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i! unsheathe then our chiefs scimitar:
'Far Greece! sad relic of departed worth ! *
Spirit of Freedom! when on Phyle's brow' Thou sat'st with Thrasybulus and his train, Cooldst thou furbode the dismal hour which now Dims the green beauties of thine Attic plain? Not thirty tyrants now enforce the chain, But every carle can lord it o'er thy land; Xw rise thy sons, but idly rail in vain, Trembling beneath the scourge of Turkish hand; 'ran birth till death enslaved; in word, in deed, n'd.
In ill save form alone, how changed I and who That marks the fire still sparkling in each eye, Who but would deem their bosoms burn'd anew With thy unquenched beam, lost Liberty! And many dream withal the hour is nigh That gives them back their fathers' heritage: For foreign arms and aid they fondly sigh, Xjr solely dare encounter hostile rage, [page. Or tear their name denied from Slavery's mournful
Hereditary bondsmen! know ye not Who would be free themselves must strike the blow? By their right arms the conquest must be wrought? wai Gaol or Muscovite redress ye? no! True, they may lay your proud despoilcrs low, But not for you will Freedom's altars flame. Shades of the Helots I triumph o'er your foe! Greece! change thy lords, thy state is still the same; lay florious day is o'er, but not thy years of shame.
1 See some Thought* on the present State of Greece and '■utrT ra the Appendix to this Canto, Notes [D] and r_EJ.
1 Fiiyle, which command! a beautiful view of Athens, has *Sil considerable remaini: it was seized by Thrasybulus, prcI raw to the expulsion of the Thirty.
'Wbep taken by the Latins, and retained for several years. J Mecca and Medina were taken some time ago by tile
"lasbees. a sect vcarly increasing.
* [Of Constantinople Lord Byron says,— "I have seen runs of Athens, of Epliesus, and Delphi; I have tr.i. "mM creat part of Turkey, and many other parts of Europe, fflDf of Asia; but I never behelu a work of nature or art *fccfa yielded an impression like the prospect on each side, t"5» the Seven Towers to the end of the Golden Horn."] rbe Tiew of Constantinople," says Mr. Rose, "which
r'ed intsrsected by groves of cypress (for such is the of its vreat burial-grounds planted with these trees). Its pWed domes and minarets reflecting the first rays of the tliedeep blue sea 'in which it glassed itself, and Maf 'with beautiful boats and barges darting in every
LXXVil. • The city won for Allah from the Giaour, The Giaour from Othman's race again may wrest; And the Serai's impenetrable tower Receive the fiery Frank, her former guest j 4 Or Wahab's rebel brood, who dared divest The prophet's1 tomb of all its pious spoil. May wind their path of blood along the West; But ne'er will freedom seek this fated soil, But slave succeed to slave through years of endless toil.
Yet mark their mirth — ere lenten days begin. That penance which their holy rites prepare To shrive from man his weight of mortal sin, 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, And join the mimic train of merry Carnival.
And whose more rife with merriment than thine, Oh Stamboul61 once the empress of their reign? Though turbans now pollute Sophia's shrine, And Greece her very altars eyes in vain: (Alas ! her woes will still pervade my strain 1) 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 woo'd the eye, and thrill'd the Bosphorus along. <
Loud was the lightsome tumult on the shore, Oft Music changed, but never ceased her tone, And timely echo'd back the measured oar. And rippling waters made a pleasant moan: The Queen of tides on high consenting shone, And when a transient breeze swept o'er the wave, 'T was, as if darting from her heavenly throne, A brighter glance her form reflected gave, [lave. Till sparkling billows seem'd to light the banks they
Glanced many a light caique along the foam, Danced on the shore the daughters of the land, Ne thought had man or maid of rest or home, While many a languid eye and thrilling hand Exchanged the look few bosoms may withstand, Or gently prest, return'd the pressure still: Oh Love I young Love! bound in thy ropy band, Let sage or cynic prattle as he will, These hours, and only these, redeem Life's years of ill!
direction in perfect silence, amid sea-fowl, who sat at rest upon the waters, altogether conveyed such an impression as I had never received, and probably never shall again receive, from the view of any other place." The following sonnet, by the same author, has been so often quoted, that, but f..r its exquisite beauty, we should not have ventured to reprint it here: —
"A glorious form thy shining city wore,
Who, mute as Sinhad's man of copper, rows,
I, hardly conscious if I dream d or woke,
# L XXXII.
But, midst the throng in merry masquerade, Lurk there no hearts that throb with secret pain, Even through the closest scarment half betray'd? 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 Is source of wayward thought and stern disdain: How do they loathe the laughter idly loud, And long to change the robe of revel for the shroud!
