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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 He gathcr'd revellers from far and near, He knew them flatt'rers of the festal hour; The heartless parasites of present cheer. Yea! none did love him — not his lemans dear — But pomp and power alone are woman's care, And where these are light Eros finds a feere; Maidens, like moths, are ever caught by glare. And Mammon wins his way where Seraphs might despair.
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't is 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 brlmm'd with every costly wine, And all that mote to luxury invite, Without a sigh he left to cross the brine, [line.' And traverse Paynim shores, and pass Earth's central
The sails were fill'd, and fair the light winds blew, As glad to waft him from his native home j And fast the white rocks faded from his view, And soon were lost in circumambient foam: And then, It may be, of his wish to roam Repented he, but In his bosom slept The silent thought, nor from his Ups did come One word of wall, whilst others sate and wept, And to the reckless gales unmanly moaning kept
1 [" Yet deem him not from this with breast of steel."—MS.]
* [" His hou*e, his home, his vassals, and his lands.
The DaMahs," (to — MS ]
* [Lord Byron originally Intended to visit India.]
* [See" Lord Maxwell's Oood Night,"in Scott's Mlnsi of the Scottish Dorder. Poetical Works, vol. ii. n. 141 \8M. —" Adieu, madam, my mother dear," &c — MS.]
s [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 serms a friendless animal: tell his father he is well, and doing well."]
* [" Our best goss-hawk can hardly fly .
So merrily along."—MS.]' '[" Oh. master dear! 1 do not cry
From fear of waves or wind."— MS.] ■ [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
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"Oood Night"»
"Adieu, adieu 1 my native shore
Fades o'er the waters blue;
And shrieks the wild sea-mew.
We follow In his flight j
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 !s
Why dost thou weep and wail?
Or tremble at the gale?
Our ship is swift and strong:
More merrily along. " *
"Let winds be shrill, let waves roll high,
I fear not wave nor wind :'
Am sorrowful in mind ; *
A mother whom I love,
But thee — and one above.
"My father bless'd me fervently,
Yet did not much complain;
Till I come back again. "—
Such tears become thine eye;
Mine own would not be dry.9
Murray. "Prav," he says to his mother, " shew the lad every
"My Mother is a high-born dame,
On all my ancestry:
Whose tears perhaps will flow;
"Come hither, hither, my staunch yeoman,*
Why dost thou look so pale?
Or shiver at the gale 7 "—
Sir Childe, I'm not so weak;
Will blanch a faithful cheek.
"My spouse and boys dwell near thy hall,
Along the bordering lake,
What answer shall she make ?"—
Thy grief let none gainsay;
Will laugh to flee away. *
*■ For who would trust the seeming sighs
Of wife or paramour?
We late saw streaming o'er.3
3for perils gathering near;
>"<> thing that claims a tear. *
"And now Tm in the world alone,
Upon the wide, wide sea:
When none will sigh for me?
HU fed by stranger hands;
He'd tear me where he stands.6
* rwniiam Fletcher, the faithful valet; — who, after a iervice of twenty years, (" during which," he says, " his Lord iu more to him than a father,"} received the Pilgrim** last word* at Missnlonghi, and did not quit his remains, until he
: had s*en them deposited in the family vault at Hucknall. This tmsoptaistjeated ** yeoman " was a constant source of pleasantry &» hi* master :—e. g. "Fletcher." he says, In s letter to hfs mother, **is not valiant; he requires comforts that I can dispense with, and *ighs for beer, and beef, and tea, and his wlf<% sad the deril knows what besides. We were one night lost lu s thornier-storm, and since, nearly wrecked. In both cases he
i was sorely bewildered; from apprehensions of famine anil taadieti in the first, and drowning in the second Instance. Hu eye* were a little hurt by the lightning, or crying, I don't koow which. 1 did what I could to console him, but found "sim incorrigible. He sends six sighs to Sally. I shall settle ■ in a farm: for he has served me falthfuHy, and Sally is a rwd Toraar." After all his adventures by flood and field, ih<->rt commons included, this humhle Achates of the poet has fsjw established himself as the keeper of an Italian warehouse, to Charles Street, Berkeley Square, where, if he does not
i thrive, every one who knows any thing of his character will
f say be deserves to do so J
* [** Enoagh, enough, my yeoman good, I All this is well to say;
But if I in thy sandals stood,
* [" I leave England withnut regret — I shall return to it ■iShoot pleasure. I am like Adam, the first convict sentenced to transportation ; but I have no Eve, and have eaten no apple tat what was s-mr as a crab." —Lord B. to Mr. Hodgson^
* [From the following passage In a letter to Mr Dallas, It | woeld appear that that gentleman had recommended the suppression or alteration of this stanza:—" I do not mean to tnebanfre the ninth verse of the * Good Night.' I have no r«*soo to suppose my dog better than his brother brutes,
| raaokiad ; and Argus, we know to Im a fable."] 'Here follows, m the original MS.: —
"With thee, my bark, I '11 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, [reap. And steer 'twixt fertile shores where yet few rustics
Oh, Christ I it is a goodly sight to see What Heaven hath done for this delicious land: What fruits of fragrance blush on every tree 1 What goodly prospects o'er the hills expand I 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 foemcn purge.8
What beauties doth Lisboa* first unfold I
"MethInks It would my bosom glad,
With one beloved playmite.
