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CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE.
A ROMA U N T.
L'univers est une espèce de livre dont on n'a lu que la première page, quand on n'a
vu que son pays. J'en ai feuilleté un assez grand nombre, que j'ai trouvé également
PREFACE. The following Poem was written, for the The stanza of Spenser, according to one of most part, amidst the scenes which it attempts our most successful poets, admits of every to describe. It was begun in Albania, and variety. Dr. Beattie makes the following the parts relative to Spain and Portugal were observation : "Not long ago I began a poem composed from the author's observations in in the style and stanza of Spenser, in which those countries. Thus much it may be neces- I propose to give full scope to my inclination, sary to state for the correctness of the descrip- and be either droll or pathetic, descriptive tions. The scenes attempted to be sketched or sentimental, tender or satirical, as the are in Spain, Portugal, Epirus, Acarnania, humour strikes me; for, if I mistake not, and Greece. There for the present the poem the measure which I have adopted admits stops: its reception will determine whether equally of all these kinds of compositions." the author may venture to conduct his read-Strengthened in my opinion by such authoriers to the capital of the East, through Ionia ty, and by the example of some in the highest and Phrygia: these two cantos are merely order of Italian poets, I shall make no apology experimental.
for attempts at similar variations in the folA fictitious character is introduced for the lowing composition; satisfied that, if they sake of giving some connexion to the piece,
are unsuccessful, their failure must be in the which, however, makes no pretention to re-execution, rather than in the design sanctiongularity. It has been suggested to me by ed by the practice of Ariosto, Thomson, and friends, on whose opinions I set a high value,
Beattie. that in this fictitious character, “Childe Ha
ADDITION TO THE PREFACE. rold,” I may incur the suspicion of having . I have now waited till almost all our periodintended some real personage: this I beg ical journals have distributed their usual leave, once for all, to disclaim-Harold is portion of criticism. To the justice of the the child of imagination, for the purpose I generality of their criticisms I have nothing have stated. In some very trivial particu- to object; it would ill become me to quarrel lars, and those merely local, there might be with their very slight degree of censure grounds for such a notion ; but in the main when, perhaps, if they had been less kind points, I should hope, none whatever. they had been more candid. Returning, there
fore, to all and each my best thanks for their It is almost superfluous to mention that liberality, on one point alone shall I venture the appellation Childe," as "Childe Wa- an observation. Amongst the many objections ters,” “Childe Childers," is used as more con- justly urged to the very indifferent character sonant with the old structure of versifica- of the "vagrant Childe” (whom, notwithtion which I have adopted. The Good standing many hints to the contrary, I still Night,” in the beginning of the first canto, maintain to be a fictitious personage), it has was suggested by “Lord Maxwell's Good been stated, that besides the anachronism, Night," in the Border Minstrelsy, edited by he is very unknightly, as the times of the Mr. Scott.
Knights were times of love, honour, and so With the different poems which have been forth. Now it so happens that the good old published on Spanish subjects, there may be times, when “l'amour du bon vieux tems, l'afound some slight coincidence in the first mour antique" flourished, were the most part, which treats of the Peninsula, but it profligate of all possible centuries. Those can only be casual; as, with the exception who have any doubts on this subject may conof a few concluding stanzas, the whole of sult St. Palaye, passim, and more particithis poem was written in the Levant. larly vol. u. page 69. The vows of chivalry were no better kept than any other vows Before the days of Bayard, and down to whatsoever, and the songs of the Trouba- those of Sir Joseph Banks (the inost chasto dours were not more decent, and certainly and celebrated of ancient and modern times), were much less refined, than those of Ovid.- few exceptions will be found to this stateThe“Conrs d'amour, parlemens d'amour ou ment, and I fear a little investigation will de courtoisie et de gentilesse, ” had much teach us not to regret these monstrous mummore of love than of courtesy or gentleness.-meries of the middle ages. See Roland on the same subject with St. Pa- I now leave "Childe Harold” to live his laye.- Whatever other objection may be ur-day, such as he is; it had been more agreeaged to that most unamiable personage Childe ble, and certainly more easy, to have drawn Harold, he was so far perfectly knightly in his an amiable character. It had been easy to varattributes"No waiter, but a knight tem- nish over his faults, to make him do more and plar."-By the by, I fear that Sir Tristram express less, but he never was intended as an and Sir Lancelot were no better than they example, further than to show that early. should be, although very poetical persona- perversion of mind and morals leads to satiety ges and true knights “sans peur,” though not of past pleasures and disappointment in new "sans reproche.”—If the story of the insti- ones, and that even the beauties of nature, tution of the “Garter” be not a fable, the and the stimulus of travel (except ambition, knights of that order have for several centu- the most powerful of all excitements), are ries borne the badge of a Countess of Salis- lost on a soul so constituted, or rather misbury, of indifferent memory. So much for directed. Had I proceeded with the Poem, chivalry. Burke need not have regretted that this character would have deepened as he its days are over, though Maria Antoinette drew to the close; for the outline which I was quite as chaste as most of those in whose once meant to fill up for him was, with some honours lances were shivered, and knights exceptions, the sketch of a modern Timon, unhorsed.
