This exhibit seeks to align the topography of Albion, Iberia and the Levant with Byron's famous topographical poem. The reader will find Peter Cochran's PDF edition (2011) of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage I-II (the seventh John Murray edition of 1814) to the right of the interactive map. Each of the locations named in the poem has its corresponding point on the map and the timeline below.  The timeline coordinates the place name with the date visited, as indicated by Hobhouse in his Diaries. The default setting of the timeline is 16 December 1809, the visit to Delphi. Clicking on a point in the map or on the timeline will reveal the corresponding passage(s) in the poem. Mathew Carey's map of Turkey (Philidelphia, 1814, NYPL) overlays the exhibit.

PMC July 2016

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_________________

Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage
A Romaunt

“L’univers est une espèce de livre, don’t on n’a lu que la première page quand on n’a vu que son pays. J’en ai feuilleté un assez grand nombre, que j’ai trouvé également mauvaises. Cet examen ne m’a point été infructueux. Je haïssais ma patrie. Toutes les impertinences des peuples divers, parmi lesquels j’ai vécu, m’ont réconcilié avec elle. Quand je n’aurais tiré d’autre bénéfice de mes voyages que celui-là, je n’en regretterais ni les frais ni les fatigues.” – Le Cosmopolite, ou, le Citoyen du Monde, par Fougeret de Monbron. Londres, 1753.

Preface to the First and Second Cantos

The following poem was written, for the most part, amidst the scenes which it attempts to describe. It was begun in Albania; and the parts relative to Spain and Portugal were composed from the author’s observations in those countries. Thus much it may be necessary to state for the correctness of the descriptions. The scenes attempted to be sketched are in Spain, Portugal, Epirus, Acarnania, and Greece. There for the present the poem stops: its reception will determine whether the author may venture to conduct his readers to the capital of the East, through Ionia and Phrygia: these two cantos are merely experimental.
   A fictitious character is introduced for the sake of giving some connexion to the piece; which, however, makes no pretension to regularity. It has been suggested to me by friends, on whose opinion I set a high value, that in this fictitious character, “Childe Harold,” I may incur the suspicion of having intended some real personage: this I beg leave, once for all, to disclaim – Harold is the child of imagination for the purpose I have stated. In some very trivial particulars, and those merely local, there might be grounds for such a notion; but in the main points, I should hope, none whatever.
   [added from B.L.Egerton 2027 f.5: My reader will observe that when the author speaks in his own person, he assumes a very different tone from that of

         “The cheerless thing, the man without a friend” – at least till Death had
                  deprived him of his
                  <d/>nearest connection. –

   I crave pardon for this Egotism, which proceeds from my wish to dis<cover the>  {card any probable} imputation of it to the text. –]

   It is almost superfluous to mention that the appellation “Childe,” as “Childe Waters,” “Childe Childers,” &c. is used as more consonant with the old structure of versification which I have adopted. The “Good Night,” in the beginning of the first canto, was suggested by “Lord Maxwell’s Good Night,” in the Border Minstrelsy, edited by Mr. Scott.
   With the different poems which have been published on Spanish subjects, there may be found some slight coincidence in the first part, which treats of the Peninsula, but it can only be casual; as, with the exception of a few concluding stanzas, the whole of this poem was written in the Levant.
   The stanza of Spenser, according to one of our most successful poets, admits of every variety. Dr. Beattie makes the following observation: – “Not long ago, I began a poem in the style and stanza of Spenser, in which I propose to give full scope to my inclination, and be either droll or pathetic, descriptive or sentimental, tender or satirical, as the humour strikes me; for, if I mistake not, the measure which I have adopted admits equally of all these kinds of composition”. [* Beattie’s Letters.] – Strengthened in my opinion by such authority, and by the example of some in the highest order of Italian poets, I shall make no apology for attempts at similar variations in the following composition; satisfied that if they are unsuccessful, their failure must be in the execution, rather than in the design, sanctioned by the practice of Ariosto, Thomson, and Beattie.
                  London, February, 1812.

Addition to the Preface

I have now waited till almost all our periodical journals have distributed their usual portion of criticism. To the justice of the generality of their criticisms I have nothing to object: it would ill become me to quarrel with their very slight degree of censure, when, perhaps, if they had been less kind they had been more candid. Returning, therefore, to all and each my best thanks for their liberality, on one point alone shall I venture an observation. Amongst the many objections justly urged to the very indifferent character of the “vagrant Childe,” (whom, notwithstanding many hints to the contrary, I still maintain to be a fictitious personage), it has been stated, that, besides the anachronism, he is very unknightly, as the times of the Knights were times of love, honour, and so forth. Now, it so happens that the good old times, when “ l’amour du bon vieux tems, l’amour antique,” flourished, were the most profligate of all possible centuries. Those who have any doubts on this subject may consult St. Palaye, passim, and more particularly vol ii. page 69. The vows of chivalry were no better kept than any other vows whatsoever; and the songs of the Troubadours were not more decent, and certainly were much less refined, than those of Ovid. – The “Cours d’amour, parlemens d’amour, ou de courtesie et de gentilesse” had much more of love than of courtesy or gentleness. – See Rolland on the same subject with St. Palaye. – Whatever other objection may be urged to that most unamiable personage Childe Harold, he was so far perfectly knightly in his attributes – “No waiter, but a knight templar.” By the by, I fear that Sir Tristram and Sir Lancelot were not better than they should be, although very poetical personages and true knights, “sans peur,” though not “sans reproche.” – If the story of the institution of the “Garter” be not a fable, the knights of that order have for several centuries borne the badge of a Countess of Salisbury, of indifferent memory. So much for chivalry. Burke need not have regretted that its days are over, though Marie Antoinette was quite as chaste as most of those in whose honour lances were shivered, and knights unhorsed.
   Before the days of Bayard, and down to those of Sir Joseph Banks (the most chaste and celebrated of ancient and modern times) few exceptions will be found to this statement; and I fear a little investigation will teach us not to regret these monstrous mummeries of the middle ages.
   I now leave “Childe Harold” to live his day, such as he is; it had been more agreeable, and certainly more easy, to have drawn an amiable character. It had been easy to varnish over his faults, to make him do more and express less, but he never was intended as an example, further than to show that early perversion of mind and morals leads to satiety of past pleasures and disappointment in new ones, and that even the beauties of nature, and the stimulus of travel (except ambition, the most powerful of all excitements) are lost on a soul so constituted, or rather misdirected. Had I proceeded with the Poem, this character would have deepened as he drew to the close; for the outline which I once meant to fill up for him was, with some exceptions, the sketch of a modern Timon, perhaps a poetical Zeluco.

                  London, 1813.

Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage

A Romaunt

Canto I

To Ianthe

1

   Not in those climes where I have late been straying,
   Though Beauty long hath there been matchless deemed;
   Not in those visions to the heart displaying
   Forms which it sighs but to have only dreamed
   Hath aught like thee in truth or fancy seemed: 5
   Nor having seen thee shall I vainly seek
   To paint those charms which varied as they beamed,
   To such as see thee not my words were weak
To those who gaze on thee what language could they speak?

2

   Ah! may’st thou ever be what now thou art, 10
   Nor unbeseem the promise of thy spring,
   As fair in form, as warm yet pure in heart,
   Love’s image upon earth without his wing,
   And guileless beyond Hope’s imagining!
   And surely she who now so fondly rears 15
   Thy youth, in thee thus hourly brightening,
   Beholds the rainbow of her future years,
Before whose heavenly hues all sorrow disappears. –

3

   Young Peri of the West! – ’tis well for me
   My years already doubly number thine; 20
   My loveless eye unmoved may gaze on thee,
   And safely view thy ripening beauties shine;
   Happy, I ne’er shall see them in decline,
   Happier, that while all younger hearts shall bleed,
   Mine shall escape the doom thine eyes assign, 25
   To those whose admiration shall succeed,
But mixed with pangs to Love’s even loveliest hours decreed.

4

   Oh! let that eye, which, wild as the Gazelle’s,
   Now brightly bold, or beautifully shy,
   Wins as it wanders, dazzles where it dwells, 30
   Glance o’er this page, nor to my verse deny
   That smile for which my breast might vainly sigh,
   Could I to thee be ever more than friend,
   This much, dear maid, accord – nor question why
   To one so young my strain I would commend, 35
But bid me with my wreath one matchless lily blend.

5

   Such is thy name with this my verse entwined;
   And long as kinder eyes a look shall cast
   On Harold’s page – Ianthe’s here enshrined
   Shall thus be first beheld, forgotten last; 40
   My days once numbered, should this homage past
   Attract thy fairy fingers near the lyre
   Of him who hailed thee, loveliest as thou wast,
   Such is the most my memory may desire,
Though more than Hope can claim – could Friendship less require? 45

_________________

1.

   Oh, thou! in Hellas deemed of heavenly birth,
   Muse! formed or fabled at the minstrel’s will!
   Since shamed full oft by later lyres on earth,
   Mine dares not call thee from thy sacred hill:
   Yet there I’ve wandered by thy vaunted rill; 5
   Yes! sighed o’er Delphi’s long deserted shrine,*
   Where save that feeble fountain, all is still;
   Nor mote my shell awake the weary Nine
To grace so plain a tale – this lowly lay of mine.

*The little village of Castri stands partly on the site of Delphi. Along the path of the mountain, from Chrysso, are the remains of sepulchres hewn in and from the rock: “One,” said the guide, “of a king who broke his neck hunting.” His Majesty had certainly chosen the fittest spot for such an achievement.
   A little above Castri is a cave, supposed the Pythian, of immense depth; the upper part of it is paved, and now a cow-house.
   On the other side of Castri stands a Greek monastery; some way above which is the cleft in the rock, with a range of caverns difficult of ascent, and apparently leading to the interior of the mountain; probably to the Corcycian Cavern mentioned by Pausanias. From this part descend the fountain and the “Dews of Castalie.”

2.

   Whilome in Albion’s isle there dwelt a youth 10
   Who ne in virtue’s ways did take delight;
   But spent his days in riot most uncouth,
   And vexed with mirth the drowsy ear of Night.
   Ah, me! in sooth he was a shameless wight,
   Sore given to revel and ungodly glee; 15
   Few earthly things found favour in his sight
   Save concubines and carnal companie,
And flaunting wassailers of high and low degree.

3.

   Childe Harold was he hight: – but whence his name
   And lineage long, it suits me not to say; 20
   Suffice it, that perchance they were of fame,
   And had been glorious in another day:
   But one sad losel soils a name for aye,
   However mighty in the olden time;
   Nor all that heralds rake from coffined clay, 25
   Nor florid prose, nor honeyed lies of rhyme,
Can blazon evil deeds, or consecrate a crime.

4.

   Childe Harold basked him in the noon-tide sun,
   Disporting there like any other fly;
   Nor deemed before his little day was done 30
   One blast might chill him into misery.
   But long ere scarce a third of his passed by,
   Worse than adversity the Childe befell;
   He felt the fulness of satiety:
   Then loathed he in his native land to dwell, 35
Which seemed to him more lone than Eremite’s sad cell.

5.

   For he through Sin’s long labyrinth had run,
   Nor made atonement when he did amiss,
   Had sighed to many though he loved but one,
   And that loved one, alas! could n’er be his. 40
   Ah, happy she! to ’scape from him whose kiss
   Had been pollution unto aught so chaste;
   Who soon had left her charms for vulgar bliss,
   And spoiled her goodly lands to gild his waste,
Nor calm domestic peace had ever deigned to taste. 45

6.

   And now Childe Harold was sore sick at heart,
   And from his fellow bacchanals would flee;
   ’Tis said, at times the sullen tear would start,
   But Pride congealed the drop within his ee:
   Apart he stalked in joyless reverie, 50
   And from his native land resolved to go,
   And visit scorching climes beyond the sea;
   With pleasure drugged he almost longed for woe,
And e’en for change of scene would seek the shades below.

7.

   The Childe departed from his father’s hall: 55
   It was a vast and venerable pile;
   So old, it seemed only not to fall,
   Yet strength was pillared in each massy aisle.
   Monastic dome! condemned to uses vile!
   Where Superstition once had made her den 60
   Now Paphian girls were known to sing and smile;
   And monks might deem their time was come agen,
If ancient tales say true, nor wrong these holy men.

[7a: not in Egerton 2027]

   Of all his train there was a henchman page
   A dark-eyed boy, who loved his master well
   And often would his pranksome prate engage
   Childe Harold’s ear, when his proud heart did swell –
   With sable thoughts that he disdained to tell.
   Then would he smile on him, as Alwin smiled,
   When aught that from his young lips archly fell
   The gloomy film from Harold’s eye beguiled;
And pleased the Childe appeared nor eer the boy reviled.

[7b: not in Egerton 2027]

   Him & one yeoman only did he take
   To travel Eastward to a far countree;
   And though the boy was grieved to leave the lake
   On whose firm banks he grew from Infancy,
   Eftsoons his little heart beat merrily
   With hope of foreign nations to behold,
   And many things right marvellous to see,
   Of which our lying voyagers oft have told,
In many a tome as true as Mandeville’s of old.

8.

   Yet oft-times in his maddest mirthful mood
   Strange pangs would flash along Childe Harold’s brow; 65
   As if the memory of some deadly feud
   Or disappointed passion lurked below.
   But this none knew, nor haply cared to know;
   For his was not that open, artless soul
   That feels relief by bidding sorrow flow, 70
   Nor sought he friend to counsel or condole,
Whate’er this grief mote be, which he could not control.

9.

   And none did love him – though to hall and bower
   He gathered revellers from far and near,
   He knew them flatt’rers of the festal hour; 75
   The heartless parasites of present cheer.
   Yea! none did love him – not his lemans* dear –
   But pomp and power alone are woman’s care,
   And where these are, light Eros finds a feere;
   Maidens, like moths, are ever caught by glare, 80
And Mammon wins his way where Seraphs might despair.

* The word “lemman” is used by Chaucer in both senses, but more frequently in the feminine.
† Feere, a consort or mate.

10.

   Childe Harold had a mother – not forgot,
   Though parting from that mother he did shun;
   A sister whom he loved, but saw her not
   Before his weary pilgrimage begun: 85
   If friends he had, he bade adieu to none.
   Yet deem not thence his breast a breast of steel;
   Ye, who have known what ’tis to doat upon
   A few dear objects, will in sadness feel
Such partings break the heart they fondly hope to heal. 90

11.

   His house, his home, his heritage, his lands,
   The laughing dames in whom he did delight,
   Whose large blue eyes, fair locks, and snowy hands,
   Might shake the saintship of an anchorite,
   And long had fed his youthful appetite; 95
   His goblets brimmed with every costly wine,
   And all that mote to luxury invite,
   Without a sigh he left, to cross the brine,
And traverse Paynim shores, and pass Earth’s central line.

12.

   The sails were filled, and fair the light winds blew, 100
   As glad to waft him from his native home;
   And fast the white rocks faded from his view,
   And soon were lost in circumambient foam:
   And then, it may be, of his wish to roam
   Repented he, but in his bosom slept 105
   The silent thought, nor from his lips did come
   One word of wail, whilst other sate and wept,
And to the reckless gales unmanly moaning kept.

13.

   But when the sun was sinking in the sea
   He seized his harp, which he at times could string, 110
   And strike, albeit with untaught melody,
   When deemed he no strange ear was listening:
   And now his fingers o’er it he did fling,
   And tuned his farewell in the dim twilight.
   While flew the vessel on her snowy wing, 115
   And fleeting shores receded from his sight,
Thus to the elements he poured his last “Good Night.”

         I.

      “Adieu, adieu! my native shore
         Fades o’er the waters blue;
      The night-winds sigh, the breakers roar, 120
         And shrieks the wild seamew.
      Yon sun that sets upon the sea
         We follow in his flight;
      Farewell awhile to him and thee,
         My native Land -- Good Night! 125

         II.

      “A few short hours and He will rise
         To give the Morrow birth;
      And I shall hail the main and skies
         But not my mother Earth.
      Deserted is my own good hall, 130
         Its hearth is desolate;
      Wild weeds are gathering on the wall;
         My dog howls at the gate.

         III.

      “Come hither, hither, my little page!
         Why dost thou weep and wail? 135
      Or dost thou dread the billows’ rage,
         Or tremble at the gale?
      But dash the tear-drop from thine eye;
         Our ship is swift and strong:
      Our fleetest falcon scarce can fly 140
         More merrily along."

         IV.

      “Let winds be shrill, let waves roll high,
         I fear not wave nor wind;
      Yet marvel not, Sir Childe, that I
         Am sorrowful in mind; 145
      For I have from my father gone,
         A mother whom I love,
      And have no friend, save these alone,
         But thee – and one above.

         V.

