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THE ENGLISH ROMANTICS
GEORGE GORDON,
LORD BYRON (1788-1824)
Workshop
Márcio José Coutinho
BYRON AND THE BYRONIC HERO
Experience: Byron’s emphasis on Sensation
For Byron, “The great object in life is Sensation—to feel that we
exist, even th...
BYRON’S FAMILY
BYRON’S AFFAIRS
He was bad, mad and dangerous to know!
Lady Caroline Lamb
BYRON’S AFFAIRS
The archetypal Romantic poet was
involved for several years with
CountessTeresa Guiccioli. He was
her cava...
ANNE ISABELLA MILBANKE
IN 1812 BY CHARLES HAYTER
BYRON’S SISTER AUGUSTA LEIGH
I WOULD I WERE A CARELESS CHILD
I would I were a careless child,
Still dwelling in my highland cave,
Or roaming through th...
I loved -- but those I loved are gone;
Had friends -- my early friends are fled:
How cheerless feels the heart alone
When ...
The Concept of Nature
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society ...
The OceanLord Byron (1788–1824) (From Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage)
ROLL on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean, roll!
Ten thousa...
Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee:
Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they?
Thy waters washed them p...
1. YOU SAY YOU LOVE, AND YET YOUR EYE
NO SYMPTOM OF THAT LOVE CONVEYS,
YOU SAY YOU LOVE, YET KNOW NOT WHY,
YOUR CHEEK NO S...
5. FOR E'EN YOUR LIP SEEMS STEEP'D IN SNOW,
AND THOUGH SO OFT IT MEETS MY KISS,
IT BURNS WITH NO RESPONSIVE GLOW,
NOR MELT...
9. 'TIS THEN YOUR BREAST, NO LONGER COLD,
WITH EQUAL ARDOUR SEEMS TO BURN,
WHILE CLOSE YOUR ARMS AROUND ME FOLD,
YOUR LIPS...
1 THINK’ST THOU I SAW THY BEAUTEOUS EYES,
SUFFUS’D IN TEARS, IMPLORE TO STAY;
AND HEARD UNMOV’D THY PLENTEOUS SIGHS,
WHICH...
4 THOU COULD’ST NOT FEEL MY BURNING CHEEK,
THY GUSHING TEARS HAD QUENCH’D ITS FLAME,
AND, AS THY TONGUE ESSAY’D TO SPEAK,
...
WHEN I HEAR THAT YOU EXPRESS AN AFFECTION SO WARM,
NE’ER THINK, MY BELOVED, THAT I DO NOT BELIEVE;
FOR YOUR LIP WOULD THE ...
5
MISTAKE NOT, SWEET SCEPTIC, THE CAUSE OF EMOTION,
NO DOUBT CAN THE MIND OF YOUR LOVER INVADE;
HE WORSHIPS EACH LOOK WITH...
1 OH WHEN SHALL THE GRAVE HIDE FOR EVER MY SORROW?
OH WHEN SHALL MY SOUL WING HER FLIGHT FROM THIS CLAY?
THE PRESENT IS HE...
4 BUT NOW TEARS AND CURSES, ALIKE UNAVAILING,
WOULD ADD TO THE SOULS OF OUR TYRANTS DELIGHT;
COULD THEY VIEW US OUR SAD SE...
WOMAN! EXPERIENCE MIGHT HAVE TOLD ME,
THAT ALL MUST LOVE THEE WHO BEHOLD THEE:
SURELY EXPERIENCE MIGHT HAVE TAUGHT
THY FIR...
SHE WALKS IN BEAUTY
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark ...
JOHN WILMOT, 2ND EARL
OF ROCHESTER (1647-1680)
Mrs.Wilmot’s Husband JohnWilmot, Lord
Biron’s cousin, probably descended fr...
Stanzas Written on the Road Between Florence and Pisa
Oh, talk not to me of a name great in story;
The days of our youth a...
AND THOU ART DEAD, AS YOUNG AND FAIR,
FIRST PUBLISHED IN 1812
And thou art dead, as young and fair
As aught of mortal birt...
Yet did I love thee to the last
As fervently as thou,
Who didst not change through all the past,
And canst not alter now.
...
I know not if I could have borne
To see thy beauties fade;
The night that follow'd such a morn
Had worn a deeper shade:
Th...
OH! SNATCHED AWAY IN BEAUTY'S BLOOM
Oh! snatched away in beauty's bloom,
On thee shall press no ponderous tomb;
But on thy...
Remind me not, Remind me not
Remind me not, remind me not,
Of those beloved, those vanish'd hours,
When all my soul was gi...
And then those pensive eyes would close,
And bid their lids each other seek,
Veiling the azure orbs below;
While their lon...
REMEMBER HIM, WHOM PASSION’S POWER
Remember him, whom Passion's power
Severely---deeply---vainly proved:
Remember thou tha...
Think that, whate'er to others, thou
Hast seen each selfish thought subdued:
I bless thy purer soul even now,
Even now, in...
Thy youth, thy charms, thy tenderness---
Thy soul from long seclusion pure;
From what even here hath passed, may guess
Wha...
MY SOUL IS DARK
My soul is dark - Oh! quickly string
The harp I yet can brook to hear;
And let thy gentle fingers fling
It...
The destruction of Sennacherib
The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple a...
Sonnet on Chillon
Eternal Spirit of the chainless Mind!
Brightest in dungeons, Liberty! thou art,
For there in thy habitat...
The Prisoner of Chillon
I
My hair is gray, but not with years,
Nor grew it white
In a single night,
As men's have grown fr...
II
There are seven pillars of Gothic mould,
In Chillon's dungeons deep and old,
There are seven columns, massy and grey,
D...
III
They chain'd us each to a column stone,
And we were three - yet, each alone;
We could not move a single pace,
We could...
IV
I was the eldest of the three,
And to uphold and cheer the rest
I ought to do - and did my best -
And each did well in ...
V
The other was as pure of mind,
But form'd to combat with his kind;
Strong in frame, and of a mood
Which 'gainst the worl...
VI
Lake Leman lies by Chillon's walls:
A thousand feet in depth below
Its massy waters meet and flow:
Thus much the fathom...
VII
I said my nearer brother pined,
I said his mighty heart declined,
He loathed and put away his food;
It was not that 't...
VIII
But he, the favorite and the flower,
Most cherish'd since his natal hour,
His mother's image in fair face,
The infant...
And not a word of murmur - not
A groan o'er his untimely lot, -
A little talk of better days,
A little hope my own to rais...
IX
What next befell me then and there
I know not well - I never knew -
First came the loss of light, and air,
And then of ...
X
A light broke in upon my brain, -
It was the carol of a bird;
It ceased, and then it came again,
The sweetest song ear e...
And cheering from my dungeon's brink,
Had brought me back to feel and think.
I know not if it late were free,
Or broke its...
XI
A kind of change came in my fate,
My keepers grew compassionate;
I know not what had made them so,
They were inured to ...
XII
I made a footing in the wall,
I was not there from to escape,
For I had buried one and all
Who loved me in a human sha...
XIII
I saw them - and they were the same,
They were not changed like me in frame;
I saw their thousand years of snow
Oh hi...
 XIV
It might be months, or years, or days -
I kept no count, I took no note -
I had no hope my eyes to raise,
And clear ...
Solitude
To sit on rocks, to muse o'er flood and fell,
To slowly trace the forest's shady scene,
Where things that own not...
LINES WRITTEN BENEATH AN ELM
IN THE CHURCHYARD OF HARROW
Spot of my youth! whose hoary branches sigh,
Swept by the breeze ...
When fate shall chill, at length, this fevered breast,
And calm its cares and passions into rest,
Oft have I thought, 'two...
CHILD HAROLD’S PILGRIMAGE
TO IANTHE. 1
Not in those climes where I have late been straying,
Though Beauty long hath there been matchless deemed,
Not...
Oh! let that eye, which, wild as the gazelle’s,
Now brightly bold or beautifully shy,
Wins as it wanders, dazzles where it...
CANTO THE FIRST.
I.
Oh, thou, in Hellas deemed of heavenly birth,
Muse, formed or fabled at the minstrel’s will!
Since sha...
III.
Childe Harold was he hight:— but whence his name
And lineage long, it suits me not to say;
Suffice it, that perchance...
V.
For he through Sin’s long labyrinth had run,
Nor made atonement when he did amiss,
Had sighed to many, though he loved ...
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...
IX.
And none did love him: though to hall and bower
He gathered revellers from far and near,
He knew them flatterers of th...
XI.
His house, his home, his heritage, his lands,
The laughing dames in whom he did delight,
Whose large blue eyes, fair l...
XIII.
But when the sun was sinking in the sea,
He seized his harp, which he at times could string,
And strike, albeit with...
A few short hours, and he will rise
To give the morrow birth;
And I shall hail the main and skies,
But not my mother earth...
‘My father blessed me fervently,
Yet did not much complain;
But sorely will my mother sigh
Till I come back again.’ —
‘Eno...
For who would trust the seeming sighs
Of wife or paramour?
Fresh feeres will dry the bright blue eyes
We late saw streamin...
XIV.
On, on the vessel flies, the land is gone,
And winds are rude in Biscay’s sleepless bay.
Four days are sped, but with...
XVI.
What beauties doth Lisboa first unfold!
Her image floating on that noble tide,
Which poets vainly pave with sands of ...
XVIII.
Poor, paltry slaves! yet born midst noblest scenes —
Why, Nature, waste thy wonders on such men?
Lo! Cintra’s glori...
XX.
Then slowly climb the many-winding way,
And frequent turn to linger as you go,
From loftier rocks new loveliness surve...
XXII.
On sloping mounds, or in the vale beneath,
Are domes where whilom kings did make repair;
But now the wild flowers ro...
XXIV.
Behold the hall where chiefs were late convened!
Oh! dome displeasing unto British eye!
With diadem hight foolscap, ...
XXVI.
And ever since that martial synod met,
Britannia sickens, Cintra, at thy name;
And folks in office at the mention fr...
XXVIII.
To horse! to horse! he quits, for ever quits
A scene of peace, though soothing to his soul:
Again he rouses from h...
XXX.
O’er vales that teem with fruits, romantic hills,
(Oh that such hills upheld a free-born race!)
Whereon to gaze the e...
XXXII.
Where Lusitania and her Sister meet,
Deem ye what bounds the rival realms divide?
Or e’er the jealous queens of nat...
XXXIV.
But ere the mingling bounds have far been passed,
Dark Guadiana rolls his power along
In sullen billows, murmuring ...
XXXVI.
Teems not each ditty with the glorious tale?
Ah! such, alas, the hero’s amplest fate!
When granite moulders and whe...
XXXVIII.
Hark! heard you not those hoofs of dreadful note?
Sounds not the clang of conflict on the heath?
Saw ye not whom ...
XL.
By Heaven! it is a splendid sight to see
(For one who hath no friend, no brother there)
Their rival scarfs of mixed em...
XLII.
There shall they rot — Ambition’s honoured fools!
Yes, Honour decks the turf that wraps their clay!
Vain Sophistry! ...
XLIV.
Enough of Battle’s minions! let them play
Their game of lives, and barter breath for fame:
Fame that will scarce rea...
CANTO THE SECOND.
I.
Come, blue-eyed maid of heaven! — but thou, alas,
Didst never yet one mortal song inspire —
Goddess o...
III.
Son of the morning, rise! approach you here!
Come — but molest not yon defenceless urn!
Look on this spot — a nation’...
V.
