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CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE.
1. COME, blue-eyed maid of heaven!-but thou alas! Didst never yet one mortal song inspireGoddess of Wisdom! here thy temple was, Aud is, despite of war and wasting fire, (1) And years, that bade thy worship to expire : But worse than steel, and fame, and ages slow, Is the dread sceptre and dominion dire Of men who never felt the sacred glow (bestow. (2) That thoughts of thee and thine on polish'd breasts
II. Ancient of days! august Athena! where, Where are thy men of might? thy grand in soul? Gone-glimmering through the dream of things that First in the race that led to Glory's gaol [were : They won, and pass'd away--is this the whole? A school-boy's tale, the wonder of an hour! The warrior's weapon and the sophist's stole
Are sought in vain, and o'er each mouldering tower, Dim with the mist of years, grey flits the shade of power.
Son of the morning, rise! approach you here!
Come-but molest not yon defenceless urn:
Look on this spot--a nation's sepulchre !
Abode of Gods, whose shrines no longer burn.
Even Gods must yield-religions take their turn :
'Twas Jove's—'tis Mahomet's and other creeds
Will rise with other years, till man shall learn
Vainly his incense soars, his victim bleeds; [reeds. Poor child of Doubt and Death, whose hope is built on
Bound to the earth, he lifts his eye to heaven
Is't not enough, unhappy thing! to know
Thou art? Is this a boon so kindly given,
That being, thou wouldst be again, and go,
Thou know'st not, reck'st not to what region, so
On earth no more, but mingled with the skies?
Still wilt thou dream on future joy and woe?
Regard and weigh yon dust before it flies :
That little urn saith more than thousand homilies.
Or burst the vanish'd Hero's lofty mound;
Far on the solitary shore he sleeps : (3)
He fell, and falling nations mourn'd around;
But now not one of saddeping thousands weeps,
Nor warlike-worshipper his vigil keeps
Where demi-gods appear'd, as records tell.
Remove yon skull from out the scatter'd heaps,
Is that a temple where a God may dwell ?
Why ev'n the worm at last disdains her shatter'd cell!
Look on its broken arch, its ruin'd wall,
Its chambers desolate, and portals foul:
Yes, this was once Ambition's airy hall,
The dome of Thought, the palace of the Soul ;
Behold through each lack-lustre, eyeless bole,
The gay recess of Wisdom and of Wit
And Passion's host, that never brook'd control;
Can all, saint, sage, or sophist ever writ,
People this topely tower, this tenement rest?
Well didst thou speak, Athena's wisest son !
" All that we know is, nothing can be known."
Why should we shrink from wbat we cannot shun?
Fach has his pang, but feeble sufferers groan
With brain-born dreams of evil all their owy.
Pursue what Chance or Fate proclaimeth best;
Peace waits us on the shores of Acheron :
There no forc'd banquet claims the sated guest,
But Silence spreads the couch of ever welcome rest.
Yet it, as holiest men have deemed there be
A lund of souls beyond that sable shore,
'l'o shame the doctrine of the Sadducee
And sophists, madly vain of dubious lore;
How sweet it were in concert to adore
With those who made our mortal labours light!
To hear each voice we fear'd to hear no more !
Behold each mighty shade reveal'd to sight,
The Bactrian, Samjan sage, and all who taught the right!
There, thou!-whose love and life together fled,
Have left me here to love and live in vain
Twin'd with my heart, ard can I deem thee dead,
When busy Memory flashes on my brain ?
Well I will dream that we may meet again,
And woo the vision to my vacant breast :
If anght of young Remembrance then remain,
Be as it may Futurity's behest,
For me 'twere bliss enough to know thy spirit blest !
Here let me sit upon this massy stone,
The marble column's yet unshaķeu base;
Here, son of Saturu ! was thy fav’rite throne : (4)
Mightiest of many such ! Hence let me trace
The latent grandeur of thy dwelling place.
It may not be : nor ev'n can Fancy's eye
Restore what Time hath labour'd to deface.
Yet these proud pillars claim no passing sigh,
Uiimor'd the Moslem sits, the light Greek carols by:
XI. But who, of all the plunderers of yon fane On high, where Pallas linger'd loth to flee The latest relic of her ancient reign; The last, the worst, dull spoiler, who was he? Blush, Caledonia ! such thy son could be ! England, I joy no child he was of thine; Thy free-born men should spare what once was free ;
Yet they could violate each saddening shrine, And bear ihese altars o'er the long-reluctant brine. (5)
XII. But most the modern Pict's ignoble boast, To rive what Goth, and Turk, and Time bath spar’d; (6) Could as the crags upon his native coast, His mind as barren and his heart as hard, Is he whose head conceiv'd, whose hand prepar'd, Aught to displace Athena's poor remains; Her sons to weak the sacred shrine to guard,
Yet felt some portion of their mother's pains, (7)
And never knew, till then, the weight of Despot's chains.
What ! shall it e'er be said by British tongue,
Albion was bappy in Athena's tears?
Though in thy name the slaves her bosom wrung,
Tell not the deed to blushing Europe's ears ;
The ocean queen, the free Britannia bears
The last poor plunder from a bleeding land;
Yes, she, whose gen'rous aid her name endears,
Tore down those remnants with a Harpy's hand,
Wbich envious Eld forbore, and tyrants left to stand.
Where was thine Ægis, Pallas ! that appall'd
Stern Alaric and Havoc on their way? (8)
Where Peleus' son ? whom Hell in vain enthrall'd,
His shade from Hades upon that dread day,
Bursting to light in terrible array !
What! could not Pluto spare the chief once more,
To scare a second robber from his prey?
Idly he wander'd on the Stygian shore
Nor now presery'd the walls he lov'd to shield before.
Cold is the heart, fair Greece! that looks on thee,
Nor feels as lovers o'er the dust they lov’d;
Dall is the eye that will not weep to see
Thy walls defac'd, thy mouldering shrines remov'd
By British hands, which it had best behov'd
To guard those relics ne'er to be restor’d.
Curst be the hour when from their isle they rov'd,
And once again thy hapless bosom gor'd,
And spatch'd thy shrinking Gods to porthern climes ab-
But where is Harold? shall I then forget
To urge the gloomy wanderer o'er the wave ?
Little reck'd he of all that men regret ;
No lov'd-one now in feigo'd lament could rave;
No friend the parting hand extended gave,
Ere the cold stranger pass’d to other climes;
Hard is his heart whoin charms may pot enslave ;
But Harotd felt not as in other times,
And left without a sigh the land of war and crimes.
He that has sail'd upon the dark blue sea,
Has view'd at times, I ween, a full fair sight;
When the fresh breeze is fair as breeze may be,
The white sail set, the gallant frigate tight?
Masts, spires, and strand retiring to the right,
The glorious main expanding o'er the bow,
The convoy spread like wild swans in their flight,
The dullest sailer wearing bravely now,
So gaily curl the waves before each dashing prow.
And oh, the little warlike world within !
T'he well-reev'd guns, the netted canopy, (9)
The hoarse command, the busy humming din,
When, at a word, the tops are mann'd on high ;
Hark to the Boatswain's call, the cheering cry!
While through the seanian's hand the tackle glides ;
Or school-boy Midshipman that standing by,
Strains bis sbrill pipe as good or ill betides,
And well the docile crew that skilful urchin guides.