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XXI. 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 Wakes the brisk harmony that sailors love ; 1 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.
XXII. Through Calpe's straits survey the steepy shore; 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, Distinct, though darkening with her waning phase;
But Mauritania's giant-shadows frown, From mountain-cliff to coast descending sombre down.
XXIII. 'Tis night, when Meditation bids us feel We once have loved, though love is at an end : The heart, lone mourner of its baffled zeal, Though friendless now, will dream it had a friend. 2 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,
Death hath but little left him to destroy ! Ah! happy years ! once more who would not be a boy?
"[" Plies the brisk instrument that sailors love.” – MS.] 2 [“ Bleeds the lone heart, once boundless in its zeal,
And friendless now, yet dreams it had a friend," - MS.]
XXIV. Thus bending o'er the vessel's laving side, To gaze on Dian's wave-reflected sphere, The soul forgets her schernes of Hope and Pride, And flies unconscious o'er each backward year. None are so desolate but something dear, Dearer than self, possesses or possess'd A thought, and claims the homage of a tear;
A flashing pang! of which the weary breast Would still, albeit in vain, the heavy heart divest.
XXV. 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; 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
XXVI. But midst the crowd, the hum, the shock of men, 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! None that, with kindred consciousness endued, If we were not, would seem to smile the less,
Of all that flatter'd, follow'd, sought, and sued; This is to be alone; this, this is solitude !
That he who there at such an hour hath been
Sigh forth one wish that such had been his lot,
As breezes rise and fall and billows swell,
xxix. But not in silence pass Calypso's isles, 2 The sister tenants of the middle deep;
irOne of Lord Byron's chief delights was, as he himself states in one of his journals, after bathing in some retired spot, to seat himself on a high rock above the sea, and there remain for hours, gazing upon the sky and the waters. “ He led the life," says Sir Egerton Brydges, “as he wrote the strains, of a true poet. He could sleep, and very frequently did sleep, wrapped up in his rough great coat, on the hard boards of a deck, while the winds and the waves were roaring round him on every side, and could subsist on a crust and a glass of water. It would be difficult to persuade me, that he who is a coxcomb in his manners, and artificial in his habits of life, could write good poetry.”]
2 Goza is said to have been the island of Calypso. -[“ The
There for the weary still a haven smiles,
Stern Mentor urged from high to yonder tide; While thus of both bereft, the nymph-queen doubly
Her reign is past, her gentle glories gone :
To cast a worthless offering at thy shrine,
Since now he vainly urged him to adore,
identity of the habitation assigned by poets to the nymph Calypso, has occasioned much discussion and variety of opinion. Some place it at Malta, and some at Goza." - Sir R. c. Hoare's Classical Tour.]
1 ["Thus Harold spoke,” &c. — MS.]
XXXII. Fair Florence I found, in sooth with some amaze, One who, 't was said, still sigh'd to all he saw, Withstand, unmoved, the lustre of her gaze, Which others hail'd with real or mimic awe, Their hope, their doom, their punishment, their law; All that gay Beauty from her bondsmen claims : And much she marvell’d that a youth so raw
Nor felt, nor feign'd at least, the oft-told flames, Which, though sometimes they frown, yet rarely anger
isFor an account of this accomplished but eccentric lady, whose acquaintance the poet formed at Malta, see Miscellaneous Poems, September, 1809, “ To Florence."-" In one so imaginative as Lord Byron, who, while he infused so much of his life into his poetry, mingled also not a little of poetry with his life, it is difficult," says Moore, “in unravelling the texture of his feelings, to distinguish at all times between the fanciful and the real. His description here, for instance, of the unmoved and loveless heart,' with which he contemplated even the charms of this attractive person, is wholly at variance with the statements in many of his letters; and, above all, with one of the most graceful of his lesser poems, addressed to this same lady, during a thunder-storm on his road to Zitza."]
2 Against this line it is sufficient to set the poet's own declaration, in 1821 _“I am not a Joseph, nor a Scipio; but I can safely affirm, that I never in my life seduced any woman."]
3 “ We have here another instance of his propensity to selfmisrepresentation. However great might have been the irregu