Or burst the vanished hero’s lofty mound;
Far on the solitary shore he sleeps;
He fell, and falling nations mourned aro...
VII.
Well didst thou speak, Athena’s wisest son!
‘All that we know is, nothing can be known.’
Why should we shrink from wh...
IX.
There, thou! — whose love and life together fled,
Have left me here to love and live in vain —
Twined with my heart, a...
XI.
But who, of all the plunderers of yon fane
On high, where Pallas lingered, loth to flee
The latest relic of her ancien...
XIII.
What! shall it e’er be said by British tongue
Albion was happy in Athena’s tears?
Though in thy name the slaves her ...
XV.
Cold is the heart, fair Greece, that looks on thee,
Nor feels as lovers o’er the dust they loved;
Dull is the eye that...
XVII.
He that has sailed upon the dark blue sea,
Has viewed at times, I ween, a full fair sight;
When the fresh breeze is ...
XIX.
White is the glassy deck, without a stain,
Where on the watch the staid lieutenant walks:
Look on that part which sac...
XXI.
The moon is up; by Heaven, a lovely eve!
Long streams of light o’er dancing waves expand!
Now lads on shore may sigh,...
XXIII.
’Tis night, when Meditation bids us feel
We once have loved, though love is at an end:
The heart, lone mourner of i...
XXV.
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...
XXVII.
More blest the life of godly eremite,
Such as on lonelyAthos may be seen,
Watching at eve upon the giant height,
Wh...
XXIX.
But not in silence pass Calypso’s isles,
The sister tenants of the middle deep;
There for the weary still a haven sm...
XXXI.
Thus Harold deemed, as on that lady’s eye
He looked, and met its beam without a thought,
SaveAdmiration glancing har...
XXXIII.
Little knew she that seeming marble heart,
Now masked by silence or withheld by pride,
Was not unskilful in the sp...
XXXV.
’Tis an old lesson:Time approves it true,
And those who know it best deplore it most;
When all is won that all desir...
XXXVII.
Dear Nature is the kindest mother still;
Though always changing, in her aspect mild:
From her bare bosom let me ta...
XXXVII.
Dear Nature is the kindest mother still;
Though always changing, in her aspect mild:
From her bare bosom let me ta...
XXXIX.
Childe Harold sailed, and passed the barren spot
Where sad Penelope o’erlooked the wave;
And onward viewed the moun...
XLI.
But when he saw the evening star above
Leucadia’s far-projecting rock of woe,
And hailed the last resort of fruitless...
XLIII.
Now Harold felt himself at length alone,
And bade to Christian tongues a long adieu:
Now he adventured on a shore u...
The english romantics lord byron
The english romantics lord byron
The english romantics lord byron
The english romantics lord byron
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The english romantics lord byron

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Neste trabalho, apresento alguns dados sobre a poesia de Lord Byron, seleciono alguns dos seus principais poemas para mostrar a importância de seu papel para a literatura Inglesa bem como o que caracteriza sua poesia como romântica.

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The english romantics lord byron

  1. 1. THE ENGLISH ROMANTICS GEORGE GORDON, LORD BYRON (1788-1824) Workshop Márcio José Coutinho
  2. 2. BYRON AND THE BYRONIC HERO
  3. 3. Experience: Byron’s emphasis on Sensation For Byron, “The great object in life is Sensation—to feel that we exist, even though in pain; it is this "craving void" which drives us to gaming, to battle, to travel, to intemperate but keenly felt pursuits of every description whose principal attraction is the agitation inseparable from their accomplishment”. (Letter, Sept. 6, 1813, written to Annabella Millbanke, later Lady Byron. Byron's Letters and Journals, vol. 3, ed. Leslie A. Marchand (1974). The "craving void" was described by Alexander Pope in Epistle from Eloisa to Abelard). http://quotes.dictionary.com/the_great_object_in_life_is_sensation_to
  4. 4. BYRON’S FAMILY
  5. 5. BYRON’S AFFAIRS He was bad, mad and dangerous to know! Lady Caroline Lamb
  6. 6. BYRON’S AFFAIRS The archetypal Romantic poet was involved for several years with CountessTeresa Guiccioli. He was her cavaliere servente, which is basically a combination of errand-boy and male mistress. CountGuiccioli was fine with sharing his wife, a not uncommon attitude among Italian aristocracy of the time.
  7. 7. ANNE ISABELLA MILBANKE IN 1812 BY CHARLES HAYTER
  8. 8. BYRON’S SISTER AUGUSTA LEIGH
  9. 9. I WOULD I WERE A CARELESS CHILD I would I were a careless child, Still dwelling in my highland cave, Or roaming through the dusky wild, Or bounding o'er the dark blue wave; The cumbrous pomp of Saxon pride Accords not with the freeborn soul, Which loves the mountain's craggy side, And seeks the rocks where billows roll. Fortune! take back these cultured lands, Take back this name of splendid sound! I hate the touch of servile hands, I hate the slaves that cringe around. Place me among the rocks I love, Which sound to Ocean's wildest roar; I ask but this -- again to rove Through scenes my youth hath known before. Few are my years, and yet I feel The world was ne'er designed for me: Ah! why do dark'ning shades conceal The hour when man must cease to be? Once I beheld a splendid dream, A visionary scene of bliss: Truth! -- wherefore did thy hated beam Awake me to a world like this?
  10. 10. I loved -- but those I loved are gone; Had friends -- my early friends are fled: How cheerless feels the heart alone When all its former hopes are dead! Though gay companions o'er the bowl Dispel awhile the sense of ill; Though pleasure stirs the maddening soul, The heart -- the heart -- is lonely still. How dull! to hear the voice of those Whom rank or chance, whom wealth or power, Have made, though neither friends nor foes, Associates of the festive hour. Give me again a faithful few, In years and feelings still the same, And I will fly the midnight crew, Where boist'rous joy is but a name. And woman, lovely woman! thou, My hope, my comforter, my all! How cold must be my bosom now, When e'en thy smiles begin to pall! Without a sigh I would resign This busy scene of splendid woe, To make that calm contentment mine, Which virtue knows, or seems to know. Fain would I fly the haunts of men-- I seek to shun, not hate mankind; My breast requires the sullen glen, Whose gloom may suit a darken'd mind. Oh! that to me the wings were given Which bear the turtle to her nest! Then would I cleave the vault of heaven, To flee away and be at rest.
  11. 11. The Concept of Nature There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society where none intrudes, By the deep Sea, and music in its roar: I love not Man the less, but Nature more, From these our interviews, in which I steal From all I may be, or have been before, To mingle with the Universe, and feel What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal. Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean--roll! Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain; Man marks the earth with ruin--his control Stops with the shore;--upon the watery plain The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain A shadow of man's ravage, save his own, When for a moment, like a drop of rain, He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan, Without a grave, unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown. http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19894
  12. 12. The OceanLord Byron (1788–1824) (From Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage) ROLL on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean, roll! Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain; Man marks the earth with ruin; his control Stops with the shore; upon the watery plain The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain 5 A shadow of man’s ravage, save his own, When, for a moment, like a drop of rain, He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan, Without a grave, unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown. His steps are not upon thy paths; thy fields 10 Are not a spoil for him; thou dost arise And shake him from thee; the vile strength he wields For earth’s destruction thou dost all despise, Spurning him from thy bosom to the skies, And send’st him, shivering in thy playful spray, 15 And howling, to his gods, where haply lies His petty hope in some near port or bay, And dashest him again to earth: there let him lay. The armaments which thunderstrike the walls Of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake, 20 And monarchs tremble in their capitals, The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs make Their clay creator the vain title take Of lord of thee, and arbiter of war,— These are thy toys, and, as the snowy flake, 25 They melt into thy yeast of waves, which mar Alike theArmada’s pride or spoils ofTrafalgar.
  13. 13. Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee: Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they? Thy waters washed them power while they were free, 30 And many a tyrant since; their shores obey The stranger, slave, or savage; their decay Has dried up realms to deserts: not so thou, Unchangeable save to thy wild waves’ play; Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure brow; 35 Such as creation’s dawn beheld, thou rollest now. Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty’s form Glasses itself in tempests; in all time, Calm or convulsed; in breeze or gale or storm, Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime 40 Dark-heaving, boundless, endless, and sublime,— The image of Eternity, the throne Of the Invisible; even from out thy slime The monsters of the deep are made; each zone Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone. 45 And I have loved thee, Ocean! and my joy Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be Borne, like thy bubbles, onward: from a boy I wantoned with thy breakers; they to me Were a delight; and if the freshening sea 50 Made them a terror, ’t was a pleasing fear, For I was as it were a child of thee, And trusted to thy billows far and near, And laid my hand upon thy mane, as I do here.
  14. 14. 1. YOU SAY YOU LOVE, AND YET YOUR EYE NO SYMPTOM OF THAT LOVE CONVEYS, YOU SAY YOU LOVE, YET KNOW NOT WHY, YOUR CHEEK NO SIGN OF LOVE BETRAYS. 2. AH ! DID THAT BREAST WITH ARDOUR GLOW, WITH ME ALONE IT JOY COULD KNOW, OR FEEL WITH ME THE LISTLESS WOE, WHICH RACKS MY HEART WHEN FAR FROM THEE. 3. WHENE'ER WE MEET MY BLUSHES RISE, AND MANTLE THROUGH MY PURPLED CHEEK, BUT YET NO BLUSH TO MINE REPLIES, NOR E'EN YOUR EYES YOUR LOVE BESPEAK. 4. YOUR VOICE ALONE DECLARES YOUR FLAME, AND THOUGH SO SWEET IT BREATHS MY NAME; OUR PASSIONS STILL ARE NOT THE SAME, ALAS ! YOU CANNOT LOVE LIKE ME. TO CAROLINE (1807)
  15. 15. 5. FOR E'EN YOUR LIP SEEMS STEEP'D IN SNOW, AND THOUGH SO OFT IT MEETS MY KISS, IT BURNS WITH NO RESPONSIVE GLOW, NOR MELTS LIKE MINE IN DEWY BLISS. 6. AH ! WHAT ARE WORDS TO LOVE LIKE MINE, THOUGH UTTERED BY A VOICE LIKE THINE, I STILL IN MURMURS MUST REPINE, AND THINK THAT LOVE CAN NE'ER BE TRUE. 7. WHICH MEETS ME WITH NO JOYOUS SIGN, WITHOUT A SIGH WHICH BIDS ADIEU; HOW DIFFERENT IS MY LOVE FROM THINE, HOW KEEN MY GRIEF WHEN LEAVING YOU. 8. YOUR IMAGE FILLS MY ANXIOUS BREAST, TILL DAY DECLINES ADOWN THE WEST, WHEN, AT NIGHT, I SINK TO REST,
  16. 16. 9. 'TIS THEN YOUR BREAST, NO LONGER COLD, WITH EQUAL ARDOUR SEEMS TO BURN, WHILE CLOSE YOUR ARMS AROUND ME FOLD, YOUR LIPS MY KISS WITH WARMTH RETURN. 10. AH ! WOULD THESE JOYOUS MOMENTS LAST; VAIN HOPE ! THE GAY DELUSIONS PAST, THAT VOICE! --- AH ! NO, 'TIS BUT THE BLAST, WHICH ECHOES THROUGH THE NEIGHBOURING GROVE. 11. BUT WHEN AWAKE, YOUR LIPS I SEEK, AND CLASP ENRAPTUR'D ALL YOUR CHARMS, SO CHILL'S THE PRESSURE OF YOUR CHEEK, I FOLD A STATUE IN MY ARMS. 12. IF THUS, WHEN TO MY HEART EMBRAC'D, NO PLEASURE IN YOUR EYES IS TRAC'D, YOU MAY BE PRUDENT, FAIR, AND CHASTE,
  17. 17. 1 THINK’ST THOU I SAW THY BEAUTEOUS EYES, SUFFUS’D IN TEARS, IMPLORE TO STAY; AND HEARD UNMOV’D THY PLENTEOUS SIGHS, WHICH SAID FAR MORE THAN WORDS CAN SAY? 2 THOUGH KEEN THE GRIEF THY TEARS EXPREST, WHEN LOVE AND HOPE LAY BOTH O’ERTHROWN; YET STILL, MY GIRL, THIS BLEEDING BREAST THROBB’D, WITH DEEP SORROW, AS THINE OWN. 3 BUT, WHEN OUR CHEEKS WITH ANGUISH GLOW’D, WHEN THY SWEET LIPS WERE JOIN’D TO MINE; THE TEARS THAT FROM MY EYELIDS FLOW’D WERE LOST IN THOSE WHICH FELL FROM THINE. To Caroline (1807)
  18. 18. 4 THOU COULD’ST NOT FEEL MY BURNING CHEEK, THY GUSHING TEARS HAD QUENCH’D ITS FLAME, AND, AS THY TONGUE ESSAY’D TO SPEAK, IN SIGHS ALONE IT BREATH’D MY NAME. 5 AND YET, MY GIRL, WE WEEP IN VAIN, IN VAIN OUR FATE IN SIGHS DEPLORE; REMEMBRANCE ONLY CAN REMAIN, BUT THAT, WILL MAKE US WEEP THE MORE. 6 AGAIN, THOU BEST BELOV’D, ADIEU! AH! IF THOU CANST, O’ERCOME REGRET, NOR LET THY MIND PAST JOYS REVIEW, OUR ONLY HOPE IS, TO FORGET!