      “My father blessed me fervently, 150
         Yet did not much complain;
      But sorely will my mother sigh
         Till I come back again.” –
      “Enough, enough, my little lad!
         Such tears become thine eye; 155
      If I thy guileless bosom had
         Mine own would not be dry.

         [Va: not in Egerton 2027]

      “And much misliketh me
         She saith my riot bringeth shame
      On all my ancestry.
         I had a sister once I ween
      Whose tears perhaps will flow
         But her fair face I have not seen
      These three long years and moe. –

         VI.

      “Come hither, hither, my staunch yeoman,
         Why dost thou look so pale?
      Or dost thou dread a French foeman? 160
         Or shiver at the gale?” –
      “Deem’st thou I tremble for my life?
         Sir Childe, I’m not so weak;
      But thinking on an absent wife
         Will blanch a faithful cheek. 165

         VII.

      “My spouse and boys dwell near thy hall,
         Along the bordering lake,
      And when they on their father call,
         What answer shall she make?” –
      “Enough, enough, my yeoman good, 170
         Thy grief let none gainsay;
      But I, who am of lighter mood,
         Will laugh to flee away.

         VIII.

      “For who would trust the seeming sighs
         Of wife or paramour? 175
      Fresh feres will dry the bright blue eyes
         We late saw streaming o’er.
      For pleasures past I do not grieve,
         Nor perils gathering near;
      My greatest grief is that I leave 180
         No thing that claims a tear.

         IX.

      “And now I’m in the world alone,
         Upon the wide, wide sea:
      But why should I for others groan,
         When none will sigh for me? 185
      Perchance my dog will whine in vain,
         Till fed by stranger hands;
      But long ere I come back again,
         He’d tear me where he stands.

         [IXa: not in Egerton 2027]

      “Methinks it would my bosom glad
         To change my proud estate
      And be again a laughing lad
         With one beloved playmate
      Since youth I scarce have passed an hour,
         Without disgust or pain,
      Except sometimes in Lady’s bower
         Or when the bowl I drain

         X.

      “With thee, my bark, I’ll swiftly go 190
         Athwart the foaming brine;
      Nor care what land thou bear’st me to,
         So not again to mine.
      Welcome, welcome, ye dark-blue waves!
         And when you fail my sight, 195
      Welcome, ye deserts and ye caves!
         My native Land – Good Night!"

14.

   On, on the vessel flies, the land is gone,
   And winds are rude in Biscay’s sleepless bay.
   Four days are sped, but with the fifth, anon, 200
   New shores descried make every bosom gay;
   And Cintra’s mountain greets them on their way.
   And Tagus dashing onward to the deep,
   His fabled golden tribute bent to pay;
   And soon on board the Lusian pilots leap, 205
And steer ’twixt fertile shores where yet few rustics reap.

15.

   Oh, Christ! it is a goodly sight to see
   What Heaven hath done for this delicious land!
   What fruits of fragrance blush on every tree!
   What goodly prospects o’er the hills expand! 210
   But man would mar them with an impious hand:
   And when the Almighty lifts his fiercest scourge
   ’Gainst those who most transgress his high command,
   With treble vengeance will his hot shafts urge
Gaul’s locust host, and earth from fellest foemen purge. 215

16.

   What beauties doth Lisboa first unfold!
   Her image floating on that noble tide,
   Which poets vainly pave with sands of gold,
   But now whereon a thousand keels did ride
   Of mighty strength, since Albion was allied, 220
   And to the Lusians did her aid afford:
   A nation swoln with ignorance and pride,
   Who lick yet loath the hand that waves the sword
To save them from the wrath of Gaul’s unsparing lord.

17.

   But whoso entereth within this town, 225
   That, sheening far, celestial seems to be,
   Disconsolate will wander up and down,
   ’Mid many things unsightly to strange ee;
   For hut and palace show like filthily:
   The dingy denizens are reared in dirt; 230
   Ne personage of high or mean degree
   Doth care for cleanness of surtout or shirt;
Though shent with Egypt’s plague, unkempt, unwashed, unhurt.

18.

   Poor, paltry slaves! yet born ’midst noblest scenes –
   Why, Nature, waste thy wonders on such men? 235
   Lo! Cintra’s glorious Eden intervenes
   In variegated maze of mount and glen.
   Ah, me! what hand can pencil guide, or pen,
   To follow half on which the eye dilates
   Through views more dazzling unto mortal ken 240
   Than those whereof such things the bard relates,
Who to the awe-struck world unlocked Elysium’s gates?

19.

   The horrid crags, by toppling convent crowned,
   The cork-trees hoar that clothe the shaggy steep,
   The mountain-moss by scorching skies imbrowned, 245
   The sunken glen, whose sunless shrubs must weep,
   The tender azure of the unruffled deep, *
   The orange tints that gild the greenest bough,
   The torrents that from cliff to valley leap,
   The vine on high, the willow branch below, 250
Mixed in one mighty scene, with varied beauty glow.

* “The sky-worn robes of tenderest blue” – Collins.

20.

   Then slowly climb the many-winding way,
   And frequent turn to linger as you go,
   From loftier rocks new loveliness survey,
   And rest ye at our “Lady’s house of woe;” * 255
   Where frugal monks their little relics show,
   And sundry legends to the stranger tell:
   Here impious men have punished been, and lo!
   Deep in yon cave Honorius long did dwell,
In hope to merit Heaven by making earth a Hell. 260

* The convent of “Our Lady of Punishment,” Nossa Señora de Pena, on the summit of the rock. Below at some distance, is the Cork Convent, where St. Honorius dug his den, over which is his epitaph. From the hills, the sea adds to the beauty of the view.

Since the publication of this poem, I have been informed of the misapprehension of the term Nossa Señora de Pena. It was owing to the want of the tilde or mark over the ñ, which alters the signification of the word: with it, Peña signifies a rock; without it, Pena has the sense I adopted. I do not think it necessary to alter the passage; as though the common acceptation affixed to it is “our Lady of the Rock,” I may well assume the other sense from the severities practised there.

21.

   And here and there, as up the crags you spring,
   Mark many rude-carved crosses near the path:
   Yet deem not these devotion’s offering –
   These are memorials frail of murderous wrath:
   For wheresoe’er the shrieking victim hath 265
   Poured forth his blood beneath the assassin’s knife
   Some hand erects a cross of mouldering lath;
   And grove and glen with thousand such are rife
Throughout this purple land, where law secures not life. *

* It is a well known fact, that in the year 1809 the assassinations in the streets of Lisbon and its vicinity were not confined by the Portuguese to their countrymen; but that Englishmen were daily butchered: and so far from redress being obtained, we were requested not to interfere if we perceived any compatriot defending himself against his allies. I was once stopped in the way to the theatre at eight o’clock in the evening, when the streets were not more empty that they generally are at that hour, opposite to an open shop, and in a carriage with a friend: had we not fortunately been armed, I have not the least doubt that we should have adorned a tale instead of telling one.

[21a: not in Egerton 2027]

   Unhappy Vathek! In an evil hour
   ’Gainst Nature’s voice seduced to deed accurst,
   Once Fortune’s minion, now thou feel’st her power!
   Wrath’s vials on thy lofty head have burst,
   In wit – in genius – as in wealth the first,
   How wondrous bright thy blooming Morn arose
   But thou wert smitten with unhallowed thirst
   Of nameless crime, and thy sad day must close
In scorn, and Solitude unsought – the worst of woes.

22.

   On sloping mounds, or in the vale beneath, 270
   Are domes where whilome kings did make repair;
   But now the wild flowers round them only breathe:
   Yet ruined splendour still is lingering there.
   And yonder towers the Prince’s palace fair:
   There thou, too, Vathek! England’s wealthiest son, 275
   Once formed thy Paradise, as not aware
   When wanton Wealth her mightiest deeds hath done
Meek Peace voluptuous lures was ever wont to shun.

23.

   Here didst thou dwell, here schemes of pleasure plan,
   Beneath yon mountain’s ever beauteous brow; 280
   But now, as if a thing unblest by Man,
   Thy fairy dwelling is as lone as thou!
   Her giant weeds a passage scarce allow
   To halls deserted, portals gaping wide:
   Fresh lessons to the thinking bosom, how 285
   Vain are the pleasaunces on earth supplied;
Swept into wrecks anon by Time’s ungentle tide!

[23a: not in Egerton 2027]

   In golden characters right well designed
   First on the list appeareth one “Junot”
   Then certain other glorious names we find,
   (Which Rhyme compelleth me to place below):
   Dull victors! baffled by a vanquished foe
   Wheedled by conynge tongues of laurels due,
   Stand – worthy of each other in a row –
   Sirs Arthur, Harry, and the dizzard
Hew Dalrymple seely wight, sore dupe of t’other tew.

[23b: not in Egerton 2027]

   Convention is the dwarfy demon styled
   That foiled the Knights in Mariavla’s dome
   Of brains (if brains they had) he them beguiled
   And turned a Nations shallow joy to gloom.
   For well I wot when first the news did come
   That Vimiera’s field by Gaul was lost
   For paragraph ne paper scarce had room
   Such Pæens teemed for our triumphant host
In Courier, Chronicle, and eke in Morning Post.

[23c: not in Egerton 2027]

   But when Convention sent his handy-work
   Pens, tongues, feet, hands, combined in wild uproar;
   Mayor, Aldermen laid down th’uplifted fork,
   The Bench of Bishops half forgot to snore;
   Stern Cobbet who for one whole week forbore
   To question aught, once more with transport leap’t,
   And bit his devilish quill agen, & swore
   With foes such treaty never should be kept,
The burst the Blatant Beast,* and roared, & raged – and slept!

*“Blatant Beast” a figure for the Mob I think first used by Smollett in his “Adventures
of An Atom.” Horace has the “Bella multorum capitum” in England fortunately enough
the illustrious Mobility has not even one.

[23d: not in Egerton 2027]

   Thus unto Heaven appealed the people, Heaven
   Which loves the lieges of our gracious King,
   Decreed that ere our Generals were forgiven,
   Enquiry should be held about the thing,
   But Mercy cloaked the babes beneath her wing
   And as they spared our foes, so spared we them,
   (Where was the pity of our Sires for Byng?) *
   Yet knaves not idiots should the law condemn;
Then live, ye gallant Knights! & bless your Judges’ phlegm!

*By this query it is not meant that our foolish generals should have been shot, but that
Byng might have been spared; though the one suffered and the others escaped, probably
for Candide’s reason “pour encourager les autres.”

24.

   Behold the hall where chiefs were late convened! *
   Oh! dome displeasing unto British eye!
   With diadem hight foolscap, lo! a fiend, 290
   A little fiend that scoffs incessantly,
   There sits in parchment robe arrayed, and by
   His side is hung a seal and sable scroll,
   Where blazoned glare names known to chivalry,
   And sundry signatures adorn the roll, 295
Whereat the Urchin points and laughs with all his soul.

*The Convention of Cintra was signed in the palace of the Marchese Marialva. The late exploits of Lord Wellington have effaced the follies of Cintra. He has, indeed, done wonders: he has perhaps changed the character of a nation, reconciled rival superstitions, and baffled an enemy who never retreated before his predecessors. [There is an enlarged version of this note at line 377 below.]

25.

   Convention is the dwarfish demon styled
   That foiled the knights in Marialva’s dome:
   Of brains (if brains they had) he them beguiled,
   And turned a nation’s shallow joy to gloom. 300
   Here Folly dashed to earth the victor’s plume,
   And Policy regained what arms had lost:
   For chiefs like ours in vain may laurels bloom!
   Woe to the conqu’ring, not the conquered host,
Since baffled Triumph droops on Lusitania’s coast. 305

26.

   And ever since that martial synod met,
   Britannia sickens, Cintra! at thy name;
   And folks in office at the mention fret,
   And fain would blush, if blush they could, for shame.
   How will posterity the deed proclaim! 310
   Will not our own and fellow-nations sneer,
   To view these champions cheated of their fame,
   By foes in fight o’er thrown, yet victors here,
Where Scorn her finger points through many a coming year!

27.

   So deemed the Childe, as o’er the mountains he 315
   Did take his way in solitary guise:
   Sweet was the scene, yet soon he thought to flee,
   More restless than the swallow in the skies:
   Though here awhile he learned to moralize,
   For Meditation fixed at times on him; 320
   And conscious Reason whispered to despise
   His early youth, misspent in maddest whim;
But as he gazed on truth his aching eyes grew dim.

28.

   To horse! to horse! he quits, for ever quits
   A scene of peace, though soothing to his soul: 325
   Again he rouses from his moping fits,
   But seeks not now the harlot and the bowl.
   Onward he flies, nor fixed as yet the goal
   Where he shall rest him on his pilgrimage;
   And o’er him many changing scenes must roll 330
   Ere toil his thirst for travel can assuage,
Or he shall calm his breast, or learn experience sage.

29.

   Yet Mafra shall one moment claim delay,
   Where dwelt of yore the Lusians’ luckless queen;93 *
   And church and court did mingle their array, 335
   And mass and revel were alternate seen;
   Lordlings and freres – ill sorted fry I ween!
   But here the Babylonian whore hath built
   A dome, where flaunts she in such glorious sheen, †
   That men forget the blood which she hath spilt, 340
And bow the knee to Pomp that loves to varnish guilt.

* Her insane majesty went religiously mad. Dr Willis, who do dexterously cudgelled kingly pericraniums, could make not a thing of hers.

† The extent of Mafra is prodigious; it contains a palace, convent, and most superb church. The six organs are the most beautiful I ever beheld, in point of decoration; we did not hear them, but were told that their tones were correspondent to their splendour. Mafra is termed the Escurial of Portugal.

30.

   O’er vales that teem with fruits, romantic hills,
   (Oh, that such hills upheld a freeborn race!)
   Whereon to gaze the eye with joyaunce fills,
   Childe Harold wends through many a pleasant place. 345
   Though sluggards deem it but a foolish chace,
   And marvel men should quit their easy chair,
   The toilsome way, and long, long league to trace,
   Oh! there is sweetness in the mountain air,
And life, that bloated Ease can never hope to share. 350

31.

   More bleak to view the hills at length recede,
   And, less luxuriant, smoother vales extend;
   Immense horizon-bounded plains succeed!
   Far as the eye discerns, withouten end,
   Spain’s realms appear whereon her shepherds tend 355
   Flocks, whose rich fleece right well the trader knows.
   Now must the pastor’s arm his lambs defend:
   For Spain is compassed by unyielding foes,
And all must shield their all, or share Subjection’s woes.

32.

   Where Lusitania and her sister meet, 360
Deem ye what bounds the rival realms divide?
Or ere the jealous queens of nations greet,
Doth Tayo interpose his mighty tide?
Or dark Sierras rise in craggy pride?
Or fence of art, like China’s vasty wall? – 365
Ne barrier wall, ne river deep and wide,
Ne horrid crags, nor mountains dark and tall,
Rise like the rocks that part Hispania’s land from Gaul: *

*The Pyrenees

33.

   But these between a silver streamlet glides,
   And scarce a name distinguisheth the brook, 370
   Though rival kingdoms press its verdant sides.
   Here leans the idle shepherd on his crook,
   And vacant on the rippling waves doth look,
   That peaceful still ’twixt bitterest foemen flow;
   For proud each peasant as the noblest duke: 375
   Well doth the Spaniard hind the difference know
’Twixt him and Lusian slave, the lowest of the low. *

* As I found the Portuguese so have I described them – that they are since improved, at least to courage, is evident, but let those who know them refute me if they were not in 1809 what I have written. The late exploits of Wellington have effaced the follies of Cintra – he has indeed done wonders, what no other could have done – he has changed the character of a people, reconciled rival superstitions, and baffled an enemy which though often beaten (in our Gazettes) never retreated before his predecessors. The Spaniards seem to have changed character with the Portuguese who may now repay with interest the contempt they so liberally received. With regard to my observations on armies, however unpopular, I have religion on my side against armies in particular – they are alike incompatible with our independence and our population. If ever we are enslaved it will not be by a foreign invader, but a domestic army, and should our navy fall I see little reason to augur more favourably of a Land Contest.

34.

   But ere the mingling bounds have far been passed,
   Dark Guadiana rolls his power along
   In sullen billows, murmuring and vast, 380
   So noted ancient roundelays among.
   Whilome upon his banks did legions throng
   Of Moor and Knight, in mailed splendour drest:
   Here ceased the swift their race, here sunk the strong;
   The Paynim turban and the Christian crest 385
Mixed on the bleeding stream, by floating hosts oppressed.

35.

