Page images
PDF

Childe Harold pass'd o'er many a mount sublime,
Through lands scarce noticed in historic tales;
Yet in famed Attica such lovely dales
Are rarely seen; nor can fair Tempe boast
A charm they know not; loved Parnassus fails,

Though classic ground and consecrated most,
To match some spots that lurk within this lowering

coast.

XLVII. He pass'd bleak Pindus, Acherusia's lake, (17) And left the primal city of the land, And onwards did his further journey take To greet Albania's chief, (18) whose dread com

mand Is lawless law; for with a bloody hand He sways a nation, turbulent and bold : Yet here and there some daring mountain-band

Disdain his power, and from their rocky hold Hurl their defiance far, nor yield unless to gold. (19)

XLVIII.
Monastic Zitza ! (20) from thy shady brow,
Thou small but favoured spot of holy ground!
Where'er we gaze, around, above, below,
What rainbow tints, what magic charms are

found! .
Rock, river, forest, mountain, all abound,
And bluest skies that harmonize the whole :
Beneath the distant torrent's rushing sound

Tell where the volum'd cataract doth roll Between those hanging rocks, that shock yet please

the soul.

XLIX. Amidst the grove that crowns yon tufted bill, Which, were it not for many a mountain nigh

Rising in lofty ranks, and loftier still,
Might well itself be deem'd of dignity,
The convent's white walls glisten fair on high :
Here dwells the caloyer, (21) nor rude is he,
Nor niggard of his cheer; the passer by

Is welcome still ; nor heedless will he flee
From hence, if he delight kind Nature's sheen to

see.

Here in the sultriest season let him rest,
Fresh is the green beneath those aged trees;
Here winds of gentlest wing will fan his breast,
From heaven itself he may inhale the breeze:
The plain is far beneath-oh! let him seize
Pure pleasure while he can ; the scorching ray
Here pierceth not, impregnate with disease :

Then let bis length the loitering pilgrim lay, And gaze, untired, the morn, the noon, the eve

away.

LI. Dusky and huge, enlarging on the sight, Nature's volcanic amphitheatre, (22) Chimæra's alps extend from left to right: Beneath a living valley seems to stir : Flocks play, trees wave, streams flow the moun

tain-fir Nodding above : behold black Acheron! (23). Once consecrated to the sepulchre.

Pluto! if this be hell I look upon, Close shamed Elysium's gates, my shade shall seek

for none !

LII.
Ne city's towers pollute the lovely view ;
Unseen is Yanina, though not remote,
VOL. I.-F

Veild by the screen of hills : here men are few,
Scanty the hamlet, rare the lonely cot;
But peering down each precipice, the goat
Browseth ; and, pensive o'er his scatter'd flock,
The little shepherd in his white capote (24)

Doth lean his boyish form along the rock,
Or in his cave awaits the tempest's short-lived

shock.

LIII. On! where, Dodona! is thine aged grove, Prophetic fount and oracle divine ? What valley echo'd the response of Jove? What trace remaineth of the thunderer's shrine? All, all forgotten and shall man repine That his frail bonds to Aeeting life are broke? Cease, fool! the fate of gods may well be thine :

Wouldst thou survive the marble or the oak? When nations, tongues, and worlds must sink be

neath tbe stroke!

LIV. Epirus' bounds recede, and mountains fail ; Tired of up-gazing still, the wearied eye Reposes gladly on as smooth a vale As ever spring yclad in grassy dye : Ev'n on a plain no humble beauties lie, Where some bold river breaks the long expanse; And woods along the banks are waving high,

Whose shadows in the glassy waters dance, Or with the moon-beam sleep in midnight's solemn

trance.

LV. The sun had sunk behind vast Tomeret, (25) And Laos wide and fierce came roaring by ; (26)

The shades of wonted night were gathering yet,
When, down the steep banks winding warily,
Childe Harold saw, like meteors in the sky,
The glittering minarets of Tepalen, (nigh,
Whose walls o’erlook the stream; and drawing

He heard the busy hum of warrior-men
Swelling the breeze that sigh'd along the length-

ening glen. "

LVI. He pass'd the sacred Haram's silent tower, And underneath the wide o'erarching gate Survey'd the dwelling of this chief of power, Where all around proclaim'd his high estate. Amidst no common pomp the despot sate, While busy preparation shook the court, Slaves, eunuchs, soldiers, guests, and santons wait;

Within, a palace, and without, a fort: Here men of every clime appear to make resort.

LVII. Richly caparison'd, a ready row Of armed horse, and many a warlike store Circled the wide extending court below: Above, strange groups adorn'd the corridore ; · And oft-times through the Area's echoing door Some high-capp'd Tartar spurr'd his steed away; The Turk, the Greek, the Albanian, and the Moor,

Here mingled in the many-hued array, While the deep war-drum's sound announced the

close of day.

LVII.
The wild Albanian kirtled to bis knee,
With shawl-girt head and ornamented gun,
And gold-embroider'd garments, fair to see ;
The crimson-scarfed men of Macedon;

The Delhi with his cap of terror on,
And crooked glaive ; the lively, supple Greek;
And swarthy Nubia's mutilated son ;

The bearded Turk that rarely deigns to speak, Master of all around, too potent to be meek,

. LIX. . Are mix'd conspicuous: some recline in groups, Scanning the motley scene that varies round; There some grave Moslem to devotion stoops, And some that smoke, and some that play, are

found ; Here the Albanian proudly treads the ground; Half whispering there the Greek is heard to prate; Hark! from the mosque the nightly solemn sound,

The Muezzin's call doth shake the minaret, “ There is no god but God to prayer-lo! God is great!"

LX. Just at this season Ramazani's fast Through the long day its penance did maintain : But when the lingering twilight hour was past, Revel and feast assumed the rule again; Now all was bustle, and the menial train Prepared and spread the plenteous board within ; The vacant gallery now seem'd made in vain,

But from the chambers came the mingling din, As page and slave anon were passiog out and in.

[ocr errors]

Here woman's voice is never heard : apart,
And scarce permitted, guarded, veil'd, to move,
She yields to one her person and her beart,
Tamed to her cage, nor feels a wish to rove:
For, not unhappy in her master's love,
And joyful in a mother's gentlest cares,
Blest cares! all other feelings far above !

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »