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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: 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 dote upon A few dear objects, will in sadness feel Such partings break the heart they fondly hope to heal.
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; His goblets brimm'd 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.
The sails were fill'd, and fair the light winds blew,
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."
Adieu, adieu! my native shore
Fades o'er the waters blue;
And shrieks the wild sea-mew.
We follow in his flight; Farewell awhile to him and thee,
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.
And now I'm in the world alone,
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.
With thee, my bark, I'll swiftly go
Athwart the foaming brine;
So not again to mine.
And when you fail my sight,
My native land—Good night!
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, 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. And steer 'twixt fertile shores where yet few rustics reap.
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! 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.
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, And to the Lusians did her aid afford: A nation swoll'n with ignorance and pride, Who lick, yet loathe, the hand that waves the sword To save them from the wrath of Gaul's unsparing lord.
But whoso entereth within this town, That, sheening far, celestial seems to be, Disconsolate will wander up and down, 'Mid many things unsightly to strange e'e; For hut and palace show like filthily; The dingy denizens are rear'd in dirt; Ne personage of high or mean degree Doth care for cleanness of surtout or shirt, Though shent with Egypt's plague, unkempt, unwash'd, unhurt.
Poor, paltry slaves! yet born 'midst noblest scenesWhy, Nature, waste thy wonders on such men? 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 Than those whereof such things the bard relates, Who to the awe-struck world unlock'd Elysium's gates? XIX.
The horrid crags, by toppling convent crown'd,
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"; Where frugal monks their little relics show, And sundry legends to the stranger tell: Here impious men have punish'd been; and lo, Deep in yon cave Honorius long did dwell, In hope to merit Heaven-by-making earth a'Hetl. -'"
And here and there, as up the crags you spring, Mark many.rude-carv'd 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 . .....Pour'd 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._s.eeur.es p.ot JifeJ.-/