  19. 19. WHEN I HEAR THAT YOU EXPRESS AN AFFECTION SO WARM, NE’ER THINK, MY BELOVED, THAT I DO NOT BELIEVE; FOR YOUR LIP WOULD THE SOUL OF SUSPICION DISARM, AND YOUR EYE BEAMS A RAY WHICH CAN NEVER DECEIVE. 2 YET, STILL, THIS FOND BOSOM REGRETS, WHILE ADORING, THAT LOVE, LIKE THE LEAF, MUST FALL INTO THE SEAR; THAT AGE WILL COME ON, WHEN REMEMBRANCE, DEPLORING, CONTEMPLATES THE SCENES OF HER YOUTH WITH A TEAR; 3 THAT THE TIME MUST ARRIVE, WHEN, NO LONGER RETAINING THEIR AUBURN, THOSE LOCKS MUST WAVE THIN TO THE BREEZE, WHEN A FEW SILVER HAIRS OF THOSE TRESSES REMAINING PROVE NATURE A PREY TO DECAY AND DISEASE. 4 ’TIS THIS, MY BELOVED, WHICH SPREADS GLOOM O’ER MY FEATURES, THOUGH I NE’ER SHALL PRESUME TO ARRAIGN THE DECREE, WHICH GOD HAS PROCLAIM’D AS THE FATE OF HIS CREATURES, IN THE DEATH WHICH WILL ONE DAY DEPRIVE YOU OF ME. To Caroline (1805)
  20. 20. 5 MISTAKE NOT, SWEET SCEPTIC, THE CAUSE OF EMOTION, NO DOUBT CAN THE MIND OF YOUR LOVER INVADE; HE WORSHIPS EACH LOOK WITH SUCH FAITHFUL DEVOTION, A SMILE CAN ENCHANT, OR A TEAR CAN DISSUADE. 6 BUT AS DEATH, MY BELOVED, SOON OR LATE SHALL O’ERTAKE US, AND OUR BREASTS, WHICH ALIVE WITH SUCH SYMPATHY GLOW, WILL SLEEP IN THE GRAVE TILL THE BLAST SHALL AWAKE US, WHEN CALLING THE DEAD, IN EARTH’S BOSOM LAID LOW,— 7 OH! THEN LET US DRAIN, WHILE WE MAY, DRAUGHTS OF PLEASURE, WHICH FROM PASSION LIKE OURS MAY UNCEASINGLY FLOW; LET US PASS ROUND THE CUP OF LOVE’S BLISS IN FULL MEASURE, AND QUAFF THE CONTENTS AS OUR NECTAR BELOW.
  21. 21. 1 OH WHEN SHALL THE GRAVE HIDE FOR EVER MY SORROW? OH WHEN SHALL MY SOUL WING HER FLIGHT FROM THIS CLAY? THE PRESENT IS HELL, AND THE COMING TO-MORROW BUT BRINGS, WITH NEW TORTURE, THE CURSE OF TO-DAY. 2 FROM MY EYE FLOWS NO TEAR, FROM MY LIPS FLOW NO CURSES I BLAST NOT THE FIENDS WHO HAVE HURL’D ME FROM BLISS; FOR POOR IS THE SOUL WHICH BEWAILING REHEARSES ITS QUERULOUS GRIEF, WHEN IN ANGUISH LIKE THIS. 3 WAS MY EYE, ’STEAD OF TEARS, WITH RED FURY FLAKES BRIGHT’NING, WOULD MY LIPS BREATHE A FLAME WHICH NO STREAM COULD ASSUAGE ON OUR FOES SHOULD MY GLANCE LAUNCH IN VENGEANCE ITS LIGHTNING, WITH TRANSPORT MY TONGUE GIVE LOOSE TO ITS RAGE. To Caroline (1807)
  22. 22. 4 BUT NOW TEARS AND CURSES, ALIKE UNAVAILING, WOULD ADD TO THE SOULS OF OUR TYRANTS DELIGHT; COULD THEY VIEW US OUR SAD SEPARATION BEWAILING THEIR MERCILESS HEARTS WOULD REJOICE AT THE SIGHT. 5 YET STILL, THOUGH WE BEND WITH A FEIGN’D RESIGNATION, LIFE BEAMS NOT FOR US WITH ONE RAY THAT CAN CHEER; LOVE AND HOPE UPON EARTH BRING NO MORE CONSOLATION, IN THE GRAVE IS OUR HOPE, FOR IN LIFE IS OUR FEAR. 6 OH! WHEN, MY ADORED, IN THE TOMB WILL THEY PLACE ME, SINCE, IN LIFE, LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP FOR EVER ARE FLED? IF AGAIN IN THE MANSION OF DEATH I EMBRACE THEE, PERHAPS THEY WILL LEAVE UNMOLESTED THE DEAD.
  23. 23. WOMAN! EXPERIENCE MIGHT HAVE TOLD ME, THAT ALL MUST LOVE THEE WHO BEHOLD THEE: SURELY EXPERIENCE MIGHT HAVE TAUGHT THY FIRMEST PROMISES ARE NAUGHT: BUT, PLACED IN ALL THY CHARMS BEFORE ME, ALL I FORGET, BUT TO ADORE THEE. OH MEMORY! THOU CHOICEST BLESSING WHEN JOIN’D WITH HOPE, WHEN STILL POSSESSING; BUT HOW MUCH CURSED BY EVERY LOVER WHEN HOPE IS FLED AND PASSION’S OVER. WOMAN, THAT FAIR AND FOND DECEIVER, HOW THROBS THE PULSE WHEN FIRST WE VIEW THE EYE THAT ROLLS IN GLOSSY BLUE, OR SPARKLES BLACK, OR MILDLY THROWS A BEAM FROM UNDER HAZEL BROWS! HOW QUICK WE CREDIT EVERY OATH, AND HEAR HER PLIGHT THE WILLING TROTH! FONDLY WE HOPE’T WILL LAST FOR AYE, WHEN, LO! SHE CHANGES IN A DAY. THIS RECORD WILL FOR EVER STAND, To Woman (Composed 1806 – Published 1807)
  24. 24. SHE WALKS IN BEAUTY She walks in beauty, like the night Of cloudless climes and starry skies; And all that’s best of dark and bright Meet in her aspect and her eyes; Thus mellowed to that tender light Which heaven to gaudy day denies. One shade the more, one ray the less, Had half impaired the nameless grace Which waves in every raven tress, Or softly lightens o’er her face; Where thoughts serenely sweet express, How pure, how dear their dwelling-place. And on that cheek, and o’er that brow, So soft, so calm, yet eloquent, The smiles that win, the tints that glow, But tell of days in goodness spent, A mind at peace with all below, A heart whose love is innocent! This lyric was inspired by the poet’s first meeting with his cousin by marriage, Mrs. Wilmot.The occasion of their meeting was an evening party at which Mrs. Wilmot appeared in a black dress with spangles. (Priestley & Spears, 1963) It was published in 1815 as a part of his volume Hebrew Melodies. Lady Elizabeth Wilmot, Elizabeth and John Wilmot's second daughter
  25. 25. JOHN WILMOT, 2ND EARL OF ROCHESTER (1647-1680) Mrs.Wilmot’s Husband JohnWilmot, Lord Biron’s cousin, probably descended from the elder JohnWilmot, Earl of Rochester.Johny Depp performed Rochester in The Libertine.
  26. 26. Stanzas Written on the Road Between Florence and Pisa Oh, talk not to me of a name great in story; The days of our youth are the days of our glory; And the myrtle and ivy of sweet two-and-twenty Are worth all your laurels, though ever so plenty. What are garlands and crowns to the brow that is wrinkled? 'Tis but as a dead flower with May-dew besprinkled: Then away with all such from the head that is hoary! What care I for the wreaths that can only give glory? O Fame!—if I e'er took delight in thy praises, 'Twas less for the sake of thy high-sounding phrases, Than to see the bright eyes of the dear one discover She thought that I was not unworthy to love her. There chiefly I sought thee, there only I found thee; Her glance was the best of the rays that surround thee; When it sparkled o'er aught that was bright in my story, I knew it was love, and I felt it was glory.
  27. 27. AND THOU ART DEAD, AS YOUNG AND FAIR, FIRST PUBLISHED IN 1812 And thou art dead, as young and fair As aught of mortal birth; And form so soft, and charms so rare, Too soon return'd to Earth! Though Earth receiv'd them in her bed, And o'er the spot the crowd may tread In carelessness or mirth, There is an eye which could not brook A moment on that grave to look. I will not ask where thou liest low, Nor gaze upon the spot; There flowers or weeds at will may grow, So I behold them not: It is enough for me to prove That what I lov'd, and long must love, Like common earth can rot; To me there needs no stone to tell, 'T is Nothing that I lov'd so well.
  28. 28. Yet did I love thee to the last As fervently as thou, Who didst not change through all the past, And canst not alter now. The love where Death has set his seal, Nor age can chill, nor rival steal, Nor falsehood disavow: And, what were worse, thou canst not see Or wrong, or change, or fault in me. The better days of life were ours; The worst can be but mine: The sun that cheers, the storm that lowers, Shall never more be thine. The silence of that dreamless sleep I envy now too much to weep; Nor need I to repine That all those charms have pass'd away, I might have watch'd through long decay. The flower in ripen'd bloom unmatch'd Must fall the earliest prey; Though by no hand untimely snatch'd, The leaves must drop away: And yet it were a greater grief To watch it withering, leaf by leaf, Than see it pluck'd to-day; Since earthly eye but ill can bear To trace the change to foul from fair.
