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not “sans reproché.”—If the story of the institution of the “ Garter” be not a fable, the knights of that order have for several centuries borne the badge of a Countess of Salisbury, of indifferent memory.
So much for chi. valry. Burke need not have regretted that its days are over, though Maria Antoinette was quite as chaste as most of those in whose honours lances were shivered, and knights unhorsed,
Before the days of Bayard, and down to those of Sir Joseph Banks (the most chaste and celebrated of ancient and modern times,) few exceptions will be found to this statement, and I fear a little investigation will teach us not to regret those monstrous mummeries of the middle ages.
I now leave " Childe Harold” to live his day, such as he is, it had been more agreeable, and certainly more easy, to have drawn an amiable character. It had been easy to varnish over his faults, to make him do more and express less, but he never was intended as an example, further than to show that early perversion of mind and moral, leads to satiety of past pleasure and disappointment in new ones, and that even the beauties of nature, and the stimulus of travel (except ambition, the most powerful of all excitements) are lost on a soul so constituted, or rather misdirected. Had I proceeded with the Poem, this character would have deepened as he drew to the close : for the outline which I once meant to fill up for him was, with some exceptions, the sketch of a modern Timon, perhape a poetical Zelucco.
Tot in those climes where I have late been straying, Though Beauty long hath there been matchless
deem'd; Not in those visions to the heart displaying Forms which it sighs but to have only dream'd, Hath aught like thee in truth or fancy seem’d: Nor, having seen thee, shall I vainly seek To paint those charms which varied as they beam'd
To such as see thee pot my words were weak; To those who gaze on thee what language could they
Ah ! may'st thou ever be what now thou art,
Nor unbeseem the promise of the spring,
As fair in form, as warm yet pure in heart,
Love's Image upon earth without his wing,
And guileless beyond Hope's imagining
And surely she who now so fondly rears
Thy youth, in thee, thus hourly brightening,
Beholds the rainbow of her future years,
Before whose heavenly hues all sorrow disappears.
Young Peri of the West ! -'tis well for me
My years already doubly number thine ;
My loveless eye ungov'd 'may gaze on thee,
And safely view thy ripening beauties shine;
Happy, I ne'er shall see them in decline,
Happier, that while all younger hearts shall bleed,
Mine shall escape the doom thine eyes assign
To those whose admiration shall succeed,
But mixed with pangs to Love's even loveliest hours
Oh! let that eye, which wild as the Gazelle's,
Now brightly bold or beautifully shy,
Wins as it wanders, dazzles where it dwells,
Glance o'er this page; nor to my verse deny
That smile for which my breast might vainly sigh,
Could I to thee be ever more than friend :
This much, dear maid, accord : por question why
To one so young my strain I would commend,
But bid me with my wreath one matchless lily blend.
Such is thy name with this my verse entwin'd;
And long as kinder eyes a look shall cast
On Harold's page, Ianthe's here enshrin'd
Shall thus be first beheld, forgotten last :
My days once number'd, should this homage past
Attract thy fairy fingers near the lyre
Of him who hail'd thee, loveliest as thou wast,
Such is the most my memory may desire;
Though more than Hope can claim, could Friendship
less require ?
CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE,
Ob, thou ! in Hellas deemed of heav'nly birth,
Muse! form'd or fabled at the minstrel's will!
Since sham'd 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 ! sighed o'er Delphi's long deserted shrine, (1)
Where, save that feeble fountain, all is still ;
Nor inote my shell awake the weary Nine
To grace so plain a tale-this lowly lay of mine.
Whilome in Albion's isle there dwelt a youth,
Who ne in virtue's ways did take delight;
But spent his days in riot most unconth;
And vex'd with mirth the drowsy ear of Night.
Ah, me! in sooth he was a shameless wight,
Sore given to revel and ungodly glee;
Few earthly things found favour in his sight
Save concubines and carnal companie,
And flaunting wassailers of high and low degree.
Childe Harold was he hight:--but whence his name
And lineage long, it suits me not to say;
Suffice it, that perchance they were of fame,
And had beeu glorious 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.
Childe Harold bask'd him in the noon-tide sun,
Disporting there like any other fly;
Nor deem'd before his little day was done
One blast might chill him into misery.
But long ere scarce a third of his pass'd by,
Worse than adversity the Childe befell;
He felt the fulness of satiety :
Thep, loathed he in his native land to dwell,
Which seem'd to him more lone than Eremite's sad cell.
For he through Sin's long labyrinth had run,
Nor made atonement when he did amiss,
Had sigh'd to many though he lov'd but one,
And that lov'd one, alas !could ne'er be his.
Ah, happy she ! to 'scape from him whose kiss
Had been pollution unto aught so chaste;
Who soon had left ber charms for vulgar bliss,
And spoild her goodly lands to gild his waste
Nor calm domestic peace had ever deign'd to taste.
And now Childe Harold was sore sick at heart,
And from his fellow bacchanals would fee;
'Tis said, at times the sullen tear would start,
But pride congeal'd the drop within his ee;
Apart he stalk'd in joyless reverie,
And from his native land resolv'd to go,
And visit scorehing climes beyond the sea ;
With pleasure drugg'd he almost long'd for woe, Ande'en for change of scene would seek the shades below.
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, por wrong these holy men.