Witnout disgust or pain, Except sometimes in Lady's bower. Or when the bowl I drain."] 7 [Originally, the "little page'* and the "yeoman " were introduced in the following stanzas : —
"And of his train there was a henchman page, A peasant hoy, who served his master wi II; And often would his pranksotne prate engage Childe Harold's ear, when hi* proud heart did swell With sable thoughts that he disdain'd lo tell. Then would he smile on him, and Alwin smiled, When aught that from his young lips archly fell The gloomy film from Harold's eye beguiled; And pleased for a glimpse appear'd the woeful Child*. Him and one yeoman only did he take To travel eastward to a far countrie; And, though the hoy was grieved to leave the take On whose fair banks he grew from infancy, Eftsoons his little heart beat merrily With hope of foreign nations to behold, And many things right marvellous to see, Of which our vaunting voyagers oft have told. In many a tome as true as Mandcville't of old."J B [" These Lusian brutes, and earth from wont of wretches purge."— MS.]
9 ['* A friend advises Ulissipont; but I.itboa It the Portuguese word, consequently the best. Ulissipont is pedantic; and as I had lugged in Hellas and £ro$ not long before, there would have been something like an affectation of Greek termi, which I wished to avoid. On the submission of Lusitnnia to the Moors, they changed the name of the capital, which till then had been Ulisipo, or Lisno; because. In the Arabic alphabet, the letter p is not used. Hence, I believe, Lisboa, whence again, the French Lisbonne, and our Lisbon.— God knows which the earlier corruption ! "—-ByTon, MS.]
10 r» Which poets, prone tolie(have paved with gold."—MS.]
And to the Lusians did her aid afford: A nation swoln 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 cc ; 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 scenes— Why, Nature, waste thy wonders on such men? Lo! Cintra'sS glorious Eden intervenes In variegated maze of mount and glen. Ah me 1 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, Vino to the awe-struck world unlock'd Elysium's gates?
The horrid crags, by toppling convent crown'd, The cork-trees hoar that clothe the shaggy steep, The mountain-moss by scorching skies imbrown'd, The sunken glen, whose sunless shrubs must weep, The tender azure of the unruffled deep, The orange tints that gild the greenest bough, The torrents that from cliff to valley leap, The vine on high, the willow branch below, Mix'd in one mighty scene, with varied beauty glow.
1 [By comparing this and the thirteen following stanza* with the account of his progress which Lord Byron sent home to his mother, the reader will see that they are the exact echoes of the thoughts which occurred to his mind as he went orer the spots described. — Moore.]
3 [" 'Mid many things that grieve both nose and ee."—MS.]
3 [" To make amends for the fllthlness of Lisbon, and its still filthier inhabitants, the village of Clntra, about fifteen miles from the capital, is, perhaps, in every respect the most delightful in Europe. It contains beauties of every description, natural and artificial: palaces and gardens rising in the midst of rocks, cataracts, and precipices: convents on stupendous heights; a distant view of the sea and the Tagus; and. besides (though that is a secondary consideration), is remarkable as the scene of Sir Hew Dalrymple's convention. It unites in itself all the wildness of the western Highlands with the verdure of the south of France."— B. to Mrs. Byron. 1809.]
4 The convent of" Our Lady of Punishment," Nossa Setlora de Pena, on the summit of the rock. Below, at some distance, is the Cork Convent, where St Honorius dug his den, over which is his epitaph. From the hills, the sea adds to the beauty of the view. — Note lo 1st Edition. — Since the publication of this poem, 1 have been informed of the misapprehension of the term Sossa Scnora de Pena. It was owing to the want of the tilde or mark over the n, which alters the signification of the word: with it, Pena signifies a rock ; without it, Pena has the sense I adopted. I do not think it necessary to alter the passage \ as, though the common acceptation affixed to it Is " Our Lady of the Rock," I may well assume the other sense from the severities practised there. — Note to Id Edition.