  29. 29. I know not if I could have borne To see thy beauties fade; The night that follow'd such a morn Had worn a deeper shade: Thy day without a cloud hath pass'd, And thou wert lovely to the last, Extinguish'd, not decay'd; As stars that shoot along the sky Shine brightest as they fall from high. As once I wept, if I could weep, My tears might well be shed, To think I was not near to keep One vigil o'er thy bed; To gaze, how fondly! on thy face, To fold thee in a faint embrace, Uphold thy drooping head; And show that love, however vain, Nor thou nor I can feel again. Yet how much less it were to gain, Though thou hast left me free, The loveliest things that still remain, Than thus remember thee! The all of thine that cannot die Through dark and dread Eternity Returns again to me, And more thy buried love endears Than aught except its living years.
  30. 30. OH! SNATCHED AWAY IN BEAUTY'S BLOOM Oh! snatched away in beauty's bloom, On thee shall press no ponderous tomb; But on thy turf shall roses rear Their leaves, the earliest of the year; And the wild cypress wave in tender gloom: And oft by yon blue gushing stream Shall Sorrow lean her drooping head, And feed deep thought with many a dream, And lingering pause and lightly tread; Fond wretch! as if her step disturbed the dead! Away! ye know that tears are vain, That death nor heeds nor hears distress: Will this unteach us to complain? Or make one mourner weep the less? And thou -who tell'st me to forget, Thy looks are wan, thine eyes are wet.
  31. 31. Remind me not, Remind me not Remind me not, remind me not, Of those beloved, those vanish'd hours, When all my soul was given to thee; Hours that may never be forgot, TillTime unnerves our vital powers, And thou and I shall cease to be. Can I forget---canst thou forget, When playing with thy golden hair, How quick thy fluttering heart did move? Oh! by my soul, I see thee yet, With eyes so languid, breast so fair, And lips, though silent, breathing love. When thus reclining on my breast, Those eyes threw back a glance so sweet, As half reproach'd yet rais'd desire, And still we near and nearer prest, And still our glowing lips would meet, As if in kisses to expire.
  32. 32. And then those pensive eyes would close, And bid their lids each other seek, Veiling the azure orbs below; While their long lashes' darken'd gloss Seem'd stealing o'er thy brilliant cheek, Like raven's plumage smooth'd on snow. I dreamt last night our love return'd, And, sooth to say, that very dream Was sweeter in its phantasy, Than if for other hearts I burn'd, For eyes that ne'er like thine could beam In Rapture's wild reality. Then tell me not, remind me not, Of hours which, though for ever gone, Can still a pleasing dream restore, TillThou and I shall be forgot, And senseless, as the mouldering stone Which tells that we shall be no more.
  33. 33. REMEMBER HIM, WHOM PASSION’S POWER Remember him, whom Passion's power Severely---deeply---vainly proved: Remember thou that dangerous hour, When neither fell, though both were loved. That yielding breast, that melting eye, Too much invited to be blessed: That gentle prayer, that pleading sigh, The wilder wish reproved, repressed. Oh! let me feel that all I lost But saved thee all that Conscience fears; And blush for every pang it cost To spare the vain remorse of years. Yet think of this when many a tongue, Whose busy accents whisper blame, Would do the heart that loved thee wrong, And brand a nearly blighted name.
  34. 34. Think that, whate'er to others, thou Hast seen each selfish thought subdued: I bless thy purer soul even now, Even now, in midnight solitude. Oh, God! that we had met in time, Our hearts as fond, thy hand more free; When thou hadst loved without a crime, And I been less unworthy thee! Far may thy days, as heretofore, From this our gaudy world be past! And that too bitter moment o'er, Oh! may such trial be thy last. This heart, alas! perverted long, Itself destroyed might there destroy; To meet thee in the glittering throng, Would wake Presumption's hope of joy. Then to the things whose bliss or woe, Like mine, is wild and worthless all, That world resign---such scenes forego, Where those who feel must surely fall.
  35. 35. Thy youth, thy charms, thy tenderness--- Thy soul from long seclusion pure; From what even here hath passed, may guess What there thy bosom must endure. Oh! pardon that imploring tear, Since not byVirtue shed in vain, My frenzy drew from eyes so dear; For me they shall not weep again. Though long and mournful must it be, The thought that we no more may meet; Yet I deserve the stern decree, And almost deem the sentence sweet. Still---had I loved thee less---my heart Had then less sacrificed to thine; It felt not half so much to part As if its guilt had made thee mine.
  36. 36. MY SOUL IS DARK My soul is dark - Oh! quickly string The harp I yet can brook to hear; And let thy gentle fingers fling Its melting murmurs o'er mine ear. If in this heart a hope be dear, That sound shall charm it forth again: If in these eyes there lurk a tear, 'Twill flow, and cease to burn my brain. But bid the strain be wild and deep, Nor let thy notes of joy be first: I tell thee, minstrel, I must weep, Or else this heavy heart will burst; For it hath been by sorrow nursed, And ached in sleepless silence, long; And now 'tis doomed to know the worst, And break at once - or yield to song.
  37. 37. The destruction of Sennacherib The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold, And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold; And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea, When the blue wave rolls nightly on deepGalilee. Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green, That host with their banners at sunset were seen: Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown, That host on the morrow lay withered and strown. For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed; And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still! And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide, But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride; And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf, And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf. And there lay the rider distorted and pale, With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail: And the tents were all silent, the banners alone, The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown. And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail, And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal; And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword, Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord! Sennacherib, king of Assyria in seventh century B.C., led his army into Judea and besieged Jerusalem. According to the Bible story, in Kings 19:35-37, na Angel of the Lord smote the Assyrians in camp duting the night. With a mere remnant of his forces, Sennacherib retreated in haste to his own country. Jerusalemn was saved. (Priestley & Spear, 1973).
  38. 38. Sonnet on Chillon Eternal Spirit of the chainless Mind! Brightest in dungeons, Liberty! thou art, For there in thy habitation is the heart - The heart which love of thee alone can bind; And when thy sons to fetters are consign'd - To fetters, and the damp vault's dayless gloom, Their country conquers with their martyrdom, And Freedom's fame finds wings on every wind. Chillon! thy prison is a holy place, And thy sad floor an altar - for t'was trod, Until his very steps have left a trace Worn, as if thy cold pavement were a sod, By Bonnivard! May none those marks efface! For they appeal from tyrrany to God. The Prisoner of Chillon Finden's Landscape & Portrait Illustrations to the Life and Works of Lord Byron,Volume 1 (London: John Murray, 1832).
  39. 39. The Prisoner of Chillon I My hair is gray, but not with years, Nor grew it white In a single night, As men's have grown from sudden fears: My limbs are bow'd, though not with toil, But rusted with a vile repose, For they have been a dungeon's spoil, And mine has been the fate of those To whom the goodly earth and air Are bann'd, and barr'd - forbidden fare; But this was for my father's faith I suffer'd chains and courted death; That father perish'd at the stake For tenets he would not forsake; And for the same his lineal race In darkness found a dwelling-place; We were seven - who now are one, Six in youth, and one in age, Finish'd as they had begun, Proud of Persecution's rage; One in fire, and two in field, Their belief with blood have seal'd, Dying as their father died, For the God their foes denied; Three were in a dungeon cast, Of whom this wreck is left the last.
  40. 40. II There are seven pillars of Gothic mould, In Chillon's dungeons deep and old, There are seven columns, massy and grey, Dim with a dull imprison'd ray, A sunbeam which hath lost its way, And through the crevice and the cleft Of the thick wall is fallen and left; Creeping o'er the floor so damp, Like a marsh's meteor lamp: And in each pillar there is a ring, And in each ring there is a chain; That iron is a cankering thing, For in these limbs its teeth remain, With marks that will not wear away, TIll I have done with this new day, Which now is painful to these eyes, Which have not seen the sun so rise For years - I cannot count them o'er, I lost their long and heavy score When my last brother drooped and died, And I lay living by his side.
  41. 41. III They chain'd us each to a column stone, And we were three - yet, each alone; We could not move a single pace, We could not see each other's face, But with that pale and livid light That made us strangers in our sight: And thus together - yet apart, Fetter'd in hand, but join'd in heart, 'Twas still some solace, in the dearth Of the pure elements of earth, To hearken to each other's speech, And each turn comforter to each With some new hope, or legend old, So song heroically bold; But even these at length grew cold. Our voices took on a dreary tone, And echo of the dungeon stone, A grating sound, not full and free, As they of yore were wont to be; It might be fancy - but to me They never sounded like our own. The Prisoner of Chillon, 1843, Ford Madox Brown
  42. 42. IV I was the eldest of the three, And to uphold and cheer the rest I ought to do - and did my best - And each did well in his degree. The youngest, whom my father loved, Because our mother's brow was given To him, with eyes as blue as heaven - For him my soul was sorely moved: And truly might it be distress'd To see such a bird in such a nest; For he was as beautiful as day - (When day was beautiful to me As to young eagles, being free) - A polar day, which will not see A sunset till its summer's gone, Its sleepless summer of long light, The snow-clad offspring of the sun: And thus he was as pure and bright, And in his natural spirit gay, With tears for nought but other's ills, And then they flow'd like mountain rills, Unless he could assuage the woe Which he abhorr'd to view below. Poets of the Nineteenth Century – The Prisoner of Chillon, By Ford Madox Brown, 1857
  43. 43. V The other was as pure of mind, But form'd to combat with his kind; Strong in frame, and of a mood Which 'gainst the world in war had stood, And perish'd in the foremost rank With joy: - but not in chains to pine: His spirit wither'd with their clank, I saw it silently decline - And so perchance in sooth did mine: But yet I forced it on to cheer Those relics of a home so dear. He was a hunter of the hills, Had follow'd there the deer and wolf; To him this dungeon was a gulf, And fetter'd feet the worst of ills. Byron’s signature at the sight.
  44. 44. VI Lake Leman lies by Chillon's walls: A thousand feet in depth below Its massy waters meet and flow: Thus much the fathom-line was sent From Chillon's snow-white battlement, Which round about the wave inthrals: A double dungeon wall and wave Have made - and like a living grave Below the surface of the lake The dark vault lies wherein we lay, We heard it ripple night and day; Sounding o'er our heads it knock'd; And I have felt the winter's spray Wash through the bars when winds were high And wanton in the happy sky; And then the very rock hath rock'd, And I have felt it shake, unshock'd, Because I could have smiled to see The death that would have set me free.
  45. 45. VII I said my nearer brother pined, I said his mighty heart declined, He loathed and put away his food; It was not that 'twas coarse and rude, For we were used to hunter's fare, And for the like had little care: The milk drawn from the mountain goat Was changed for water from the moat, Our bread was such as captives' tears Have moisten'd many a thousand years Since man first pent his fellow men Like brutes within an iron den; But what were these to us or him? These wasted not his heart or limb; My brother's soul was of that mould Which in a palace had grown cold, Had his free breathing been denied The range of the steep mountain's side; But why delay the truth? - he died. I saw, and could not hold his head, Nor reach his dying hand - nor dead, - Though hard I strove, but stove in vain To rend and gnash my bonds in twain. He died - and they unlock'd his chain, And scoop'd for him a shallow grave Even from the cold earth of our cave. I begg'd them, as a boon, to lay His corse in dust whereon the day Might shine - it was a foolish thought, But then within my brain it wrought, That even in death his freeborn breast In such a dungeon could not rest. I might have spared my idle prayer - They coldly laugh'd - and laid him there: The flat and turfless earth above The being we so much did love; His empty chain above it leant, Such murder's fitting monument!
