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Dropped to the earth, astonished at the sound!
Yet were the thoughtful grieved; and still that voice
Haunts, with sad echoes, musing Fancy's ear:1
Ah! that a Conqueror's words should be so dear:
Ah! that a boon could shed such rapturous joys!
A gift of that which is not to be given

By all the blended powers of Earth and Heaven.


This 66 Roman Master" " on Grecian ground" was T. Quintius Flaminius, one of the ablest and noblest of the Roman generals, (230-174 B.C.) He was successful against Philip of Macedon, overran Thessaly in 198, and conquered the Macedonian army in 197, defeating Philip at Cynoscephalæ. He concluded a peace with the vanquished. "In the spring of 196, the Roman commission arrived in Greece to arrange, conjointly with Flaminius, the affairs of the country: they also brought with them the terms on which a definite peace was to be concluded with Philip. The Ætolians exerted themselves to excite suspicions among the Greeks as to the sincerity of the Romans in their dealings with them. Flaminius, however, insisted upon immediate compliance with the terms of the peace. In this summer, the Isthmian games were celebrated at Corinth, and thousands from all parts of Greece flocked thither. Flaminius, accompanied by the ten commissioners, entered the assembly, and, at his command, a herald, in name of the Roman Senate, proclaimed the freedom and independence of Greece. The joy and enthusiasm at this unexpected declaration was beyond all description: the throngs of people that crowded around Flaminius to catch a sight of their liberator or touch his garment were so enormous, that even his life was endangered." (Smith's Dic. of Greek and Roman Biography: Art. Flaminius.)—ED.

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WHEN, far and wide, swift as the beams of morn

The tidings passed of servitude repealed,
And of that joy which shook the Isthmian Field,
The rough Ætolians smiled with bitter scorn.



-A melancholy Echo of that voice

Doth sometimes hang on musing Fancy's ear:


""Tis known," cried they, "that he who would adorn
His envied temples with the Isthmian crown,
Must either win, through effort of his own,
The prize, or be content to see it worn
By more deserving brows.-Yet so ye prop,
Sons of the brave who fought at Marathon,
Your feeble spirits! Greece her head hath bowed,
As if the wreath of liberty thereon

Would fix itself as smoothly as a cloud

Which, at Jove's will, descends on Pelion's top."

The Ætolians were the only Greeks that entertained suspicion of the Roman designs from the first. When Flaminius was wintering in Phocis in 196, and an insurrection broke out at Opus, some of the citizens had called in the aid of the Ætolians against the Macedonian garrison; but the gates of the city were not opened to admit the Ætolian volunteers till Flaminius arrived. Then in the battle at the heights of Cynoscephale, where the Macedonian army was routed, the Ætolian contingent, which had helped Flaminius, claimed the sole credit of the victory; and wished no truce made with Philip, as they were bent on the destruction of the Macedonian power. The Etolians aimed subsequently at exciting suspicion against the sincerity of Flaminius. In the second sonnet, Wordsworth's sympathy seems to have been with the Etolians, as much as it was with the Swiss and the Tyrolese in their attitude to Bonaparte. But Flaminius was not a Napoleon.-ED.

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The ancient oak of Guernica, says Laborde in his account of Biscay, is a most venerable natural monument. Ferdinand and Isabella, in the year 1476, after hearing mass in the church of Santa Maria de la Antigua, repaired to this tree, under which they swore to the Biscayans to maintain their fueros (privileges). What other interest belongs to it in the minds of this people will appear from the following


OAK of Guernica!

Tree of holier
Tree of holier power

Than that which in Dodona did enshrine

(So faith too fondly deemed) a voice divine
Heard from the depths of its aërial bower-
How canst thou flourish at this blighting hour?
What hope, what joy can sunshine bring to thee,
Or the soft breezes from the Atlantic sea,
The dews of morn, or April's tender shower?
Stroke merciful and welcome would that be
Which should extend thy branches on the ground,
If never more within their shady round
Those lofty-minded Lawgivers shall meet,
Peasant and lord, in their appointed seat,
Guardians of Biscay's ancient liberty.

Prophetic power was believed to reside within the grove which surrounded the temple of Jupiter near Dodona, in Epirus, and oracles were given forth from the boughs of the sacred oak.—ED.

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WE can endure that He should waste our lands,

Despoil our temples, and by sword and flame
Return us to the dust from which we came ;

Such food a Tyrant's appetite demands:

And we can brook the thought that by his hands
Spain may be overpowered, and he possess,
For his delight, a solemn wilderness

Where all the brave lie dead. But, when of bands
Which he will break for us he dares to speak,

Of benefits, and of a future day

When our enlightened minds shall bless his sway;
Then, the strained heart of fortitude proves weak;
Our groans, our blushes, our pale cheeks declare
That he has power to inflict what we lack strength to bear.

Compare the two sonnets " on a celebrated event in Ancient History" (p. 228). The following note to the last line of this sonnet occurs in Professor Reed's American Edition of the Poems :-" The student of English poetry will call to mind Cowley's impassioned expression of the indignation of a Briton under the depression of disasters somewhat similar. "Let rather Roman come again,

Or Saxon, Norman, or the Dane :
In all the bonds we ever bore,

We grieved, we sighed, we wept, we never blushed before."
Discourse on the Government of Oliver Cromwell.-ED.

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AVAUNT all specious pliancy of mind

In men of low degree, all smooth pretence !
I better like a blunt indifference,

And self-respecting slowness, disinclined

To win me at first sight and be there joined
Patience and temperance with this high reserve,
Honour that knows the path and will not swerve;
Affections, which, if put to proof, are kind;

And piety towards God. Such men of old

Were England's native growth; and, throughout Spain,
(Thanks to high God) forests of such remain :1
Then for that Country let our hopes be bold;
For matched with these shall policy prove vain,
Her arts, her strength, her iron, and her gold.

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O'ERWEENING Statesmen have full long relied
On fleets and armies, and external wealth:



Forests of such do at this day remain.


But from within proceeds a Nation's health;

Which shall not fail, though poor men cleave with pride To the paternal floor; or turn aside,

In the thronged city, from the walks of gain,

As being all unworthy to detain

A Soul by contemplation sanctified.

There are who cannot languish in this strife,
Spaniards of every rank, by whom the good
Of such high course was felt and understood;
Who to their Country's cause have bound a life
Erewhile, by solemn consecration, given

To labour, and to prayer, to nature, and to heaven.*


Comp. 1810.

Pub. 1815.

HUNGER, and sultry heat, and nipping blast

From bleak hill-top, and length of march by night
Through heavy swamp, or over snow-clad height-
These hardships ill-sustained, these dangers past,
The roving Spanish Bands are reached at last,
Charged, and dispersed like foam: but as a flight
Of scattered quails by signs do reunite,

So these,and, heard of once again, are chased
With combinations of long-practised art

And newly-kindled hope; but they are fled—
Gone are they, viewless as the buried dead:

Where now?—Their sword is at the Foeman's heart!.
And thus from year to year his walk they thwart,
And hang like dreams around his guilty bed.

See note † appended to the sonnet entitled Spanish Guerillas (p. 247). --ED.

* See Laborde's character of the Spanish people; from him the sentiment of these two last lines is taken. 1815.

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