Saturday, October 31, 2009

It seems to me that reckless West Has been ashamed of its dazzling success

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= Parthenon by Costa-Gavras =
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The Curse of Minerva by Lord Byron

"Mortal!"--'twas thus she spake--"that blush of shame
Proclaims thee Briton, once a noble name;
First of the mighty, foremost of the free,
Now honoured 'less' by all, and 'least' by me:
Chief of thy foes shall Pallas still be found.
Seek'st thou the cause of loathing!--look around.
Lo! here, despite of war and wasting fire,
I saw successive Tyrannies expire;
'Scaped from the ravage of the Turk and Goth,
Thy country sends a spoiler worse than both.
Survey this vacant, violated fane;
Recount the relics torn that yet remain:
'These' Cecrops placed, 'this' Pericles adorned,
………………………………………………………………
What more I owe let Gratitude attest--
Know, Alaric and Elgin did the rest.
That all may learn from whence the plunderer came,
The insulted wall sustains his hated name:
………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………
Be ever hailed with equal honour here
The Gothic monarch and the Pictish peer:
Arms gave the first his right, the last had none,
But basely stole what less barbarians won.
So when the Lion quits his fell repast,
Next prowls the Wolf, the filthy Jackal last:

………………………………………………………………

……………………………………………………………….
Some calm spectator, as he takes his view,
In silent indignation mixed with grief,
Admires the plunder, but abhors the thief.

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Lord Byron strongly objecting the pillage at the time:

Dull is the eye that will not weep to see
/ (Soso es el ojo que no se lamenta al ver)
Thy walls defaced, thy mouldering shrines removed
/ (tus muros vandalizados, tus putrefactos santuarios removidos)
By British hands, which it had best behoved
/ (por manos inglesas que debieron haber)
To guard those relics ne’er to be restored.
/ (protegido estas reliquias que ya no se podrán restaurar.)


Childe Harold's Pilgrimmage: Cant II, XV


The Antiques at Paris by Friedrich Schiller

That which Grecian art created,
Let the Frank, with joy elated,
Bear to Seine's triumphant strand,
And in his museums glorious
Show the trophies all-victorious
To his wondering fatherland.

They to him are silent ever,
Into life's fresh circle never
From their pedestals come down.
He alone e'er holds the Muses
Through whose breast their power diffuses,--
To the Vandal they're but stone!

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