  46. 46. VIII But he, the favorite and the flower, Most cherish'd since his natal hour, His mother's image in fair face, The infant love of all his race, His martyr'd father's dearest thought, My latest care, for whom I sought To hoard my life, that his might be Less wretched now, and one day free; He, too, who yet had held untired A spirit natural or inspired - He, too, was struck, and day by day Was wither'd on the stalk away. Oh, God! it is a fearful thing To see the human soul take wing In any shape, in any mood: I've seen it rushing forth in blood, I've seen it on the breaking ocean Strive with a swoln convulsive motion, I've seen the sick and ghastly bed Of Sin delirious with its dread: But those were horrors - this was woe Unmix'd with such - but sure and slow; He faded, and so calm and meek, So softly worn, so sweetly weak, So tearless, yet so tender, kind, And grieved for those he left behind; With all the while a cheek whose bloom Was as a mockery of the tomb, Whose tints as gently sunk away As a departing rainbow's ray; An eye of most transparent light, That almost made the dungeon bright,
  47. 47. And not a word of murmur - not A groan o'er his untimely lot, - A little talk of better days, A little hope my own to raise, For I was sunk in silence - lost In this last loss, of all the most; And then the sighs he would suppress Of fainting nature's feebleness, More slowly drawn, grew less and less: I listen'd, but I could not hear; I call'd, for I was wild with fear; I knew 'twas hopeless, but my dread Would not be thus admonished; I call'd, and thought I heard a sound - I burst my chain with one strong bound, And rush'd to him: - I found him not, I only stirr'd in this black spot, I only lived, I only drew The accursed breath of dungeon-dew; The last, the sole, the dearest link Between me and the eternal brink, Which bound me to my failing race, Was broken in this fatal place. One on earth, and one beneath - My brothers - both had ceased to breathe: I took that hand that lay so still, Alas! my own was full as chill; I had not the strength to stir, or strive, But felt that I was still alive - A frantic feeling, when we know That what we love shall ne'er be so. I know not why I could not die, I had no earthly hope - but faith, And that forbade a selfish death.
  48. 48. IX What next befell me then and there I know not well - I never knew - First came the loss of light, and air, And then of darkness too: I had no thought, no feeling - none - Among the stones I stood a stone, And was, scare conscious what I wist, As shrubless crags within the mist; For all was blank, and bleak, and grey; It was not night - it was day; It was not even the dungeon-light, So hateful to my heavy sight, But vacancy absorbing space, And fixedness - without a place; There were no stars - no earth - no time - No check - no change - no good, no crime - But silence, and a stirless breath Which neither was of life nor death; A sea of stagnant idleness, Blind, boundless, mute, and motionless!
  49. 49. X A light broke in upon my brain, - It was the carol of a bird; It ceased, and then it came again, The sweetest song ear ever heard, And mine was thankful till my eyes Ran over with the glad surprise, And they that moment could not see I was the mate of misery; But then by dull degrees came back My senses to their wonted track; I saw the dungeon walls and floor Close slowly round me as before, I saw the glimmer of the sun Creeping as it before had done, But through the crevice where it came That bird was perch'd, as fond and tame, And tamer than upon the tree; A lovely bird, with azure wings, And song that said a thousand things, And seem'd to say them all for me! I never saw its like before, I ne'er shall see its likeness more: It seem'd to me to want a mate, But was not half so desolate, And it was come to love me when
  50. 50. And cheering from my dungeon's brink, Had brought me back to feel and think. I know not if it late were free, Or broke its cage to perch on mine, But knowing well captivity. Sweet bird! I could not wish for thine! Or if it were, in winged guise, A visitant from Paradise; For - Heaven forgive that thought; the while Which made me both to weep and smile - I sometimes deem'd that it might be My brother's soul come down to me; But then at last away it flew, And then 'twas mortal well I knew, For he would never thus have flown, And left me twice so doubly lone, - Lone as the corse within its shroud, Lone as a solitary cloud, A single cloud on a sunny day, While all the rest of heaven is clear, A frown upon the atmosphere, That hath no business to appear When skies are blue, and earth is gay.
  51. 51. XI A kind of change came in my fate, My keepers grew compassionate; I know not what had made them so, They were inured to sights of woe, But so it was; - my broken chain With links unfasten'd did remain, And it was to liberty to stride Along my cell from side to side, And up and down, and then athwart, And tread it over every part; And round the pillars one by one, Returning where my walk begun, Avoiding only, as I trod, My brothers' graves without a sod; For if I thought with heedless tread My step profaned their lowly bed, My breath came gaspingly and thick, And my crush'd heart fell blind and sick.
  52. 52. XII I made a footing in the wall, I was not there from to escape, For I had buried one and all Who loved me in a human shape; And the whole earth would henceforth be A wider prison unto me: No child - no sire - no kin had I No partner in my misery; I thought of this, and I was glad, For thought of them had made me mad; But I was curious to ascend To my barr'd windows, and to bend Once more, upon the mountains high, The quiet of a loving eye.
  53. 53. XIII I saw them - and they were the same, They were not changed like me in frame; I saw their thousand years of snow Oh high - their wide long lake below, And the blue Rhone in fullest flow; I heard the torrents leap and gush O'er channell'd rock and broken bush; I saw the white-wall'd distant town, And whiter sails go skimming down; And then there was a little isle, Which in my very face did smile, The only one in view; A small green isle, it seem'd no more, Scarce broader than my dungeon floor, But in it there were three tall trees, And o'er it blew the mountain breeze, And by it there were waters flowing, And on it there were young flowers growing, Of gentle breath and hue. The fish swam by the castle wall, And they seem'd joyous each and all; The eagle rode the rising blast, Methought he never flew so fast As then to me he seem'd to fly; And then new tears came in my eye, And I felt troubled - and would fain I had not left my recent chain; And when I did descend again, The darkness of my dim abode Fell on me as a heavy load; It was as is a new-dug grave, Closing o'er one we sought to save, - And yet my glance, too much opprest, Had almost need of such a rest.
  54. 54.  XIV It might be months, or years, or days - I kept no count, I took no note - I had no hope my eyes to raise, And clear them of their dreary mote; At last men came to set me free; I ask'd not why, and reck'd not where; It was at length the same to me, Fetter'd or fetterless to be, I learn'd to love despair. And thus when they appear'd at last, And all my bond aside were cast, These heavy walls to me had grown A hermitage - and all my own! And half I felt as they were come To tear me from a second home: With spiders I had friendship made, And watch'd them in their sullen trade, Had seen the mice by moonlight play, And why should I feel less than they? We were all inmates of one place, And I, the monarch of each race, Had power to kill - yet, strange to tell! In quiet we had learn'd to dwell; My very chains and I grew friends, So much a long communion tends To make us what we are: - even I Regain'd my freedom with a sigh. In Switzerland, in June 1816, Byron visited the castle of Chillon, where during the sixteenth century François Bonnivard, a Swiss patriot and reformr who wished to make Geneva a republic , was held as a prisoner for six years.This castle was built on a rock just off the northeastern shore of Lake Leman (now commonly called Lake Geneva), with the great peaks of the Alps towering behind it. Byron was impressed by the picturesque surroundings , the massive walls, and the dungeon, with its romance of long-dead prisoners. Byron wrote this long poem in two days when he was detained in the neighbourhood by a storm. Byron’s intense sympathy with the cause of liberty is reflected here.To him Bonnivard was not merely a singlr prisoner; he represents all martyrs in their onward march of freedom throughout the ages. (Priestley & Spear, 1963, p. 189)
  55. 55. Solitude 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; To climb the trackless mountain all unseen, With the wild flock that never needs a fold; Alone o'er steeps and foaming falls to lean; This is not solitude, 'tis but to hold Converse with Nature's charms, and view her stores unrolled. But midst the crowd, the hurry, the shock of men, To hear, to see, to feel and to possess, And roam alone, the world's tired denizen, With none who bless us, none whom we can bless; Minions of splendour shrinking from distress! None that, with kindred consciousness endued, If we were not, would seem to smile the less Of all the flattered, followed, sought and sued; This is to be alone; this, this is solitude!
  56. 56. LINES WRITTEN BENEATH AN ELM IN THE CHURCHYARD OF HARROW Spot of my youth! whose hoary branches sigh, Swept by the breeze that fans thy cloudless sky; Where now alone I muse, who oft have trod, With those I loved, thy soft and verdant sod; With those who, scattered far, perchance deplore, Like me, the happy scenes they knew before: Oh! as I trace again thy winding hill, Mine eyes admire, my heart adores thee still, Thou drooping Elm! beneath whose boughs I lay, And frequent mused the twilight hours away; Where, as they once were wont, my limbs recline, But ah! without the thoughts which then were mine. How do thy branches, moaning to the blast, Invite the bosom to recall the past, And seem to whisper, as the gently swell, "Take, while thou canst, a lingering, last farewell!"
  57. 57. When fate shall chill, at length, this fevered breast, And calm its cares and passions into rest, Oft have I thought, 'twould soothe my dying hour,— If aught may soothe when life resigns her power,— To know some humbler grave, some narrow cell, Would hide my bosom where it loved to dwell. With this fond dream, methinks, 'twere sweet to die— And here it lingered, here my heart might lie; Here might I sleep, where all my hopes arose, Scene of my youth, and couch of my repose; For ever stretched beneath this mantling shade, Pressed by the turf where once my childhood played; Wrapped by the soil that veils the spot I loved, Mixed with the earth o'er which my footsteps moved; Blest by the tongues that charmed my youthful ear, Mourned by the few my soul acknowledged here; Deplored by those in early days allied, And unremembered by the world beside.
  58. 58. CHILD HAROLD’S PILGRIMAGE
  59. 59. TO IANTHE. 1 Not in those climes where I have late been straying, Though Beauty long hath there been matchless deemed, Not in those visions to the heart displaying Forms which it sighs but to have only dreamed, Hath aught like thee in truth or fancy seemed: Nor, having seen thee, shall I vainly seek To paint those charms which varied as they beamed — To such as see thee not my words were weak; To those who gaze on thee, what language could they speak? Ah! mayst thou ever be what now thou art, Nor unbeseem the promise of thy spring, As fair in form, as warm yet pure in heart, Love’s image upon earth without his wing, And guileless beyond Hope’s imagining! And surely she who now so fondly rears Thy youth, in thee, thus hourly brightening, Beholds the rainbow of her future years, Before whose heavenly hues all sorrow disappears. Young Peri of theWest! — ’tis well for me My years already doubly number thine; My loveless eye unmoved may gaze on thee, And safely view thy ripening beauties shine: Happy, I ne’er shall see them in decline; Happier, that while all younger hearts shall bleed Mine shall escape the doom thine eyes assign To those whose admiration shall succeed, But mixed with pangs to Love’s even loveliest hours decreed. Portrait of Lady Charlotte Harley (1801-1880) as Ianthe (Lord Byron, "To Ianth Drawn by R. Westall. Engraved by W. Finden.
  60. 60. Oh! let that eye, which, wild as the gazelle’s, Now brightly bold or beautifully shy, Wins as it wanders, dazzles where it dwells, Glance o’er this page, nor to my verse deny That smile for which my breast might vainly sigh, Could I to thee be ever more than friend: This much, dear maid, accord; nor question why To one so young my strain I would commend, But bid me with my wreath one matchless lily blend. Such is thy name with this my verse entwined; And long as kinder eyes a look shall cast On Harold’s page, Ianthe’s here enshrined Shall thus be first beheld, forgotten last: My days once numbered, should this homage past Attract thy fairy fingers near the lyre Of him who hailed thee, loveliest as thou wast, Such is the most my memory may desire; Though more than Hope can claim, could Friendship less require? 1 Lady Charlotte Harley, daughter of the Earl of Oxford.