6 It is a well known fact, that In the year 1S09, the assassin, ations in the streets of Lisbon and its vicinity were not confined by the Portuguese to their country-men ; hut that Englishmen were daily butchered: and so far from redress being obtained, we were requested not to interfere if we perceived any compatriot defending himself against his allies. I was once stopped
Then slowly climb the many-winding way,
And here and there, as up the crags you spring, Mark many rude-carved 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 secures not life. >
On sloping mounds, or in the vale beneath. Are domes where whilome kings did make repair; But now the wild flowers round them only breathe; Yet ruin'd splendour still is lingering there. And yonder towers the Prince's palace fair: There thou too, Vathek 16 England's wealthiest son, Once form'd thy Paradise, as not aware When wanton Wealth her mightiest deeds hath done, Meek Peace voluptuous lures was ever wont to shun.'
Here didst thou dwell, here schemes of pleasure plan,
in the way to the theatre at eight o'clock in the evening, when the streets were not more empty than they generally are at that hour, opposite to an open shop, and in a carriage with a friend: had we not fortunately been armed, 1 have not the least doubt that we should have "adorned a tale" instead of telling one. The crime of assassination is not confined to Portugal: In Sicily and Malta we are knocked on the head at a handsome average nightly, and not a Sicilian or Maltese is ever punished!
* [" Vathek " (says Lord Byron, in one of his diaries,) "was one of the tales 1 had a very early admiration of. For correctness of costume, beauty of description, and power of Imagination, it far surpasses all European imitations: and bears such marks of originality, that those who have visited the East will find some difficulty in believing it to be more than a translation. As an eastern tale, even Rasselas must bow before it; his 'happy valley * will not bear a comparison with the • Hall of Eblis.' "— [William Beckford, Esq., son of the once celebrated alderman, and heir to his enormous wealth, published, at the early age of eighteen, " Memoirs of extraordinary Painters ;" and in the year after, the romance thus eulogised. After sitting for Hlndon In several parliaments, this gifted person was induced to fix, for a time, his residence in Portugal, where the memory of his magnificence was fresh at the period of Lord Byron's pilgrimage. Returning to England, he realised nil the outward shows of Gothic grandeur in his unsubstantial pageant of Fonthill Abboy ; and has more recently been indulging his fancy with another, probably not more lasting, monument of architectural caprice, in the vicinity of Bath. It is much to be regretted, tli.it. after a lapse of fifty years, Mr. Beckford's literary reputation should continue to rest entirely on his juvenile, however remarkable, performances. It is said, however, that he has prepared several works for posthumous publication.]
7 [" When Wealth and Taste their worst and best have done. Meek Peace pollution's lure voluptuous still must shun." — MS.]
Here gtant weeds a passage scarce allow
S*cpt into wrecks anon by Tune's ungentle tide!
Behold the hall where chiefs were late convened! > Oh! dome displeasing unto British eye! With diadem night foolscap, lo! a fiend, A little fiend that scoffs incessantly, There sits in parchment robe array'd, and by Hia side is hung a seal and sable scroll, Where blazon'd glare names known to chivalry, And sundry signatures adorn the roll, [soul. » Whereat the Urchin points and laughs with all his
Convention is the dwarfish demon styled That foil'd the knights tn Marialva's dome: Of brains (if brains they had) he them beguiled, And tum'd a nation's shallow joy to gloom. Here Folly dash'd to earth the victor's plume, And Policy regain'd what arms had lost: For chiefs like ours in vain may laurels bloom! Woe to the conqu'ring, not the conquer'd host, ; Ssee baffled Triumph droops on Lusitania's coast 1
And ever since that martial synod met, Britannia sickens, Clntra! at thy name; And folks In office at the mention fret, [shame. And fain would blush, if blush they could, for How will posterity the deed proclaim I Will not our own and fellow-nations sneer. To view these champions cheated of their fame, By foes in fight oerthrown, yet victors here, [year? Where Scorn her finger points through many a coming
1 The ConTcntion of Cintra was signed in the palace of the Xarebe*e Marialva. — f" The armistice, the negotiations, the ce-oveotioo itself, and the execution of its provisions, were all conducted, and concluded, at the distance of Cintra, with which place they had not the on, political, military, or local; yet Lord Byron baa gravely asserted, in prose and verse, that the conTcctkm was signed at the Marquis of Marialva's house at CSotra ; and the author of ' The Diary of an Invalid,* improv. stg upon the poet's discovery, detected the stains of the ink *[fllt by Junot upon the occasion.** — Napier's History of the ?<hjt^sui*i War.3
5 The paAWire stood differently in the original MS. Some
Convention Is the dwarfish demon styled
But when Convention sent his handy-work.
