« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE.
CANTO THE FIRST.
Oh, thou! in Hellas deem'd of heavenly birth,
Nor mote my shell awake the weary Nine
1 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, u of a king who broke his neck hunting." His majesty had cer. tainly 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 Corycian Cavern mentioned by Pausanias. From this part descend the fountain and the “ Dews of Castalie." --" We were sprinkled," says Mr. Hobhouse,“ with the spray of the immortal rill, and here, if any where, should have felt the poetic inspiration : we drank deep, too, of the spring ; but (I can answer for myself) - without feeling sensible of any extraordinary effect." - E) % This stanza is not in the original MS.]
Save concubines and carnal companie,
Childe Harold 2 was he hight: – but whence his
Nor florid prose, nor honied lies of rhyme,
Childe Harold bask'd him in the noontide sun,
Then loathed he in his native land to dwell,
1 [“ He cheer'd the bad and did the good affright;
With concubines," &c. - MS.) ? [“ Childe Buron.” — MS.]
And spoil'd her goodly lands to gild his waste,
With pleasure drugg'd, he almost long'd for woe, And e’en for change of scene would seek the shades
below. 3 [See Stanzas written to a Lady, on leaving England : Works, vol. vii. p. 302.;
“And I must from this land be gone,
Because I cannot love but one.”] 2 [“ And straight he fell into a reverie.” - MS.]
3 [In these stanzas, and indeed throughout his works, we must not accept too literally Lord Byron's testimony against him. self - 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 narrow. ness of his means at the time the verses refer to would alone have precluded this. His household 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 says,
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.
VIII. Yet oft-times in his maddest mirthful mood Strange pangs would flash along Childe Harold's brow, As if the memory of some deadly feud Or disappointed passion lurk'd below : But this none knew, nor haply cared to know ; For his was not that open, artless soul That feels relief by bidding sorrow flow,
Nor sought he friend to counsel or condole, Whate 'er this grief mote be, which he could not control.
And none did love him -- though to hall and bower
Maidens, like moths, are ever caught by glare,
“ of habits and tastes too intellectual for mere vulgar debauchery," but, assuredly, quite incapable of playing the parts of flatterers and parasites.]
Childe Harold had a mother - not forgot,
A few dear objects, will in sadness feel
XI. His house, his home, his heritage, his lands, The laughing dames in whom he did delight, 2 Whose large blue eyes, fair locks, and snowy hands, Might shake the saintship of an anchorite, And long had fed his youthful appetite; His goblets brimm'd with every costly wine, And all that mote to luxury invite,
Without a sigh he left, to cross the brine, [line. S And traverse Paynim shores, and pass Earth's central
The sails were fill'd, and fair the light winds blew,
One word of wail, whilst others sate and wept,