This must he feel, the true-bom son of Greece, If Greece one true-born patriot still can boast: Not such as prate of war, but skulk in peace, 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 Of hero sires, who shame thy now degenerate horde!'
LXXXIV. When riscth Lacedemon's hardihood, When Thebes Epaminondas rears again, When Athens' children are with hearts endued, When Grecian mothers shall give birth to men, 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 shatter'd splendour renovate, Recall its virtues back, and vanquish Time and Fate?
And yet how lovely in thine age of woe,
1 On many of the mountains, particularly Liakura^ the snow never 'is entirely melted, notwithstanding the intense heat of the summer; but I never saw it lie on the plains, even in winter.
5 Of Mount Pentclicus, 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.
3 In all Attica, if we except Athens itself and Marathon, there is no scene more interesting than Cape Colonna. To the antiquary and artist, sixteen column" arc an Inexhaustible source of observation and design; to the philosopher, the supposed scene of some of Plato's conversations will not bp unwelcome; and the traveller will be struck with the beauty of the prospect over " Isles that crown the /Egean deep:" but, for an Englishman, Colonna has yet an additional interest, as the actual snot of Falconer's Shipwreck. Pallas and Plato are forgotten, in the recollection uf Falconer aud Campbell: —
14 Here in the dead of night bv I-onna's strep.
This temple of Minerva may lie seen at sea from a great distance. In two journeys which 1 made, anil one voyage to Cape Colonna, the view from either side, by land, was Jess striking than the approach from the isles, hi our second land excursion, we had a narrow escape from a party of Mainotes, concealed in the caverns beneath. We were told afterwards, by one of their prisoners, subsequently ransomed, that they were deterred from attacking us by the appearance of my two Albanians: conjecturing very sagaciously, but
Save where some solitary column mourns Above its prostrate brethren of the cave ;5 Save where Tritonia's airy shrine adorns Colonna's cliff ', and gleams along the wave; Save o'er some warrior's half-forgotten grave, Where the gray stones and unmolested grass Ages, but not oblivion, feebly brave, While strangers only not regardless pass. Lingering like me, perchance, to gaie, and sigh " Alas 1"
LXXXVII. Tet are thy skies as blue, thy crags as wild; Sweet are thy groves, and verdant are thy fields, Thine olive ripe as when Minerva smiled, And still his honey'd wealth Hymcttus yields; There the blithe bee his fragrant fortress builds, The freeborn wanderer of thy mountain-air; Apollo still thy long, long summer gilds, Still in his beam Hendeli's marbles glare; Art, Glory, Freedom fail, but Nature still is fair.'
Where'er we tread't is haunted, holy ground; No earth of thine is lost in vulgar mould, But one vast realm of wonder spreads around, And ail 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 crush'd thy temples gone: Age shakes Athena's tower but spares gray Marathon.
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 First bow'd beneath the brunt of Hellas' sword, As on the morn to distant Glory dear, When Marathon became a magic word ;5 Which utter'd, to the hearer's eye appear The camp, the host, the fight, the conqueror's career,
falsely, that we had a complete guard of these Amaouts at hand, they remained stationary, and thus saved our party, which was too small to have opposed any effectual resistance, Colonna is no less a resort of painters than of pirates ; there
"The hireling artist plants his paltry desk.
(Sec Hodgson's Lady Jane Grey, fcc"!
But there Natuie. with the aid of Art, has done that for herself. I was fortunate enough to ent-age a very superior German artist; and hope to renew my acquaintance with this and many other Levantine scenes, by the arrival of hU performances.
4 [The following: passage in Harris's Philosophical Inquiries, contains the pith of this stanza : —" Notwithstanding the various fortunes of Athens as a citv, Attica is still famous fur olives, and Mount Hymettus for nonev. Human institutions perish, but Nature is permanent." I recollect having once pointed out this coincidence to Lord Bvron. but be assured me that he had never even seen tills work of Harris's. — Moore, j
5 " Slste Viator —hcroa calcas!" was the epitaph on the famous Count Merci; — what then must be our feelings w hen standing on the tumulus of the two hundred (Greeks) w ho fell on Marathon? The principal barrow has recently been 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 I Alas !—" Expendc — quot libra* In duce tummo — tnvenies!" — was the dust of Miltiades worth no more? It could scarcely have fetched less if sold by weight.
The tying Mede, his shaftless broken bow; Tie fiery Greek, his red pursuing spear; Mountains above, Earth's, Ocean's plain below; Heath in the front, Destruction in the rear! Such was the scene—what now remaineth here? What sacred trophy marks the hallow'd ground, Recording Freedom's smile and Asia's tear? The rifled urn, the violated mound, [around, lie dust thy courser's hoof, rude stranger I spurns
Tet to the remnants of thy splendour past Shall pilgrims, pensive, but unwearied, throng; Lone shall the voyager, with th' Ionian blast, Hail the bright clime of battle and of song; 1 , Long shall thine annals and Immortal tongue FID with thy fame the youth of many a shore; Boast of the aged! lesson of the young 1 Which sages venerate and bards adore, 41 Pallas and the Muse unveil their awful lore.
