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CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE.
CANTO THE SECOND.
COME, blue-eyed maid of heaven !- but thou, alas !
Of men who never felt the sacred glow
(1) Part of tho Acropolis was destroyed by the explosion of a magazine during the Venetian siege.
(2) Wo can all feel, or imagine, the regret with which the ruins of cities, onco the capitals of empires, are beheld: the reflections suggested by such objects are too triie to require recapitulation. But never did the littleness of man, and the vanity of his very best virtues, of patriotism to exalt, and of valour to defend his country, appear more conspicuous than in the record of what Athens was, and the certainty of what she now is. This theatre of contention between mighty factions, of tho struggles of orators, the exallation and deposition of tyrants, The triumph and punishment of generals, is now become a scene of petty intrigue and perpetual disturbance, between the bickering agents of certain British nobility and gentry. “Tho wild foxes, the owls and serpents in the ruins of Babylon,” were surely less degrading than such inhabitants. "The Turks have the plea of conquest for their tyranny, and the Greeks have only suffered the fortune of war, incidental to the bravest ; but how are the mighty fallen, when two painters contest the privilege of plundering the Parthenon, and triumph in turn, according to tho tenor of each succeeding firman! Sylla could but punish, Philip. subduo, and Xerxes burn Athens; but it remained for the paltry antiquarian, and his despicable agents, to render her contemptible as himself and his pursuits.' The Parthenon, before its destruction in part, by firo during the Venetian siege, had been a templo, a church, and a • mosque. In each point of view it is an object of regard : it changed its worshippers; but still it was a piace of worship thrice sacred to devotion : its violation is a triplo sacrilege. But
“ Man, vain man,
Ancient of days! august Athena! where,
Are sought in vain, and o'er each mouldering tower,
Son of the morning, rise! approach you here !
a nat a's sepulchre !
Vainly his incense soars, his victim bleeds
Bound to the earth, he lists his eye to heaven
Or burst the vanish'd Hero's lofty mound
(1) It was not always the custom of the Greeks to burn their dead; the greater Ajax, in particular, was interred entire. Almost all the chiefs became gods after their decease; and he was indeed neglected, who had not annual games near his tomb, or festivals in honour of his memory by his countrymen, as Achilles, Brasıdas, &c. and at last even Antinous, whose death was as heroic as his life was infamous.