Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/338

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306
ODE TO NAPOLEON BUONAPARTE.

II.[1]

Ill-minded man! why scourge thy kind
Who bowed so low the knee?
By gazing on thyself grown blind,
Thou taught'st the rest to see.
With might unquestioned,—power to save,—
Thine only gift hath been the grave
To those that worshipped thee;
Nor till thy fall could mortals guess
Ambition's less than littleness!


III.

Thanks for that lesson—it will teach
To after-warriors more
Than high Philosophy can preach,
And vainly preached before.
That spell upon the minds of men[2]
Breaks never to unite again,
That led them to adore
Those Pagod things of sabre-sway,
With fronts of brass, and feet of clay.


IV.

The triumph, and the vanity,
The rapture of the strife—[3]
The earth quake-voice of Victory,

To thee the breath of life;
  1. [Stanzas ii. and iii. were added in Proof iv.]
  2. [A "spell" may be broken, but it is difficult to understand how, like the two halves of a seal or amulet, a broken spell can "unite again."]
  3. "Certaminis gaudia"—the expression of Attila in his harangue to his army, previous to the battle of Chalons, given in Cassiodorus. ["Nisi ad certaminis hujus gaudia præparasset"—Attilæ Oratio ad Hunnos, caput xxxix., Appendix ad Opera Cassiodori, Migne, lxix. 1279.]