The parted bosom clings to wonted home, If anght that's kindred cheer the welcome hearth; |i He that is lonely, hither let him roam,
I And gaze complacent on congenial earth.
II But he whom Sadness sootheth may abide,
Or gazing o'er the plains where Greek and Persian died. 1
Let such approach this consecrated land, And pass in peace along the magic waste; But spare its relics—let no busy hand 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 undisgraecd, So may'st thou prosper where thy youth was rear'd, By every honest joy of love and life endear'd!
For thee, who thus in too protracted song
1 tThe original MS. closes with this stansa. The rest was added while the canto was passing through the press.}
: fThii stanza was written October 11. 1811 ; upon which fey the poet, in a letter to a friend, says. —" I nave been •cam shocked with a d?ath, and have lost one very dear to ne in happier times; but' I have almost forgot the taste of rrset,' and ' supped full of horrors,' till I have become callous; aor have I a tear left for an event which, five years ago, would tare bowed down my head to the earth. It seems as though I were to experience in my youth the greatest misery of age. My friends fall around me, and I shall be left a lonely tree before 1 am withered. Other men can always take refuge in
111 may such contest now the spirit move Which heeds nor 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.
Thou too art gone, thou loved and lovely one!
Would they had never been, or were to come! Would he had ne'er return'd to find fresh cause to roam!
Oh I ever loving, lovely, and beloved!
The parent, friend, and now the more than friend;
Then must I plunge again into the crowd, And follow all that Peace disdains to seek? 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, I To feign the pleasure or conceal the pique? Smiles form the channel of a future tear, Or raise the writhing lip with ill-dissembled sneer.
What is the worst of woes that wait on age?
their families: I have no resource but my own reflections, and theyprcscnt 110 prospect here or hereafter, except the selfish satisfaction of surviving my friends. I am indeed verv wretched, and you will excuse my saying so, as you know "I 1 am not apt to cant of sensibility." In reference to this stanza,' "Surely," said Professor Clarke to the author of the Pursuits of Literature, " Lord Byron cannot have experienced such keen anguish as these exquisite allusions to what older men may have felt seem to denote."—" 1 fear ho lias," answered Matthias ; — " lie could not otherwise have written such a poem. "3
(RflUUc fftarollTd Utlgtimage.
"Ann que cette application vous forcat de Denser d autre chose; 11 n'y a en vente de remede que celul-la et le temps." — Letlre du Roi de Prusse i D'AUmbert, Sept. 7. 1776.
CANTO THE THIRD.
Is thy face like thy mother's, my fair child!
Awaking with a start.
Once more upon the waters! yet once more! And the waves bound beneath me as a steed That knows his rider.* Welcome to their roar! Swift be their guidance, wheresoe'er it lead! Though the strained mast should quiver as a reed, And the rent canvass fluttering strew the gale,1 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.
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 Flod the last sands of life,—where not a flower appears.
Since my young days of passion —joy, or pain,
1 [In a hitherto unpublished letter, dated Verona, November fi. 1816, Lord Byron says —" By the wav, Ada's name(which I found in our pedigree, under king John's reign), i* the same with that of the sister of Charlemagne, as 1 redde,
the other day, In a book treating of the Rhine."]
1 [Lord Byron quitted England, for the second and last time, on the 2Mh of April, 1816. attended by William Fletcher and Robert Rushton, the M yeoman " and * page " of Canto L; his physician. Dr. Polidori; and a Swiss valet.]
3 "could grieve or glad my gazing eye."— MS.]
4 [In the "Two Noble Kinsmen" of Beaumont and Fletcher, we find the following passage: —
"Oh, never Shall we two exercise, like twins of Honour, Our arms again, and feel our fiery horses Lite proud sea* under us." Ont of this somewhat forced simile, by a judicious transposition of the comparison, and by the substitution of the mure definite word "wares" for "seas," Lord Bvron's clear and noble thought has been produced. —. Moorb } 1 [" And the rent canvass tattering."— MS.]
Yet, though a dreary strain, to this I cling j 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.
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.
'T is 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 1 with whom I traverse earth. Invisible but gazing, as I glow Miz'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 Anre 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. 'T is 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.
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 6: years steal Fire from the mind as vigour from the limb; And life's enchanted cup but sparkles near the brim.
8 [The first and second cantos of "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" produced, on their appearance In 1812, an eflfcet ^ipon 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 liare 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 physiognomist 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 IX.
