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Peril he sought not, but ne'er shrank to meet :
The scene was savage, but the scene was new ;
This made the ceaseless toil of travel sweet,
Beat back keen winter's blast, and welcomed summer's heat.
Here the red cross, for still the cross is here,
Though sadly scoff’d at by the circumcised,
Forgets that pride to pamper'd priesthood dear ;
Churchman and votary alike despised.
Foul Superstition ! howsoe'er disguised,
Idol, saint, virgin, prophet, crescent, cross,
For whatsoever symbol thou art prized,
Thou sacerdotal gain, but general loss !
Who from true worship's gold can separate thy dross ?
Ambracia's gulf behold, where once was lost
A world for woman, lovely, harmless thing !
In yonder rippling bay, their naval host
Did many a Roman chief and Asian king (')
To doubtful conflict, certain slaughter bring :
Look where the second Cæsar's trophies rose ! (°)
Now, like the hands that rear'd them, withering:
Imperial anarchs, doubling human woes!
Gop! was thy globe ordaind for such to win and lose ?
From the dark barriers of that rugged clime,
Ev'n to the centre of Illyria's vales,
Childe Harold pass'd o'er many a mount sublime,
Through lands scarce noticed in historic tales ;
Yet in famed Attica such lovely dales
Are rarely seen : nor can fair Tempe boast
A charm they know not; loved Parnassus fails
Though classic ground and consecrated most,
To match soine spots that lurk within this lowering coast.
(1) It is said, that on the day previous to the battle of Actium, Anthony had thirteen kings at his levee.
(2) Nicopolis, whose ruins are most extensive, is at some distance from Aclium, where the wall of thy Hippodrome survives in a few fragments.
He pass'd bleak Pindus, Acherusia's lake, (-)
And left the primal city of the land,
And onwards did his further journey take
To greet Albania's chief, (o) whose drcad command
Is lawless law; for with a bloody hand
Не sways a nation, turbulent and bold:
Yet here and there some daring mountain-band
Disdain his power, and from their rocky hold
Hurl their defiance far, nor yield, unless to gold. (*)
Monastic Zitza ! (") from thy shady brow,
Thou small, but favour'd spot of holy ground !
Where'er we gaze, around, above, below,
What rainbow tints, what magic charms are found!
Rock, river, forest, mountain, all abound,
And bluest skies that harmonise the whole :
Beneath, the distant torrent's rushing sound
Tells where the volumed cataract doth roll
Between those hanging rocks, that shock yet please the soul.
Amidst the grove that crowns yon tusted hill,
Which, were it not for many a mountain nigh
Rising in lofty ranks, and lofter still,
Might well itself be deem'd of dignity,
The convent's white walls glisten fair on high :
Here dwells the caloyer, (“) nor rude is he,
Nor niggard of his cheer; the passer by
Is welcome still ; nor heedless will he flee
From hence, if he delight kind Nature's sheen to see.
11) According to Pouqueville, the lake of Yanina ; but Pouqueville is always out
12) The celebrated Ali Pacha. Of this extraordinary man there is an incorrect account in Pouqueville's Travels.
(3) Five thousand Suliotes, among the rocks and in the castle of Suli, withstood 90.000 Albanians for eighteen years; the castle at last was taken by bribery. In this contest there were several acts performed not unworthy of the better days of Greece.
[4) The convent and village of Zitza are four hours' journey from Joannina, or Yanina, the capital of the Pachalick. In the valley of the river Kalamas (once the Acheron) Aows, and, not far from Zitza, forms a fino cataract. The situation is perhaps the finest in Greece, though the approach to Delvinachi and parts of Acarnania and Ætolia may contest the palm. Delphi, Parnassus, and, in Attica, even Cape Colonna and Port Raphti, are very inforior; as also every scene in Ionia, or the Troad : I am almost inclined to add the approach to Constantinople ; but from the different features of the last, a comparison can hardly be made.
(5) The Greek monks are so called.
Here in the sultriest season let him rest,
Fresh is the green beneath those aged trees ;
Here winds of gentlest wing will fan bis breast,
From heaven itself he may inhale the breeze :
The plain is far beneath -oh! let him seize
Pure pleasure while he can; the scorching ray
Here pierceth not, impregnate with disease :
Then let his length the loitering pilgrim lay,
And gaze, untired, the morn, the noon, the eve away.
Dusky and huge, enlarging on the sight,
Nature's volcanic amphitheatre, (")
Chimæra's alps extend from left to right:
Beneath, a living valley seems to stir;
Flocks play, trees wave, streams flow, the mountain-fir
Nodding above : behold black Acheron ! (*)
Once consecrated to the sepulchre.