perhaps a poetical Zeluco.
. Not in those climes where I have late been Mine shall escape the doom thine oyes straying,
assign Though Beauty long hath there been match- To those whose admiration shall succeed,
less deem'd; But mix'd with pangs to Love's even loveNot in those visions to the heart displaying
liest hours decreed. Forms which it sighs but to have only
Oh! let that eye, which, wild as the Gazelle's, Hath anght like thee in truth or fancy seem’d: Now brightly bold or beautifully shy, Nor, having seen thee, shall I vainly seek Wins as it wanders, dazzles where it dwells, To paint those charms which varied as they Glance o'er this page, nor to my verse beam'd
deny To such as see thee not my words were weak; That smile for which my breast might vainly To those who gaze on thee what language
This much, dear maid, accord; nor question Ah! may'st thou ever be what now thou art,
why Nor unbescem the promise of thy spring, To one so young my strain I would commend, As fair in form, as warm yet pure in heart, But bid me with my wreath one matchless Love's image upon earth without his wing,
lily blend. And guileless beyond Hope's imagining! And surely she who now so fondly rears Such is thy name with this my verse enThy youth, in thee, thus hourly brightening,
twined; Beholds the rainbow of her future years, And long as kinder eyes a look shall cast Before whose heavenly hues all sorrow On Ilarold's page, lanthe's here enshrined
disappears. Shall thus be first beheid, forgotten last :
My days once number'd, should this homage Young Peri of the West!--'tis well for me
past My years already doubly number thine; Attract thy fairy fngers ncar the lyre My loveless eye unmoved may gaze on thee, of him who hailed thee, loveliest as thou And safely view thy ripening beauties shine;
wast, Happy, I ne'er shall see them in decline, Such ihe most my memory may desire ; Happier, that while all younger hearts shall Though more than Hope can claim, could
Friendship less require?
And spoil'd her goodly lands to gild his
waste, Or, thou! in Hellas deem'd of heavenly birth, Nor calm domestic peace had ever deign'd Muse! form'd or fabled at the minstrel's will!
to taste. Since shamed full oft by later lyres on earth, Mine dares not call thee from thy sacred hill: And now Childe Harold was sore sick at Yet there I've wander'd by thy vaunted rill;
heart, Yes! sighed o'er Delphi's long-deserted And from his fellow bacchanals would flee;
'Tis said, at times the sullen tear would stari, Where, save that feeble fountain, all is still; But Pride congeal'd the drop within his ee : Nor mote my shell awake the weary Nine
Apart he stalk'd in joyless reverie, To grace so plain a tale—this lowly lay of And from his native land resolved to go,
And visit scorching climes beyond the sea; Whilome in Albion's isle there dwelt a yonth,
With pleasure drugg'd he almost longed for
woe, Who ne in Virtue's ways did take delight; And e’en for change of scene would seek But spent his days in riot most uncouth,
the shades below. And vex'd with mirth the drowsy ear of Night. Ah, me! in sooth he was a shameless wight, The Childe departed from his father's hall: Sore given to revel and ungodly glee; Few earthly things found favour in his sight So old, it seemed only not to fall,
It was a vast and venerable pile; Save concubines and carnal companie, And flaunting wassailers of high and low Yet strength was pillard in each massy aisle.
