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LINES WRITTEN BENEATH A PICTURE. (1)
DEAR object of defeated care!
Though now of Love and thee bereft,
Thine image and my tears are left.
"Tis said with Sorrow Time can cope;
Athens, January, 1811.(2)
(1) [These lines are copied from a leaf of the original MS. of the second canto of "Childe Harold."-E.]
(2) [On the departure, in July, 1810, of his friend and fellow-traveller, Mr. Hobhouse, for England, Lord Byron fixed his head-quarters at Athens, where he had taken lodgings in a Franciscan convent; making occasional excursions through Attica and the Morea, and employing himself, in the interval of his tours, in collecting materials for those notices on the state of modern Greece which are appended to the second canto of "Childe Harold." In this retreat also he wrote "Hints from Horace," "The Curse of Minerva," and "Remarks on the Romaic, or Modern Greek Language." He thus writes to his mother:-" At present, I do not care to venture a winter's voyage, even if I were otherwise tired of travelling; but I am so convinced of the advantages of looking at mankind, instead of reading about them, and the bitter effects of staying at home with all the narrow prejudices of an islander, that I think there should be a law amongst us to send our young men abroad, for a term, among the few allies our wars have left us. Here I see, and have conversed with, French, Italians, Germans, Danes, Greeks, Turks, Americans, &c. &c. &c.; and, without losing sight of my own, I can judge of the countries and manners of others. When I see the superiority of England (which, by the by, we are a good deal mistaken about in many things), I am pleased; and where I find her inferior, I am at least enlightened. Now, I might have stayed, smoked in your towns, or fogged in your country, a century, without being sure of this, and without acquiring any thing more useful or amusing at home. I keep no journal; nor have I any intention of scribbling my travels. I have done with authorship; and if, in my last production, I have convinced the critics or the world I was something more than they took me for, I am satisfied; nor will I hazard that reputation by a future
SUBSTITUTE FOR AN EPITAPH.
KIND Reader! take your choice to cry or laugh;
TRANSLATION OF THE FAMOUS GREEK WAR SONG,
“ Δεύτε παῖδες τῶν ̔Ελλήνων.”(1)
SONS of the Greeks, arise!
The glorious hour's gone forth,
And, worthy of such ties,
effort. It is true I have some others in manuscript, but I leave them for those who come after me; and, if deemed worth publishing, they may serve to prolong my memory, when I myself shall cease to remember. have a famous Bavarian artist taking some views of Athens, &c. &c., for me. This will be better than scribbling-a disease I hope myself cured of. I hope, on my return, to lead a quiet, recluse life; but God knows, and does best for us all."-E.]
(1) The song Atúte waïdes, &c., was written by Riga, who perished in the attempt to revolutionise Greece. This translation is as literal as the author could make it in verse. It is of the same measure as that of the original. [While at the Capuchin convent, Lord Byron devoted some hours daily to the study of the Romaic; and various proofs of his diligence will be found in the Appendix. -E]
Sons of Greeks! let us go
'Till their hated blood shall flow
Then manfully despising
Oh, start again to life!
At the sound of my trumpet, breaking
Sons of Greeks, &c.
And warring with the Persian
To keep his country free;
Sons of Greeks, &c. (1)
TRANSLATION OF THE ROMAIC SONG,
“ Μπενω μες ’τσ' περιβόλι
I ENTER thy garden of roses, (3)
(1) [Riga was a Thessalian, and passed the first part of his youth among his native mountains, in teaching ancient Greek to his countrymen. On the first burst of the French revolution, he joined himself to some other enthusiasts, and with them perambulated Greece, rousing the bold, and encouraging the timid by his minstrelsy. He afterwards went to Vienna, to solicit aid for a rising, which he and his comrades had for years been endeavouring to accomplish; but he was given up by the Austrian government to the Turks, who vainly endeavoured by torture to force from him the names of the other conspirators. — E.]
(2) The song from which this is taken is a great favourite with the young girls of Athens of all classes. Their manner of singing it is by verses in rotation, the whole number present joining in the chorus. I have heard it frequently at our "xóga," in the winter of 1810-11. The air is plaintive and pretty.
(3) [National songs and popular works of amusement throw no small light on the manners of a people: they are materials which most travellers have within their reach, but which they almost always disdain to collect. Lord Byron has shown a better taste; and it is to be hoped that his example will, in future, be generally followed. GEORGE ELLIS.]