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Childe Harold's Pilgrimage :
“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 ai feuilleté un assez grand noinbre, que j'ai trouvé égalenient mauvaises. Cet examen ne m'a point été infructueux. Je haissais ma patrie. Toutes les impertinences des peuples divers, parmi lesquels j'ai vécu, m'ont réconcilié avec elle. Quand je n'aurais tiré d'autre bénéfice de mes voyages que celui-là, je n'en regretterais ni les frais ni les fatigues." -LE COSMOPOLITE.
PREFACE TO THE FIRST AND SECOND strikes me; for, if I mistake not, the measure which CANTOS. :
I have adopted admits equally of all these kinds of The following poem was written, for the most part, authority, and by the example of some in the highest
composition.”. Strengthened in my opinion by such amidst the scenes which it attempts to describe. It order of Italian poets, I shall make no apology for was begun in Albania; and the parts relative to Spain and Portugal were composed
from the author's attempts at similar variations in the following comiobservations in those countries. Thus much it may their failure must be in the execution rather than in
position; satisfied that, if they are unsuccessful, be necessary to state for the correctness of the the design, sanctioned by the practice of Ariosto, descriptions. The scenes attempted to be sketched
Thonison, and Beattie. are in Spain, Portugal, Epirus, Acarnania, and Greece. I'bere, for the present, the poem stops:
LONDON, February, 1812. its reception will determine whether the author may venture to conduct his readers to the capital of the East, through Ionia and Phrygia; these two cantos are merely experimental. A fictitious character is introduced for the sake
ADDITION TO THE PREFACE. of giving some connection to the piece; which, however, makes no pretensions to regularity. It I HAVE now waited till almost all our periodical has been suggested to me by friends, on whose journals have distributed their usual portion of opinions I set a high value, that in this fictitious criticism. To the justice of the generality of their character, "Childe Harold,” I may incur the sus criticisms I have nothing to object : it would ill picion of having intended some real personage; become me to quarrel with their very slight degree this I beg leave once for all to disclaim. Harold of censure, when, perhaps, if they had been less is a child of imagination, for the purpose I have kind, they had been more candid. Returning, stated. In some very trivial particulars, and those therefore, to all and each my best thanks for their merely local, there might be grounds for such a liberality, on one point alone shall I venture an notion ; but in the main points, I should hope, observation. Amongst the many objections justly none whatever.
urged to the very indifferent character of thie" It is almost superfluous to mention that the grant Childe” (whom, notwithstanding many hints appellation “Childe," as "Childe Waters," "Childe to the contrary, I still maintain to be a fictitious Childers,” &c., is used as more consonant with the personage), it has been stated that, besides the old structure of versification which I have adopted. anachronism, he is very unknightly, as the times of The “Good Night,” in the beginning of the first the kniglits were times of Love, Honour, and so canto, was suggested by “Lord Maxwell's Good forth. Now, it so happens that the good old times, Night," in the Border Minstrelsy, edited by Mr. when "l'amour du bon vieux temps, l'amour antique, Scott.
flourished, were the most profligate of all possible With the different poems which have been pub- centuries. Those who have any doubts on this lished on Spanish subjects, there may be found subject may consult Sainte-Palaye, pussim, and some slight coincidence in the first part which more particularly vol. ii. p. 69. The vows of treats of the Peninsula ; but it can only be casual, chivalry were no better kept than any other yows as, with the exception of a few concluding stanzas, whatsoever ; and the songs of the Troubadours the whole of this poem was written in the Levant. were not more decent, and certainly were much less
The stanza of Spenser, according to one of our refined, than those of Ovid. The « Cours d'amour, most successful poets, admits of every variety. Dr. parlemens d'amour, ou de courtésie et de gentiBeattie makes the following observation :-"Not lesse," had much more of love than of courtesy or long ago, I began a poem in the style and stanza of gentleness. See Roland on the same subject with Spenser, in which I propose to give full scope to my Saint-Palaye. Whatever other objection may be inclination, and be either droll or pathetic, descrip- urged to that most unamiable personage, Childe tive or sentimental, tender or satirical, as the humour ! Harold, he was so far perfectly' kniglitly in his
attributes"No waiter but a knight templar.”! And guileless beyond Hope's imagining ! By-the-bye, I fear that Sir Tristrem and Sir Lancelot And surely she who now so fondly rears were no better than they should be, although very Thy youth, in thee, thus hourly brightening, poetical personages and true knights,
Beholds the rainbow of her future years, though not“ sans reproche.” If the story of the Before whose heavenly hues all sorrow disappears. institution of the “ Garter” be not a fable, the knights of that order have for several centuries
Young Peri of the West !—'tis well for me borne the badge of a Countess of Salisbury, of in.