Pluto! if this be hell I look upon,
Close shamed Elysium's gates, my shade shall seek for none.
Ne city's towers pollute the lovely view;
Unseen is Yanina, though not remote,
Veild by the screen of hills : here men are few,
Scanty the hamlet, rare the lonely cot ;
But peering down each precipice, the goat
Browseth; and, pensive o'er his scatter'd flock,
The little shepherd in his white capote (")
Doth lean his boyish form along the rock,
Or in his cave awaits the tempest's short-lived shock.
Oh! where, Dodona! is thine aged grove,
Prophetic fount, and oracle divine ?
What valley echo'd the response of Jove ?
What trace remaineth of the Thunderer's shrine ?
All, all forgotten -- and shall man repine
That his frail bonds to flecting life are broke?
Cease, fool! the fate of gods may well be thine:
Wouldst thou survive the marble or the oak ?
When nations, tongues, and worlds must sink beneath the
(1) The Chimariot mountains appear to have been volcanic. (2) Now called Kalamnas. (3) Albancse cloak.
Epirus' bounds recede, and mountains fail ;
Tired of up-gazing still, the wearied eye
Reposes gladly on as smooth a vale,
As ever Spring yclad in grassy die
Ev'n on a plain no humble beauties lie,
Where some bold river breaks the long expanse,
And woods along the banks are waving high,
Whose shadows in the glassy waters dance,
Or with the moonbeam sleep in midnight's solemn trance.
The sun had sunk behind vast Tomerit, (')
And Laos wide and fierce came roaring by ; (*)
The shades of wonted night were gathering yet,
When, down the steep banks winding warily,
Childe Harold saw, like meteors in the sky,
The glittering minarets of Tepalen,
Whose walls o'erlook the stream ; and drawing nigh,
He heard the busy hum of warrior-men
Swelling the breeze that sigh'd along the lengthening glen.
He pass'd the sacred Haram's silent tower,
And underneath the wide o'erarching gate
Survey'd the dwelling of this chief of power,
Where all around proclaim'd his high estate.
Amidst no common pomp the despot sate,
While busy preparation shook the court,
Slaves, eunuchs, soldiers, guests, and santons wait;
Within, a palace, and without, a fort :
Here men of every clime appear to make resort.
Richly caparison'd, a ready row
Of armed horse, and many a warlike store,
Circled the wide extending court below;
Above, strange groups adorn'd the corridore ;
(1) Anciently Mount Tomarus.
(2) The river Laos was full at the time, the author passed it; and, immediately above. Tepaleen, was to the eye as wide as the Thames at Westminster; at least in the opinion of the author and his fellow-traveller, Mr. Hobhouse. In the summer it must be much narrower. It certainly is the finest river in the Levant; nuither Achelous, Alpheus, Acheron, Scamander, nor Cayster, approached it in brearth or boauty.
And oft-times through the area's echoing door,
Some high-capp'd Tartar spurr'd his steed away :
The Turk, the Greek, the Albanian, and the Moor,
Here mingled in their many-hued array,
While the deep war-drum's sound announced the close of day.
The wild Albanian kirtled to his knee,
With shawl-girt head and ornamented gun,
And gold-embroider'd garments, fair to see :
The crimson-scarfed men of Macedon ;
The Delhi with his cap of terror on,
And crooked glaive ; the lively, supple Greek ;
And swarthy Nubia's mutilated son;
The bearded Turk, that rarely deigns to speak,
Master of all around, too potent to be meek,
Are mix'd conspicuous : some recline in groups,
Scanning the motley scene that varies round;
There some grave Moslem to devotion stoops,
And some that smoke, and some that play, are found;
Here the Albanian proudly treads the ground ;
Half whispering there the Greek is heard to prate ;
Hark! from the mosque the nightly solemn sound,
The Muezzin's call doth shake the minaret,
There is no god but God! — to prayer - lo! God is great!"
Just at this season Ramazani's fast
Through the long day its penance did maintain :
But when the lingering twilight hour was past,
Revel and feast assumed the rule again :
Now all was bustle, and the menial train
Prepared and spread the plenteous board within ;
The vacant gallery now seem'd made in vain,
But from the chambers came the mingling din,
As page and slave anon were passing out and in.
Here woman's voice is never heard : apart,
And scarce permitted, guarded, veil'd, to move,
She yields to one her person and her heart,
Tamed to her cage, nor feels a wish to rove :