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CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE.

CANTO THE THIRD. 1

1.

Is thy face like thy mother's, my fair child !
ADA! sole daughter of my house and heart ? 2
When last I saw thy young blue eyes they smiled,
And then we parted, -not as now we part,
But with a hope. -

Awaking with a start,
The waters heave around me; and on high
The winds lift up their voices: I depart,

Whither I know not;s but the hour's gone by, When Albion's lessening shores could grieve or glad

mine eye.

[“ Begun July 10th, 1816. Diodati, near Lake of Geneva." MS.)

2 [In a hitherto unpublished letter, dated Verona, November 6. 1816, Lord Byron says “ By the way, Ada's name (which I found in our pedigree, under king John's reign), is the same with that of the sister of Charlemagne, as I redde, the other day, in a book treating of the Rhine."]

3 [Lord Byron quitted England, for the second and last time, on the 25th of April

, 1816, attended by William Fletcher and Robert Rushton, the " yeoman" and page of Canto 1, ; his

II.

Once more upon the waters ! yet once more !
And the waves bound beneath me as a steed
That knows his rider. 1 Welcome to the roar!
Swift be their guidance, wheresoe'er it lead !
Though the strain'd mast should quiver as a reed,
And the rent canvass fluttering strew the gale, 2
Still must I on; for I am as a weed,

Flung from the rock, on Ocean's foam to sail Where'er the surge may sweep, the tempest's breath

prevail.

III.

In my youth's summer I did sing of One,
The wandering outlaw of his own dark mind;
Again I seize the theme, then but begun,
And bear it with me, as the rushing wind
Bears the cloud onwards : in that Tale I find
The furrows of long thought, and dried-up tears,
Which, ebbing, leave a sterile track behind,

O’er which all heavily the journeying years
Plod the last sands of life, where not a flower

appears.

[In the “Two Noble Kinsmen” of Beaumont and Fletcher, (a play to which the picture of passionate friendship delineated in the characters of Palamon and Arcite would be sure to draw the attention of Byron in his boyhood) we find the following passage :

“ Oh, never
Shall we two exercise, like twins of Honour,
Our arms again, and feel our fiery horses

Like proud seas under us." Out of this somewhat forced simile, by a judicious transposition of the comparison, and by the substitution of the more definite word "waves " for “seas,” Lord Byron's clear and noble thought has been produced. - MORE.]

[“ And the rent canvass tattering."- MS.)

2

IV.

Since my young days of passion-joy, or pain,
Perchance my heart and harp have lost a string,
And both may jar: it may be, that in vain
I would essay as I have sung to sing.
Yet, though a dreary strain, to this I cling
So that it wean me from the weary dream
Of selfish grief or gladness -so it fling
Forgetfulness around me

-it shall seem To me, though to none else, a not ungrateful theme.

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He, who grown aged in this world of woe,
In deeds, not years, piercing the depths of life,
So that no wonder waits him; nor below
Can love or sorrow, fame, ambition, strife,
Cut to his heart again with the keen knife
Of silent, sharp endurance: he can tell
Why thought seeks refuge in lone caves, yet rife

With airy images, and shapes which dwell
Still unimpair'd, though old, in the soul's haunted cell

VI.

'Tis to create, and in creating live
A being more intense, that we endow
With form our fancy, gaining as we give
The life we image, even as I do now.
What am I? Nothing: but not so art thou,
Soul of my thought! with whom I traverse earth,
Invisible but gazing, as I glow

Mix'd with thy spirit, blended with thy birth,
And feeling still with thee in my crush'd feelings' dearth.

VII.

Yet must I think less wildly :- I have thought
Too long and darkly, till my brain became,
In its own eddy boiling and o'erwrought,
A whirling gulf of phantasy and flame :
And thus, untaught in youth my heart to tame,
My springs of life were poison’d. 'Tis too late !
Yet am I changed; though still enough the same

In strength to bear what time can not abate,
And feed on bitter fruits without accusing Fate.

VIII.

Something too much of this: — but now 'tis past,
And the spell closes with its silent seal.
Long absent HAROLD re-appears at last ;
He of the breast which fain no more would feel,
Wrung with the wounds which kill not, but ne'er
Yet Time, who changes all, had alter'd him [heal ;
In soul and aspect as in age: 1 years steal

Fire from the mind as vigour from the limb;
And life's enchanted cup but sparkles near the brim.

1 [" The first and second cantos of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage produced, on their appearance in 1812, an effect upon the public, at least equal to any work which has appeared within this or the last century, and placed at once upon Lord Byron's head the garland for which other men of genius have toiled long, and which they have gained late. He was placed pre-eminent among the literary men of his country by general acclamation. It was amidst such feelings of admiration that he entered the public stage. Every thing in his manner, person, and conversation, tended to maintain the charm which his genius had flung around him; and those admitted to his conversation, far from finding that the inspired poet sunk into ordinary mortality, felt themselves attached to him, not only by many noble qualities, but by the interest of a mysterious, undefined, and almost painful curiosity. A countenance exquisitely modelled to the expression of feeling and passion, and exhibiting the remarkable contrast of very dark hair and eyebrows, with light and expressive eyes, presented to the physiog

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His had been quaff'd too quickly, and he found
The dregs were wormwood; but he fill’d again,
And from a purer fount, on holier ground,
And deem'd its spring perpetual ; but in vain !
Still round him clung invisibly a chain
Which gall’d for ever, fettering though unseen,
And heavy though it clank'd not; worn with pain,

Which pined although it spoke not, and grew keen, Entering with every step he took through many a scene.

X.

Secure in guarded coldness, he had mix'd
Again in fancied safety with his kind,
And deem'd his spirit now so firmly fix'd
And sheath'd with an invulnerable mind,
That, if no joy, no sorrow lurk'd behind;
And he, as one, might 'midst the many stand
Unheeded, searching through the crowd to find

Fit speculation ; such as in strange land
He found in wonder-works of God and Nature's hand.

nomist the most interesting subject for the exercise of his art. The predominating expression was that of deep and habitual thought, which gave way to the most rapid play of features when he engaged in interesting discussion; so that a brother poet compared them to the sculpture of a beautiful alabaster vase, only seen to perfection when lighted up from within. The flashes of mirth, gaiety, indignation, or satirical dislike, which frequently animated Lord Byron's countenance, might, during an evening's conversation, be mistaken, by a stranger, for the habitual ex. pression, so easily and so happily was it formed for them all ; but those who had an opportunity of studying his features for a length of time, and upon various occasions, both of rest and emotion, will agree that their proper language was that of melancholy; Sometimes shades of this gloom interrupted even his gayest and most happy moments." ŠIR WALTER Scott.]

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