The Complete Poetical Works of Lord Byron

By George Gordon Byron | Go to book overview

Sar. To-morrow thou wilt smile at these vain fancies.

Myr. If the worst come, I shall be where

none weep, 669
And that is better than the power to smile.
And thou?
Sar. I shall be king, as heretofore.
Myr. Where?
Sar. With Baal, Nimrod, and Semi-ramis,
Sole in Assyria, or with them elsewhere.

Fate made me what I am -- may make me nothing --
But either that or nothing must I be: I will not live degraded. Myr. Hadst thou felt Thus always, none would ever dare degrade thee.

Sar. And who will do so now?
Myr. Dost thou suspect none?
Sar. Suspect -- that's a spy's office.
Oh, we lose
Ten thousand precious moments in vain

words, 680
And vainer fears. Within there! -- Ye slaves, deck
The hall of Nimrod for the evening revel:
If I must make a prison of our palace,
At least we'll wear our fetters jocundly;
If the Euphrates be forbid us, and
The summer dwelling on its beauteous bor-der,
Here we are still unmenaced. Ho! within there! [Exit SARDANAPALUS.
Myr. (sola). Why do I love this man?
My country's daughters
Love none but heroes. But I have no coun-try!
The slave hath lost all save her bonds. I
love him; 690
And that's the heaviest link of the long chain --
To love whom we esteem not. Be it so:
The hour is coming when he'll need all love,
And find none. To fall from him now were baser
Than to have stabb'd him on his throne when highest
Would have been noble in my country's creed:
I was not made for either. Could I save him,
I should not love him better, but myself;
And I have need of the last, for I have fallen
In my own thoughts, by loving this soft
stranger: 700
And yet methinks I love him more, per-ceiving
That he is hated of his own barbarians,
The natural foes of all the blood of Greece.
Could I but wake a single thought like those
Which even the Phrygians felt when bat-tling long
'Twixt Ilion and the sea, within his heart,
He would tread down the barbarous crowds, and triumph.

He loves me, and I love him; the slave loves
Her master, and would free him from his vices.

If not, I have a means of freedom Still, 710
And if I cannot teach him how to reign,
May show him how alone a king can leave
His throne. I must not lose him from my sight. [Exit.


ACT II

SCENE I

The Portal of thesame Hall of the Palace.

Beleses (solus). The sun goes down: me-thinks he sets more slowly,
Taking his last look of Assyria's empire.

How red he glares amongst those deepen-ing clouds,
Like the blood he predicts. If not in vain,
Thou sun that sinkest, and ye stars which rise,
I have outwatch'd ye, reading ray by ray
The edicts of your orbs, which make Time tremble
For what he brings the nations, 't is the fur-thest
Hour of Assyria's years. And yet how calm!
An earthquake should announce so great a

fall -- 10
A summer's sun discloses it. You disk,
To the star-read Chaldean, bears upon
Its everlasting page the end of what
Seem'd everlasting; but oh! thou true sun!
The burning oracle of all that live,
As fountain of all life, and symbol of
Him who bestows it, wherefore dost thou limit
Thy lore unto calamity? Why not
Unfold the rise of days more worthy thine

-561-

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The Complete Poetical Works of Lord Byron
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Editor's Note v
  • Table of Contents vii
  • Biographical Sketch xi
  • Childe Harold's Pilgrimage - A Romaunt 1
  • Shorter Poems 83
  • Miscellaneous Poems 139
  • Domestic Pieces 207
  • Hebrew Melodies 216
  • Ephemeral Verses 223
  • Satires 240
  • Tales, Chiefly Oriental 309
  • Italian Poems 436
  • Dramas 477
  • Scene II 481
  • Act II 483
  • Scene I 483
  • Scene II 487
  • Scene IV 488
  • Act III 491
  • Scene I 491
  • Scene II 493
  • Scene III 494
  • Scene IV 495
  • Act I 499
  • Act I 499
  • Scene II 500
  • Act II 509
  • Scene I 509
  • Scene II 516
  • Act III 518
  • Scene I 518
  • Scene II 520
  • Act IV 528
  • Scene I 528
  • Scene II 533
  • Act V 538
  • Act V 538
  • Scene II 546
  • Scenf III 548
  • Scene II 549
  • Sardanapalus 550
  • Scene II 551
  • Act II 561
  • Scene I 561
  • Act III 571
  • Scene I 571
  • Act IV 578
  • Scene I 578
  • Act V 587
  • Scene I 587
  • Act I 595
  • Scene I 595
  • Act II 601
  • Scene I 601
  • Act III 608
  • Scene I 608
  • Act IV 615
  • Scene I 620
  • Scene I 620
  • Dramatis Person Æ 627
  • Dramatis Person Æ 627
  • Act II 636
  • Scene I 636
  • Scene II 639
  • Heaven and Earth 655
  • Heaven and Earth 655
  • Scene II 657
  • Scene II 658
  • Werner; Or, the Inheritance 671
  • Scene II 683
  • Scene II 683
  • Scene II 688
  • Act III 695
  • Scene I 695
  • Scene II 700
  • Scene III 701
  • Scene IV 701
  • Act IV 704
  • Scene I 704
  • Act V 713
  • Scene II 720
  • The Deformed Transformed 722
  • Scene II 723
  • Scene II 730
  • Part II 735
  • Scene I 735
  • Scene II 737
  • Scene III 738
  • Part III 742
  • Scene I 742
  • Don Juan 744
  • Notes 999
  • Indexes 1045
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