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VII. The Childe departed from his father's hall : It was a vast and venerable pile; So old, it seemed only not to fall, Yet strength was pillar'd in each massy aisle. Monastic dome! condemn'd to uses vile ! Where Superstition once had made her den 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.
VIII. Yet oft-times in his maddest mirthful mood Strange pangs would flash along Childe Harold's brow, As if the memory of some deadly feud Or disappointed passion lurk'd 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,
Nor sought he friend to counsel or condole, Whate'er this grief mote be, which he could not control.
And none did love him — though to hall and bower
Maidens, like moths, are ever caught by glare,
“ of habits and tastes too intellectualfor mere vulgar debauchery," but, assuredly, quite incapable of playing the parts of flatterers and parasites.]
Childe Harold had a mother — not forgot,
A few dear objects, will in sadness feel
The laughing dames in whom he did delight, 2
Without a sigh he left, to cross the brine, [line. S And traverse Paynim shores, and pass Earth's central
The sails were fill'd, and fair the light winds blew,
One word of wail, whilst others sate and wept,
XIII. But when the sun was sinking in the sea He seized his harp, which he at times could string, And strike, albeit with untaught melody, When deem'd 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,
And fleeting shores receded from his sight, Thus to the elements he pour'd his last “Good Night.” I
“ ADIFU, adieu! my native shore
Fades o'er the waters blue;
And shrieks the wild sea-mew.
We follow in his flight;
My native Land — Good Night!
“ A few short hours and he will rise
To give the morrow birth;
But not my mother earth.
Its hearth is desolate;
My dog howls at the gate.
« Come hither, hither, my little page! 1
Why dost thou weep and wail ?
Or tremble at the gale?
Our ship is swift and strong :
More merrily along." 2
I fear not wave nor wind : 3
Am sorrowful in mind ; 4
A mother whom I love,
But thee — and one above.
i [This “ little page " was Robert Rushton, the son of one of Lord Byron's tenants. “ Robert I take with me," says the poet, in a letter to his mother; “ I like him, because, like myself, he seems a friendless animal: tell his father he is well, and doing well." ]
[“ Our best goss-hawk can hardly fly
So merrily along." - MS.] s' Oh, master dear! I do not cry
From fear of wave or wind." - MS.] 4 Seeing that the boy was “ sorrowful" at the separation from his parents, Lord Byron, on reaching Gibraltar, sent him back to England under the care of his old servant Joe Murray. “ Pray," he says to his mother, “ shew the lad every kindness, as he is my great favourite.” He also wrote a letter to the father of the boy, which leaves a most favourable impression of his thoughtfulness and kindliness. “I have,” he says, “ sent Robert home, because the country which I am about to travel through is in a state which renders it unsafe, particularly for one so young. I allow you to deduct from your rent five and twenty pounds a year for his education, for three years, provided I do not return before that time, and I desire he may be considered as in my service. He has behaved extremely well.”]
Yet did not much complain;
Till I come back again.'-
Such tears become thine eye;
Mine own would not be dry.'
“ Come hither, hither, my staunch yeoman, 2
Why dost thou look so pale ?
Or shiver at the gale ?” —
Sir Childe, I'm not so weak;
Will blanch a faithful cheek.
1 [Here follows in the original MS.:
• My Mother is a high-born dame,
And much misliketh me;
On all my ancestry :
Whose tears perhaps will flow;
For three long years and moe.'] 2 William Fletcher, the faithful valet; -- who, after a service of twenty years, (“ during which," he says, “ his Lord was more to him than a father,”) received the Pilgrim's last words at Missolonghi, and did not quit his remains, until he had seen them deposited in the family vault at Hucknall. This unsophisticated " yeoman" was a constant source of pleasantry to his master :e. g.“ Fletcher,” he says, in a letter to his mother, “is not valiant ; he requires comforts that I can dispense with, and sighs for beer, and beef, and tea, and his wife, and the devil knows what besides. We were one night lost in a thunder-storm, and since, nearly wrecked. In both cases he was sorely bewildered; from appre. hensions of famine and banditti in the first, and drowning in the second instance. His eyes were a little hurt by the lightning, or