« ForrigeFortsett »
I I have heard from
do not he
nhocce che thin
dated Mussalonghi February 25th 1824. V From Lord Byron's last Letter to M"Murray
Slendudge d 2 Litro
، بر م / در
/ نه از
lungs reg liter Pathai
ang lody when whan have not
ale dhe did not allserve that
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
Childers," &c., is used as more consonant with the
old structure of versification which I have adopted. (TO THE FIRST AND SECOND CANTOS).
Good Night," in the beginning of the first The following poem was written, for the most part, canto, was suggested by “ Lord Maxwell's Good amidst the scenes which it attempts to describe. It Night," in the Border Minstrelsy, edited by Mr. was begun in Albania ; and the parts relative to Scott. Spain and Portugal were composed from the author's With the different poems which have been pubobservations in those countries. ? Thus much it may lished on Spanish subjects, there may be found be necessary to state for the correctness of the de. some slight coincidence in the first part, which treats scriptions. The scenes attempted to be sketched are of the Peninsula, but it can only be casual ; as, with in Spain, Portugal, Epirus, Acarnania, and Greece. the exception of a few concluding stanzas, the whole There, for the present, the poem stops : its reception of this poem was written in the Levant. will determine whether the author may venture to The stanza of Spenser, according to one of our conduct his readers to the capital of the East, most successful poets, admits of every variety. Dr. through Ionia and Phrygia : these two Cantos are Beattie makes the following observation :merely experimental.
long ago, I began a poem in the style and stanza of A fictitious character is introduced for the sake of Spenser, in which I propose to give full scope to my giving some connection to the piece; which, however, inclination, and be either droll or pathetic, descripmakes no pretensions to regularity. It has been tive or sentimental, tender or satirical, as the humour suggested to me by friends, on whose opinions I set a strikes me; for, if I mistake not, the measure which high value, that in this fictitious character, “Childe I have adopted admits equally of all these kinds of Harold," I may incur the suspicion of having in- composition."3 — Strengthened in my opinion by tended some real personage : this I beg leave, once such authority, and by the example of some in the for all, to disclaim - Harold is the child of imagin- highest order of Italian poets, I shall make no apoation, for the purpose I have stated. In some very logy for attempts at similar variations in the following trivial particulars, and those merely local, there composition; satisfied that, if they are unsuccessful, might be grounds for such a notion ; but in the main their failure must be in the execution, rather than in points, I should hope, none whatever.
the design, sanctioned by the practice of Ariosto, It is almost superfluous to mention that the ap- Thomson, and Beattie. pellation“ Childe,' “ Childe Waters," “ Childe
London, February, 1812. ! (Par M. de Montbron, Paris, 1798. Lord Byron some- ? ("Byron, Joannini in Albania. Begun Oct. 31st, 1809. Con. where calls it " an amusing little volume, full of French cluded Canto 2d, Smyrna, March 28th, 1910. Byron."-MS.] Mippancy."]
3 Beattie's Letters.
as he is ; it had been more agreeable, and certainly ADDITION TO THE PREFACE.
more easy, to have drawn an amiable character. It
had been easy to varnish over his faults, to make him I have now waited till almost all our periodical | do more and express less; but he never was intended journals have distributed their usual portion of cri
as an example, further than to show, that early perticism. To the justice of the generality of their
version of mind and morals leads to satiety of past criticisms I have nothing to object : it would ill
pleasures and disappointment in new ones, and that become me to quarrel with their very slight degree
even the beauties of nature, and the stimulus of of censure, when, perhaps, if they had been less
travel (except ambition, the most powerful of all kind they had been more candid. Returning, there
excitements), are lost on a soul so constituted, or fore, to all and each my best thanks for their libe rather misdirected. Had I proceeded with the poem, rality, on one point alone shall I venture an ob
this character would have deepened as he drew to servation. Amongst the many objections justly urged the close ; for the outline which I once meant to fill to the very indifferent claracter of the “ vagrant up for him was, with some exceptions, the sketch of Childe" (whom, notwithstanding many hints to the a modern Timon , perhaps a poetical Zeluco. * contrary, I still maintain to be a fictitious personage),
London, 1913. it has becn stated, that, besides the anachronism, he is very unknightly, as the times of the Knights were times of Love, Honour, and so forth. Now, it so happens that the good old times, when “l'amour du bon vieux tems, l'amour antique" flourished, were
TO IANTHE.5 the most profligate of all possible centuries. Those who have any doubts on this subject may consult Sainte-Palaye, passim, and more particularly vol. ii.