   Oh, lovely Spain! renowned, romantic land!
   Where is that standard which Pelagio bore,
   When Cava’s traitor-sire first called the band
   That dyed thy mountain streams with Gothic gore? * 390
   Where are those bloody banners which of yore
   Waved o’er thy son’s, victorious to the gale,
   And drove at last the spoilers to their shore?
   Red gleamed the cross, and waned the crescent pale,
While Afric’s echoes thrilled with Moorish matrons’ wail. 395

* Count Julian’s daughter, the Helen of Spain. Pelagius preserved his independence in the fastnesses of the Asturias, and the descendants of his followers, after some centuries, completed their struggle by the conquest of Granada.

36.

   Teems not each ditty with the glorious tale?
   Ah! such, alas! the hero’s amplest fate!
   When granite moulders, and when records fail,
   A peasant’s plaint prolongs his dubious date.
   Pride! bend thine eye from heaven to thine estate, 400
   See how the Mighty shrink into a song!
   Can Volume, Pillar, Pile preserve thee great?
   Or must thou trust Tradition’s simple tongue,
When Flattery sleeps with thee, and History does thee wrong?

37.

   Awake, ye sons of Spain! awake! advance! 405
   Lo! Chivalry, your ancient goddess, cries,
   But wields not, as of old, her thirsty lance,
   Nor shakes her crimson plumage in the skies:
   Now on the smoke of blazing bolts she flies,
   And speaks in thunder through yon engine’s roar: 410
   In every peal she calls – “Awake! arise!”
   Say, is her voice more feeble than of yore,
When her war-song was heard on Andalusia’s shore?

38.

   Hark! – heard you not those hoofs of dreadful note?
   Sounds not the clang of conflict on the heath? 415
   Saw ye not whom the reeking sabre smote;
   Nor saved your brethren ere they sank beneath
   Tyrants and tyrants’ slaves? – the fires of death,
   The bale-fires flash on high: – from rock to rock
   Each volley tells that thousands cease to breathe; 420
   Death rides upon the sulphury Siroc, *
Red Battle stamps his foot, and nations feel the shock.

* The Siroc is the violent hot wind that for weeks together blows down the Mediterranean from the Archipelago. – Its effects are well-known to all who have passed the Straits of Gibraltar. – –

Lord Byron - Childe Harold's Pilgimage - Dugdale edition

39.

   Lo! where the Giant on the mountain stands,
   His blood-red tresses deep’ning in the sun,
   With death-shot glowing in his fiery hands, 425
   And eye that scorcheth all it glares upon;
   Restless it rolls, now fixed, and now anon
   Flashing afar, – and at his iron feet
   Destruction cowers, to mark what deeds are done;
   For on this morn three potent nations meet, 430
To shed before his shrine the blood he deems most sweet.

40.

   By heaven! it is a splendid sight to see
   (For one who hath no friend, no brother there)
   Their rival scarfs of mixed embroidery,
   Their various arms that glitter in the air! 435
   What gallant war-hounds rouse them from their lair,
   And gnash their fangs, loud yelling for the prey!
   All join the chase, but few the triumph share;
   The Grave shall bear the chiefest prize away,
And Havoc scarce for joy can number their array. 440

41.

   Three hosts combine to offer sacrifice;
   Three tongues prefer strange orisons on high;
   Three gaudy standards flout the pale blue skies;
   The shouts are France, Spain, Albion, Victory!
   The foe, the victim, and the fond ally 445
   That fights for all, but ever fights in vain,
   Are met – as if at home they could not die –
   To feed the crow on Talavera’s plain,
And fertilize the field that each pretends to gain.

42.

   There shall they rot – Ambition’s honoured fools! 450
   Yes, Honour decks the turf that wraps their clay! *
   Vain Sophistry! in these behold the tools,
   The broken tools, that tyrants cast away
   By myriads, when they dare to pave their way
   With human hearts – to what? – a dream alone. 455
   Can despots compass aught that hails their sway?
   Or call with truth one span of earth their own,
Save that wherein at last they crumble bone by bone?

*Collins

43.

   Oh, Albuera! glorious field of grief!
   As o’er thy plain the pilgrim pricks his steed, 460
   Who could foresee thee, in a space so brief,
   A scene where mingling foes should boast and bleed!
   Peace to the perished! may the warrior’s meed
   And tears of triumph their reward prolong!
   Till others fall where other chieftains lead 465
   Thy name shall circle round the gaping throng;
And shine in worthless lays the theme of transient song!

44.

   Enough of Battle’s minions! let them play
   Their game of lives, and barter breath for fame:
   Fame that will scarce reanimate their clay, 470
   Though thousands fall to deck some single name.
   In sooth ’twere sad to thwart their noble aim
   Who strike, blest hirelings! for their country’s good,
   And die, that living might have proved her shame;
   Perished, perchance, in some domestic feud, 475
Or in a narrower sphere wild Rapine’s path pursued.

45.

   Full swiftly Harold wends his lonely way
   Where proud Sevilla triumphs unsubdued:
   Yet is she free – the spoiler’s wished-for prey!
   Soon, soon shall Conquest’s fiery foot intrude, 480
   Blackening her lovely domes with traces rude.
   Inevitable hour! ’gainst fate to strive
   Where Desolation plants her famished brood
   Is vain, or Ilion, Tyre, might yet survive,
And Virtue vanquish all, and Murder cease to thrive.

46.

   But all unconscious of the coming doom,
   The feast, the song, the revel here abounds;
   Strange modes of merriment the hours consume,
   Nor bleed these patriots with their country’s wounds:
   Nor here War’s clarion, but Love’s rebeck sounds; 490
   Here Folly still his votaries enthralls;
   And young-eyed Lewdness walks her midnight rounds:
   Girt with the silent crimes of Capitals,
Still to the last kind Vice clings to the tott’ring walls.

47.

   Not so the rustic – with his trembling mate 495
   He lurks, nor casts his heavy eye afar,
   Lest he should view his vineyard desolate,
   Blasted below the dun hot breath of war.
   No more beneath soft Eve’s consenting star
   Fandango twirls his jocund castanet: 500
   Ah, monarchs! could ye taste the mirth ye mar,
   Not in the toils of Glory would ye fret;
The hoarse dull drum would sleep, and Man be happy yet!

48.

   How carols now the lusty muleteer?
   Of love, romance, devotion is his lay? 505
   As whilome he was wont the leagues to cheer,
   His quick bells wildly jingling on the way?
   No! as he speeds, he chants “Viva el Rey!” *
   And checks his song to execrate Godoy,
   The royal wittol Charles, and curse the day 510
   When first Spain’s queen beheld the black-eyed boy,
And gore-faced Treason spring from her adulterate joy.

* “Viva el Ray Fernando!” (Long live King Ferdinand!) is the chorus of most of the Spanish patriotic songs: they are chiefly in dispraise of old King Charles, the Queen, and the Prince of Peace. I have heard many of them; some of the airs are beautiful. Godoy, the Principe de la Paz, of an ancient but decayed family, was born at Badajoz, on the frontiers of Portugal, and was originally in the ranks of the Spanish Guards; till his person attracted the queen’s eyes, and raised him to the dukedom of Alcudia, &c., &c. It is to this man that the Spaniards universally impute the ruin of their country.

49.

   On yon long, level plain, at distance crowned
   With crags, whereon those Moorish turrets rest,
   Wide scattered hoof-marks dint the wounded ground; 515
   And, scathed by fire, the green sward’s darkened vest
   Tells that the foe was Andalusia’s guest:
   Here was the camp, the watch-flame, and the host,
   Here the bold peasant stormed the dragon’s nest;
   Still does he mark it with triumphant boast; 520
And points to yonder cliffs, which oft were won and lost.

50.

   And whomsoe’er along the path you meet,
   Bears in his cap the badge of crimson hue,
   Which tells you whom to shun and whom to greet: *
   Woe to the man that walks in public view 525
   Without of loyalty this token true:
   Sharp is the knife, and sudden is the stroke;
   And sorely would the Gallic foeman rue,
   If subtle poniards, wrapt beneath the cloke,
Could blunt the sabre’s edge, or clear the cannon’s smoke. 530

* The red cockade, with “Fernando Septimo” in the centre.

51.

   At every turn Morena’s dusky height
   Sustains aloft the battery’s iron load;
   And, far as mortal eye can compass sight,
   The mountain-howitzer, the broken road,
   The bristling palisade, the fosse o’erflowed, 535
   The stationed bands, the never-vacant watch,
   The magazine in rocky durance stowed,
   The holstered steed beneath the shed of thatch,
The ball-piled pyramid, the ever-blazing match, *

* All who have seen a battery will recollect the pyramidal form in which shot and shells are piled. The Sierra Morena was fortified in every defile through which I passed in my way to Seville.

52.

   Portend the deeds to come: – but he whose nod 540
   Has tumbled feebler despots from their sway,
   A moment pauseth ere he lifts the rod;
   A little moment deigneth to delay:
   Soon will his legions sweep through these their way;
   The West must own the Scourger of the world. 545
   Ah! Spain! how sad will be thy reckoning-day,
   When soars Gaul’s Vulture, with his wings unfurled,
And thou shalt view thy sons in crowds to Hades hurled.

53.

   And must they fall? the young, the proud, the brave,
   To swell one bloated Chief’s unwholesome reign? 550
   No step between submission and a grave?
   The rise of rapine and the fall of Spain?
   And doth the Power that man adores ordain
   Their doom, nor heed the suppliant’s appeal?
   Is all that desperate Valour acts in vain? 555
   And Counsel sage, and patriotic Zeal,
The Veteran’s skill, Youth’s fire, and Manhood’s heart of steel?

54.

   Is it for this the Spanish maid, aroused,
   Hangs on the willow her unstrung guitar,
   And, all unsexed, the Anlace hath espoused, 560
   Sung the loud song, and dared the deed of war?
   And she, whom once the semblance of a scar
   Appalled, an owlet’s larum chilled with dread,
   Now views the column-scattering bay’net jar,
   The falchion flash, and o’er the yet warm dead 565
Stalks with Minerva’s step where Mars might quake to tread.

55.

   Ye who shall marvel when you hear her tale,
   Oh! had you known her in her softer hour,
   Marked her black eye that mocks her coal black veil,
   Heard her light, lively tones in Lady’s bower, 570
   Seen her long locks that foil the painter’s power,
   Her fairy form, with more than female grace,
   Scarce would you deem that Saragoza’s tower
   Beheld her smile in Danger’s Gorgon face,
Thin the closed ranks, and lead in Glory’s fearful chase. 575

56.

   Her lover sinks, – she sheds no ill-timed tear;
   Her chief is slain – she fills his fatal post;
   Her fellows flee – she checks their base career;
   The foe retires – she heads the sallying host:
   Who can appease like her a lover’s ghost? 580
   Who can avenge so well a leader’s fall?
   What maid retrieve when man’s flushed hope is lost?
   Who hang so fiercely on the flying Gaul,
Foiled by a woman’s hand, before a battered wall? *

* Such were the exploits of the Maid of Saragoza, who by her valour elevated herself to the highest rank of heroines. When the author was at Seville, she walked daily on the Prado, decorated with medals and orders, by the command of the Junta.

57.

   Yet are Spain’ s maids no race of Amazons, 585
   But formed for all the witching arts of love:
   Though thus in arms they emulate her sons,
   And in the horrid phalanx dare to move,
   ’Tis but the tender fierceness of the dove
   Pecking the hand that hovers o’er her mate: 590
   In softness as in firmness far above
   Remoter females, famed for sickening prate;
Her mind is nobler sure, her charms perchance as great.

58.

   The seal Love’s dimpling finger hath impressed
   Denotes how soft that chin which bears his touch: * 595
   Her lips, whose kisses pout to leave their nest,
   Bid man be valiant ere he merit such:
   Her glance how wildly beautiful! how much
   Hath Phœbus wooed in vain to spoil her cheek,
   Which glows yet smoother from his amorous clutch! 600
   Who round the North for paler dames would seek?
How poor their forms appear! how languid, wan, and weak!

*“Sigilla” in mento impressa Amoris digitulo / Vestigio demonstrant Mollitudinem.” – AUL. GEL.113

59.

   Match me, ye climes! which poets love to laud;
   Match me, ye harams of the land! where now *
   I strike my strain, far distant, to applaud 605
   Beauties that ev’n a cynic must avow;
   Match me those Houries, whom ye scarce allow
   To taste the gale lest Love should ride the wind,
   With Spain’s dark-glancing daughters – deign to know,
   There your wise Prophet’s paradise we find, 610
His black-eyed maids of Heaven, angelically kind.

* Written in Turkey with the greater part of the poem.

60.

   Oh, thou Parnassus! whom I now survey, *
   Not in the phrenzy of a dreamer’s eye,
   Not in the fabled landscape of a lay,
   But soaring snow-clad through thy native sky 615
   In the wild pomp of mountain majesty!
   What marvel if I thus essay to sing?
   The humblest of thy pilgrims passing by
   Would gladly woo thine Echoes with his string, 619
Though from thy heights no more one Muse will wave her wing.

* These stanzas were written in Castri (Delphos), at the foot of Parnassus, now called Λιακυρα – Liakura.

61.

   Oft have I dreamed of Thee! whose glorious name
   Who knows not, knows not man’s divinest lore:
   And now I view thee, ’tis, alas! with shame
   That I in feeblest accents must adore.
   When I recount thy worshippers of yore 625
   I tremble, and can only bend the knee;
   Nor raise my voice, nor vainly dare to soar,
   But gaze beneath thy cloudy canopy
In silent joy to think at last I look on Thee!

62.

   Happier in this than mightiest bards have been, 630
   Whose fate to distant homes confined their lot,
   Shall I unmoved behold the hallowed scene,
   Which others rave of, though they know it not?
   Though here no more Apollo haunts his grot,
   And thou, the Muses’ seat, art now their grave, 635
   Some gentle Spirit still pervades the spot,
   Sighs in the gale, keeps silence in the cave,
And glides with glassy foot o’er yon melodious Wave.

63.

   Of thee hereafter. – Ev’n amidst my strain
   I turned aside to pay my homage here; 640
   Forgot the land, the sons, the maids of Spain;
   Her fate, to every freeborn bosom dear;
   And hailed thee, not perchance without a tear.
   Now to my theme – but from thy holy haunt
   Let me some remnant, some memorial bear; 645
   Yield me one leaf of Daphne’s deathless plant,
Nor let thy votary’s hope be deemed an idle vaunt.

64.

   But ne’er didst thou, fair Mount! when Greece was young,
   See round thy giant base a brighter choir,
   Nor e’er did Delphi, when her priestess sung 650
   The Pythian hymn with more than mortal fire,
   Behold a train more fitting to inspire
   The song of love, than Andalusia’s maids,
   Nurst in the glowing lap of soft desire: –
   Ah! that to these were given such peaceful shades 655
As Greece can still bestow, though Glory fly her glades.

65.

   Fair is proud Seville; let her country boast
   Her strength, her wealth, her site of ancient days; *
   But Cadiz, rising on the distant coast,
   Calls forth a sweeter, though ignoble praise. 660
   Ah, Vice! how soft are thy voluptuous ways!
   While boyish blood is mantling, who can ’scape
   The fascination of thy magic gaze?
   A Cherub-hydra round us dost thou gape,
And mould to every taste thy dear delusive shape. 665

* Seville was the HISPALIS of the Romans.

66.

   When Paphos fell by Time – accursed Time!
   The Queen who conquers all must yield to thee –
   The Pleasures fled, but sought as warm a clime;
   And Venus, constant to her native sea,
   To nought else constant, hither deigned to flee; 670
   And fixed her shrine within these walls of white:
   Though not to one dome circumscribeth she
   Her worship, but, devoted to her rite,
A thousand altars rise, for ever blazing bright.

67.

   From morn till night, from night till startled Morn 675
   Peeps blushing on the Revels laughing crew,
   The song is heard, the rosy garland worn,
   Devices quaint, and frolics ever new,
   Tread on each other’s kibes. A long adieu
   He bids to sober joy that here sojourns: 680
   Nought interrupts the riot, though in lieu
   Of true devotion monkish incense burns,
And Love and Prayer unite, or rule the hour by turns.

68.

   The Sabbath comes, a day of blessed rest;
   What hallows it upon this Christian shore? 685
   Lo! it is sacred to a solemn feast:
   Hark! heard you not the forest-monarch’s roar?
   Crashing the lance, he snuffs the spouting gore
   Of man and steed, o’er thrown beneath his horn;
   The thronged Arena shakes with shouts for more; 690
   Yells the mad crowd o’er entrails freshly torn,
Nor shrinks the female eye, nor ev’n affects to mourn.

69.

   The seventh day this; the jubilee of man.
   London! right well thou know’st the day of prayer:
   Then thy spruce citizen, washed artizan, 695
   And smug apprentice gulp their weekly air:
   Thy coach of hackney, whiskey, one-horse chair,
   And humblest gig through sundry suburbs whirl,
   To Hampstead, Brentford, Harrow make repair;
   Till the tired jade the wheel forgets to hurl, 700
Provoking envious gibe from each pedestrian Churl.