Monastic dome! condemned to uses vile!
Where Superstition once had made her den Childe Harold was he hight:- but whence
Now Paphian girls were known to sing and
sipile; his name And lineage long, it suits me not to say;
And monks might deem their time was como Suffice it, that perchance they were of fame, If ancient tales say true, nor wrong those
agen, And had been glorious in another day: But one sad losel soils a name for aye,
holy men. However mighty in the olden time; Nor all that heralds rake from coffin'd clay,
Yet oft-tiines in his maddest mirthful mood Nor florid prose, nor honied lies of rhynie, Strange pangs would flash along Childe BlaCan blazon evil deeds, or consecrate a crime.
As if the memory of some deadly feud Childe Harold bask'd him in the noon-tide Or disappointed passion lurk'd below:
But this none knew, nor haply cared to know; Disporting there like any other fly; For his was not that open, artless soul Nor deem'd before his little day was done That feels relief by bidding sorrow flow, One blast might chill him into misery. Nor sought he friend to counsel or condole, But long ere scarce a third of his pass'd by, Whate'er this grief mote be, which he Worse than adversity the Childe befell;
could not control. He felt the fulness of satiety: Then loathed he in his native land to dwell, And none did love him—though to hall and Which seemd to him more lone than Ere
bower mite's sad cell. He gather'd revellers from far and near,
He knew them flatt'rers of the festal hour; For he through Sin's long labyrinth had run, The heartless parasites of present cheer. Nor made atonement when he did amiss, Yea! none did love him-not his lemans Had sigh'd to many though he loved but one,
doarAnd that loved one, alas! could ne'er be his. But pomp and power alone are woman's care, Ah, happy she! to 'scape from him whose And where these are light Eros finds a feere;
Maidens, like moths, are ever caught by Had been pollution unto aught so chaste;
glare, Who soon had left her charins for vulgar And Mammon wins his way where Seraphs bliss,
Childe Harold had a mother-not forgot, |Deserted is my own good hall,
Wild weeds are gathering on the wall;
“Come hither, hither, my little page! Yet deem not thence his breast a breast of Why dost thou weep and wail ?
Or dost thou dread the billow's rage, Ye, who have known what 'tis to doat upon
Or tremble at the gale ? A few dear objects, will in sadness feel
But dash the tear-drop from thine eye; Such partings break the heart they fondly Our ship is swift and strong:
hope to heal.
Our fleetest falcon scarce can fly
More merrily along." His house, his home, his heritage, his lands, “Let winds be shrill, let waves roll high, The laughing dames in whom he did delight, I fear not wave nor wind; Whose large blue eyes, fair locks, and snowy Yet marvel not, Sir Childe, that I
Am sorrowful in mind;
But thee-and one above.
Yet did not much complain;
But sorely will my mother sigh The sails were fill’d, and fair the light winds
Till I come back again."blew,
"Enough, enough, my little lad!
Such tears become thine eye;
If I thy guileless bosom had
Mine own would not be dry. And then, it may be, of his wish to roam
“Come hither, hither, my staunch yeoman, Repented he, but in his bosom slept
Why dost thou look so pale?
Or shiver at the gale? ”—
Sir Childe, I'm not so weak; And to the reckless gales unmanly moaning But thinking on an absent wife
Will blanch a faithful cheek. But when the sun was sinking in the sea “My spouse and boys dwell near thy hall, He seized his harp, which he at times could Along the bordering lake,
And when they on their father call, And strike, albeit with untaught melody,
What answer shall she make?” When deemd heno strange ear was listening: "Enough, enough, my yeoman good, And now his fingers o'er it he did fling,
Thy grief let none gainsay; And tuned his farewell in the dim twilight.
But I, who am of lighter mood, While flew the vessel on her snowy wing,
Will laugh to flee away. And fleeting shores receded from his sight,
“For who would trust the seeming sighs Thus to the elements he pour d his last
Of wife or paramour? “Good Night.”
Fresh feres will dry the bright blue eyes
We late sáw streaming o’er. “Adieu, adieu! my native shore
For pleasures past I do not grieve,
Nor perils gathering near;
My greatest grief is that I leave
No thing that claims a tear.
