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George Gordon Byron

George Gordon Byron

GEORGE GORDON LORD BYRON: "Lo! Where the Giant..."

"Lo! Where the Giant..."

(From "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage," Canto One)
XXXIX

Lo! where the Giant on the mountain stands,
His blood-red tresses deepening in the Sun,
With death-shot glowing in his fiery hands,
And eye that scorcheth all it glares upon;
Restless it rolls, now fixed, and now anon
Flashing afar, -- and at his iron feet
Destruction cowers, to mark what deeds had done;
For on this morn three potent Nations meet,
To shed before his Shrine the blood he deems most sweet.


XLI

The hosts combine to offer sacrifice;
Three tongues prefer strange orisons on high;
Three gaudy standards flout the pale blue skies;
The shouts are France, Spain, Albion, Victory!
The Foe, the Victim, and the fond Ally
That fights for all, but ever fights in vain,
Are met – as if at home they could not die –
To feed the crow on Talevara’s plain
And fertilize the field that each pretends to gain.


XLII

There shall they rot – Ambition’s honoroud fools!
Yes, Honour decks the turf that wraps their clay!
Vain Sophistry! in these behold the tools,
The broken tools, that Tyrants cast away,
By myriads, when they dare pave their way
With human hearts – to what? – a dream alone.
Can Despots compass aught that hails their sway?
Or call with truth one span of earth their own,
Save that wherein at last they crumble bone by bone?      




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