in for one whole week forbore
So deem'd the Chllde, as o'er the mountains he Did take his way in solitary guise: Sweet was the scene, yet soon he thought to lice, More restless than the swallow in the skies: Though here awhile he learn'd to moralize, For Meditation flx'd at times on him; And conscious Reason whisper'd to despise His early youth, misspent in maddest whim; But as he gazed on truth his aching eyes grew dim.
To horse I to horse ! s he quits, for eveT quits A scene of peace, though soothing to his sou!: Again he rouses from his moping fits, But seeks not now the harlot and the bowl. Onward he flies, nor flx'd as yet the goal Where he shall rest him on his pilgrimage; And o'er him many changing scenes must roll Ere toil his thirst for travel can assuage, Or he shall calm his breast, or learn experience sage.
Yet Mafra shall one moment claim delay, Where dwelt of yore the Lusians' luckless queen; * And church and court did mingle their array, And mass and revel were alternate seen; Lordling? and frercs — ill-sorted fry I ween I But here the Babylonian whore hath built 5 A dome, where flaunts she In such glorious sheen, That men forget the blood which she hath spilt, And bow the knee to Pomp that loves to varnish guilt.
O'er vales that teem with fruits, romantic hills,
To question aught, once more with transport leapt.
Thus unto Heaven appeal'd the people: Heaven,
* [" After remaining ten days In Lisbon, we sent our baggage and part of our servants by sea to Gibraltar, and travelled on horseback to Seville; a distance of nearly four hundred miles. The horses are excellent: we rode seventy miles a~day. Eggs and wine, and hard beds, are all the accommodation we found, and, in such torrid weather, quite enough." Ji. Letters, 18090
* " Her luckless Majesty went subsequently mad ; and Dr. Willis, who so dexterously cudgelled kingly pcrirrantums, could make nothing of hers."—Byron MS. [The queen laboured under a melancholy kind of derangement, from which she never recovered. She died at the Brazils, in 18lfi.]
* The extent of Mafra is prodigious: it contains a palace,
• " Blatant beast " — a figure for the mob, I think first used by Smollett In his '* Adventures of an Atom." Horace has the "bellua multorum capttum:" in England, fortunately enough, the illustrious mobility have not even one.
f By this query it is not meant that our foolish generals should have been shot, but that Byng might have been spared, though the one suffered and the others escaped, probably for Candide's reason, "pour encourager les autres." [See Croker's *' Bo*, well," vol. i. p 298.; and the Quarterly Review, vol. xxvii. p. 207., where the question, whether the admiral was or was not a political martyr, Is treated at large.]
Though sluggards deem it but a foolish chase, And marvel men should quit their easy chair, The toilsome way, and long, long league to trace, Oh! there is sweetness in the mountain air, And life, that bloated Ease can never hope to share.
More bleak to view the hills at length recede,
Now must the pastor's arm his lambs defend:
Where Lusitania and her Sister meet, Deem ye what bounds the rival realms divide? Or ere the jealous queens of nations greet, Doth Tayo interpose his mighty tide? Or dark Sierras rise in craggy pride? Or fence of art, like China's vasty wall ? — Ne barrier wall, ne river deep and wide, Nc horrid crags, nor mountains dark and tall. Rise like the rocks that part Hispania's land from Gaul:
But these between a silver streamlet glides, And scarce a name distinguisheth the brook, Though rival kingdoms press its verdant sides. Here leans the idle shepherd on his crook, And vacant on the rippling waves doth look, That peaceful still 'twixt bitterest foemen flow; For proud each peasant as the noblest duke: Well doth the Spanish hind the difference know 'Twixt him and Lusian slave, the lowest of the low.'