Not in those clirnes where I have late been straying, The vows of chivalry were no better kept
Though Beauty long hath there been matchless
deem'd ; than any other vows whatsoever; and the songs of the Troubadours were not more decent, and certainly
Not in those visions to the heart displaying were much less refined, than those of Ovid. The
Forms which it sighs but to have only dream'd, “Cours d'amour, parlemens d'amour, ou de courtésie
Hath aught like thee in truth or fancy seem'd : et de gentilesse” had much more of love than of
Nor, having seen thee, shall I vainly seek courtesy or gentleness. See Roland on the same
To paint those charms which varied as they beam'de subject with Sainte-Palaye. Whatever other objection
To such as see thee not my words were weak; may be urged to that inost unamiable personage
To those who gaze on thee what language could they Childe Harold, he was so far perfectly knightly in his
speak ? attributes - “ No waiter, but a knight templar."2 By the by, I fear that Sir Tristrem and Sir Lancelot
Ah! may'st thou ever be what now thou art, were no better than they should be, although very
Nor unbeseem the promise of thy spring, poetical personages and true knights “sans peur,"
As fair in form, as warm yet pure in heart, though not “sans reproche.” If the story of the
Love's image upon earth without his wing, institution of the “ Garter be not a fable, the
And guileless beyond Hope's imagining ! knights of that order have for several centuries
And surely she who now so fondly rears torne the badge of a Countess of Salisbury, of in
Thy youth, in thee, thus hourly brightening, different memory. So much for chivalry. Burke
Beholds the rainbow of her future years, need not have regretted that its days are over,
Before whose heavenly hues all sorrow disappears. though Marie-Antoinette was quite as chaste as most of those in whose honours lances were shivered, and Young Peri 6 of the West ! - 't is well for me knights unhorsed.
My years already doubly number thine ; Before the days of Bayard, and down to those of My loveless eye unmoved may gaze on thee, Sir Joseph Banks (the most chaste and celebrated of And safely view thy ripening beauties shine; ancient and modern times), few exceptions will be Happy, I ne'er shall see them in decline; found to this statement; and I fear a little investiga Happier, that while all younger hearts shall bleed, tion will teach us not to regret these monstrous
Mine shall escape the doom thine eyes assign mummeries of the middle ages.
To those whose admiration shall succeed, (decreed. I now leave “ Childe Harold” to live his day, such But mix'd with pangs to Love's even loveliest hours
ic“ Qu'on lise dans l'Autour du roman de Gérard de Roussillon, en Provençal, les détails très-circonstanciés dans lesquels il entre sur la réception iaite par le Comte Gérard à l'ambassadeur du roi Charles; on y verra des particularités singulières, qui donnent une étrange idée des inceurs et de la politesse de ces siècles aussi corrompus qu'ignorans." — Jé. moires sur l'Ancienne Chevalerie, par M. de la Curne de Sainte-Palave, Paris, 1781, loc. cit.)
% The Rovers, or the Double Arrangement -Bv Canning and Frere; first published in the Anti-jacobin, or Weekly Examiner.)
3 [In one of his carly poems - " Childish Recollections," Lord Byron compares himself to the Athenian misanthrope, of whose bitter apophthegins many are upon record, though no authentic particulars of his life have come down to us ;
“ Weary of love, of life, devoured with spleen,
I rest a perfect Timon, not nineteen," &c.]
* [It was Dr. Moore's object, in this powerful romance (now unjustly neglected), to trace the fatal effects resulting from a fond mother's unconditional compliance with the humours and passions of an only child. With high advan. tages of person, birth, fortune, and ability, Zeluco is repre. sented as miserable, through every scene of life, owing to the spirit of unbridled self-indulgence thus pampered in in. fancy]
sĆ The Lady Charlotte Harley, second daughter of Ed. ward fifth Earl of Oxford (now Lady Charlotte Bacon), in the autumn of 1812, when these lines were addressed to her, had not coinpleted her eleventh year. Mr. Westall's portrait of the juvenile beauty, painted at Lord Byron's request. is en. graved in " Finden's Illustrations of the Life and Works of Lord Byron.")