  61. 61. CANTO THE FIRST. I. Oh, thou, in Hellas deemed of heavenly birth, Muse, formed or fabled at the minstrel’s will! Since shamed full oft by later lyres on earth, Mine dares not call thee from thy sacred hill: Yet there I’ve wandered by thy vaunted rill; Yes! sighed o’er Delphi’s long-deserted shrine Where, save that feeble fountain, all is still; Nor mote my shell awake the weary Nine To grace so plain a tale — this lowly lay of mine. 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 vexed 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, And flaunting wassailers of high and low degree.
  62. 62. III. Childe Harold was he hight:— but whence his name And lineage long, it suits me not to say; Suffice it, that perchance they were of fame, And had been glorious in another day: But one sad losel soils a name for aye, However mighty in the olden time; Nor all that heralds rake from coffined clay, Nor florid prose, nor honeyed lines of rhyme, Can blazon evil deeds, or consecrate a crime. IV. Childe Harold basked him in the noontide sun, Disporting there like any other fly, Nor deemed before his little day was done One blast might chill him into misery. But long ere scarce a third of his passed by, Worse than adversity the Childe befell; He felt the fulness of satiety: Then loathed he in his native land to dwell, Which seemed to him more lone than eremite’s sad cell.
  63. 63. V. For he through Sin’s long labyrinth had run, Nor made atonement when he did amiss, Had sighed to many, though he loved but one, And that loved one, alas, could ne’er be his. Ah, happy she! to ‘scape from him whose kiss Had been pollution unto aught so chaste; Who soon had left her charms for vulgar bliss, And spoiled her goodly lands to gild his waste, Nor calm domestic peace had ever deigned to taste. VI. And now Childe Harold was sore sick at heart, And from his fellow bacchanals would flee; ’Tis said, at times the sullen tear would start, But pride congealed the drop within his e’e: Apart he stalked in joyless reverie, And from his native land resolved to go, And visit scorching climes beyond the sea; With pleasure drugged, he almost longed for woe, And e’en for change of scene would seek the shades below.
  64. 64. 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 pillared in each massy aisle. Monastic dome! condemned 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. VIII. Yet ofttimes in his maddest mirthful mood, Strange pangs would flash alongChilde Harold’s brow, As if the memory of some deadly feud Or disappointed passion lurked below: But this none knew, nor haply cared to know; For his was not that open, artless soul That feels relief by bidding sorrow flow; Nor sought he friend to counsel or condole, Whate’er this grief mote be, which he could not control.
  65. 65. IX. And none did love him: though to hall and bower He gathered revellers from far and near, He knew them flatterers of the festal hour; The heartless parasites of present cheer. Yea, none did love him — not his lemans dear — But pomp and power alone are woman’s care, And where these are light Eros finds a feere; Maidens, like moths, are ever caught by glare, And Mammon wins his way where seraphs might despair. X. Childe Harold had a mother — not forgot, Though parting from that mother he did shun; A sister whom he loved, but saw her not Before his weary pilgrimage begun: If friends he had, he bade adieu to none. Yet deem not thence his breast a breast of steel; Ye, who have known what ’tis to dote upon A few dear objects, will in sadness feel Such partings break the heart they fondly hope to heal.
  66. 66. XI. His house, his home, his heritage, his lands, The laughing dames in whom he did delight, Whose large blue eyes, fair locks, and snowy hands, Might shake the saintship of an anchorite, And long had fed his youthful appetite; His goblets brimmed with every costly wine, And all that mote to luxury invite, Without a sigh he left to cross the brine, And traverse Paynim shores, and pass earth’s central line. XII. The sails were filled, and fair the light winds blew As glad to waft 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.
  67. 67. XIII. But when the sun was sinking in the sea, He seized his harp, which he at times could string, And strike, albeit with untaught melody, When deemed he no strange ear was listening: And now his fingers o’er it he did fling, And tuned his farewell in the dim twilight, While flew the vessel on her snowy wing, And fleeting shores receded from his sight, Thus to the elements he poured his last ‘Good Night.’ Adieu, adieu! my native shore Fades o’er the waters blue; The night-winds sigh, the breakers roar, And shrieks the wild sea-mew. Yon sun that sets upon the sea We follow in his flight; Farewell awhile to him and thee, My Native Land — Good Night!
  68. 68. A few short hours, and he will rise To give the morrow birth; And I shall hail the main and skies, But not my mother earth. Deserted is my own good hall, Its hearth is desolate; Wild weeds are gathering on the wall, My dog howls at the gate. ‘Come hither, hither, my little page: Why dost thou weep and wail? Or dost thou dread the billow’s rage, Or tremble at the gale? But dash the tear-drop from thine eye, Our ship is swift and strong; Our fleetest falcon scarce can fly More merrily along.’ ‘Let winds be shrill, let waves roll high, I fear not wave nor wind; Yet marvel not, Sir Childe, that I Am sorrowful in mind; For I have from my father gone, A mother whom I love, And have no friend, save these alone, But thee — and One above.
  69. 69. ‘My father blessed 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 eye; If I thy guileless bosom had, Mine own would not be dry. ‘Come hither, hither, my staunch yeoman, Why dost thou look so pale? Or dost thou dread a French foeman, Or shiver at the gale?’ — ‘Deem’st thou I tremble for my life? 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; And when they on their father call, What answer shall she make?’ — ‘Enough, enough, my yeoman good, Thy grief let none gainsay; But I, who am of lighter mood, Will laugh to flee away.’
  70. 70. 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 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. 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!
  71. 71. XIV. 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 Cintra’s mountain greets them on their way, AndTagus 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 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 foemen purge.
  72. 72. 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, sinceAlbion was allied, And to the Lusians did her aid afford A nation swoll’n with ignorance and pride, Who lick, yet loathe, the hand that waves the sword. To save them from the wrath of Gaul’s unsparing lord. XVII. But whoso entereth within this town, That, sheening far, celestial seems to be, Disconsolate will wander up and down, Mid many things unsightly to strange e’e; For hut and palace show like filthily; The dingy denizens are reared in dirt; No personage of high or mean degree Doth care for cleanness of surtout or shirt, Though shent with Egypt’s plague, unkempt, unwashed, unhurt.
  73. 73. XVIII. Poor, paltry slaves! yet born midst noblest scenes — Why, Nature, waste thy wonders on such men? Lo! Cintra’s glorious Eden intervenes In variegated maze of mount and glen. Ah me! what hand can pencil guide, or pen, To follow half on which the eye dilates Through views more dazzling unto mortal ken Than those whereof such things the bard relates, Who to the awe-struck world unlocked Elysium’s gates? XIX. The horrid crags, by toppling convent crowned, The cork-trees hoar that clothe the shaggy steep, The mountain moss by scorching skies imbrowned, The sunken glen, whose sunless shrubs must weep, The tender azure of the unruffled deep, The orange tints that gild the greenest bough, The torrents that from cliff to valley leap, The vine on high, the willow branch below, Mixed in one mighty scene, with varied beauty glow.
  74. 74. XX. Then slowly climb the many-winding way, And frequent turn to linger as you go, From loftier rocks new loveliness survey, And rest ye at ‘Our Lady’s House ofWoe;’ Where frugal monks their little relics show, And sundry legends to the stranger tell: Here impious men have punished been; and lo, Deep in yon cave Honorius long did dwell, In hope to merit Heaven by making earth a Hell. XXI. And here and there, as up the crags you spring, Mark many rude-carved crosses near the path; Yet deem not these devotion’s offering — These are memorials frail of murderous wrath; For wheresoe’er the shrieking victim hath Poured forth his blood beneath the assassin’s knife, Some hand erects a cross of mouldering lath; And grove and glen with thousand such are rife Throughout this purple land, where law secures not life!
  75. 75. XXII. On sloping mounds, or in the vale beneath, Are domes where whilom kings did make repair; But now the wild flowers round them only breathe: Yet ruined splendour still is lingering there. And yonder towers the prince’s palace fair: There thou, too,Vathek! England’s wealthiest son, Once formed thy Paradise, as not aware When wantonWealth her mightiest deeds hath done, Meek Peace voluptuous lures was ever wont to shun. XXIII. Here didst thou dwell, here schemes of pleasure plan. Beneath yon mountain’s ever beauteous brow; But now, as if a thing unblest by man, Thy fairy dwelling is as lone as thou! Here giant weeds a passage scarce allow To halls deserted, portals gaping wide; Fresh lessons to the thinking bosom, how Vain are the pleasaunces on earth supplied; Swept into wrecks anon byTime’s ungentle tide.
  76. 76. XXIV. Behold the hall where chiefs were late convened! Oh! dome displeasing unto British eye! With diadem hight foolscap, lo! a fiend, A little fiend that scoffs incessantly, There sits in parchment robe arrayed, and by His side is hung a seal and sable scroll, Where blazoned glare names known to chivalry, And sundry signatures adorn the roll, Whereat the urchin points, and laughs with all his soul. XXV. Convention is the dwarfish demon styled That foiled the knights in Marialva’s dome: Of brains (if brains they had) he them beguiled, And turned a nation’s shallow joy to gloom. Here Folly dashed to earth the victor’s plume, And Policy regained whatArms had lost: For chiefs like ours in vain may laurels bloom! Woe to the conquering, not the conquered host, Since baffledTriumph droops on Lusitania’s coast.
  77. 77. XXVI. And ever since that martial synod met, Britannia sickens, Cintra, at thy name; And folks in office at the mention fret, And fain would blush, if blush they could, for shame. How will posterity the deed proclaim! Will not our own and fellow-nations sneer, To view these champions cheated of their fame, By foes in fight o’erthrown, yet victors here, Where Scorn her finger points through many a coming year? XXVII. So deemed the Childe, as o’er the mountains he Did take his way in solitary guise: Sweet was the scene, yet soon he thought to flee, More restless than the swallow in the skies: Though here awhile he learned to moralise, For Meditation fixed at times on him, And conscious Reason whispered to despise His early youth misspent in maddest whim; But as he gazed onTruth, his aching eyes grew dim.
  78. 78. XXVIII. To horse! to horse! he quits, for ever quits A scene of peace, though soothing to his soul: Again he rouses from his moping fits, But seeks not now the harlot and the bowl. Onward he flies, nor fixed as yet the goal Where he shall rest him on his pilgrimage; And o’er him many changing scenes must roll, Ere toil his thirst for travel can assuage, Or he shall calm his breast, or learn experience sage. XXIX. Yet Mafra shall one moment claim delay, Where dwelt of yore the Lusians’ luckless queen; And church and court did mingle their array, And mass and revel were alternate seen; Lordlings and freres — ill-sorted fry, I ween! But here the Babylonian whore had built A dome, where flaunts she in such glorious sheen, That men forget the blood which she hath spilt, And bow the knee to Pomp that loves to garnish guilt.
  79. 79. XXX. O’er vales that teem with fruits, romantic hills, (Oh that such hills upheld a free-born race!) Whereon to gaze the eye with joyaunce fills, Childe Harold wends through many a pleasant place. Though sluggards deem it but a foolish chase, And marvel men should quit their easy chair, The toilsome way, and long, long league to trace. Oh, there is sweetness in the mountain air And life, that bloated Ease can never hope to share. XXXI. More bleak to view the hills at length recede, And, less luxuriant, smoother vales extend: Immense horizon-bounded plains succeed! Far as the eye discerns, withouten end, Spain’s realms appear, whereon her shepherds tend Flocks, whose rich fleece right well the trader knows — Now must the pastor’s arm his lambs defend: For Spain is compassed by unyielding foes, And all must shield their all, or share Subjection’s woes.