My years already doubly number thine ; different memory. So much for chivalry. Burke
My loveless eye unmoved may gaze on thee, need not have regretted that its days are over,
And safely view thy ripening beauties shine: though Marie-Antoinette was quite as chaste as
Happy, I ne'er shall see them in decline; most of those in whose honour lances were shivered
Happier, that while all younger hearts shall and knights unhorsed.
bleed, Before the days of Bayard, and down to those of
Mine shall escape the doom thine eyes assiga Sir Joseph Banks (the most chaste and celebrated To those whose admiration shall succeed, of ancient and modern times), few exceptions will But mix'd with pangs to Love's even loveliest hours be found to this statement : and I fear a little in
decreed. vestigation will teach us not to regret these monstrous mummeries of the middle ages.
Ol! let that eye, which, wild as the gazelle's, I now leave “Childe Harold ” to live his day,
Now brightly bold or beautifully shy, such as he is. It had been more agreeable, and
Wins as it wanders, dazzles where it dwells, certainly more easy, to have drawn an amiable
Glance o'er this page, nor to my verse deny character. It had been easy to varnish over his
That smile for which my breast might vainly sigli, faults, to make him do more and express less; but
Could I to thee be ever more than friend : he never was intended as an example, further than
This much, dear maid, accord: nor question why to show that early perversion of mind and morals But bid me with my wreath one matchless lily
To one so young my strain I would commend, leads to satiety of past pleasures and disappoint
blend. ment in new ones, and that even the beauties of nature and the stimulus of travel (except ambition,
Such is thy name with this my verse entwined; the most powerful of all excitements) are lost on a
And long as kinder eyes a look shall cast soul so constituted, or rather misdirected. Had I
On Harold's page, Ianthe's here enshrined proceeded with the poem, this character would
Shall thus be first beheld, forgotten last : have deepened as he drew to the close; for the outline which I once meant to fill up for him was,
My days once number'd, should this homage past with some exceptions, the sketch of a modern Timon,
Attract thy fairy fingers near the lyre perhaps a poetical Zéluco.
Of him who hail'd thee, loveliest as thou wast,
Such is the most my memory may desire; LONDON, 1813.
Though more than Hope can claim, could Friend
ship less require ?
Childe Harold's Pilgrimage.
CAXTO THE FIRST.
they speak ?
Nor mote my shell awake the weary Nine
(1) The Rovers, or the Double Arrangement.
achievement. A little above Castri is a cave, supposed the (2) Lady
Charlotte Harley, daughter of the Earl of Oxford, Pythian, of immense depth; the upper part of it is paved, afterwards Lady C. Bacon.
and now a cow-house. On the other side of Castri stands a (3) The little village of Castri stands partly on the site of Greek monastery; some way above which is the cleft in the Delphi. Along the path of the mountain, from Chrysso, are rock, with a range of caverns difficult of ascent, and apthe remains of sepulchres hewn in and from the rock; "one,” parently leading to the interior of the mountain, probably to said the guide, "of a king who broke his neck hunting." His the Corycian Cavern mentioned by Pausanias. From this majesty had certainly chose the fittest spot for such an part descend the fountain and the "Dews of Custalie."
Cbilde Harold had a mother-not forgot,
A few dear objects, will in sadness feel
For he through Sin's long labyrinth had run,
And spoild her goodly lands to gild bis waste, Nor calm domestic peace bad ever deign’d to taste.
VI. And now Childe Harold was sore sick at heart, And from his fellow bacchanals would flee; T'is said, at times the sullen tear would start, But Pride congeald the drop within his e'e. Apart le stalk'd in joyless reverie, And from his native land resolved to go, And visit scorching climes beyond the sea ;
With pleasure drugg'd, he almost long'd for woe, And e'en for change of scene would scek the shades
His house, his home, his heritage, his lands,
Without a sigh he left to cross the brine,
The sails were fill'd, and fair the light winds
blew, As glad to wast him from his native home ; And fast the white rocks faded from his view, And soon were lost in circumambient foam; And then, it may be, of his wish to roam Repented he, but in his bosom slept The silent thought, nor from his lips did come
One word of wail, whilst others sate and wept, And to the reckless gales unmanly moaning kept.