“And now I'm in the world alone, Farewell awhile to him and thee,
Upon the wide, wide sea: My native Land-Good Night!
But why should I for others groan,
When none will sigh for me? 6.A few short hours and He will rise
Perchance my dog will whine in vain, To give the Morru w birth;
Till fed by stranger hands; And I shall hail the main and skics,
But long cre I come back again, But not my mother Earth.
He'd tear me where he stands.
“With thee, my bark, I'll swiftly go Ah, me! what hand can pencil guide, or pen, Athwart the foaming brine;
To follow half on which the
dilates Nor care what land thou bear'st me to, Through views more dazzling unto mortal So not again to mine.
ken Welcome, welcome, ye dark-blue waves ! Than those whereof such things the bard And when you fail my sight,
relates, Welcome, ye deserts, and ye caves ! Who to the awe-struck world unlock'd ElyMy native Land-Good Night!"
sium's gates? On, on the vessel flies, the land is gone, The horrid crags, by toppling convent And winds are rude in Biscay's sleepless bay.
crown'd, Four days are sped, but with the fifth, anon, The cork-trees hoar that clothe the shaggy New shores descried make every bosom gay;
steep, And Cintra's mountain greets them on their The mountain-moss by scorching skies imway,
brown'd, And Tagus dashing onward to the deep, The sunken glen, whose sunless shrubs must His fabled golden tribute bent to pay;
weep, And soon on board the Lusian pilots leap, The tender azure of the unruffled deep, And steer 'twixt fertile shores where yet The orange tints that gild the greenest
The torrents that from cliff to valley leap, Oh, Christ! it is a goodly sight to see The vine on high, the willow-branch below, What Heaven hath done for this delicious Mix'd in one mighty scene, with varied land!
beauty glow. What fruits of fragrance blush on every tree! What goodly prospects o'er the hills expand! Then slowly climb the many-winding way, But man would mar them with an impious And frequent turn to linger as you go, hand:
From loftier rocks new loveliness survey, And when the Almighty lifts his fiercest And rest ye at our Lady's house of woe;" scourge
Where frugal monks their little relics show, Gainst those who most transgress his high And sundry legends to the stranger tell: command,
Here impious men have punish'd been, and lo! With treble vengeance will his hot shafts Deep in yon cave Honorius long did dwell, urge
In hope to merit Heaven by making earth Gaul's locust host, and earth from fellest
a Hell. foemen purge.
And here and there, as up the crags you What beauties doth Lisboa first unfold!
spring, Her image floating on that noble tide, Mark many rude-carved crosses near the path: Which poets vainly pave with sands of gold, Yet deem not these devotion's offering But now whereon a thousand keels did ride These are memorials frail of murderous Of mighty strength, since Albion was allied,
wrath: And to the Lusians did her aid afford : For wheresoe'er the shrieking victim hath A nation swoln with ignorance and pride,
Pour'd forth his blood beneath the assassin's Who lick yet loathe the hand that waves the
Some hand erects a cross of mouldering lath; To save them from the wrath of Gaul's And grove and glen with thousand such are unsparing lord.
Throughout this purple land, where law Bat whoso entereth within this town,
secures not life. That, sheening far, celestial seems to be, Disconsolate will wander up and down, On sloping mounds, or in the vale beneath, Mid many things unsightly to strange ee; Are domes where whilome kings did make For hut and palace show like filthily:
repair; The dingy denizens are reared in dirt; But now the wild flowers round them only Ne personage of high or mean degree
breathe; Doth care for cleanness of surtout or shirt, Yet ruin'd splendonr still is lingering there. Though shent with Egypt's plague, un And yonder towers the Prince's palace fair:
kempt, unwash'd; unhurt. There thou too, Vathek! England's wealthPoor, paltry slaves! yet born ʼmidst noblest Once form’d thy Paradise, as not aware
When wanton Wealth her mightiest deeds Why.Nature, waste thy wonders on such men?
hath done, Lo! Cintra's glorious Eden intervenes Mcok Peace roluptuous lures was ever wont In variegated mazc of mount and glen.