivir to the mountains of Ronda and Granada, with their "hill-forts ... perched everywhere like eagles' nests" (Ford's Handbook for Spain, i. 252). The French, under Dupont, entered the Morena, June 2, 1808. They stormed the bridge at Alcolea, June 7, and occupied Cordoba, but were defeated at Bailen, July 19, and forced to capitulate. Hence the traces of war. The "Dragon's nest"(line 7) is the ancient city of Jaen, which guards the skirts of the Sierras "like a watchful Cerberus." It was taken by the French, but recaptured by the Spanish, early in July, 1808 (History of the War in the Peninsula, i. 71-80).]