6 [Piri, the Persian term for a beautiful intermediate order of beings, is generally supposed to be another form of our own word Fairy.]
Oh ! let that eye, which, wild as the Gazelle's, !
To one so young my strain I would commend, But bid me with my wreath one matchless lily blend.
IU. Childe Harold 4 was he hight:- but whence his name And lineage long, it suits me not to say ; Suttice it, that perchance they were of fame, And had been glorions in another day : But one sad losel soils a name for aye, However mighty in the olden time; Nor all that heralds rake from coffin'd clay,
Nor florid prose, nor honied lies of rhyme, Can blazon evil deeds, or consecrate a crime.
Such is thy name with this my verse entwined;
Such is the most my memory may desire ;
less require ?
Childe Harold bask'd him in the noontide sun,
Then loathed he in his native land to dwell, Which seem'd to him more lone than Eremite's sad cell.
And spoil'd her goodly lands to gild his waste, Nor calm domestic peace bad ever deign'd to taste.
Childe Harold's Pilgrimage.
CANTO THE FIRST.
1. Oh, thou ! in Hellas deem'd of heavenly birth, Muse! form'd or fabled at the minstrel's will ! Since shamed full oft by later lyres on earth, Mine dares not call thee from thy sacred hill : Yet there I 've wander'd by thy vaunted rill; Yes! sigh'd o'er Delphi's long deserted shrine, ? Where, save that feeble fountain, all is still ;
Nor mote my shell awake the weary Nine To grace so plain a tale — this lowly lay of mine. 3
With pleasure drugg'd, he almost long'd for woe, And e'en for change of scene would seek the shades below. 5
VII. The Childe departed from his father's hall; It was a vast and venerable pile; So old, it seemed only not to fall, Yet strength was pillar'd in each massy aisle. Monastic dome ! condemn'd to uses vile ! Where Superstition once had made her den Now Paphian girls were known to sing and smile ;
And monks might deem their time was come agen, If ancient tales say true, nor wrong these holy men.
Save concubines and carnal companie,
You have the eyes of a gazelle," is considered all over the East as the greatesi com. plinent that can be paid to a woman.)
? The little village of Castri stands partly on the site of Delphi. Along the path of the mountain, from Chrysso, are the remains of sepulchres hewn in and from the rock. “One," said the guide, "of a king who broke his neck hunting." His majesty had certainly chosen the fittest spot for such an achievement. A little above Castri is a cave, supposed the Pythian, of immense depth; the upper part of it is paved, and now a cowhouse. On the other side of Castri stands a Greek monastery ; some way above which is the cleft in the rock, with a range of caverns difficult of ascent, and apparently leading to the interior of the mountain ; probably to the Co. rycian Cavern mentioned by Pausanias. From this part descend the fountain and the “ Dews of Castalic." -(“We were sprinkled," says Mr. llobhouse," with the spray of the immortal rill, and here, if any where, should have felt the poetic inspiration : we drank deep, ton, of the spring ; but (I can answer for mrself) - without feeling sensible of any extraordinary effect."]
3 [This stanza is not in the original MS.] + (“Childe Buron." - MS.]
3 [In these stanzas, and indeed throughout his works, we must not accept too literally Lord Byron's testimony against himself - he took a morbid pleasure in darkening every shadow of his self-portraiture. His interior at Newstead had, no doubt, been, in some points, loose and irregular enough; but it certainly never exhibited any thing of the profuse and Satanic luxury which the language in the text might seem to indicate. In fact, the narrowness of his means at the time the verses refer to would alone have precluded this. His househoid economy, while he remained at the abbey, is known to have been conducted on a very moderate scale; and, besides, his usual companions, though far from being averse to convivial indulgences, were not only, as Mr. Moore sars, "of habits and tastes too intellectual for mere rulgar debauchery," but assuredly, quite incapable of playing the parts of datterers and parasites.)