The Childe departed from his father's hall;
agen, If ancient tales say true, nor wrong these holy men.
But when the sun was sinking in the sea,
For who would trust the seeming sighs
Of wife or paramour ? Fresh feeres will dry the bright blue eyes
We late saw streaming o'er. For pleasures past I do not grieve,
Nor perils gathering near; My greatest grief is that I leare
No thing that claims a tear.
And tuned his farewell in the dim twilight,
And fleeting shores receded from his sight,
Fades o'er the waters blue;
And shrieks the wild sea-mew.
We follow in his flight;
My native Land-Good Night!
To give the morrow birth;
But not my mother earth.
Its hearth is desolate;
My dog howls at the gate
Why dost thou weep and wail ?
Or tremble at the gale ?
Our ship is swift and strong;
More merrily along."
And now I'm in the world alone,
Upon the wide, wide sea;
When none will sigh for me! Perchance my dog will whine in vain,
Till fed by stranger hands; But long ere I come back again
He'd tear me where he stands.
With thee, my bark, I'll swiftly go
Athwart the foaming brine ; Nor care what land thou bear'st me to,
So not again to mine. Welcome, welcome, ye dark blue waves !
And when you fail my sight, Welcome, ye deserts, and ye caves !
My native land-Good Night!
“Let winds be shrill, let waves roll high,
I fear not wave nor wind;
Am sorrowful in mind;
A mother whom I love,
But thee-and One above.
“My father bless'd me fervently,
Yet did not much complain : But sorely will my mother sigh
Till I come back again.”— "Enough, enough, my little lad!
Such tears become thine cye; If I thy guileless bosom had,
Mine own would not be dry.
On, on the vessel Aies, the land is gone,
And soon on board the Lusian pilots leap, And steer 'twixt fertile shores where yet few rustics reap.
XV. Oh, Christ! it is a goodly sight to see What Heaven hath done for this delicious land! What fruits of fragrance blush on every tree! What goodly prospects o'er the hills expand ! But man would mar them with an impious hand: And when the Almighty lifts His fiercest scourge 'Gainst those who most transgress His high
command, With treble vengeance will His hot shafts urge Gaul's locust host, and earth from fellest foenian purge.
XVI. What beauties doth Lisboa first unfold ! Her image floating on that noble tide, Which poets vainly pave with sands of gold, But now whereon a thousand keels did ride Of mighty strength, since Albion was allied, And to the Lusians did her aid afford : A nation swoll'n with ignorance and pride, Who lick, yet loathe, the band that waves the
sword To save them from the wrath of Gaul's unsparing
“Come hither, hither, my staunch yeoman,
Why dost thou look so pale ?
Or shiver at the gale ?”.
Sir Childe, I'm not so weak; But thinking on an absent wife
Will blanch a faithful cheek.
"My spouse and boys dwell near thy hall,
Along the bordering lake;
What answer shall she make!"
Thy grief let none gainsay; But I, who am of lighter mood,
Will laugh to flee awny."
But whoso entereth within this town, That, sheening far, celestial seems to be,
And ever since that martial synod met,
not life !2
(1) The convent of “Our Lady of Punishment," Nossa ceived any compatriot defending himself against his allies. I Senora de Pena, on the summit of the rock. Below, at some was once stopped in the way to the theatre at eight o'clock in distance, is the Cork Convent, where St. Honorius dug his the evening, when the streets were not more empty than they den, over which is his epitaph. From the hills, the sea adds generally are at that hour, opposite to an open shop, and in a to the beauty of the view.
carriage with a friend. Had we not fortunately been armed, (2) It is a well-known fact, that in the year 1809 the I have not the least doubt that we should have "adorned a assassinations in the streets of Lisbon and its vicinity were tale" instead of telling one. Dot confined by the Portuguese to their countrymen, but that (3) The Convention of Cintra was signed in the palace of Englishmen were daily butchered; and so far from redress the Marchese Marialva. being obtained, we were requested not to interfere if we per