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VIII. Yet ofttimes, in his maddest mirthful mood, Strange pangs would flash along Childe Harold's
II. 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 uncouth, 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, Aud launting wassailers of high and low degree.
As if the memory of some deadly feud
Nor sought he friend to counsel or condole, Whate'er this grief mote be, which he could not control
Maidens, like moths, are ever caught by glare, And Mainmon wins his way where Seraphis might
IV. Childe Harold bask'd him in the noontide 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 besell; He felt the fulness of satiety:
Then loathed he in his native land to dwell, Which seem'd to him more lone than eremite's sad
For he through Sin's long labyrinth had run,
And spoil'd her goodly lands to gild his waste, Nor calm domestic peace had ever deign'd to taste.
T'is said, at times the sullen tear would start,
With pleasure drugg’d, he almost long'd for woe, And e'en for change of scene would seek the shades below.
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.
Cbilde Harold had a mother-not forgot,
A few dear objects, will in sadness feel Such partings break the beart they fondly liope to heal.
Without a sigh he left to cross the brine, And traverse Paynim shores, and pass Earth's central line.
One word of wail, whilst others sate and wept,
And tuned his farewell in the dim twilight,
For who would trust the seeming sighs While flew the vessel on ber snowy wing,
Of wife or paramour ? And fleeting shores receded from his sight,
Fresh feeres will dry the bright blue eyes Thus to the elements he pour'd his last “Good
We late saw streaming o'er.
For pleasures past I do not grieve,
Nor perils gathering near;
My greatest grief is that I leave
No thing that claims a tear.
And now I'm in the world alone,
Upon the wide, wide sea;
But why should I for others groan,
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.
But not my mother earth.
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 ! “ Come hither, hither, my little page:
And when you fail my sight,
Welcome, ye deserts, and ye caves !
My native land-Good Night!
On, on the vessel flies, the land is gone,
And winds are rude in Biscay's sleepless bay.
Four days are sped, but with the fifth, anon,
New shores descried make every bosom gay;
And Tagus dashing onward to the deep,
His fabled golden tribute bent to pay :
And soon on board the Lusian pilots leap,
And steer 'twixt fertile shores where yet few rustics
Oh, Christ! it is a goodly sight to see
What Heaven hath done for this delicious land ! Yet did not much complain :
What fruits of fragrance blush on every tree! But sorely will my mother sigh
What goodly prospects o'er the hills expand ! Till I come back again.”
But man would mar them with an impious hand : “Enough, enough, my little lad!
And when the Almighty lifts His fiercest scourge Such tears become thine cye;
'Gainst those who most transgress His high If I thy guileless bosom had,
command, Mine own would not be dry.
With treble vengeance will His bot shafts urge
Gaul's locust host, and earth from fellest foeman “Come hither, bither, my staunch yeoman,
What beauties doth Lisboa first unfold!
Her image floating on that noble tide,
Which poets vainly pave with sands of gold, Sir Childe, I'm not so weak;
But now whereon a thousand keels did ride But thinking on an absent wife
Of mighty strength, since Albion was allied, Will blanch a faithful cheek.
And to the Lusians did her aid afford :
A nation swoll'n with ignorance and pride, “My spouse and boys dwell near thy hall,
Who lick, yet loathe, the hand that waves the Along the bordering lake;
sword And when they on their father call,
To save them from the wrath of Gaul's unsparing
But whoso entereth within this town,
| That, sheening far, celestial seems to be,
Disconsolate will wander up and down,
XXII. 'Mid many things unsightly to strange e'e ;
On sloping mounds, or in the vale beneath, For hut and palace show like filthily;
Are domes where whilome kings did make The dingy denizens are rear'd in dirt;
repair: No personage of high or mean degree
But now the wild flowers round them only Doth care for cleanness of surtout or shirt,
breathe ; Though shent with Egypt's plague, unkempt, un Yet ruin'd splendour still is lingering there, wash'd, unhurt.
And yonder towers the Prince's palace fair :
There thou, too, Vathek! England's wealthiest XVIII. Poor, paltry slaves ! yet born 'midst noblest Once form’d thy Paradise, as not aware scenes
When wanton Wealth her mightiest deeds hath Why, Nature, waste thy wonders on such men ?
done, Lo! Cintra's glorious Eden intervenes
Meek Peace voluptuous lures was ever wont to In variegated maze of mount and glen.
shun. Ah me! what hand can pencil, guide, or pen, To follow half on which the eye dilates
XXITI. Through views more dazzling unto mortal ken Here didst thou dwell, here schemes of pleasure Than those whereof such things the bard relates,
plan, Who to the awe-struck world unlock'd Elysium's Beneath yon mountain's ever beauteous brow; gates ?
But now, as if a thing unblest by Man,
Thy fairy dwelling is as lone as thou !