70.

   Some o’er thy Thamis row the ribboned fair,
   Others along the safer Turnpike fly;
   Some Richmond-hill ascend, some scud to Ware,
   And many to the steep of Highgate hie
   Ask ye, Bœotian shades! the reason why? *
   ’Tis to the worship of the solemn Horn,
   Grasped in the holy hand of Mystery,
   In whose dread name both men and maids are sworn,
And consecrate the oath with draught, and dance till morn. 710

* This was written at Thebes, and consequently in the best situation for asking and answering such a question; not as the birthplace of Pindar, but as the capital of Bœotia, where the first riddle was propounded and solved. /p>

71.

   All have their fooleries – not alike are thine,
   Fair Cadiz, rising o’er the dark blue sea!
   Soon as the matin bell proclaimeth nine,
   Thy Saint-adorers count the rosary:
   Much is the VIRGIN teased to shrive them free 715
   (Well do I ween the only virgin there)
   From crimes as numerous as her beadsmen be;
   Then to the crowded circus forth they fare,
   Young, old, high, low, at once the same diversion share.

72.

   The lists are oped, the spacious area cleared, 720
   Thousands on thousands piled are seated round;
   Long ere the first loud trumpet’s note is heard,
   Ne vacant space for lated wight is found:
   Here dons, grandees, but chiefly dames abound,
   Skilled in the ogle of a roguish eye, 725
   Yet ever well inclined to heal the wound;
   None through their cold disdain are doomed to die,
As moon-struck bards complain, by Love’s sad archery.

73.

   Hushed is the din of tongues – on gallant steeds,
   With milk-white crest, gold spur, and light-poised lance, 730
   Four cavaliers prepare for venturous deeds,
   And lowly bending to the lists advance;
   Rich are their scarfs, their chargers featly prance:
   If in the dangerous game they shine today,
   The crowd’s loud shout and ladies’ lovely glance, 735
   Best prize of better acts, they bear away,
And all that kings or chiefs e’er gain their toils repay.

74.

   In costly sheen and gaudy cloak arrayed,
   But all afoot, the light-limbed Matadore
   Stands in the centre, eager to invade 740
   The lord of lowing herds; but not before
   The ground, with cautious tread, is traversed o’er,
   Lest aught unseen should lurk to thwart his speed:
   His arm a dart, he fights aloof, nor more
   Can man achieve without the friendly steed, 745
Alas! too oft condemned for him to bear and bleed.

75.

   Thrice sounds the clarion; lo! the signal falls,
   The den expands, and Expectation mute
   Gapes round the silent Circle’s peopled walls.
   Bounds with one lashing spring the mighty brute, 750
   And, wildly staring, spurns, with sounding foot,
   The sand, nor blindly rushes on his foe:
   Here, there, he points his threatening front, to suit
   His first attack, wide waving to and fro
His angry tail; red rolls his eye’s dilated glow. 755

76.

   Sudden he stops – his eye is fixed – away,
   Away, thou heedless boy! prepare the spear:
   Now is thy time, to perish, or display
   The skill that yet may check his mad career!
   With well-timed croupe the nimble coursers veer; * 760
   On foams the bull, but not unscathed he goes,
   Streams from his flank the crimson torrent clear;
   He flies, he wheels, distracted with his throes;
Dart follow dart; lance, lance; loud bellowings speak his woes.

* The croupe is a particular leap taught in the manège.

77.

   Again he comes; nor dart nor lance avail, 765
   Nor the wild plunging of the tortured horse;
   Though man and man’s avenging arms assail,
   Vain are his weapons, vainer is his force.
   One gallant steed is stretched a mangled corse;
   Another, hideous sight! unseamed appears, 770
   His gory chest unveils life’s panting source;
   Though death-struck still his feeble frame he rears;
Staggering, but stemming all, his lord unharmed he bears.

78.

   Foiled, bleeding, breathless, furious to the last,
   Full in the centre stands the bull at bay, 775
   Mid wounds, and clinging darts, and lances brast,
   And foes disabled in the brutal fray;
   And now the Matadores around him play,
   Shake the red cloak and poise the ready brand:
   Once more through all he bursts his thundering way – 780
   Vain rage! the mantle quits the conynge hand,
Wraps his fierce eye – ’tis past – he sinks upon the sand!

79.

   Where his vast neck just mingles with the spine,
   Sheathed in his form the deadly weapon lies.
   He stops – he starts – disdaining to decline: 785
   Slowly he falls, amidst triumphant cries,
   Without a groan, without a struggle dies.
   The decorated car appears – on high
   The corse is piled – sweet sight for vulgar eyes –
   Four steeds that spurn the rein, as swift as shy, 790
Hurl the dark bulk along, scarce seen in dashing by.

80.

   Such the ungentle sport that oft invites
   The Spanish maid, and cheers the Spanish swain.
   Nurtured in blood betimes, his heart delights
   In vengeance, gloating on another’s pain. 795
   What private feuds the troubled village stain!
   Though now one phalanxed host should meet the foe,
   Enough, alas! in humble homes remain,
   To meditate ’gainst friends the secret blow,
For some slight cause of wrath whence life’s warm stream must flow. * 800

* The Spaniards are as revengeful as ever. At Santa Ollala I heard a young peasant threaten to stab a woman (an old one to be sure, which mitigates the offence), and was told on expressing some small surprise, that the ethic was by no means uncommon.

81.

   But Jealousy has fled: his bars, his bolts, 801
   His withered centinel, Duenna sage!
   And all whereat the generous soul revolts,
   Which the stern dotard deemed he could encage,
   Have passed to darkness with the vanished age. 805
   Who late so free as Spanish girls were seen,
   (Ere War uprose in his volcanic rage),
   With braided tresses bounding o’er the green,
While on the gay dance shone Night’s lover-loving Queen?

82.

   Oh! many a time and oft, had Harold loved, 810
   Or dreamed he loved, since Rapture is a dream;
   But now his wayward bosom was unmoved,
   For not yet had he drunk of Lethe’s stream;
   And lately had he learned with truth to deem
   Love has no gift so grateful as his wings: 815
   How fair, how young, how soft soe’er he seem,
   Full from the fount of Joy’s delicious springs
Some bitter o’er the flowers its bubbling venom flings. *

* “Medio de fonte leporum
Surgit amari aliquid quot in insis floribus angat.” 124 – LUC.

83.

   Yet to the beauteous form he was not blind,
   Though now it moved him as it moves the wise; 820
   Not that Philosophy on such a mind
   E’er deigned to bend her chastely-awful eyes:
   But Passion raves herself to rest, or flies;
   And Vice, that digs her own voluptuous tomb,
   Had buried long his hopes, no more to rise: 825
   Pleasure’s palled victim! life-abhorring gloom
Wrote on his faded brow curst Cain’s unresting doom.

84.

   Still he beheld, nor mingled with the throng;
   But viewed them not with misanthropic hate:
   Fain would he now have joined the dance, the song; 830
   But who may smile that sinks beneath his fate?
   Nought that he saw his sadness could abate:
   Yet once he struggled ’gainst the demon’s sway,
   And as in Beauty’s bower he pensive sate,
   Poured forth his unpremeditated lay, 835
To charms as fair as those that soothed his happier day.

<not in Egerton 2027: The Girl of Cadiz
            I
Oh! never talk again to me
   Of northern charms, and British ladies,
It has not been your lot to see
   Like me the lovely girl of Cadiz!
Although her eyes be not of blue,
   Nor fair her locks, like English lasses,
How far its own expressive hue
   The languid azure eye surpasses!

            II
Prometheuslike from Heaven she stole
   The fire, that through those silken lashes
In darkest glances seems to roll
   From eyes that cannot hide their flashes,
And as along her bosom steal
   In lengthened flow her raven tresses,
You’d swear each clustering lock could feel
   And curled to give her neck caresses.

            III
Our English maids are long to woo
   And frigid even in possession,
And if their charms be fair to view,
   Their lips are slow at Love’s confession,
But born beneath a brighter Sun
   For love ordained the Spanish maid is
And who? when fondly, fairly won,
   Enchants you like the Girl of Cadiz?

            IV
The Spanish maid is no coquette,
   Nor joys to see a lover tremble,
And if she love, or if she hate,
   Alike she knows not to dissemble.
Her heart can ne’er be bought or sold –
   Howe’er it beats, it beats sincerely;
And, though it will not bend to gold,
   ’Twill love you long and love you dearly.

            V
The Spanish girl that meets your love
   Ne’er taunts you with a mock denial,
For every thought is bent to prove
   Her passion in the hour of trial.
When thronging foemen menace Spain,
   She dares the deed and shares the danger;
And should her lover press the plain,
   She hurls the spear, her love’s avenger!

            VI
And when, beneath the evening star,
   She mingles in the gay Bolero
Or sings to her attuned guitar
   Of Christian knight, or Moorish hero,
Or counts her beads with fairy hand
   Beneath the twinkling rays of Hesper
Or joins Devotion’s choral band,
   Or chaunt the sweet & hallowed Vesper; –

            VII
In each, her charms the heart must move
   Of all, who venture to behold her;
   Then let not maids less fair reprove
   Because her bosom is not colder;
Through many a clime ’tis mine to roam
   Where many a soft & melting maid is,
But none abroad, and few at home,
   May match the dark-eyed Girl of Cadiz!>

   To Inez
   I
Nay, smile not at my sullen bow,
   Alas, I cannot smile again;
Yet heaven avert that ever thou
   Shouldst weep, and haply weep in vain. 840

   II
And dost thou ask what secret woe
   I bear, corroding joy and youth?
And wilt thou vainly seek to know
   A pang, ev’n thou must fail to soothe?

   III
It is not love, it is not hate, 845
   Nor low Ambition’s honours lost,
That bids me loathe my present state,
   And fly from all I prized the most:

   IV
It is that weariness which springs
   From all I meet, or hear, or see: 850
To me no pleasure Beauty brings;
   Thine eyes have scarce a charm for me.

   V
It is that settled, ceaseless gloom
   The fabled Hebrew wanderer bore;
That will not look beyond the tomb, 855
   But cannot hope for rest before.

   VI
What Exile from himself can flee?
   To Zones, though more and more remote,
Still, still pursues, where-e’er I be,
   The blight of life – the demon Thought. 860

   VII
Yet others rapt in pleasure seem,
   And taste of all that I forsake:
Oh! may they still of transport dream,
   And ne’er, at least like me, awake!

   VIII
Thorough many a clime ’tis mine to go 865
   With many a retrospection curst,
And all my solace is to know,
   Whate’er betides, I’ve known the worst.

   IX
What is that worst? Nay, do not ask,
   In pity from the search forbear: 870
Smile on – nor venture to unmask
   Man’s heart, and view the Hell that’s there.

85.

   Adieu, fair Cadiz! yes, a long adieu!
   Who may forget how well thy walls have stood?
   When all were changing, thou alone wert true, 875
   First to be free, and last to be subdued:
   And if amidst a scene, a shock so rude,
   Some native blood was seen thy streets to dye,
   A traitor only fell beneath the feud: *
   Here all were noble, save Nobility; 880
None hugged a Conqueror’s chain, save fallen Chivalry!

* Alluding to the conduct and death of Solano, the governor of Cadiz, in May, 1809.

86.

   Such be the sons of Spain, and strange her fate!
   They fight for freedom who were never free,
   A Kingless people for a nerveless state,
   Her vassals combat when their chieftains flee, 885
   True to the veriest slaves of Treachery:
   Fond of a land which gave them nought but life,
   Pride points the path that leads to Liberty;
   Back to the struggle, baffled in the strife,
War, war is still the cry, “War even to the knife!”* 890

* “War to the knife.” Palafox’s answer to the French general at the siege of Saragoza

[86a: Egerton 2027 f.29v.]

   Ye! Who would more of Spain and Spaniards know
   Sights, Saints, Antiques, arts, Anecdotes and war,
   Go hie ye hence to Paternoster Row, –
   Are they not written in the Boke of Carr?
   Green Erin’s Knight! and Europe’s wandering star!
   Then listen, readers, to the man of ink,
   Hear what he did, and sought, and wrote afar
   All these are cooped within one Quarto’s brink,
This borrow, steal (don’t buy) and tell us what you think.

[86b: Egerton 2027 f.29v.]

   There may you read with spectacles or eyes,
   How many Wellesleys did embark for Spain,
   As if therein they meant to colonize,
   How many troops ycrossed the laughing Main,
   That neer beheld the same return again,
   How many buildings are in such a place,
   How many leagues from this to yonder plain,
   How many relics each Cathedral grace,
And where Giralda stands on her gigantic base.

[86c: Egerton 2027 29v.-32r.]

   There may you read (Oh Phœbus save Sir John!
   That these my words Prophetic may not err)
   All that was said or sung, & lost or won
   By vaunting Wellesley or by blundering Frere *
   (He that half wrote the “needy Knifegrinder”) †
   Thus Poesy the way to Grandeur paves
   (Who would not such diplomatists prefer?)
   But cease my Muse, thy speed some respite craves
Leave legates to the House, and armies to their Graves.

* I presume the Marquis and Mr. Pole are returned by this time, and eke the bewildered Frere whose conduct was canvassed by the Commons.
† “The Needy Knife-Grinder” in the Anti-Jacobin was a joint production of Messrs. Frere and Canning.

[86d: erased at Egerton 2027 f.32r.]

   <Yet here of Vulpes mention may be made
   Who for the Junta modelled sapient laws,
   Taught them to govern ere they were obeyed,
   Certes fit teacher to command, because
   His soul Socratic no Zantippe awes
   Blest with a dame in Virtue’s bosom nurst,
   With her let silent Admiration pause!
   True to her second husband as her first,
On such unshaken fame let Satire do its worst.>

87.

   Ye, who would more of Spain and Spaniards know,
   Go, read whate’er is writ of bloodiest strife:
   Whate’er keen Vengeance urged on foreign foe
   Can act, is acting there against man’s life:
   From flashing scimitar to secret knife, 895
   War mouldeth there each weapon to his need:
   So may he guard the sister and the wife,
   So may he make each curst oppressor bleed,
So may such foes deserve the most remorseless deed!

88.

   Flows there a tear of pity for the dead? 900
   Look o’er the ravage of the reeking plain;
   Look on the hands with female slaughter red;
   Then to the dogs resign the unburied slain,
   Then to the vulture let each corse remain,
   Albeit unworthy of the prey-bird’s maw; 905
   Let their bleached bones, and blood’s unbleaching stain,
   Long mark the battle-field with hideous awe:
Thus only may our sons conceive the scenes we saw!

89.

   Nor yet, alas! the dreadful work is done;
   Fresh legions pour adown the Pyrenees; 910
   It deepens, still, the work is scarce begun,
   Nor mortal eye the distant end foresees.
   Fall’n nations gaze on Spain; if freed, she frees
   More than her fell Pizarros once enchained:
   Strange retribution! now Columbia’s ease 915
   Repairs the wrongs that Quito’s sons sustained,
While o’er the parent clime prowls Murder unrestrained.

90.

   Not all the blood at Talavera shed,
   Not all the marvels of Barossa’s fight,
   Not Albuera lavish of the dead, 920
   Have won for Spain her well asserted right.
   When shall her Olive-Branch be free from blight?
   When shall she breathe her from the blushing toil?
   How many a doubtful day shall sink in night,
   Ere the Frank robber turn him from his spoil, 925
And Freedom’s stranger-tree grow native of the soil!

91.

   And thou, my friend! – since unavailing woe *
   Bursts from my heart, and mingles with the strain –
   Had the sword laid thee with the mighty low,
   Pride might forbid e’en Friendship to complain: 930
   But thus unlaureled to descend in vain,
   By all forgotten, save the lonely breast,
   And mix unbleeding with the boasted slain,
   While Glory crowns so many a meaner crest!
What hadst thou done to sink so peacefully to rest? 935

* The Honourable I. W. of the Guards, who died of fever at Coimbra. I had known him ten years, the better half of his life, and the happiest part of mine.
      In the short space of one month I have lost her who gave me being,150 and most of those who had made that being tolerable. To me the lines of YOUNG are no fiction:
            “Insatiate archer! could not once suffice?
            Thy shaft flew thrice, and thrice my peace was slain,
            And thrice ere thrice yon moon had fill’d her horn.”
I should have ventured a verse to the memory of the late Charles Skinner Matthews, Fellow of Downing College, Cambridge, were he not too much above all praise of mine. His powers of mind, shown in the attainment of great honours, against the ablest candidates, than those of any graduate on record at Cambridge, have sufficiently established his fame on the spot where it was acquired, while his softer qualities live in the recollection of friends who loved him too well to envy his superiority.

