Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/90

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The bristling palisade, the fosse o'erflowed,
The stationed bands, the never-vacant watch,[1]
The magazine in rocky durance stowed,
The bolstered steed beneath the shed of thatch,
The ball-piled pyramid, the ever-blazing match,N10


Portend the deeds to come:—but he whose nod
Has tumbled feebler despots from their sway,
A moment pauseth ere he lifts the rod;
A little moment deigneth to delay:
Soon will his legions sweep through these their way;
The West must own the Scourger of the world.[2]
Ah! Spain! how sad will be thy reckoning-day,
When soars Gaul's Vulture, with his wings unfurled,[3]
And thou shalt view thy sons in crowds to Hades hurled.


And must they fall? the young, the proud, the brave,
To swell one bloated Chiefs unwholesome reign?[4]
No step between submission and a grave?

The rise of Rapine and the fall of Spain?
  1. —— the never-changing watch.—[MS. D.]
  2. The South must own ——.—[MS. D.]
  3. When soars Gaul's eagle ——.—[MS. D.]
  4. [As time went on, Byron's sentiments with regard to Napoleon underwent a change, and he hesitates between sympathetic admiration and reluctant disapproval. At the moment his enthusiasm was roused by Spain's heroic resistance to the new Alaric, "the scourger of the world," and he expresses himself like Southey "or another" (vide post., Canto III., pp. 238, 239).]