Lord Byron’s epitaph on the Presidents Bush

bq. There is the moral of all human tales;
Tis but the same rehearsal of the past,
First Freedom, and then Glory — when that fails,
Wealth, vice, corruption, — barbarism at last.

From “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage.”:ftp://ftp.mirror.ac.uk/sites/metalab.unc.edu/pub/docs/books/gutenberg/etext04/chpl10.txt And here he is on modern Britain:

bq. Kingdoms are shrunk to provinces, and chains
Clank over sceptred cities, nations melt
From power’s high pinnacle, when they have felt
The sunshine for a while, and downward go
Like lauwine loosen’d from the mountain’s belt:

“lauwine” is nice. “Lavin” in Swedish is an avalanche. I wonder if this is a Scots/Norse word.

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3 Responses to Lord Byron’s epitaph on the Presidents Bush

  1. anthropomantist says:

    “lauwine”: OED gets all Germanic about it and has the Byron as its first citation. Babel Fish translates the OED’s alternative “lawine” into German as “avalanche”.

  2. Louise says:

    It’s not in the Concise Scots Dictionary, but it might amuse you to know that a ‘lawin’ is a drinking party in a tavern or your share of the bill at the end of a night out! If I get a chance I’ll look in DOST – Dictionary of the Older Scots Tongue which is a wonderful thing.

  3. el Patron says:

    Oh do look it up in DOST, please …

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