92.

   Oh, known the earliest, and esteemed the most!
   Dear to a heart where nought was left so dear!
   Though to my hopeless days for ever lost,
   In dreams deny me not to see thee here!
   And Morn in secret shall renew the tear 940
   Of Consciousness awaking to her woes,
   And Fancy hover o’er thy bloodless bier,
   Till my frail frame return to whence it rose,
And mourned and mourner lie united in repose.

93.

   Here is one fytte * of Harold’s pilgrimage: 945
   Ye who of him may further seek to know,
   Shall find some tidings in a future page,
   If he that rhymeth now may scribble moe.
   Is this too much? stern Critic! say not so:
   Patience! and ye shall hear what he beheld 950
   In other lands, where he was doomed to go:
   Lands that contain the monuments of Eld,
Ere Greece and Grecian arts by barbarous hands were quelled.

* Part.

END OF CANTO I

Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage

A Romaunt

Canto II

1.

   Come, blue-eyed maid of heaven! – but thou, alas!
   Didst never yet one mortal song inspire –
   Goddess of Wisdom! here thy temple was,
   And is, despite of war and wasting fire, *
   And years, that bade thy worship to expire: 5
   But worse than steel, and flame, and ages slow, †
   Is the dread sceptre and dominion dire
   Of men who never felt the sacred glow
That thoughts of thee and thine on polished breasts bestow.

* Part of the Acropolis was destroyed by the explosion of a magazine during the Venetian siege.

 

† We can all feel, or imagine, the regret with which the ruins of cities, once the capitals of empires, are beheld; the reflections suggested by such objects are too trite to require recapitulation. But never did the littleness of man, and the vanity of his very best virtues, of patriotism to exalt, and of valour to defend his country, appear more conspicuous in the record of what Athens was, and the certainty of what she now is. The theatre of contention between mighty factions, of the struggles of orators, the exaltation and deposition of tyrants, the triumph and punishment of generals, is now become a scene of petty intrigue and perpetual disturbance, between the bickering agents of certain British nobility and gentry. “The wild foxes, the owls and serpents in the ruins of Babylon,” were surely less degrading than such inhabitants. The Turks have the plea of conquest for their tyranny, and the Greeks have only suffered the fortune of war, incidental to the bravest; but how are the mighty fallen, when two painters contest the privilege of plundering the Parthenon, and triumph in turn, according to the tenor of each succeeding firman! Sylla could but punish, Philip subdue, and Xerxes burn Athens; but it remained for the paltry Antiquarian, and his despicable agents, to render her contemptible as himself and his pursuits.
   The Parthenon, before its destruction in part by fire during the Venetian siege, had been a temple, a church, and a mosque. In each point of view it is an object of regard; it changed its worshippers; but still it was a place of worship thrice sacred to devotion: its violation is a triple sacrilege. But
         “Man, vain man,
         Drest in a little brief authority,
         Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
         As make the angels weep.”

2.

   Ancient of days! august Athena! where, 10
   Where are thy men of might? thy grand in soul?
   Gone – glimmering through the dream of things that were,
   First in the race that led to Glory’s goal,
   They won, and passed away – is this the whole?
   A schoolboy’s tale, the wonder of an hour! 15
   The warrior’s weapon and the sophist’s stole
   Are sought in vain, and o’er each mouldering tower,
Dim with the most of years, gray flits the shade of power.

3.

   Sun of the morning, rise! approach you here!
   Come – but molest not yon defenceless urn: 20
   Look on this spot – a nation’s sepulchre!
   Abode of gods, whose shrines no longer burn.
   Even gods must yield – religions take their turn:
   ’Twas Jove’s – ’tis Mahomet’s – and other creeds
   Will rise with other years, till man shall learn 25
   Vainly his incense soars, his victim bleeds;
Poor child of Doubt and Death; whose hope is built on reeds.

4.

   Bound to the earth, he lifts his eye to heaven –
   Is’t not enough, unhappy thing! to know
   Thou art? Is this a boon so kindly given, 30
   That being, thou wouldst be again, and go,
   Thou know’st not, reck’st not to what region, so
   On earth no more, but mingled with the skies?
   Still wilt thou dream on future joy and woe?
   Regard and weigh yon dust before it flies: 35
That little urn saith more than thousand homilies.

5.

   Or burst the vanished Hero’s lofty mound;
   Far on the solitary shore he sleeps: *
   He fell, and falling nations mourned around;
   But now not one of saddening thousand weeps, 40
   Nor warlike-worshipper his vigil keeps
   Where demi-gods appeared, as records tell.
   Remove yon skull from out the scattered heaps:
   Is that a temple where a God may dwell?
Why ev’n the worm at last disdains her shattered cell! 45

* It was not always the custom of the Greeks to burn their dead; the greater Ajax in particular was interred entire. Almost all the chiefs became gods after their decease, and he was indeed neglected, who had not annual games near his tomb, or festivals in honour of his memory by his countrymen, as Achilles, Brasidas, &c. and at last even Antinous, whose death was as heroic as his life was infamous.

6.

   Look on its broken arch, its ruined wall,
   Its chambers desolate, and portals foul:
   Yes, this was once Ambition’s airy hall,
   The dome of Thought, the palace of the Soul:
   Behold through each lack-lustre, eyeless hole, 50
   The gay recess of Wisdom and of Wit
   And Passion’s host, that never brooked control:
   Can all saint, sage or sophist ever writ,
People this lonely tower, this tenement refit?

7.

   Well didst thou speak, Athena’s wisest son! * 55
   “All that we know is, nothing can be known.”
   Why should we shrink from what we cannot shun?
   Each hath his pang, but feeble sufferers groan
   With brain-born dreams of evil all their own.
   Pursue what Chance or Fate proclaimeth best; 60
   Peace waits us on the shores of Acheron:
   There no forced banquet claims the sated guest,
But Silence spreads the couch of ever welcome rest.

* Socrates.

[7a: erased at Egerton 2027 f.38r.]

   Frown not upon me, churlish Priest! that I
   Look not for Life, where Life may never be,
   I am no sneerer at thy Phantasy,
   Thou pitiest me, - alas! I envy thee,
   Thou bold Discoverer in an unknown Sea
   Of happy Isles, and happier tenants there,
   I ask not thee to prove a Sadduccee; *
   Still Dream of Paradise thou knowst not where!
Which if it be thy Sins will never let thee share.

* The Sadduccees did not believe in the Resurrection.

8.

   Yet if, the holiest men have deemed, there be
   A land of souls beyond that sable shore, 65
   To shame the doctrine of the Sadducee
   And sophists, madly vain of dubious lore;
   How sweet it were no concert to adore
   With those who made our mortal labours light!
   To hear each voice we feared to hear no more! 70
   Behold each mighty shade revealed to sight,
The Bactrian, Samian sage, and all who taught the right!

9.

   There, thou! – whose love and life together fled,
   Have left me here to love and live in vain –
   Twined with my heart, and can I deem thee dead, 75
   When busy Memory flashes on my brain?
   Well – I will dream that we may meet again,
   And woo the vision to my vacant breast:
   If aught of young Remembrance then remain,
   Be as it may Futurity’s behest, 80
For me ’twere bliss enough to know thy spirit blest! *

* In this age of bigotry, when the puritan and the priest have changed places, and the wretched catholic is visited with the “sins of his fathers,” even unto generations far beyond the pale of the commandment, the cast of opinion in these stanzas will doubtless meet with many a contemptuous anathema. But let it be remembered, that the spirit they breathe is desponding, not sneering, scepticism; that he who has seen the Greek and Moslem superstitions contending for mastery over the former shrines of Polytheism, – who has left in his own country “Pharisees, thanking God that they are not Publicans and Sinners,” and Spaniards in theirs, abhorring the Heretics, who have holpen them in their need, – will not be a little bewildered, and begin to think, that as only one of them can be right, they may most of them be wrong. With regard to morals, and the effect of religion on mankind, it appears, from all historical testimony, to have had less effect in making them love their neighbours, than inducing that cordial christian abhorrence between sectaries and schismatics. The Turks and Quakers are the most tolerant; if an Infidel pays heratch169 to the former, he may pray how, when, and where he pleases; and the mild tenets, and devout demeanour of the latter, make their lives the truest commentary on the Sermon of the Mount. [deleted at Egerton 2027 f.54v.]

10.

   Here let me sit upon this massy stone,
   The marble column’s yet unshaken base;
   Here, son of Saturn! was thy fav’rite throne: *
   Mightiest of many such! Hence let me trace 85
   The latent grandeur of thy dwelling-place.
   It may not be: nor ev’n can Fancy’s eye
   Restore what Time hath laboured to deface.
   Yet these proud pillars claim no passing sigh;
Unmoved the Moslem sits, the light Greek carols by. 90

* The temple of Jupiter Olympius, of which sixteen columns entirely of marble yet survive: originally there were 150. These columns, however, are by many supposed to have belonged to the Pantheon.

11.

   But who, of all the plunderers of yon fane
   On high, where Pallas lingered, loth to flee
   The latest relic of her ancient reign –
   The last, the worst, dull spoiler, who was he?
   Blush, Caledonia! such thy son could be! 95
   England! I joy no child he was of thine:
   Thy free-born men should spare what once was free;
   Yet they could violate each saddening shrine,
And bear these altars o’er the long-reluctant brine. *

12.

   But most the modern Pict’s ignoble boast, 100
   To rive what Goth and Turk, and Time hath spared: *
   Cold as the crags upon his native coast,
   His mind as barren and his heart as hard,
   Is he whose head conceived, whose hand prepared,
   Aught to displace Athena’s poor remains: 105
   Her sons too weak the sacred shrine to guard,
   Yet felt some portion of their mother’s pains,
And never knew, till then, the weight of Despot’s chains. †

* At this moment (January 3, 1809), besides what has been already deposited in London, an Hydriot vessel is in the Piræus to receive every portable relic. Thus, as I heard a young Greek observe in common with many of his countrymen – for, lost as they are, they yet feel on this occasion – thus may Lord Elgin boast of having ruined Athens. An Italian painter of the first eminence, named Lusieri, is the agent of devastation; and, like the Greek finder of Verres in Sicily, who followed the same profession, he has proved the able instrument of plunder. Between this artist and the French Consul Fauvel, who wishes to rescue the remains for his own government, there is now a violent dispute concerning a car employed in their conveyance, the wheel of which – I wish they were both broken upon it – has been locked up by the Consul, and Lusieri has laid his complaint before the Waywode. Lord Elgin has been extremely happy in his choice of Signor Lusieri. During a residence of ten years in Athens, he never had the curiosity to proceed as far as Sunium, [see Byron’ s note N2 at the end] till he accompanied us in our second excursion. However, his works, as far as they go, are most beautiful; but they are almost all unfinished. While he and his patrons confine themselves to tasting medals, appreciating cameos, sketching columns, and cheapening gems, their little absurdities are as harmless as insect or fox-hunting, maiden-speechifying, barouche-driving, or any such pastime: but when they carry away three or four shiploads of the most valuable and massy relics that time and barbarism have left to the most injured and most celebrated of cities; when they destroy, in a vain attempt to tear down, those works which have been the admiration of ages, I know no motive which can excuse, no name which can designate, the perpetrators of this dastardly devastation. It was not the least of the crimes laid to the charge of Verres, that he had plundered Sicily, in the manner since imitated at Athens. The most unblushing impudence could hardly go farther then to affix the name of its plunderer to the walls of the Acropolis; while the wanton and useless defacement of the whole range of the basso-relievos, in one compartment of the temple, will never permit that name to be pronounced by an observer without execration.
   On this occasion I speak impartially: I am not a collector or admirer or collections, consequently no rival; but I have some early prepossession in favour of Greece, and do not think the honour of England advanced by plunder, whether of India or Attica.
   Another noble Lord has done better, because he has done less: but some others, more or less noble, yet “all honourable men,” have done best, because, after a deal of excavation and execration, bribery to the Waywode, mining and countermining, they have done nothing at all. We had such ink-shed, and wine-shed, which almost ended in bloodshed! Lord E’s “prig,” – see Jonathan Wylde for the definition of “priggism,” – quarrelled with another, Gropius [see Byron’s note N3 at the end] by name, a very good name too for his business, and muttered something about satisfaction, in a verbal answer to a note of the poor Prussian: this was stated at table to Gropius, who laughed, but could eat no dinner afterwards. The rivals were not reconciled when I left Greece. I have reason to remember their squabble, for they wanted to make me their arbitrator.
 

† I cannot resist availing myself of the permission of my friend Dr. Clarke, whose name requires no comment with the public, but whose sanction will add tenfold weight to my testimony, to insert the following extract from a very obliging letter of his to me, as a note to the above lines: –
   “When the last of the Metopes was taken from the Parthenon, and, in moving of it, great
   part of the superstructure with one of the triglyphs was thrown down by the workmen
   whom Lord Elgin employed, the Disdar, who beheld the mischief done to the building,
   took his pipe from his mouth, dropped a tear, and in a supplicating tone of voice, said to
   Lusieri; Τέλος! – I was present.”
The Disdar alluded to was the father of the present Disdar.

12a [original rewritten at Egerton 2027 f.40r.]

   <What! shall it e’er be said by British tongue,
   Albion was happy in Athena’s tears?
   Though in thy name the slaves her bosom wrung,
   Albion! I would not see thee thus adorned
   With gains thy generous spirit should have scorned,
   From Man distinguished by some monstrous sign,
   Like Attila the Hun was surely horned
   Who worked this ravage amid works divine
   Oh that Minerva’s voice lent its keen aid to mine>

<Attila was horned, if we may trust contemporary legends, and the etchings of his visage in Lavater.>

13.

   What! shall it e’er be said by British tongue,
   Albion was happy in Athena’s tears? 110
   Though in thy name the slaves her bosom wrung,
   Tell not the deed to blushing Europe’s ears;
   The ocean queen, the free Britannia, bears
   The last poor plunder from a bleeding land:
   Yes, she, whose gen’rous aid her name endears, 115
   Tore down those remnants with a Harpy’s hand,
Which envious Eld forbore, and tyrants left to stand.

[13a: deleted at Egerton 2027 f.40v.-41v.]

   Come then, ye classic thieves of each degree
   Dark Hamilton, and sullen Aberdeen,
   Come pilfer all the Pilgrim loves to see
   All that yet consecrates the fading scene,
   Ah! better were it ye had never been
   Nor ye, nor Elgin, nor that lesser wight
   The victim sad of vase-collecting spleen,
   House-furnisher withal, one Thomas hight; *
Than ye should bear one stone from wronged Athena’s sight.

* Thomas Hope, Esq., if I mistake not – the man who publishes quartos on furniture and costume.

[13b: deleted at Egerton 2027 f.41v.]

   Or will the gentle Dilettanti crew
   Now delegate the task to digging Gell,186 *
   That mighty limner of a birdseye view,
   How like to Nature let his volumes tell,
   Who can with him the folios’ limit swell?
   With all the author saw, or said he saw?
   Who can topographize or delve so well?
   No boaster he, nor impudent and raw,
His pencil, pen, and Spade, alike without a flaw?

* It is rumoured Gell is coming out to dig in Olympia. I wish him more success than he had at Athens. According to Lusieri’s account, he began digging most furiously without a firmann, but before the resurrection of a single sauce-pan, the Painter countermined and the Way-wode countermanded and sent him back to bookmaking.

14.

   Where was thine Ægis, Pallas! that appalled
   Stern Alaric and Havoc on their way? *
   Where Peleus’ son? whom Hell in vain enthralled, 120
   His shade from Hades upon that dread day,
   Bursting to light in terrible array!
   What! could not Pluto spare the chief once more,
   To scare a second robber from his prey?
   Idly he wandered on the Stygian shore, 125
Nor now preserved the walls he loved to shield before.

* According to Zosimus, Minerva and Achilles frightened Alaric from the Acropolis; but others relate that the Gothic king was nearly as mischievous as the Scottish peer. – See CHANDLER.

15.

   Cold is the heart, fair Greece! that looks on thee,
   Nor feels as lovers o’er the dust they loved;
   Dull is the eye that will not weep to see
   Thy walls defaced, thy mouldering shrines removed 130
   By British hands, which it had best behoved
   To guard those relics ne’er to be restored.
   Curst be the hour when from their isle they roved,
   And once again thy hapless bosom gored, 134
And snatched thy shrinking Gods to northern climes abhorred!

16.

   But where is Harold? shall I then forget
   To urge the gloomy wanderer o’er the wave?
   Little recked he of all that men regret;
   No loved-one now in feigned lament could rave;
   No friend the parting hand extended gave, 140
   Ere the cold stranger passed to other climes:
   Hard is his heart whom charms may not enslave;
   But Harold felt not as in other times,
And left without a sigh the land of wars and crimes.

