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Lord Byron (1788–1824). Poetry of Byron. 1881.

II. Descriptive and Narrative


(Don Juan, Canto iv. Stanzas 76–78.)

THERE, on the green and village-cotted hill, is

(Flank’d by the Hellespont, and by the sea)

Entomb’d the bravest of the brave, Achilles;

They say so—(Bryant says the contrary):

And further downward, tall and towering still, is

The tumulus—of whom? Heaven knows; ’t may be

Patroclus, Ajax, or Protesilaus;

All heroes, who, if living still, would slay us.

High barrows, without marble, or a name,

A vast, untill’d, and mountain-skirted plain,

And Ida in the distance, still the same,

And old Scamander, (if ’tis he) remain;

The situation seems still form’d for fame—

A hundred thousand men might fight again

With ease; but where I sought for Ilion’s walls,

The quiet sheep feeds, and the tortoise crawls;

Troops of untended horses; here and there

Some little hamlets, with new names uncouth;

Some shepherds (unlike Paris) led to stare

A moment at the European youth

Whom to the spot their school-boy feelings bear;

A Turk, with beads in hand, and pipe in mouth,

Extremely taken with his own religion,

Are what I found there—but the devil a Phrygian.