  80. 80. XXXII. Where Lusitania and her Sister meet, Deem ye what bounds the rival realms divide? Or e’er the jealous queens of nations greet, DothTayo interpose his mighty tide? Or dark sierras rise in craggy pride? Or fence of art, like China’s vasty wall? — Ne barrier wall, ne river deep and wide, Ne horrid crags, nor mountains dark and tall Rise like the rocks that part Hispania’s land from Gaul XXXIII. But these between a silver streamlet glides, And scarce a name distinguisheth the brook, Though rival kingdoms press its verdant sides. Here leans the idle shepherd on his crook, And vacant on the rippling waves doth look, That peaceful still ‘twixt bitterest foemen flow: For proud each peasant as the noblest duke: Well doth the Spanish hind the difference know ‘Twixt him and Lusian slave, the lowest of the low.
  81. 81. XXXIV. But ere the mingling bounds have far been passed, Dark Guadiana rolls his power along In sullen billows, murmuring and vast, So noted ancient roundelays among. Whilome upon his banks did legions throng Of Moor and Knight, in mailed splendour drest; Here ceased the swift their race, here sunk the strong; The Paynim turban and the Christian crest Mixed on the bleeding stream, by floating hosts oppressed. XXXV. Oh, lovely Spain! renowned, romantic land! Where is that standard which Pelagio bore, When Cava’s traitor-sire first called the band That dyed thy mountain-streams with Gothic gore? Where are those bloody banners which of yore Waved o’er thy sons, victorious to the gale, And drove at last the spoilers to their shore? Red gleamed the cross, and waned the crescent pale, WhileAfric’s echoes thrilled with Moorish matrons’ wail.
  82. 82. XXXVI. Teems not each ditty with the glorious tale? Ah! such, alas, the hero’s amplest fate! When granite moulders and when records fail, A peasant’s plaint prolongs his dubious date. Pride! bend thine eye from heaven to thine estate, See how the mighty shrink into a song! Can volume, pillar, pile, preserve thee great? Or must thou trustTradition’s simple tongue, When Flattery sleeps with thee, and History does thee wrong? XXXVII. Awake, ye sons of Spain! awake! advance Lo! Chivalry, your ancient goddess, cries, But wields not, as of old, her thirsty lance, Nor shakes her crimson plumage in the skies: Now on the smoke of blazing bolts she flies, And speaks in thunder through yon engine’s roar! In every peal she calls — ‘Awake! arise!’ Say, is her voice more feeble than of yore, When her war-song was heard on Andalusia’s shore?
  83. 83. XXXVIII. Hark! heard you not those hoofs of dreadful note? Sounds not the clang of conflict on the heath? Saw ye not whom the reeking sabre smote; Nor saved your brethren ere they sank beneath Tyrants and tyrants’ slaves? — the fires of death, The bale-fires flash on high:— from rock to rock Each volley tells that thousands cease to breathe: Death rides upon the sulphury Siroc, Red Battle stamps his foot, and nations feel the shock. XXXIX. Lo! where the Giant on the mountain stands, His blood-red tresses deepening in the sun, With death-shot glowing in his fiery hands, And eye that scorcheth all it glares upon; Restless it rolls, now fixed, and now anon Flashing afar, — and at his iron feet Destruction cowers, to mark what deeds are done; For on this morn three potent nations meet, To shed before his shrine the blood he deems most sweet.
  84. 84. XL. By Heaven! it is a splendid sight to see (For one who hath no friend, no brother there) Their rival scarfs of mixed embroidery, Their various arms that glitter in the air! What gallant war-hounds rouse them from their lair, And gnash their fangs, loud yelling for the prey! All join the chase, but few the triumph share: The Grave shall bear the chiefest prize away, And Havoc scarce for joy can cumber their array. XLI. Three hosts combine to offer sacrifice; Three tongues prefer strange orisons on high; Three gaudy standards flout the pale blue skies. The shouts are France, Spain,Albion,Victory! The foe, the victim, and the fond ally That fights for all, but ever fights in vain, Are met — as if at home they could not die — To feed the crow onTalavera’s plain, And fertilise the field that each pretends to gain.
  85. 85. XLII. There shall they rot — Ambition’s honoured fools! Yes, Honour decks the turf that wraps their clay! Vain Sophistry! in these behold the tools, The broken tools, that tyrants cast away By myriads, when they dare to pave their way With human hearts — to what? — a dream alone. Can despots compass aught that hails their sway? Or call with truth one span of earth their own, Save that wherein at last they crumble bone by bone? XLIII. O Albuera, glorious field of grief! As o’er thy plain the Pilgrim pricked his steed, Who could foresee thee, in a space so brief, A scene where mingling foes should boast and bleed. Peace to the perished! may the warrior’s meed And tears of triumph their reward prolong! Till others fall where other chieftains lead, Thy name shall circle round the gaping throng, And shine in worthless lays, the theme of transient song.
  86. 86. XLIV. Enough of Battle’s minions! let them play Their game of lives, and barter breath for fame: Fame that will scarce reanimate their clay, Though thousands fall to deck some single name. In sooth, ’twere sad to thwart their noble aim Who strike, blest hirelings! for their country’s good, And die, that living might have proved her shame; Perished, perchance, in some domestic feud, Or in a narrower sphere wild Rapine’s path pursued. XLV. Full swiftly Harold wends his lonely way Where proud Sevilla triumphs unsubdued: Yet is she free — the spoiler’s wished-for prey! Soon, soon shallConquest’s fiery foot intrude, Blackening her lovely domes with traces rude. Inevitable hour! ‘Gainst fate to strive Where Desolation plants her famished brood Is vain, or Ilion,Tyre, might yet survive, AndVirtue vanquish all, and Murder cease to thrive”.
  87. 87. CANTO THE SECOND. I. Come, blue-eyed maid of heaven! — but thou, alas, Didst never yet one mortal song inspire — Goddess ofWisdom! here thy temple was, And is, despite of war and wasting fire, And years, that bade thy worship to expire: But worse than steel, and flame, and ages slow, Is the drear sceptre and dominion dire Of men who never felt the sacred glow That thoughts of thee and thine on polished breasts bestow. II. Ancient of days! august Athena! where, Where are thy men of might, thy grand in soul? Gone — glimmering through the dream of things that were: First in the race that led to Glory’s goal, They won, and passed away — is this the whole? A schoolboy’s tale, the wonder of an hour! The warrior’s weapon and the sophist’s stole Are sought in vain, and o’er each mouldering tower, Dim with the mist of years, grey flits the shade of power.
  88. 88. III. Son of the morning, rise! approach you here! Come — but molest not yon defenceless urn! Look on this spot — a nation’s sepulchre! Abode of gods, whose shrines no longer burn. E’en gods must yield — religions take their turn: ’Twas Jove’s — ’tis Mahomet’s; and other creeds Will rise with other years, till man shall learn Vainly his incense soars, his victim bleeds; Poor child of Doubt and Death, whose hope is built on reeds. IV. Bound to the earth, he lifts his eyes to heaven — Is’t not enough, unhappy thing, to know Thou art? Is this a boon so kindly given, That being, thou wouldst be again, and go, Thou know’st not, reck’st not to what region, so On earth no more, but mingled with the skies! Still wilt thou dream on future joy and woe? Regard and weigh yon dust before it flies: That little urn saith more than thousand homilies.
  89. 89. V. Or burst the vanished hero’s lofty mound; Far on the solitary shore he sleeps; He fell, and falling nations mourned around; But now not one of saddening thousands weeps, Nor warlike worshipper his vigil keeps Where demi-gods appeared, as records tell. Remove yon skull from out the scattered heaps: Is that a temple where a God may dwell? Why, e’en the worm at last disdains her shattered cell! VI. Look on its broken arch, its ruined wall, Its chambers desolate, and portals foul: Yes, this was onceAmbition’s airy hall, The dome ofThought, the Palace of the Soul. Behold through each lack-lustre, eyeless hole, The gay recess ofWisdom and ofWit, And Passion’s host, that never brooked control: Can all saint, sage, or sophist ever writ, People this lonely tower, this tenement refit?
  90. 90. VII. Well didst thou speak, Athena’s wisest son! ‘All that we know is, nothing can be known.’ Why should we shrink from what we cannot shun? Each hath its pang, but feeble sufferers groan With brain-born dreams of evil all their own. Pursue what chance or fate proclaimeth best; Peace waits us on the shores of Acheron: There no forced banquet claims the sated guest, But Silence spreads the couch of ever welcome rest. VIII. Yet if, as holiest men have deemed, there be A land of souls beyond that sable shore, To shame the doctrine of the Sadducee And sophists, madly vain of dubious lore; How sweet it were in concert to adore With those who made our mortal labours light! To hear each voice we feared to hear no more! Behold each mighty shade revealed to sight, The Bactrian, Samian sage, and all who taught the right!
  91. 91. IX. There, thou! — whose love and life together fled, Have left me here to love and live in vain — Twined with my heart, and can I deem thee dead, When busy memory flashes on my brain? Well — I will dream that we may meet again, And woo the vision to my vacant breast: If aught of young Remembrance then remain, Be as it may Futurity’s behest, For me ’twere bliss enough to know thy spirit blest! X. Here let me sit upon this mossy stone, The marble column’s yet unshaken base! Here, son of Saturn, was thy favourite throne! Mightiest of many such! Hence let me trace The latent grandeur of thy dwelling-place. It may not be: nor even can Fancy’s eye Restore what time hath laboured to deface. Yet these proud pillars claim no passing sigh; Unmoved the Moslem sits, the lightGreek carols by.
  92. 92. XI. But who, of all the plunderers of yon fane On high, where Pallas lingered, loth to flee The latest relic of her ancient reign — The last, the worst, dull spoiler, who was he? Blush, Caledonia! such thy son could be! England! I joy no child he was of thine: Thy free-born men should spare what once was free; Yet they could violate each saddening shrine, And bear these altars o’er the long reluctant brine. XII. But most the modern Pict’s ignoble boast, To rive whatGoth, andTurk, andTime hath spared: Cold as the crags upon his native coast, His mind as barren and his heart as hard, Is he whose head conceived, whose hand prepared, Aught to displaceAthena’s poor remains: Her sons too weak the sacred shrine to guard, Yet felt some portion of their mother’s pains, And never knew, till then, the weight of Despot’s chains.
  93. 93. XIII. What! shall it e’er be said by British tongue Albion was happy in Athena’s tears? Though in thy name the slaves her bosom wrung, 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, Tore down those remnants with a harpy’s hand. Which envious eld forbore, and tyrants left to stand. XIV. Where was thine aegis, Pallas, that appalled Stern Alaric and Havoc on their way? Where Peleus’ son? whom Hell in vain enthralled, His shade from Hades upon that dread day Bursting to light in terrible array! What! could not Pluto spare the chief once more, To scare a second robber from his prey? Idly he wandered on the Stygian shore, Nor now preserved the walls he loved to shield before.
  94. 94. XV. Cold is the heart, fair Greece, that looks on thee, Nor feels as lovers o’er the dust they loved; Dull is the eye that will not weep to see Thy walls defaced, thy mouldering shrines removed By British hands, which it had best behoved To guard those relics ne’er to be restored. Curst be the hour when from their isle they roved, And once again thy hapless bosom gored, And snatched thy shrinking gods to northern climes abhorred! XVI. But where is Harold? shall I then forget To urge the gloomy wanderer o’er the wave? Little recked he of all that men regret; No loved one now in feigned lament could rave; No friend the parting hand extended gave, Ere the cold stranger passed to other climes. Hard is his heart whom charms may not enslave; But Harold felt not as in other times, And left without a sigh the land of war and crimes.