17.

   He that has sailed upon the dark blue sea, 145
   Has viewed at times, I ween, a full fair sight;
   When the fresh breeze is fair as breeze may be,
   The white sail set, the gallant frigate tight;
   Masts, spires and strand retiring to the right,
   The glorious main expanding o’er the bow, 150
   The convoy spread like wild swans in their flight,
   The dullest sailer wearing bravely now,
So gaily curl the waves before each dashing prow.

18.

   And oh, the little warlike world within!
   The well-reeved guns, the netted canopy, * 155
   The hoarse command, the busy humming din,
   When, at a word, the tops are manned on high:
   Hark, to the Boatswain’s call, the cheering cry!
   While through the seaman’s hand the tackle glides;
   Or schoolboy Midshipman that, standing by, 160
   Strains his shrill pipe as good or ill betides,
And well the docile crew that skilful urchin guides.

* The netting to prevent blocks or splinters falling on deck during action.

19.

   White is the glassy deck, without a stain,
   Where on the watch the staid Lieutenant walks:
   Look on that part which sacred doth remain 165
   For the lone chieftain, who majestic stalks,
   Silent and feared by all – not oft he talks
   With aught beneath him, if he would preserve
   That strict restraint, which broken, ever balks
   Conquest and Fame: but Britons rarely swerve 170
From law, however stern, which tends their strength to nerve.

20.

   Blow! swiftly blow, thou keel-compelling gale!
   Till the broad sun withdraws his lessening ray;
   Then must the pennant-bearer slacken sail,
   That lagging barks may make their lazy way. * 175
   Ah! grievance sore, and listless dull delay,
   To waste on sluggish hulks the sweetest breeze!
   What leagues are lost, before the dawn of day,
   Thus loitering pensive on the willing seas,
The flapping sail hauled down to halt for logs like these! 180

* An additional “misery of Human Life” – lying to at Sunset for a large convoy, till the sternmost pass ahead. Mem – fine frigate fair wind likely to change before morning, but enough at present for ten knots!

21.

   The moon is up; by Heaven, a lovely eve!
   Long streams of light o’er dancing waves expand;
   Now lads on shore may sigh, and maids believe:
   Such be our fate when we return to land!
   Meantime some rude Arion’s restless hand 185
   Wakes the brisk harmony that sailors love;
   A circle there of merry listeners stand,
   Or to some well-known measure featly move,
Thoughtless, as if on shore they still were free to rove.

22.

   Through Calpe’s straits survey the steepy shore; 190
   Europe and Afric on each other gaze!
   Lands of the dark-eyed Maid and dusky Moor
   Alike beheld beneath pale Hecate’s blaze:
   How softly on the Spanish shore she plays,
   Disclosing rock, and slope, and forest brown, 195
   Distinct, though darkening with her waning phase;
   But Mauritania’s giant-shadows frown,
From mountain-cliff to coast descending sombre down.

23.

   ’Tis night, when Meditation bids us feel
   We once have loved, though love is at an end: 200
   The heart, lone mourner of its baffled zeal,
   Though friendless now, will dream it had a friend.
   Who with the weight of years would wish to bend,
   When Youth itself survives young Love and Joy?
   Alas! when mingling souls forget to blend, 205
   Death hath but little left him to destroy!
Ah! happy years! once more who would not be a boy?

24.

   Thus bending o’er the vessel’s laving side,
   To gaze on Dian’s wave-reflected sphere;
   The soul forgets her schemes of Hope and Pride, 210
   And flies unconscious o’er each backward year.
   None are so desolate but something dear,
   Dearer than self, possesses or possessed
   A thought, and claims the homage of a tear;
   A flashing pang! of which the weary breast 215
Would still, albeit in vain, the heavy heart divest.

25.

   To sit on rocks, to muse o’er flood and fell,
   To slowly trace the forest’s shady scene,
   Where things that own not man’s dominion dwell,
   And mortal foot hath ne’er or rarely been; 220
   To climb the trackless mountain all unseen,
   With the wild flock that never needs a fold;
   Alone o’er steeps and foaming falls to lean;
   This is not solitude; ’tis but to hold
Converse with Nature’s charms, and view her stores unrolled.

26.

   But midst the crowd, the hum, the shock of men, 226
   To hear, to see, to feel, and to possess,
   And roam along, the world’s tired denizen,
   With none who bless us, none whom we can bless;
   Minions of splendour shrinking from distress! 230
   None that, with kindred consciousness endued,
   If we were not, would seem to smile the less
   Of all that flattered, followed, sought, and sued;
This is to be alone; this, this is solitude!

27.

   More blest the life of godly Eremite, 235
   Such as on lonely Athos may be seen,
   Watching at eve upon the giant height,
   Which looks o’er waves so blue, – skies so serene,
   That he who there at such an hour hath been
   Will wistful linger on that hallowed spot; 240
   Then slowly tear him from the witching scene,
   Sigh forth one wish that such had been his lot,
Then turn to hate a world he had almost forgot.

28.

   Pass we the long, unvarying course, the track
   Oft trod, that never leaves a trace behind, 245
   Pass we the calm, the gale, the change, the tack,
   And each well known caprice of wave and wind;
   Pass we the joys and sorrows sailors find,
   Cooped in their winged sea-girt citadel;
   The foul, the fair, the contrary, the kind, 250
   As breezes rise and fall and billows swell,
Till on some jocund morn – lo, land! and all is well.

29.

   But not in silence pass Calypso’s isles, *
   The sister tenants of the middle deep;
   There for the weary still a haven smiles, 255
   Though the fair goddess long hath ceased to weep,
   And o’er her cliffs a fruitless watch to keep
   For him who dared prefer a mortal bride:
   Here, too, his boy essayed the dreadful leap
   Stern Mentor urged from high to yonder tide; 260
While thus of both bereft, the nymph-queen doubly sighed.

* Goza is said to have been the island of Calypso.

30.

   Her reign is past, her gentle glories gone:
   But trust not this; too easy youth, beware!
   A mortal sovereign holds her dangerous throne,
   And thou may’st find a new Calypso there. 265
   Sweet Florence! could another ever share
   This wayward, loveless heart, it would be thine:
   But checked by every tie, I may not dare
   To cast a worthless offering at thy shrine,
Nor ask so dear a breast to feel one pang for mine. 270

31.

   Thus Harold deemed, as on the lady’s eye
   He looked, and met its beam without a thought,
   Save Admiration glancing harmless by:
   Love kept aloof, albeit not far remote,
   Who knew his votary often lost and caught, 275
   But knew him as his worshipper no more,
   And ne’er again the boy his bosom sought:
   Since now he vainly urged him to adore,
Well deemed the little God his ancient sway was o’er.

32.

   Fair Florence found, in sooth with some amaze, 280
   One who, ’twas said, still sighed to all he saw,
   Withstand, unmoved, the lustre of her gaze,
   Which others hailed with real or mimic awe,
   Their hope, their doom, their punishment, their law;
   All that gay Beauty from her bondsmen claims: 285
   And much she marvelled that a youth so raw
   Nor felt, nor feigned at least, the oft-told flames,
Which, though sometimes they frown, yet rarely anger dames.

33.

   Little knew she that seeming marble heart,
   Now masked in silence or withheld by pride, 290
   Was not unskilful in the spoiler’s art,
   And spread its snares licentious far and wide;
   Nor from the base pursuit had turned aside,
   As long as aught was worthy to pursue:
   But Harold on such arts no more relied; 295
   And had he doated on those eyes so blue,
Yet never would he join the lover’s whining crew.

34.

   Not much he kens, I ween, of woman’s breast,
   Who thinks that wanton thing is won by sighs;
   What careth she for hearts when once possessed? 300
   Do proper homage to thine idol’s eyes;
   But not too humbly, or she will despise
   Thee and thy suit, though told in moving tropes:
   Disguise ev’n tenderness, if thou art wise;
   Brisk Confidence still best with woman copes; 305
Pique her and soothe in turn, soon Passion crowns thy hopes.

35.

   ’Tis an old lesson; Time approves it true,
   And those who know it best, deplore it most;
   When all is won that all desire to woo,
   The paltry prize is hardly worth the cost: 310
   Youth wasted, minds degraded, honour lost,
   These are thy fruits, successful Passion! these!
   If, kindly, cruel, early Hope is crost,
   Still to the last it rankles, a disease,
Not to be cured when Love itself forgets to please. 315

36.

   Away! nor let me loiter in my song,
   For we have many a mountain-path to tread,
   And many a varied shore to sail along,
   By pensive Sadness, not by Fiction, led –
   Climes, fair withal as ever mortal head 320
   Imagined in its little schemes of thought;
   Or e’er in new Utopias were ared,
   To teach man what he might be, or he ought;
If that corrupted thing could ever such be taught.

37.

   Dear Nature is the kindest mother still, 325
   Though alway changing, in her aspect mild;
   From her bare bosom let me take my fill,
   Her never-weened, though not her favoured child.
   Oh! she is fairest in her features wild,
   Where nothing polished dares pollute her path: 330
   To me by day or night she ever smiled,
   Though I have marked her when none other hath,
And sought her more and more, and loved her best in wrath.

38.

   Land of Albania! where Iskander rose,
   Theme of the young, and beacon of the wise, 335
   And he his name-sake, whose oft-baffled foes
   Shrunk from his deeds of chivalrous emprize:
   Land of Albania! let me bend mine eyes *
   On thee, thou rugged nurse of savage men!
   The cross descends, thy minarets arise, 340
   And the pale crescent sparkles in the glen,
Through many a cypress grove within each city’s ken.

* Albania comprises part of Macedonia, Illyria, Chaonia, and Epirus. Iskander is the Turkish word for Alexander; and the celebrated Scanderbeg (Lord Alexander) is alluded to in the third and fourth lines of the thirty-eighth stanza. I do not know whether I am correct in making Scanderbeg the countryman of Alexander, who was born at Pella in Macedon, but Mr. Gibbon terms him so, and adds Pyrrhus to the list, in speaking of his exploits.
   Of Albania Gibbon remarks, that a country “within sight of Italy is less known than the interior of America.” Circumstances, of little consequence to mention, led Mr. Hobhouse and myself into that country before we visited any other part of the Ottoman dominions; and with the exception of Major Leake, then officially resident at Joannina, no other Englishmen have ever advanced beyond the capital into the interior, as that gentleman very lately assured me. Ali Pacha was at that time (October, 1809) carrying on war against Ibrahim Pacha, whom he had driven to Berat, a strong fortress which he was then besieging on our arrival: at Joannina we were invited to Tepaleni, his Highness’s birth-place, and favourite Serai, only one day’s distance from Berat; at this juncture the Vizier had made it his head quarters.
   After some stay in the capital, we accordingly followed; but though furnished with every accommodation and escorted by one of the Vizier’s secretaries, we were nine days (on account of the rains) in accomplishing a journey which, on our return, barely occupied four.
   On our route we passed two cities, Argyrcastro and Libochabo, apparently little inferior to Joannina in size; and no pencil or pen can ever do justice to the scenery in the vicinity of Ziztza and Delvinachi, the frontier village of Epirus and Albania proper.
   On Albania and its inhabitants I am unwilling to descant, because this will be done so much better by my fellow-traveller, in a work which may probably precede this in publication, that I as little wish to follow as I would to anticipate him. But some few observations are necessary to the rest.
   The Arnaouts, or Albanese, struck me forcibly by their resemblance to the Highlanders of Scotland, in dress, figure, and manner of living. Their very mountains seemed Caledonian with a kinder climate. The kilt, though white; the spare, active form; their dialect, Celtic in its sound; and their hardy habits, all carried me back to Morven. No nation are so detested and dreaded by their neighbours as the Albanese: the Greeks hardly regard them as Christians, or the Turks as Moslems; and in fact they are a mixture of both, and sometimes neither. Their habits are predatory: all are armed; and the red shawled Arnaouts, the Montenegrins, Chimariots, and Gegdes are treacherous; the others differ somewhat in garb, and essentially in character. As far as my own experience goes, I can speak favourably. I was attended by two, and Infidel and a Mussulman, to Constantinople and every other part of Turkey which came within my observation; and more faithful in peril, or indefatigable in service, are rarely to be found. The Infidel was named Basilius, the Moslem, Dervish Tahiri; the former a man of middle age, and the latter about my own. Basili was strictly charged by Ali Pacha in person to attend us; and Dervish was one of fifty who accompanied us through the forests of Acanarnia to the banks of the Achelous, and onward to Messalunghi in Ætolia. There I took him into my own service, and never had occasion to repent it till the moment of my departure.
   When in 1810, after the departure of my friend Mr. H. for England, I was seized with a severe fever in the Morea, these men saved my life by frightening away my Physician, whose throat they threatened to cut if I was not cured within a given time. To this consolatory assurance of posthumous retribution, and a resolute refusal of Dr. Romanelli’s prescriptions, I attributed my recovery. I had left my last remaining English servant at Athens; my dragoman was as ill as myself, and my poor Arnaouts nursed me with an attention which would have done honour to civilization.    They had a variety of adventures; for the Moslem, Dervish, being a remarkably handsome man, was always squabbling with the husbands of Athens; insomuch that four of the principal Turks paid me a visit of remonstrance at the Convent, on the subject of his having taken a woman from the bath – whom he had lawfully bought however – a thing quite contrary to etiquette.
   Basili was extremely gallant amongst his own persuasion, and had the greatest veneration for the church, mixed with the highest contempt of churchmen, whom he cuffed upon occasion in the most heterodox manner. Yet he never passed a church without crossing himself; and I remember the risk he ran in entering St. Sophia, in Stamboul, because it had once been a place of his worship. On remonstrating with him on his inconsistent proceedings, he invariably answered, “our church is holy, our priests are thieves;” and then he crossed himself a usual, and boxed the ears of the first “papas” who refused to assist in any required operation, as was always found to be necessary where the priest had any influence with the Cogia Bashi of his village. Indeed a more abandoned race of miscreants cannot exist than the lower orders of the Greek clergy.
   When preparations were made for my return, my Albanians were summoned to receive their pay. Basili took his with an awkward show of regret at my intended departure, and marched away to his quarters with his bag of piastres. I sent for Dervish, but for some time he was not to be found; at last he entered, just as Signor Logotheti, father to the ci-devant Anglo-consul of Athens, and some other of my Greek acquaintances paid me a visit. Dervish took the money, but on a sudden dashed it to the ground; and clasping his hands, which he raised to his forehead, rushed out of the room weeping bitterly. From that moment to the hour of my embarkation he continued his lamentations, and all our efforts to console him only produced this answer, “Μ’άφεινει,” “He leaves me.” Signor Logotheti, who never wept before for any thing less than the loss of a para, [* Para, about the fourth of a farthing] melted; the padre of the convent, my attendants, my visitors – and I verily believe that even “Sterne’s foolish fat scullion” would have left her “fish-kettle,” to sympathize with the unaffected and unexpected sorrow of this barbarian.
   For my own part, when I remembered that, a short time before my departure from England, a noble and most intimate associate had excused himself from taking leave of me because he had to attend a relation “to a milliner’s,” I felt no less surprised than humiliated by the present occurrence and the past recollection.
   That Dervish would leave me with some regret was to be expected: when master and man have been scrambling over the mountains of a dozen provinces together, they are unwilling to separate; but his present feelings, contrasted with his native ferocity, improved my opinion of the human heart. I believe this almost feudal fidelity is frequent amongst them. One day, on our journey over Parnassus, an Englishman in my service gave him a push in some dispute about the baggage, which he unluckily mistook for a blow; he spoke not, but sat down leaning his head upon his hands. Foreseeing the consequences, we endeavoured to explain away the affront, which produced the following answer: – “I have been a robber, I am a soldier; no captain ever struck me; you are my master, I have eaten your bread, but by that bread! (a usual oath) had it been otherwise, I would have stabbed the dog your servant, and gone to the mountains.” So the affair ended, but from that day forward he never forgave the thoughtless fellow who insulted him.
   Dervish excelled in the dance of his country, conjectured to be a remnant of the ancient Pyrrhic; be that as it may, it is manly, and requires wonderful agility. It is very distinct from the stupid Romaika, the dull roundabout of the Greeks, of which our Athenian party had so many specimens.
   The Albanians in general (I do not mean the cultivators of the earth in the provinces, who have also that appellation, but the mountaineers) have a fine cast of countenance; and the most beautiful women I ever beheld, in stature and in features, we saw levelling the road broken down by the torrents between Delvinachi and Libochavo. Their manner of walking is truly theatrical; but this strut is probably the effect of the capote, or cloak, depending from one shoulder. Their long hair reminds you of the Spartans, and their courage in desultory warfare is unquestionable. Though they have some cavalry amongst the Gegdes, I never saw a good Arnaout horseman: my own preferred the English saddles, which, however, they could never keep. But on foot they are not to be subdued by fatigue.