But when the sun was sinking in the sea
And strike, albeit with untaught melody,
When deem'd he no strange ear was listening :
And tuned his farewell in the dim twilight.
While flew the vessel on her snowy wing, Nor sought he friend to counsel or condole,
And fleeting shores receded from his sight, Whate'er this grief mote be, which he could not control. Thus to the elements he pour'd his last “Good Night.” IX.
“ Adieu, adieu ! my native shore And none did love him— though to hall and bower
Fades o'er the waters blue ; He gather'd revellers from far and near,
The Night-winds sigh, the breakers roar, He knew them flatt'rers of the festal hour;
And shrieks the wild sea-mew. The heartless parasites of present cheer.
Yon Sun that sets upon the sea Yea! none did love him - not his lemans dear
We follow in his flight; But pomp and power alone are woman's care,
Farewell awhile to him and thee, And where these are light Eros finds a feere ;
My native Land - Good Night ! Maidens, like moths, are ever caught by glare,
“ A few short hours and He will rise And Mammon wins his way where Seraphs might
To give the morrow birth;
And I shall hail the main and skics,
But not my mother earth.
Deserted is my own good hall, Though parting from that mother he did shun;
Its hearth is desolate; A sister whom he loved, but saw her not
Wild weeds are gathering on the wall ;
My dog howls at the gate.
Why dost thou weep and wail ?
Or dost thou dread the billow's rage, Such partings break the heart they fondly hope to heal.
Or tremble at the gale ?
But dash the tear-drop from thine eye;
Our ship is swift and strong:
Our fleetest falcon scarce can fly
More merrily along. 6
• Let winds be shrill, let waves roll high, And long had fed his youthful appetite;
I fear not wave nor wind : ? His goblets brimm'd with every costly wine,
Yet marvel not, Sir Childe, that I And all that mote to luxury invite,
Am sorrowful in mind ; 8 Without a sigh he left to cross the brine,
For I have from my father gone, And traverse Paynim shores, and pass Earth's central
A mother whom I love,
And have no friend, save these alone,
But thee — and one above.
* My father bless'd me fervently, And fast the white rocks faded from his view,
Yet did not much complain ; And soon were lost in circumambient foam :
But sorely will my mother sigh And then, it may be, of his wish to roam
Till I come back again.'Repented he, but in his bosom slept
“Enough, enough, my little lad ! The silent thought, nor from his lips did conie
Such tears become thine eye; One word of wail, whilst others sate and wept,
If I thy guileless bosom had, And to the reckless gales unmanly moaning kept.
Mine own would not be dry. 9 ! (" Yet deem him not from this with breast of steel."-MS.] Murray. “ Pray," he says to his mother," shew the lad every ? " His house, his home, his vassals, and his lands,
kindness, as he is my great favourite.” He also wrote a letter The Dalilahs," XC. — MS.)
to the father of the boy, which leaves a most favourable im. 3 (Lord Byron originally iutended to visit India.]
pression of his thoughtfulness and kindliness. “I have,” he • See" Lord Maxwell's Good Night," in Scott's Minstrelsy
says, “sent Robert home, because the country which I am of the Scottish Border. Poetical Works, vol.ii. p141. ed.
about to travel through is in a state which renders it unsafe, 1831. -" Adicu, madam, my mother dear," &c. — Ms.] particularly for one so young. I allow you to deduct from
5 [This "little page" was Robert Rushton, the son of one your rent five and twenty pounds a year for his education, for of Lord Byron's tenants. “ Robert I take with me," says the
three years, provided I do not return before that time, and I poet, in a letter to his mother; "I like him, because, like desire he may be considered as in my service. He has behaved myself, he seems a friendless animal : tell his father he is extremely well.") well, and doing well."]
[Here follows in the MS.:
" My Mother is a high-born dame, $(" Our best goss-hawk can hardly fly
And much misliketh me;
She saith my riot bringeth shame 7 (** On, master dear! I do not cry.
On all my ancestry:
I had a sister once I ween, $ (Seeing that the boy was "sorrowful" at the separation
Whose tears perhaps will flow; from his parents, Lord Byron, on reaching Gibraltar, sent
But her fair face I have not seen him back to Eogland under the care of his old servant Joe
For three long years and moe."]