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Such the ungentle sport that oft invites
foe, Enough, alas, in humble homes remain,
To pieditate 'gainst friends the secret blow, For some slight cause of wrath, whence life's warm
stream must flow.
But Jealousy has fled: liis bars, his bolts,
With braided tresses bounding o'er the green, While on the gay dance shone Night's lover-loving
It is not love, it is not hate,
Nor low Ambition's honours lost, That bids me loathe my present state,
And fly from all I prized the most: It is that weariness which springs
From all I meet, or hear, or see: To me no pleasure Beauty brings ;
Thine eyes have scarce a charm for me. It is that settled, careless gloom
The fabled Hebrew wanderer bore, That will not look beyond the tomb,
But canuot hope for rest before. What exile from himself can flee?
To zones, though more and more remote, Still, still pursues, where'er I be,
The blight of Life-the demon Thought.
If be that rhymeth now may scribble moe.
Is this too much? Stern Critic, say not so: Let their bleach'd bones, and blood's unbleaching Patience! and ye shall hear what he beheld stain,
In other lands where he was doom'd to go : Long mark the battle-field with hideous awe:
Lands that contain the monuments of eld, Thus only may our sons conceive the scenes we Ere Greece and Grecian arts by barbarous hands were
(1) Alluding to the condnct and death of Solano, the governor of Cadiz, in May, 1809.
(2) Palafox's answer to the French general at the siege of Saragon.
Nor warlike worshipper his vigil keeps
Where demi-gods appear'd, as records tell.
CANTO THE SECOND
1. COME, blue-eyed maid of heaven !-but thou, alas, Look on its broken arch, its ruin'd wall, Didst never get one mortal song inspire
Its chambers desolate, and portals foul; Goddess of Wisdom! Here tly temple was, Yes, this was once Ambition's airy hall, And is, despite of war and wasting fire,
The dome of Thought, the palace of the Soul. And years, that bade thy worship to expire : Behold through each lack-lustre, eyeless hole, But worse than steel, and flame, and ages slow, The gay recess of Wisdom and of Wit, Is the drear sceptre and dominion dire
And Passion's host, that never brook'd control : Of men who never felt the sacred glow
Can all saint, sage, or sophist ever writ, That thoughts of thee and thine on polish'd breasts People this lonely tower, this tenement refit?
(1) Part of the Acropolis was destroyed by the explosion of trymen, as Achilles, Brasidas, &c., and at last even Antinous, a magazine during the Venetian siege.
whose death was as heroic as his life was infamous. (2) It was not always the custom of the Greeks to burn (3) The temple of Jupiter Olympius, of which sixteen their dead; the greater Ajax, in particular, was interred coluinns, entirely of marble, yet survive : originally there entire. Almost all the chiefs became gods after their decease; were one hundred and fifty. These columns, however, are by and he was indeed neglected who had not annual games near many supposed to have belonged to the Pantheon. bis tomb, or festivals in honour of his memory hy his coun
The latent grandeur of thy dwelling-place.
XVI. It may not be: nor even can Fancy's eye
But where is Harold ? shall I then forget Restore what time hath labour'd to deface.
To urge the gloomy wanderer o'er the wave ? Yet these proud pillars claim no passing sigh; Little reck'd
he of all that men regret; Unmoved the Moslem sits, the light Greek carols by. No loved one now in feign'd lament could rave;
No friend the parting hand extended gave,
Ere the cold stranger passed to other climes. But who, of all the plunderers of yon fane
Hard is his heart whom charms may not enslave; On high, where Pallas linger’d, loth to flee, But Harold felt not as in other times, The latest relic of her ancient reign
And left without a sigh the land of war and crimes.
Has view'd at times, I ween, a full fair sight; Yet they could violate each saddening shrine,
When the fresh breeze is fair as breeze may be, And bear these altars o'er the long reluctant brine. The white sails set, the gallant frigate tight,
Masts, spires, and strand retiring to the right,
The glorious main expanding o'er the bow, But most the modern Pict's ignoble boast,
The convoy spread like wild swans in their flight, To rive what Goth, and Time, and Turk hath The dullest sailer wearing bravely now, spared :
So gaily curl the waves before each dashing prow. Cold as the crags upon his native coast, His mind as barren and his heart as hard,
XVIII. Is he whose head conceived, whose hand prepared,
And oh, the little warlike world within!
The well-reeved guns, the netted canopy, 2,
The hoarse command, the busy humming din,
When, at a word, the tops are manned on high : And never knew, till then, the weight of Despot's
Hark to the boatswain's call, the cheering cry, chains.
While through the seaman's hand the tackle
glides ; What! shall it e'er be said by British tongue Or schoolboy midshipman that, standing by, Albion was happy in Athena's tears ?