39.

   Childe Harold sailed, and passed the barren spot, *
   Where sad Penelope o’erlooked the wave;
   And onward viewed the mount, not yet forgot, 345
   The lover’s refuge, and the Lesbian’s grave.
   Dark Sappho! could not verse immortal save
   That breast imbued with such immortal fire?
   Could she not live who life eternal gave?
   If life eternal may await the lyre, 350
That only Heaven to which Earth’s children may aspire.

* Ithaca.

40.

   ’Twas on a Grecian autumn’s gentle eve
   Childe Harold hailed Leucadia’s cape afar;
   A spot he longed to see, nor cared to leave:
   Oft did he mark the scenes of vanished war, 355
   Actium, Lepanto, fatal Trafalgar; *
   Mark them unmoved, for he would not delight
   (Born beneath some remote inglorious star)
   In themes of bloody fray, or gallant fight,
But loathed the bravo’s trade, and laughed at martial wight. 360

* Actium and Trafalgar need no further mention. The battle of Lepanto, equally bloody and considerable but less known, was fought in the gulph of Patras; here the author of Don Quixote lost his left hand.

41.

   But when he saw the evening star above
   Leucadia’s far-projecting rock of woe, *
   And hailed the last resort of fruitless love,
   He felt, or deemed he felt, no common glow:
   And as the stately vessel glided slow 365
   Beneath the shadow of that ancient mount,
   He watched the billows’ melancholy flow,
   And, sunk albeit in thought as he was wont,
More placid seemed his eye, and smooth his pallid front.

* Leucadia, now Santa Maura. From the promontory (The Lover’s Leap) Sappho is said to have thrown herself.

42.

   Morn dawns; and with it stern Albania’s hills, 370
   Dark Suli’s rocks, and Pindus’ inland peak,
   Robed half in mist, bedewed with snowy rills,
   Arrayed in many a dun and purple streak,
   Arise; and as the clouds along them break,
   Disclose the dwelling of the mountaineer; 375
   Here roams the wolf, the eagle whets his beak,
   Birds, beasts of prey, and wilder men appear,
And gathering storms around convulse the closing year.

43.

   Now Harold felt himself at length alone,
   And bade to Christian tongues a long adieu; 380
   Now he adventured on a shore unknown,
   Which all admire, but many dread to view:
   His breast was armed ’gainst fate, his wants were few;
   Peril he sought not, but ne’er shrank to meet:
   The scene was savage, but the scene was new; 385
   This made the ceaseless toil of travel sweet,
Beat back keen winter’s blast, and welcomed summer’s heat.

44.

   Here the red cross, for still the cross is here,
   Though sadly scoffed at by the circumcised,
   Forgets that pride to pampered Priesthood dear; 390
   Churchman and votary alike despised.
   Foul Superstition! howsoe’er disguised,
   Idol, saint, virgin, prophet, crescent, cross,
   For whatsoever symbol thou art prized,
   Thou sacerdotal gain, but general loss! 395
Who from true worship’s gold can separate thy dross?

45.

   Ambracia’s gulph behold, where once was lost
   A world for woman, lovely, harmless thing!
   In yonder rippling bay, their naval host
   Did many a Roman chief and Asian king * 400
   To doubtful conflict, certain slaughter bring:
   Look where the second Cæsar’s trophies rose: †
   Now, like the hands that reared them, withering:
   Imperial anarchs, doubling human woes!
GOD! was thy globe ordained for such to win and lose? 405

* It is said, that on the day previous to the battle of Actium Anthony had thirteen kings at his levee.
Nicopolis, whose ruins are most extensive, is at some distance from Actium, where the wall of the Hippodrome survives in a few fragments.

46.

   From the dark barriers of that rugged clime,
   Ev’n to the centre of Illyria’s vales,
   Childe Harold passed o’er many a mount sublime,
   Though lands scarce noticed in historic tales; 410
   Yet in famed Attica such lovely dales
   Are rarely seen; nor can fair Tempe boast
   A charm they know not; loved Parnassus fails,
   Though classic ground and consecrated most,
To match some spots that lurk within this lowering coast.

47.

   He passed bleak Pindus, Acherusia’s lake, * 415
   And left the primal city of the land,
   And onwards did his further journey take
   To great Albania’s chief, whose dread command †
   Is lawless law: for with a bloody hand
   He sways a nation, turbulent and bold: 420
   Yet here and there some daring mountain-band
   Disdain his power and from their rocky hold
Hurl their defiance far, nor yield unless to gold. ‡

* According to Pouqueville the lake of Yanina; but Pouqueville is always out.
† The celebrated Ali Pacha. Of this extraordinary man there is an incorrect account in Pouqueville’s Travels.
‡ Five thousand Suliotes, among the rocks and in the castle of Suli

48.

   Monastic Zitza! From thy shady brow, *
   Thou small, but favoured spot of holy ground! 425
   Where’er we gaze around, above, below,
   What rainbow tints, what magic charms are found!
   Rock, river, forest, mountain, all abound,
   And bluest skies that harmonize the whole:
   Beneath, the distant torrent’s rushing sound 430
   Tells where the volumed cataract doth roll
Between those hanging rocks, that shock yet please the soul.

* The convent and village of Zitza are four hours journey from Joannina, or Yanina, the capital of the Pachalick. In the valley of the river Kalamas (once the Acheron) flows, and not far from Zitza forms a fine cataract. The situation is perhaps the finest in Greece, though the approach to Delvinaki and parts of Acarnania and Ætolia may contest the palm. Delphi, Parnassus, and, in Attica, even Cape Colonna and Port Raphti, are very inferior; as also every scene in Ionia, or the Troad: I am almost inclined to add the approach to Constantinople; but from the different features of the last, a comparison can hardly be made.

49.

   Amidst the grove that crowns yon tufted hill,
   Which, were it not for many a mountain nigh
   Rising in lofty ranks, and loftier still, 435
   Might well itself be deemed of dignity,
   The convent’s white walls glisten fair on high:
   Here dwells the caloyer, nor rude is he, *
   Nor niggard of his cheer; the passer by
   Is welcome still; nor heedless will he flee 440
From hence, if he delight kind Nature’s sheen to see.

* The Greek monks are so called.

50.

   Here in the sultriest season let him rest,
   Fresh in the green beneath those aged trees;
   Here winds of gentlest wing will fan his breast,
   From heaven itself he may inhale the breeze: 445
   The plain is far beneath – oh! let him seize
   Pure pleasure while he can; the scorching ray
   Here pierceth not, impregnate with disease:
   Then let his length the loitering pilgrim lay,
And gaze, untired, the morn, the noon, the eve away. 450

51.

   Dusky and huge, enlarging on the sight,
   Nature’s volcanic amphitheatre, *
   Chimæra’s alps, extend from left to right:
   Beneath, a living valley seems to stir;
   Flocks play, trees wave, streams flow, the mountain-fir 455
   Nodding above; behold black Acheron! †
   Once consecrated to the sepulchre.
   Pluto! If this be hell I look upon,
Close shamed Elysium’s gates, my shade shall seek for none.

* The Chimariot mountains appear to have been volcanic.
† Now called Kalamas.

52.

   Ne city’s towers pollute the lovely view; 460
   Unseen is Yanina, though not remote,
   Veiled by the screen of hills: here men are few,
   Scanty the hamlet, rare the lonely cot:
   But peering down each precipice, the goat
   Browseth; and, pensive o’er his scattered flock, 465
   The little shepherd in his white capote *
   Doth lean his boyish form along the rock,
Or in his cave awaits the tempest’s short-lived shock.

* Albanese cloke.

53.

   Oh! where Dodona! is thine aged grove,
   Prophetic fount, and oracle divine? 470
   What valley echoed the response of Jove?
   What trace remaineth of the Thunderer’s shrine?
   All, all forgotten – and shall man repine
   That his frail bonds to fleeting life are broke?
   Cease, fool! the fate of gods may well be thine: 475
   Wouldst thou survive the marble or the oak?
When nations, tongues, and worlds must sink beneath the stroke!

54.

   Epirus’ bounds recede, and mountains fail;
   Tired of up-gazing still, the wearied eye
   Reposes gladly on as smooth a vale 480
   As ever Spring yclad in grassy die:
   Ev’n on a plain no humble beauties lie,
   Where some bold river breaks the long expanse, *
   And woods along the banks are waving high,
   Whose shadows in the glassy waters dance, 485
Or with the moonbeam sleep in midnight’s solemn trance.

* The river Laos was full at the time the author passed it; and, immediately above Tepaleen, was to the eye as wide as the Thames at Westminster; at least in the opinion of the author and his fellow-traveller, Mr. Hobhouse. In the summer it must be much narrower. It certainly is the finest river in the Levant; neither Achelous, Alpheus, Acheron, Scamander, nor Cayster, approached it in breadth or beauty.

55.

   The sun had sunk behind vast Tomerit, *
   And Laos wide and fierce came roaring by,
   The shades of wonted night were gathering yet,
   When, down the steep banks winding warily, 490
   Childe Harold saw, like meteors in the sky,
   The glittering minarets of Tepalen,230
   Whose walls o’erlook the stream; and drawing nigh,
   He heard the busy hum of warrior-men
Swelling the breeze that sighed along the lengthening glen. 495

* Anciently called Mount Tomarus.

56.

   He passed the sacred Haram’s silent tower,
   And underneath the wide o’erarching gate
   Surveyed the dwelling of this chief of power,
   Where all around proclaimed his high estate.
   Amidst no common pomp the despot sate, 500
   While busy preparation shook the court,
   Slaves, eunuchs, soldiers, guests and santons wait;
   Within, a palace, and without, a fort:
Here men of every clime appear to make resort.

57.

   Richly caparisoned, a ready row 505
   Of armed horse, and many a warlike store,
   Circled the wide extending court below:
   Above, strange groups adorned the corridore:
   And oft-times through the Area’s echoing door,
   Some high-capped Tartar spurred his steed away: 510
   The Turk, the Greek, the Albanian, and the Moor,
   Here mingled in their many-hued array,
While the deep war-drum’s sound announced the close of day.

58.

   The wild Albanian kirtled to his knee,
   With shawl-girt head and ornamented gun, 515
   And gold-embroidered garments, fair to see;
   The crimson-scarfed men of Macedon;
   The Delhi with his cap of terror on,
   And crooked glaive; the lively, supple Greek;
   And swarthy Nubia’s mutilated son; 520
   The bearded Turk that rarely deigns to speak,
Master of all around, too potent to be meek,

59.

   Are mixed conspicuous: some recline in groups,
   Scanning the motley scene that varies round;
   There some grave Moslem to devotion stoops, 525
   And some that smoke, and some that play, are found;
   Here the Albanian proudly treads the ground;
   Half whispering there the Greek is heard to prate;
   Hark! from the mosque the nightly solemn sound,
   The Muezzin’s call doth shake the minaret, 530
“There is no god but God! – to prayer – lo! God is great!”

60.

   Just at this season Ramazani’s fast
   Through the long day its penance did maintain:
   But when the lingering twilight hour was past,
   Revel and feast assumed the rule again: 535
   Now all was bustle, and the menial train
   Prepared and spread the plenteous board within;
   The vacant gallery now seemed made in vain,
   But from the chambers came the mingling din,
As page and slave anon were passing out and in. 540

61.

   Here woman’s voice is never heard: apart,
   And scarce permitted, guarded, veiled, to move,
   She yields to one her person and her heart,
   Tamed to her cage, nor feels a wish to rove:
   For, not unhappy in her master’s love, 545
   And joyful in a mother’s gentlest cares,
   Blest cares! all other feelings far above!
   Herself more sweetly rears the babe she bears,
Who never quits the breast, no meaner passion shares.

[61 original: ll.5-9 rewritten at Egerton 2027 f.49r.]

   Here woman’s voice is never heard – apart,
   And scarce permitted guarded, veiled to rove,
   She yields to one her person & her heart,
   Tamed to her cage, nor feels a wish to move;
   For boyish minions of unhallowed love
   The shameless torch of wild desire is lit,
   Caressed, preferred even woman’s self above,
   Whose forms for Nature’s gentler errors fit
All frailties mote excuse save that which they commit.

62.

   In marble-paved pavilion, where a spring 550
   Of living water from the centre rose,
   Whose bubbling did a genial freshness fling,
   And soft voluptuous couches breathed repose,
   ALI reclined, a man of war and woes;
   Yet in his lineaments ye cannot trace, 555
   While Gentleness her milder radiance throws
   Along that aged venerable face,
The deeds that lurk beneath, and stain him with disgrace.

63.

   It is not that yon hoary lengthening beard
   Ill suits the passions which belong to youth; 560
   Love conquers age – so Hafiz hath averred,
   So sings the Teian, and he sings in sooth –
   But crimes that scorn the tender voice of Ruth,
   Beseeming all men ill, but most the man
   In years, have marked him with a tyger’s tooth; 565
   Blood follows blood, and through their mortal span,
In bloodier acts conclude those who with blood began.

64.

   ’Mid many things most new to ear and eye
   The pilgrim rested here his weary feet,
   And gazed around on Moslem luxury, 570
   Till quickly wearied with that spacious seat
   Of Wealth and Wantonness, the choice retreat
   Of sated Grandeur from the city’s noise:
   And were it humbler it in sooth were sweet;
   But Peace abhorreth artificial joys, 575
And Pleasure, leagued with Pomp, the zest of both destroys.

[64 original: rewritten at Egerton 2027 f.49v.]

   Childe Harold with that chief held colloquy,
   Yet what they spake, it boots not to repeat,
   Converse may little charm strange ear, or eye; –
   Four days he rested in that spacious seat
   Of Moslem luxury, the choice retreat
   Of sated Grandeur from the city’s noise,
   And were it humbler, it in sooth were sweet;
   But Peace abhorreth artificial joys,
And Pleasure, leagued with Pomp, the zest of both destroys. –

65.

   Fierce are Albania’s children, yet they lack
   Not virtues, were those virtues more mature,
   Where is the foe that ever saw their back?
   Who can so well the toil of war endure? 580
   Their native fastnesses not more secure
   Than they in doubtful time of troublous need:
   Their wrath how deadly! but their friendship sure,
   When Gratitude or Valour bids them bleed,
Unshaken rushing on where’er their chief may lead. 585

66.

   Childe Harold saw them in their chieftain’s tower
   Thronging to war in splendour and success;
   And after viewed them, when, within their power,
   Himself awhile the victim of distress;
   That saddening hour when bad men hotlier press: 590
   But these did shelter him beneath their roof,
   When less barbarians would have cheered him less,
   And fellow-countrymen have stood aloof – *
In aught that tries the heart how few withstand the proof!

* Alluding to the wreckers of Cornwall.

67.

   It chanced that adverse winds once drove his bark 595
   Full on the coast of Suli’s shaggy shore,
   When all around was desolate and dark;
   To land was perilous, to sojourn more;
   Yet for a while the mariners forbore,
   Dubious to trust where treachery might lurk: 600
   At length they ventured forth, though doubting sore
   That those who loathe alike the Frank and Turk
Might once again renew their ancient butcher-work.

68.

   Vain fear! the Suliotes stretched the welcome hand,
   Led them o’er rocks and past the dangerous swamp, 605
   Kinder than polished slaves though not so bland,
   And piled the hearth, and wrung their garments damp,
   And filled the bowl, and trimmed the cheerful lamp,
   And spread their fare; though homely, all they had:
   Such conduct bears Philanthropy’s rare stamp – 610
   To rest the weary and to soothe the sad,
Doth lesson happier men, and shames at least the bad.

69.

   It came to pass, that when he did address
   Himself to quit at length this mountain-land,
   Combined marauders half-way barred egress, 615
   And wasted far and near with glaive and brand;
   And therefore did he take a trusty band
   To traverse Acarnania’s forest wide,
   In war well seasoned, and with labours tanned,
   Till he did greet white Achelous’ tide, 620
And from his further bank Ætolia’s woods espied.

70.

   Where lone Utraikey forms its circling cove,
   And weary waves retire to gleam at rest,
   How brown the foliage of the green hill’s grove,
   Nodding at midnight o’er the calm bay’s breast, 625
   As winds come lightly whispering from the west,
   Kissing, not ruffling, the blue deep’s serene: –
   Here Harold was received a welcome guest;
   Nor did he pass unmoved the gentle scene,
For many a joy could he from Night’s soft presence glean. 630

71.

   On the smooth shore the night-fires brightly blazed,
   The feast was done, the red wine circling fast, *
   And he that unawares had there ygazed
   With gaping wonderment had stared aghast;
   For ere night’s midmost, stillest hour was past, 635
   The native revels of the troop began;
   Each Palikar his sabre from him cast, †
   And bounding hand in hand, man linked to man,
Yelling their uncouth dirge, long danced the kirtled clan.