Here giant weeds a passage scarce allow
Swept into wrecks anon by Tiine's ungentle tide. The sunken gler, whose sunless shrubs must
weep, The tender azure of the unruffled deep,
XXIV. The orange tints that gild the greenest bough,
Behold the hall where chiefs were late convened!3 The torrents that from cliff to valley leap,
Oh! dome displeasing unto British eye! The vine on high, the willow branch below,
With diadem hight foolscap, lo! a fiend,
A little fiend that scoffs incessantly,
His side is hung a seal and sable scroll,
Where blazon'd glare names known to chivalry, And frequent turn to linger as you go,
And sundry signatures adorn the roll, From loitier rocks new loveliness survey,
Whereat the Urchin points, and laughs with all his And rest ye at “ Our Lady's House of Woc;"
soul. Where frugal monks their little relics show,
Convention is the dwarfish demon styled
That foild the knights in Marialva's dome :
Of brains (if brains they had) he them beguiled,
Here Folly dash'd to earth the victor's plume,
And Policy regain’d what Arms had lost : And here and there, as up the crags you spring, For chiefs like ours in vain may laurels bloom ! Mark many rude-carv'd crosses near the path; Woe to the conquering, not the conquer'd host, Yet deem not these devotion's offering
| Since baffled Triumph droops on Lusitania's coast. These are memorials frail of murderous wrath : For wheresoe'er the shrieking victim hath Pour'd forth his blood beneath the assassin's
And ever since that martial synod met, Some hand erects a cross of mouldering lath; Britannia sickens, Cintra, at thy name;
And grove and glen with thousand such are rife, And folks in office at the mention fret, Throughout this purple land, where law secures And fain would blush, if blush they could, for 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. not confined by the Portuguese to their countrymen, but that (3) The Convention of Cintra was signed in the palace of Englishren were daily butchered; and so far from redress the Marchese Marialva. being obtained, we were requiested not to interfere if we per
(1) As I found the Portuguese, so I have characterised them. That they are since improved, at least in courage, is evident. The late exploits of Lord Wellington have etfaced the follies of Cintra. He has indeed done wonders; he has perhaps changed the character of a nation, reconciled rival
superstitions, and baffled an enemy who never retreated before his predecessors.-1812.
(2) Count Julian's daughter, tho Helen of Spain. Pelagius preserved his independence in the fastnesses of the Asturias.
When granite moulders and when records fail, I The foe, the victim, and the fond ally
To feed the crow on Talavera's plain,
And fertilize the field that each pretends to gain. Can Volume, Pillar, Pile preserve thee great ?
Or must thou trust Tradition's simple tongue, When Flattery sleeps with thee, and History does
XLII. thee wrong?
There shall they rot-Ambition's honour'd fools !
Yes, Honour decks the turf that wraps their XXXVII.
clay! Awake, ye song of Spain ! awake! advance! Vain sophistry! in these behold the tools, Lo! Chivalry, your ancient goddess eries,
The broken tools, that tyrants cast away But wields not, as of old, her thirsty lance,
By myriads, when they dare to pave their way Nor shakes her crimson plumage in the skies : With human hearts-to what ?-a dream alone. Now on the smoke of blazing bolts she flies,
Can despots compass aught that hails their sway ? And speaks in thunder through yon engine's Or call with truth one span of earth their own, roar!
Save that wherein at last they crumble bone by In every peal she calls"Awake! arise!”
O Albuera, glorious field of grief!
As o'er thy plain the Pilgrim prick'd his steed, Hark! heard you not those hoofs of dreadful
Who could foresee thee in a space so brief, note!
A scene where mingling foes should boast and
bleed. Sounds not the clang of conflict on the heath! Saw ye not whom the reeking sabre smote;
Peace to the perish'd ! may the warrior's meed
And tears of triumph their reward belong! Nor saved your brethren ere they sank beneath Tyrants and tyrants' slaves the fires of death,
Till others fall where other chieftains lead,
Thy name shall circle round the gaping throng, The bale-fires flash on high :-from rock to rock Each volley tells that thousands cease to breathe:
And shine in worthless lays, the theme of transcient Death rides upon the sulphury Siroc,
song. Red Battle stamps his foot, and nations feel the shock,
Enough of Battle's minions ! let them play XXXIX.
Their game of lives, and barter breath for fame : Lo! where the Giant on the mountain stands, Fame that will scarce reanimate their clay, His blood-red tresses deepening in the sun, Though thousands fall to deck some single name. With death-shot glowing in his fiery hands,
In sooth, 'twere sad to thwart their noble ainn And eye that scorcheth all it glares upon;
Who strike, blest hirelings ! for their country's Restless it rolls, now fix'd, and now anon Flashing afar,—and at his iron feet
And die, that living might have proved her Destruction cowers, to mark what deeds are
Perish’d, perchance, in some domestic feud, For on this morn three potent nations meet, Or in a narrower sphere wild Rapine's path purTo shed before his shrine the blood he deems most
Full swiftly Harold wends his lonely way
Where proud Sevilla triumphs unsubdued : (For one who hath no friend, no brother there)
Yet is she free-the spoiler's wish'd-for prey ! Their rival scarfs of mix'd embroidery,
Soon, soon shall Conquest's fiery foot intrude, Their various arms that glitter in the air!
Blackening her lovely domes with traces rude. What gallant war-bounds rouse them from their
Inevitable hour! 'Gainst fate to strive lair!
Where Desolation plants her famish'd brood And gnash their fangs, loud yelling for the prey !
Is vain, or Ilion, Tyre, might yet survive, All join the chase, but few the triumph share:
| And Virtue vanquish all, and Murder cease to The Grave shall bear the chiefest prize away,
thrive. And Havoc scarce for joy can number their array.
But all unconscious of the coming doom,
The feast, the song, the revel, here abounds ; Three tongues prefer strange orisons on high; Strange modes of merriment the hours consume, Three gaudy standards flout the pale blue skies : Nor bleed these patriots with their country's The shouts are France, Spain, Albion, Victory! |