Strains his shrill pipe as good or ill betides, Though in thy name the slaves her bosom wrung, And well the docile crew that skilful urchin guides. 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 generous aid her name endears,
White is the glassy deck, without a stain,
For the lone chieftain who majestic stalks
With aught beneath bim, if he would preserve Where was thine Ægis, Pallas, that appallid
That strict restraint, which, broken, ever baulks Stern Alaric and Havoc on their way ?1 Where Peleus' sou? whom hell in vain enthrall’d, From law, however stern, which tends their strength
Conquest and Fame: but Britons rarely swerve His shade from Hades upon that dread day
to nerve. Bursting to light in terrible array ! What! could not Pluto spare the chief once more,
XX. To scare a second robber from his prey ?
Blow, swiftly blow, thou keel-compelling gale, 1dly he wander'd on the Stygian shore,
Till the broad sun withdraws his lessening ray; Nor now preserved the walls he loved to shield before.
Then must the pennant-bearer slacken sail,
Ah! grievance sore, and listless dull delay,
What leagues are lost before the dawn of day, Dull is the eye that will not weep to see
Thus loitering pensive on the willing seas,
Long streams of light o'er dancing waves expand; And snatch'd thy shrinking gods to northern climes Now lads on shore may sigh, and maids believe : abhorrd.
Such be our fate when we return to land !
(1) According to Zosimus, Minerva and Achilles frightened (2) To prevent blocks or splinters from falling on deck Alaric from the Acropolis ; others relate that the Gothic king during action. as nearly as mischievous as the Scottish peer.-See Chandler.
Meantime some rude Arion's restless hand
Such as on lonely Athos may be
seen, Or to some well-known measure featly move,
Watching at eve upon the giant height, Thoughtless, as if on shore they still were free to Which looks on waves so blue, skies so serene,
That he who there at such an hour hath been,
Then slowly tear him from the witching scene, Through Calpe's straits survey the steepy shore ; Sigh forth one wish that such had been his lot, Europe and Afric on each other gaze!
Then turn to hate a world he had almost forgot. Lands of the dark-eyed Maid and dusky Moor, Alike beheld beneath pale Hecate's blaze :
XXVIII. How softly on the Spanish shore she plays, Disclosing rock, and slope, and forest brown, Pass we the long, unvarying course, the track Distinct, though darkening with her waning Oft trod, that never leaves a trace behind ; phase!
Pass we the calm, the gale, the change, the tack, But Mauritania's giant-shadows frown,
And each well-known caprice of wave and wind; From mountain-cliff to coast descending sombre Pass we the joys and sorrows sailors find, down.
Cooped in their winged sea-girt citadel;
, 'Tis night, when Meditation bids us feel
Till on some jocund morn-lo, land ! and all is well. We once have loved, though love is at an end : The heart, lone mourner of its baffled zeal, Though friendless now, will dream it had a friend. Who with the weight of years would wish to bend,
But not in silence pass Calypso's isles, When Youth itself survives young Love and joy?
The sister tenants of the middle deep;
There for the weary still a haven smiles,
Though the fair goddess long hath ceased to weep,
And o'er her cliffs a fruitless watch to keep
For him who dared prefer a mortal bride :
While thus of both bereft, the nymph-queen doubly Thus bending o'er the vessel's laving side,
But trust not this; too easy youth, beware! Dearer than self, possesses or possess'd
A mortal sovereign holds her dangerous throne, A thought, and claims the homage of a tear; And thou may'st find a new Calypso there. A flashing pang, of which the weary breast
Sweet Florence! could another ever share
This wayward, loveless heart, it would be thine :
To cast a worthless offering at thy shrine,
Nor ask so dear a breast to feel one pang for mine. To sit on rocks, to muse o'er flood and fell, To slowly trace the forest's shady scene, Where things that own not man's dominion dwell, And mortal foot hath ne'er or rarely been;
Thus Harold deem'd, as on that lady's eye To climb the trackless mountain all unseen, He look'd, and met its beam without a thought, With the wild flock that never needs a fold; Save Admiration glancing harmless by: Alone o'er steeps and foaming falls to lean : Love kept aloof, albeit not far remote, This is not solitude ; 'tis but to hold
Who knew his votary often lost and caught, Converse with Nature's charms, and view her stores But knew him as his worshipper no more, unroll’d.
And ne'er again the boy his bosom sought :
Well deem'd the little god his ancient sway was o'er.
Fair Florence found, in sooth with some amaze, Minions of splendour shrinking from distress!
One wbo, 'twas said, still sigh’d to all he saw, None that, with kindred consciousness endued,
Withstand, unmov'd, the lustre of her gaze, If we were not, would seem to smile the less,
Which others hail'd with real or mimic awe, Of all that flatter'd, follow'd, sought, and sued: This is to be alone; this, this is solitude !
(1) Goza is said to have been the island of Calypso.