* The Albanian Musselmans do not abstain from wine, and indeed very few of the others.
† Palikar, shortened when addressed to a single person, from Παλικαρι, a general name for a soldier amongst the Greeks and Albinese who speak Romaic – it means properly “a lad.”

72.

   Childe Harold at a long distance stood 640
   And viewed, but not displeased, the revelrie,
   Nor hated harmless mirth, however rude:
   In sooth it was no vulgar sight to see
   Their barbarous, yet their not indecent, glee;
   And as the flames along their faces gleamed, 645
   Their gestures nimble, dark eyes flashing free,
   The long wild locks that to their girdles streamed,
While thus in concert they this half sang, half screamed.

   I

   Tambourgi! Tambourgi! thy ’larum afar *
   Gives hope to the valiant, and promise of war; 650
   All the sons of the mountains arise at the note,
   Chimariot, Illyrian, and dark Suliote!

   II

   Oh! who is more brave than a dark Suliote,
   In his snowy camise and his shaggy capote?
   To the wolf and the vulture he leaves his wild flock, 655
   And descends to the plain like the stream from the rock.

   III

   Shall the sons of Chimari, who never forgive
   The fault of a friend, bid an enemy live?
   Let those guns so unerring such vengeance forego?
   What mark is so fair as the breast of a foe? 660

   IV

   Macedonia sends forth her invincible race;
   For a time they abandon the cave and the chase;
   But those scarfs of blood-red shall be redder, before
   The sabre is sheathed and the battle is o’er.

   V

   Then the pirates of Parga that dwell by the waves, 665
   And teach the pale Franks what it is to be slaves,
   Shall leave on the beach the long galley and oar,
   And track to his covert the captive on shore.

   VI

   I ask not the pleasures that riches supply,
   My sabre shall win what the feeble must buy; 670
   Shall win the young bride with her long flowing hair,
   And many a maid from her mother shall tear.

   VII

   I love the fair face of the maid in her youth,
   Her caresses shall lull me, her music shall soothe;
   Let her bring from the chamber her many-toned lyre, 675
   And sing us a song on the fall of her sire.

   VI (original: rewritten at Egerton 2027 f.51v.)

   I ask not the pleasures that riches supply,
   My Sabre shall win what the feeble must buy;
   Shall win the young minions with long-flowing hair,
   And many a maid from her mother shall tear. –

   VII (original: rewritten at Egerton 2027 f.51v.)

   I love the fair face of the maid, and the youth,
   Their caresses shall lull us, their voices shall soothe;
   Let them bring from their chambers their many-toned lyres,
   And sing us a song on the fall of their Sires.

   VIII

   Remember the moment when Previsa fell, †
   The shrieks of the conquered, the conquerors’ yell;
   The roofs that we fired, and the plunder we shared,
   The wealthy we slaughtered, the lovely we spared. 680

   IX

   I talk not of mercy, I talk not of fear;
   He neither must know who would serve the Vizier:
   Since the days of our prophet the Crescent ne’er saw
   A chief ever glorious like Ali Pashaw.

   X

   Dark Muchtar his son to the Danube is sped, 685
   Let the yellow-haired Giaours ‡ view his horse-tail with dread; §
   When his Delhis ¶ come dashing in blood o’er the banks,
   How few shall escape from the Muscovite ranks!

   XI

   Selictar! ** unsheathe then our chief’s scimitar:
   Tambourgi! Thy ’larum gives promise of war. 690
   Ye mountains, that see us descend to the shore!
   Shall view us as victors, or view us no more! ††

* Tambourgi: drummer.

† It was taken by storm from the French.

‡ Yellow is the epithet given to the Russians.

§ Horse-tails are the insignia of a Pacha.

¶ Horsemen, answering to our forlorn hope.

** Selictar: sword-bearer.

†† These stanzas are partly taken from different Albinese songs, as far as I was able to make them out by the exposition of the Albinese in Romaic or Italian. – With regard to the lines in S. 6 & 7 it must be understood that the Albinese in common with the Turks and Greeks are addicted to Pederasty though I must say in their favour what must be said for the Turks, that I believe they prefer women, however in Albania their number is small in proportion to the male population.
   As a specimen of the Albanian or Arnaout dialect of the Illyric, I here insert two of their most popular choral songs, which are generally chaunted in dancing by men or women indiscriminately. The first words are merely a kind of chorus without meaning, like some in our own and all other languages [THIS NOTE CONTINUES AS N4 AT THE END.]

73.

   Fair Greece! Sad relic of departed worth! *
   Immortal though no more; though fallen, great!
   Who now shall lead thy scattered children forth, 695
   And long accustomed bondage uncreate?
   Not such thy sons who whilome did await,
   The hopeless warriors of a willing doom,
   In bleak Thermopylæ’s sepulchral strait
   Oh! Who that gallant spirit shall resume, 700
Leap from Eurota’s banks, and call thee from the tomb?

* Some thoughts on this subject will be found in the subjoined papers.

74.

   Spirit of Freedom! When on Phyle’s brow
   Thou sat’st with Thrasybulus and his train, *
   Couldst thou forebode the dismal hour which now
   Dims the green beauties of thine Attic plain? 705
   Not thirty tyrants now enforce the chain,
   But every carle can lord it o’er thy land;
   Nor rise thy sons, but idly rain in vain,
   Trembling beneath the scourge of Turkish hand,
From birth till death enslaved; in word, in deed, unmanned. 710

* Phyle, which commands a beautiful view of Athens, has still considerable remains: it was seized by Thrasybulus previous to the expulsion of the Thirty.

75.

   In all save form alone, how changed! and who
   That marks the fire still sparkling in each eye,
   Who but would deem their bosoms burned anew
   With thy unquenched beam, lost Liberty!
   And many dream withal the hour is nigh 715
   That gives them their father’s heritage:
   For foreign arms and aid they fondly sigh,
   Nor solely dare encounter hostile rage,
Or tear their name defiled from Slavery’s mournful page.

76.

   Hereditary bondsmen! Know ye not 720
   Who would be free themselves must strike the blow?
   By their right arms the conquest must be wrought?
   Will Gaul or Muscovite redress ye? No!
   True, they may lay your proud despoilers low,
   But not for you will Freedom’s altars flame. 725
   Shades of the Helots! triumph o’er your foe!
   Greece! change thy lords, thy state is still the same;
Thy glorious day is o’er, but not thine years of shame.

77.

   The city won for Allah from the Giaour,
   The Giaour from Othman’s race again may wrest; 730
   And the Serai’s impenetrable tower
   Receive the fiery Frank, her former guest; *
   Or Wahab’s rebel brood who dared divest †
   The prophet’s tomb of all its pious spoil,
   May wind their path of blood along the West; 735
   But ne’er will freedom seek this fated soil,
But slave succeed to slave through years of endless toil.

* When taken by the Latins, and retained for several years. – See GIBBON.
Mecca and Medina were taken some time ago by the Wahabees, a sect yearly increasing.

78.

   Yet mark their mirth – ere lenten days begin,
   That penance which their holy rites prepare
   To shrive from man his weight of mortal sin, 740
   By daily abstinence and nightly prayer;
   But ere his sackcloth garb Repentance wear,
   Some days of joyaunce are decreed to all,
   To take of pleasaunce each his secret share,
   In motley robe to dance at masking ball, 745
And join the mimic train of merry Carnival.

79.

   And whose more rife with merriment than thine,
   Oh Stamboul! once the empress of their reign?
   Though turbans now pollute Sophia’s shrine,
   And Greece her very altars eyes in vain, 750
   (Alas! Her woes will still pervade my strain!)
   Gay were her minstrels once, for free her throng,
   All felt the common joy they now must feign,
   Nor oft I’ve seen such sight, nor heard such song,
As wooed the eye, and thrilled the Bosphorus along. 755

80.

   Loud was the lightsome tumult of the shore,
   Oft Music changed, but never ceased her tone,
   And timely echoed back the measured oar,
   And rippling waters made a pleasant moan:
   The Queen of tides on high consenting shone, 760
   And when a transient breeze swept o’er the wave,
   ’Twas – as if darting from her heavenly throne,
   A brighter glance her form reflected gave,
Till sparkling billows seemed to light the banks they lave.

81.

   Glanced many a light caique along the foam, 765
   Dance on the shore the daughters of the land,
   Ne thought had man or maid or rest of home,
   While many a languid eye and thrilling hand,
   Exchanged the looks few bosoms may withstand,
   Or gently prest, returned the pressure still: 770
   Oh Love! young Love! bound in thy rosy band,
   Let sage or cynic prattle as he will,
These hours, and only these, redeem Life’s years of ill!

82.

   But midst the throng in merry masquerade,
   Lurk there no hearts that throb with secret pain? 775
   Even through the closest searment half betrayed?
   To such the gentle murmurs of the main
   Seem to re-echo all they mourn in vain;
   To such the gladness of the gamesome crowd
   In source of wayward thought and stern disdain: 780
   How do they loathe the laughter idly loud,
And long to change the robe of revel for the shroud!

83.

   This must he feel – the true-born son of Greece,
   If Greece one true-born patriot still can boast,
   Not such as prate of war, but skulk in peace – 785
   The bondsman’s peace – who sighs for all he lost,
   Yet with smooth smile his tyrant can accost,
   And wield the slavish sickle, not the sword:
   Ah! Greece! they love thee least who owe thee most –
   Their birth, their blood, and that sublime record 790
Of hero sires, who shame thy now degenerate horde!

84.

   When riseth Lacedemon’s hardihood,
   When Thebes Epaminondas rears again,
   When Athens’ children are with hearts endued,
   When Grecian mothers shall give birth to men, 795
   Then may’st thou be restored; but not till then.
   A thousand years scarce serve to form a state;
   An hour may lay it in the dust: and when
   Can man its shattered splendour renovate,
Recal its virtues back, and vanquish Time and Fate? 800

85.

   And yet how lovely in thine age of woe,
   Land of lost gods and godlike men! art thou!
   Thy vales of evergreen, thy hills of snow, *
   Proclaim thee Nature’s varied favourite now;
   Thy fanes, thy temples to thy surface bow, 805
   Commingling slowly with heroic earth,
   Broke by the share of every rustic plough:
   So perish monuments of mortal birth,
So perish all in turn, save well-recorded Worth;

* On many of the mountains, particularly Liakura, the snow never is entirely notwithstanding the intense heat of the Summer; but I never saw it lie on the plains even in Winter.

86.

   Save where some solitary column mourns 810
   Above its prostrate brethren of the cave; *
   Save where Tritonia’s airy shrine adorns
   Colonna’s cliff, and gleams along the wave;
   Save o’er some warriors’ half-forgotten grave,
   Where the grey stones and unmolested grass 815
   Ages, but not oblivion, feebly brave,
   While strangers only not regardless pass,
Lingering like me, perchance, to gaze, and sigh “Alas!”

* Of Mount Pentelicus, from whence the marble was dug that constructed the public edifices of Athens. The modern name is Mount Mendeli. An immense cave formed by the quarries still remains, and will till the end of time.

87.

   Yet are thy skies as blue, thy crags as wild;
   Sweet are thy groves, and verdant are thy fields, 820
   Then olive ripe as when Minerva smiled,
   And still his honied wealth Hymettus yields;
   There the blithe bee his fragrant fortress builds,
   The freeborn wanderer of thy mountain-air;
   Apollo still thy long, long summer gilds, 825
   Still in his beam Mendeli’s marbles glare;
Art, glory, Freedom fail, but Nature still is fair.

88.

   Where’er we tread ’tis haunted, holy ground;
   No earth of thine is lost in vulgar mould!
   But one vast realm of wonder spreads around, 830
   And all the Muse’s tales seem truly told,
   Till the sense aches with gazing to behold
   The scenes our earliest dreams have dwelt upon:
   Each hill and dale, each deepening glen and wold
   Defies the power which crushed thy temples gone: 835
Age shakes Athena’s tower, but spares gray Marathon.

89.

   The sun – the soil – but not the slave the same,
   Unchanged in all except its foreign lord,
   Preserves alike its bounds and boundless fame,
   The Battle-field – where Persia’s victim horde 840
   First bowed beneath the brunt of Hellas’ sword,
   As on the morn to distant Glory dear,
   When Marathon became a magic word – *
   Which uttered – to the hearer’s eye appear
The camp – the host – the fight – the conqueror’s career! 845

* “Siste Viator – heroa calcas!” was the epitaph on the famous Count Merci; – what then must be our feelings when standing on the tumulus of the two hundred (Greeks) who fell on Marathon? The principle barrow has been recently opened by Fauvel; few or no relics, as vases &c. were found by the excavator. The plain of Marathon was offered to me for sale at the sum of sixteen thousand piastres, about nine hundred pounds! Alas! – “Expende – quot libras in duce summo – invenies?” – was the dust of Militiades worth no more? it could scarcely have fetched less if sold by weight.

90.

   The flying Mede – his shaftless broken bow,
   The fiery Greek – his red pursuing spear,
   Mountains above – Earth’s – Ocean’s plain below;
   Death in the front – Destruction in the rear!
   Such was the scene – what now remaineth here? 850
   What sacred trophy marks the hallowed ground
   Recording Freedom’s smile and Asia’s tear? –
   The rifled urn – the violated mound –
The dust – thy courser’s hoof, rude stranger! spurns around.

91.

   Yet to the remnants of thy splendour past 855
   Shall pilgrims, pensive, but unwearied, throng;
   Long shall the voyager, with th’Ionian blast,
   Hail the bright clime of battle and of song;
   Long shall thine annals and immortal tongue
   Fill with thy fame the youth of many a shore; 860
   Boast of the aged! lesson of the young!
   Which sages venerate and bards adore,
As Pallas and the Muse unveil their awful lore.

92.

   The parted bosom clings to wonted home,
   If aught that’s kindred cheer to welcome hearth; 865
   He that is lonely, hither let him roam,
   And gaze complacent on congenial earth.
   Greece is no lightsome land of social mirth:
   But he whom Sadness sootheth may abide,
   And scarce regret the region of his birth, 870
   When wandering slow by Delphi’s sacred side,
Or gazing o’er the plains where Greek and Persian died.

93.

   Let such approach this consecrated land,
   And pass in peace along the magic waste;
   But spare its relics – let no busy hand 875
   Deface the scenes, already how defaced!
   Not for such purpose were these altars placed:
   Revere the remnants nations once revered;
   So may our country’s name be undisgraced,
   So may’st thou prosper where thy youth was reared, 880
By every honest joy of love and life endeared!

94.

   For thee, who thus in too protracted song
   Hast soothed thine idlesse with inglorious lays,
   Soon shall thy voice be lost amidst the throng
   Of louder minstrels in these later days:
   To such resign the strife for fading bays –
   Ill may such contest now the spirit move
   Which heeds no keen reproach nor partial praise;
   Since cold each kinder heart that might approve,
And none are left to please when none are left to love. 890

95.

   Thou too art gone, thou loved and lovely one!
   Whom youth and youth’s affections bound to me;
   Who did for me what none beside have done,
   Nor shrank from one albeit unworthy thee.
   What is my being? thou hast ceased to be! 895
   Nor staid to welcome here thy wanderer home,
   Who mourned o’er hours which we no more shall see –
   Would they had never been, or were to come!
Would he had ne’er returned to find fresh cause to roam!

96.

   Oh! ever loving, lovely, and beloved! 900
   How selfish Sorrow ponders on the past,
   And clings to thoughts now better far removed!
   But time shall tear thy shadow from me last.
   All thou couldst have of mine, stern Death! thou hast;
   The parent, friend, and now the more than friend: 905
   Ne’er yet for one thine arrows flew so fast,
   And grief with grief continuing still to blend,
Hath snatched the little joy that life had yet to lend.

97.

   Then must I plunge again into the crowd,
   And follow all that Peace disdains to seek? 910
   Where Revel calls, and Laughter, vainly loud,
   False to the heart, distorts the hollow cheek,
   To leave the flagging spirit doubly weak;
   Still o’er the features, which perforce they cheer,
   To feign the pleasure or conceal the pique; 915
   Smiles form the channel of a future tear,
Or raise the writhing lip with ill-dissembled sneer.

98.

   What is the worst of woes that wait on age?
   What stamps the wrinkle deeper on the brow?
   To view each loved one blotted from life’s page, 920
   And be alone on earth, as I am now.
   Before the Chastener humbly let me bow,
   O’er hearts divided and o’er hopes destroyed:
   Roll on, vain days! full reckless may ye flow,
   Since Time hath reft whate’er my soul enjoyed, 925
And with the ills of Eld mine earlier years alloyed.

END OF CANTO II


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