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CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE.
“ Afin que cette application vous forçât de penser à autre chose; ill n'y a en vérité de remède que celui-là et le temps.”
Lettre du Roi de Prusse à D'Alembert, Sept. 7, 1776.
I. Is thy face like thy mother's my fair child! Ada! sole daughter of my house and heart When last I saw thy young blue eyes they smiled, And then we parted, -not as now we part, But with a hope.
Awaking with a start, The waters heave around me; and on high The winds lift up their voices: I depart, Whither I know not; but the hour's gone by, When Albion's lessening shores could grieve or
glad mine eye.
II. Once more upon the waters ! yet once more ! And the waves bound beneath me as a steed That knows his rider. Welcome, to their roar! Swift be their guidance, wheresoe'er it lead! Though the strain'd mast should quiver as a reed, And the rent canvass fluttering strew the gale, Still must I on; for I am as a weed,
Flung from the rock, on Ocean's foam, to sail Where'er the surge may sweep, the tempest's
The wandering outlaw of his own dark mind;
O'er which all heavily the journeying years
IV. Since my young days of passion-joy, or pain, Perchance my heart and harp have lost a string, And both may jar: it may be, that in vain I would essay as I have sung to sing. Yet though a dreary strain to this I cling So that it wean me from the weary dream Of selfish grief or gladness-so it fling Forgetfulness around me--it shall seem To me, though to none else, a not ungrateful theme.
V. He, who grown aged in this world of wo, In deeds, not years, piercing the depths of life, So that no wonder waits him ; nor below Can love, or sorrow, fame, ambition, strife, Cut to his heart again with the keen knife Of silent, sharp endurance : he can tell Why thought seeks refuge in lone caves, yet
With airy images, and shapes which dwell Still unimpair'd though old, in the soul's haunted
VI. 'Tis to create, and in creating live A being more intense, than we endow With form our fancy, gaining as we give The life we image, even as I do now. What am I? Nothing; but not so art thou, Soul of my thought! with whom I traverse earth, Invisible but gazing, as I glow
Misd with thy spirit, blended with thy birth, And feeling still with thee in my crush'd feelings'
VII. Yet must I think less wildly :- I have thought Too long and darkly, till my brain became, In its own eddy boiling and oʻerwrought, A whirling gulf of phantasy and flame: And thus, untaught in youth my heart to tame, My springs of life were poison'd. 'Tis too late! Yet am I changed; though still enough the same
In strength to bear wbat time cannot abate, And feed on bitter fruits without accusing Fate.
. VIII. Something too much of this :—but now 'tis past, And the spell closes with its silent seal. Long absent Harold reappears at last; He of the breast which fain no more would feel, Wrung with the wounds which kill not, but ne'er
heal; Yet time, who changes all, had alter'd him In soul and aspect as in age: years steal
Fire from the mind as vigour from the limb; And life's enchanted cup but sparkles near the
IX. His had been quaff'd too quickly, and he found The dregs were wormwood; but he fill'd again, And from a purer fount on holier ground, And deem'd its spring perpetual; but in vain! Still round him clung invisibly a chain Which gall’d forever, fettering though unseen, And heavy though it clank'd not; worn with
pain, Which pined although it spoke not, and grew
keen, Entering with every step, he took, through many
X. Secure in guarded coldness, he had mix'd Again in fancied safety with his kind, And deem'd his spirit now. so firmly fix'd And sheath'd with an invulnerable mind, That, if no joy, no sorrow lurk'd behind; And he, as one, might midst the many stand Unheeded, searching through the crowd to find
Fit speculation ! such as in strange land He found in wonder-works of God and Nature's
XI. But who can view the ripen'd rose nor seek To wear it? who can curiously behold The smoothness and the sheen of beauty's cheek, Nor feel the heart can never all grow old? Who can contemplate Fame through clouds un