  95. 95. XVII. He that has sailed upon the dark blue sea, Has viewed at times, I ween, a full fair sight; When the fresh breeze is fair as breeze may be, The white sails set, the gallant frigate tight, Masts, spires, and strand retiring to the right, The glorious main expanding o’er the bow, The convoy spread like wild swans in their flight, The dullest sailer wearing bravely now, So gaily curl the waves before each dashing prow. XVIII. And oh, the little warlike world within! The well-reeved guns, the netted canopy, The hoarse command, the busy humming din, When, at a word, the tops are manned on high: Hark to the boatswain’s call, the cheering cry, While through the seaman’s hand the tackle glides Or schoolboy midshipman that, standing by, Strains his shrill pipe, as good or ill betides, And well the docile crew that skilful urchin guides.
  96. 96. XIX. White is the glassy deck, without a stain, Where on the watch the staid lieutenant walks: Look on that part which sacred doth remain For the lone chieftain, who majestic stalks, Silent and feared by all: not oft he talks With aught beneath him, if he would preserve That strict restraint, which broken, ever baulks Conquest and Fame: but Britons rarely swerve From law, however stern, which tends their strength to nerve. XX. Blow, swiftly blow, thou keel-compelling gale, Till the broad sun withdraws his lessening ray; Then must the pennant-bearer slacken sail, That lagging barks may make their lazy way. Ah! grievance sore, and listless dull delay, To waste on sluggish hulks the sweetest breeze! What leagues are lost before the dawn of day, Thus loitering pensive on the willing seas, The flapping sails hauled down to halt for logs like these!
  97. 97. XXI. The moon is up; by Heaven, a lovely eve! Long streams of light o’er dancing waves expand! Now lads on shore may sigh, and maids believe: Such be our fate when we return to land! Meantime some rude Arion’s restless hand Wakes the brisk harmony that sailors love: A circle there of merry listeners stand, Or to some well-known measure featly move, Thoughtless, as if on shore they still were free to rove. XXII. Through Calpe’s straits survey the steepy shore; Europe andAfric, on each other gaze! Lands of the dark-eyed maid and dusky Moor, Alike beheld beneath pale Hecate’s blaze: How softly on the Spanish shore she plays, Disclosing rock, and slope, and forest brown, Distinct, though darkening with her waning phase: But Mauritania’s giant-shadows frown, From mountain-cliff to coast descending sombre down.
  98. 98. XXIII. ’Tis night, when Meditation bids us feel 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, WhenYouth itself survives young Love and Joy? Alas! when mingling souls forget to blend, Death hath but little left him to destroy! Ah, happy years! once more who would not be a boy? XXIV. Thus bending o’er the vessel’s laving side, To gaze on Dian’s wave-reflected sphere, The soul forgets her schemes of Hope and Pride, And flies unconscious o’er each backward year. None are so desolate but something dear, Dearer than self, possesses or possessed A thought, and claims the homage of a tear; A flashing pang! of which the weary breast Would still, albeit in vain, the heavy heart divest.
  99. 99. XXV. 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; To climb the trackless mountain all unseen, With the wild flock that never needs a fold; Alone o’er steeps and foaming falls to lean: This is not solitude; ’tis but to hold Converse with Nature’s charms, and view her stores unrolled. XXVI. But midst the crowd, the hum, the shock of men, To hear, to see, to feel, and to possess, And roam along, the world’s tired denizen, With none who bless us, none whom we can bless; Minions of splendour shrinking from distress! None that, with kindred consciousness endued, If we were not, would seem to smile the less Of all that flattered, followed, sought, and sued: This is to be alone; this, this is solitude!
  100. 100. XXVII. More blest the life of godly eremite, Such as on lonelyAthos may be seen, Watching at eve upon the giant height, Which looks o’er waves so blue, skies so serene, That he who there at such an hour hath been, Will wistful linger on that hallowed spot; Then slowly tear him from the witching scene, Sigh forth one wish that such had been his lot, Then turn to hate a world he had almost forgot. XXVIII. Pass we the long, unvarying course, the track Oft trod, that never leaves a trace behind; Pass we the calm, the gale, the change, the tack, And each well-known caprice of wave and wind; Pass we the joys and sorrows sailors find, Cooped in their winged sea-girt citadel; The foul, the fair, the contrary, the kind, As breezes rise and fall, and billows swell, Till on some jocund morn — lo, land! and all is well.
  101. 101. XXIX. But not in silence pass Calypso’s isles, The sister tenants of the middle deep; There for the weary still a haven smiles, Though the fair goddess long has ceased to weep, And o’er her cliffs a fruitless watch to keep For him who dared prefer a mortal bride: Here, too, his boy essayed the dreadful leap Stern Mentor urged from high to yonder tide; While thus of both bereft, the nymph-queen doubly sighed. XXX. Her reign is past, her gentle glories gone: But trust not this; too easy youth, beware! A mortal sovereign holds her dangerous throne, And thou mayst find a new Calypso there. Sweet Florence! could another ever share This wayward, loveless heart, it would be thine: But checked by every tie, I may not dare To cast a worthless offering at thy shrine, Nor ask so dear a breast to feel one pang for mine.
  102. 102. XXXI. Thus Harold deemed, as on that lady’s eye He looked, and met its beam without a thought, SaveAdmiration glancing harmless by: Love kept aloof, albeit not far remote, Who knew his votary often lost and caught, But knew him as his worshipper no more, And ne’er again the boy his bosom sought: Since now he vainly urged him to adore, Well deemed the little god his ancient sway was o’er. XXXII. Fair Florence found, in sooth with some amaze, One who, ’twas said, still sighed to all he saw, Withstand, unmoved, the lustre of her gaze, Which others hailed with real or mimic awe, Their hope, their doom, their punishment, their law: All that gay Beauty from her bondsmen claims: And much she marvelled that a youth so raw Nor felt, nor feigned at least, the oft-told flames, Which, though sometimes they frown, yet rarely anger dames.
  103. 103. XXXIII. Little knew she that seeming marble heart, Now masked by silence or withheld by pride, Was not unskilful in the spoiler’s art, And spread its snares licentious far and wide; Nor from the base pursuit had turned aside, As long as aught was worthy to pursue: But Harold on such arts no more relied; And had he doted on those eyes so blue, Yet never would he join the lover’s whining crew. XXXIV. Not much he kens, I ween, of woman’s breast, Who thinks that wanton thing is won by sighs; What careth she for hearts when once possessed? Do proper homage to thine idol’s eyes, But not too humbly, or she will despise Thee and thy suit, though told in moving tropes; Disguise e’en tenderness, if thou art wise; Brisk Confidence still best with woman copes; Pique her and soothe in turn, soon Passion crowns thy hopes.
  104. 104. XXXV. ’Tis an old lesson:Time approves it true, And those who know it best deplore it most; When all is won that all desire to woo, The paltry prize is hardly worth the cost: Youth wasted, minds degraded, honour lost, These are thy fruits, successful Passion! these! If, kindly cruel, early hope is crossed, Still to the last it rankles, a disease, Not to be cured when Love itself forgets to please. XXXVI. Away! nor let me loiter in my song, For we have many a mountain path to tread, And many a varied shore to sail along, By pensive Sadness, not by Fiction, led — Climes, fair withal as ever mortal head Imagined in its little schemes of thought; Or e’er in new Utopias were read: To teach man what he might be, or he ought; If that corrupted thing could ever such be taught.
  105. 105. XXXVII. Dear Nature is the kindest mother still; Though always changing, in her aspect mild: From her bare bosom let me take my fill, Her never-weaned, though not her favoured child. Oh! she is fairest in her features wild, Where nothing polished dares pollute her path: To me by day or night she ever smiled, Though I have marked her when none other hath, And sought her more and more, and loved her best in wrath. XXXVIII. Land of Albania! where Iskander rose; Theme of the young, and beacon of the wise, And he his namesake, whose oft-baffled foes, Shrunk from his deeds of chivalrous emprise: Land of Albania! let me bend mine eyes On thee, thou rugged nurse of savage men! The cross descends, thy minarets arise, And the pale crescent sparkles in the glen, Through many a cypress grove within each city’s ken.
  106. 106. XXXVII. Dear Nature is the kindest mother still; Though always changing, in her aspect mild: From her bare bosom let me take my fill, Her never-weaned, though not her favoured child. Oh! she is fairest in her features wild, Where nothing polished dares pollute her path: To me by day or night she ever smiled, Though I have marked her when none other hath, And sought her more and more, and loved her best in wrath. XXXVIII. Land of Albania! where Iskander rose; Theme of the young, and beacon of the wise, And he his namesake, whose oft-baffled foes, Shrunk from his deeds of chivalrous emprise: Land of Albania! let me bend mine eyes On thee, thou rugged nurse of savage men! The cross descends, thy minarets arise, And the pale crescent sparkles in the glen, Through many a cypress grove within each city’s ken.
  107. 107. XXXIX. Childe Harold sailed, and passed the barren spot Where sad Penelope o’erlooked the wave; And onward viewed the mount, not yet forgot, The lover’s refuge, and the Lesbian’s grave. Dark Sappho! could not verse immortal save That breast imbued with such immortal fire? Could she not live who life eternal gave? If life eternal may await the lyre, That only Heaven to which Earth’s children may aspire. XL. ’Twas on a Grecian autumn’s gentle eve, Childe Harold hailed Leucadia’s cape afar; A spot he longed to see, nor cared to leave: Oft did he mark the scenes of vanished war, Actium, Lepanto, fatalTrafalgar: Mark them unmoved, for he would not delight (Born beneath some remote inglorious star) In themes of bloody fray, or gallant fight, But loathed the bravo’s trade, and laughed at martial wight.
  108. 108. XLI. But when he saw the evening star above Leucadia’s far-projecting rock of woe, And hailed the last resort of fruitless love, He felt, or deemed he felt, no common glow: And as the stately vessel glided slow Beneath the shadow of that ancient mount, He watched the billows’ melancholy flow, And, sunk albeit in thought as he was wont, More placid seemed his eye, and smooth his pallid front. XLII. Morn dawns; and with it stern Albania’s hills, Dark Suli’s rocks, and Pindus’ inland peak, Robed half in mist, bedewed with snowy rills, Arrayed in many a dun and purple streak, Arise; and, as the clouds along them break, Disclose the dwelling of the mountaineer; Here roams the wolf, the eagle whets his beak, Birds, beasts of prey, and wilder men appear, And gathering storms around convulse the closing year.
  109. 109. XLIII. Now Harold felt himself at length alone, And bade to Christian tongues a long adieu: Now he adventured on a shore unknown, Which all admire, but many dread to view: His breast was armed ‘gainst fate, his wants were few: Peril he sought not, but ne’er shrank to meet: The scene was savage, but the scene was new; This made the ceaseless toil of travel sweet, Beat back keen winter’s blast; and welcomed summer’s heat. XLIV. Here the red cross, for still the cross is here, Though sadly scoffed at by the circumcised, Forgets that pride to pampered priesthood dear; Churchman and votary alike despised. Foul Superstition! howsoe’er disguised, Idol, saint, virgin, prophet, crescent, cross, For whatsoever symbol thou art prized, Thou sacerdotal gain, but general loss! Who from true worship’s gold can separate thy dross.

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