His had been quafT'd too quickly, and he found The dregs were wormwood; but he flll'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 gal I'll 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
Secure in guarded coldness, he had mix'd
I in wonder-works of God and Nature's hand.
But who can view the ripen'd rose, nor seek To wear it? who can curiously behold The smoothness and the sheen of beauty's check, 35or feel the heart can never all grow old? Who can contemplate Fame through clouds unfold The star which rises o'er her steep, nor climb? Harold, once more within the vortex, roll'd On with the giddy circle, chasing Time, Tet with a nobler aim than in his youth's fond prime.
But soon he knew himself the most unfit Of men to herd with Man; with whom he held Little in common; untaught to submit His thoughts to others, though his soul was qucll'd In youth by his own thoughts; still uncompell'd, He would not yield dominion of his mind To spirits against whom his own rebell'd; Proud though in desolation; which could find A lift within itself, to breathe without mankind.
Where rose the mountains, there to him were friends;
( roll'd the ocean, thereon was bis home; ■ a blue sky, and glowing clime, extends, He had the passion and the power to roam;
■r^ptnre of a beautiful alabaster rase, only seen to perfection i lighted op from within. The flashes of mirth, gaiety, k, or satirical dislike, which frequently animated D's countenance, might, during an evening's con'staken, by a stranger, for the habitual cx
/ and so happily was it formed for them all;
e who had an opportunity of studying his features for of time, and upon various occasions, both of rest and
- that their proper language was that of times shades of this gloom interrupted his gayest and most happy moments. — Sir Walteb arorr J
1 (Ta the third canto of Chllde Harold there is much jaltty. The thoughts and images are sometimes laswed; but still they are a very great improvement upon oW tnt two cantos. Lord Byron here speaks in his own anBruav and character, not in the tone of others ; — he is •escribing, not Inventing ; therefore lie has not, and cannot fcaw*. the freedom with which fiction is composed. Some, waass bt has a conciseness which Is very powerful, but almost •bray*. From trusting himself alone, and working out his 'wa) >rp-bar:,-J th'iucbts. he now, perhaps, fell into a habit taVxtrme. «*ven where there was no occasion to labour. I» taw tnt sixteen stanzas there Is yet a mighty but groaning
The desert, forest, cavern, breaker's foam, Were unto him companionship; they spake A mutual language, clearer than the tome Of his land's tongue, which he would oft forsake For Nature's pages glass'd by sunbeams on the lake.
Like the Chaldean, he could watch the stars, Till he had peopled them with beings bright As their own beams; and earth, and earth-born jars, And human frailties, were forgotten quite: Could he have kept his spirit to that flight He had been happy; but this clay will sink Its spark immortal, envying it the light To which it mounts, as if to break the link [brink. That keeps us from yon heaven which woos us to its
But in Man's dwellings he became a thing
Self-exiled Harold > wanders forth again, With naught of hope left, but with less of gloom; The very knowledge that he lived in vain, That all was over on this side the tomb, Had made Despair a smilingness assume, [wreck Which, though 'twere wild,—as on the plunder'd When mariners would madly meet their doom With draughts intemperate on the sinking deck,— Did yet inspire a cheer, which he forbore to check.«
Stop ! — for thy tread is on an Empire's dust! An Earthquake's spoil is sepulchred below! Is the spot mark'd with no colossal bust? Nor column trophied for triumphal show? None; but the moral's truth tells simpler so, As the ground was before, thus let it be; — How that red rain hath made the harvest grow! And is this all the world has gain'd by thee, Thou first and last of fields! king-making Victory?
burst of dark and appalling strength. It was unquestionably the unexaggerated picture of a most tempestuous and sombre, but magnificent soul! — Brypgrs.]
5 [These stanzas,— in which the author, adopting more distinctly the character of Chllde Harold than in the original poem, assigns the cause why he has resumed hhi Pilgrim's staff, when it was hoped he had sat down for life a denizen of his native country, — abound with much moral interest and poetical beauty. The commentary through which the meaning of this melancholy tale is rendered obvious, is still in vivid remembrance -, for the errors of those who excel their fellows in gifts and accomplishments are not soon forgotten. Those scenes, ever most painful to the bosom, were rendered yet more so by public discussion; and it is at least possible that amongst those* who exclaimed most loudly on this unhappy occasion, were some in whose eyes literary superiority exaggerated Lord Byron's offence. "The scene may be described In a few words : — the wise condemned — the good regretted — the multitude, Idly or maliciously inquisitive, rushed from place to plare, gathering gossip, which they mangled and exaggerated while they repeated It; and Impudence, ever ready to hitch itself Into notoriety, hooked on, as Kalstaff enjoins Bardolph, blustered, bullied, and talked of " pleading a cause," and " taking a side." — Sir Walter Scott.]