But ere the mingling bounds have far been pass'd,
convent, and most superb church. The six organs are the most bcautirul I ever beheld, in point of decoration: we did not hear them, but were told that their tones were correspondent to their splendour. Mafra is termed the Escurial of Portugal [" About ten miles to the right of Cintra." says Lord Byron, in a letter to his mother,41 is the palace of Mafra, the boast of Portugal, as it might be of any country, in point of magnificence, without elegance. There is a convent annexed: the monks, who possess large revenues, are courteous enough, and understand Latin; so that we had a long conversation. They have a large library, and asked me if the English had any books in their country." — Mafra was erected by John V., in pursuance of a vow, made in a dangerous fit of illness, to found a convent for the use of the poorest friary in the kingdom. Upon inqulrv, this poorest was found at Mafra; where twelve Franciscans lived together in a hut. There is a magnificent view of the existing edifice in " Finden's Illustrations."]
i As I found the Portuguese, so I have characterised them. That they are since improved, at least in courage, is evident. The late exploits of Lord Wellington have effaced the follies of Cfntra. He has, indeed, done wonders: he has, perhaps, changed the character of a nation, reconciled rival superstitions, and baffled an enemy who never retreated before his predecessors. —1812.
* But ere the bounds of Spain have far been pass'd, For ever famed In many a noted song."— MS.]
* [Lord Byron seems to have thus early acquired enough of Spanish to understand and appreciate the grand body of
Of Moor and Knight, in mailed splendour drest: Here ceased the swift their race, here sunk the strong; The Paynim turban and the Christian crest Mlx'd on the bleeding stream.by floating hosts oppress'd.
Oh, lovely Spain I renown'd, romantic land! Where Is that standard which Pelagio bore, When Cava's traitor-sire first call'd the band That dyed thy mountain streams with Gothic gore ? * Where are those bloody banners which of yore Waved o'er thy sons, victorious to the gale, And drove at last the spoilers to their shore? Red gleam'd the cross, and waned the crescent pale. While Afric's echoes thrill'd with Moorish matrons' wail.
Teems not each ditty with the glorious tale? Ah 1 such, alas I the hero's amplest fate I When granite moulders and when records fail, A peasant's plaint prolongs his dubious date. Pride 1 bend thine eye from heaven to thine estate, See how the Mighty shrink into a song 1 Can Volume, Pillar, Pile, preserve thee great? Or must thou trust Tradition's simple tongue, When Flatter)' sleeps with thee, and History does thee wrong?
Awake, ye sons of Spain 1 awake! advance 1 Lo I Chivalry, your ancient goddess, cries, But wields not, as of old, her thirsty lance, Nor shakes her crimson plumage in the skies: Now on the smoke of blazing bolts she flies, And speaks in thunder through yon engine's roar: In every peal she calls — " Awake I arise!" Say, is Her voice more feeble than of yore. When her war-song was heard on Andalusia's shore?
Hark ! heard you not those hoofs of dreadful note? Sounds not the clang of conflict on the heath t Saw ye not whom the reeking sabre smote, Nor saved your brethren ere they sank beneath Tyrants and tyrants' slaves?—the fires of death, The bale-fires flash on high :— from rock to rock Each volley tells that thousands cease to breathe; Death rides upon the sulphury Siroc,1 Red Battle stamps his foot, and nations feel the shock.
ancient popular poetry, — unequalled in Europe, — which must ever form the pride of that magnificent language. See his beautiful version of one of the best of the ballads of the Granada war — the * Romance muy doloroso del sitio y toma de Alhama."]
* Count Julian's daughter, the Helen of Spain. Pelagins preserved his independence in the fastnesses of the Asturlas, and the descendants of his followers, after some centuries,
completed their struggle by the conquest of Grenada
[" Almost all the Spanish historians, as well as the voice of tradition, ascribe the invasion of the Moors to the forcible violation by Roderick upon Florinda, called by the Moors Caba, or Cava. She was the daughter of Count Julian, one of the Gothic monarch's principal lieutenants, who, when the crime was perpetrated, was engaged in the defence of Ceuta against the Moors. In his indignation at the Ingratitude of his sovereign, and the dishonour of his daughter. Count Julian forgot the duties of a Christian and a patriot, and, forming an alliance with Musa, then the Caliph's lieutenant in Africa, he countenanced the invasion of Spain by a body of Saracens and Africans, commanded by the celebrated Tarik; the issue of which was the defeat and death of Roderick, and the occupation of almost the whole peninsula by the Moors, The Spaniards, In detestation of Florinda's memory, are said, hy Cervantes, never to bestow that name upon any human female, reserving it for their dogs."— Sir Waltrr Scott.]
1 T "from rock to rock
Blue columns soar aloft in sulphurous wreath,