Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

CLXXX.

His steps are not upon thy paths,-thy fields
Are not a spoil for him,—thou dost arise
And shake him from thee; the pile 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.
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.

CLXXXI.
The armaments which thunderstrike the walls
Of rock-built cities, bidding nation's quake,
And monarchs trcmble 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,

They melt into thy yeast of waves, which mar
Alike the Armada's pride, or spoils of Trafalgar.

CLXXXII.
Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee-
Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they?
Thy waters wasted them while they were free,
And inany a tyrant since; their shores obey
The stranger, slave, or savage; their decay
Has dried up realms to desarts :-not so thou,
Unchangeable save to thy wild waves' play-

Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure brow-
Such as creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest now.

CLXXXIII.

Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form
Glasses itself in tempests; in all time,
Calm or convuls'd-in breeze, or gale, or storm,
Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime
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.

CLXXXIV.
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
Made them a terror—'twas 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.

CLXXXV. My task is done—my song hath ceased-my theme Has died into an echo; it is fit The spell should break of this protracted dream. The torch shall be extinguish'd which hath lit My midnight lamp-and what is writ, is writ, Would it were worthier! but I am not now . That which I have been-and my visions flit

Less palpably before me—and the glow i Which in my spirit dwelt, is fluttering, faint, and low.

CLXXXVI.

Farewell! a word that must be, and hath been
A sound which makes us linger;-yet-farewell!
Ye! who have traced the Pilgrim to the scene
Which is his last, if in your memories dwell
A thought which once was his, if on ye swell
A single recollection, not in vain
He wore his sandal-shoon, and scallop-shell;

Farewell! with him alone may rest the pain,
If such there were with you, the moral of bis strain!

END OF CANTO IV.

NOTES

TO

CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE.

CANTO I.
Note 1, page 3o, line 1.

Oh, ihou Parnassus! These stanzas were written in Castri (Delphos), at the foot of Parnassus, now called Alanupa-Liakura.

CANTO II.

Note 1, page 49, line 15.

Here dwells the caloyer. The Greek monks are so called.

Note a, page 67, line 10. Tambourgi! Tambourgi! thy 'larum afar, etc. These stanzas are partly taken from different Albinese songs, as far as I was able to make them out by the expor sition of the Albinese in Romaic and Italian.

CANTO. III.

Note 1, page 86, line 8. And all went merry as a marriage-bell, On the night previous to the action, it is said that a ball was given at Brussels.

Notes 2 and 3, page 87, line 28. And Evan's, Donald's fame rings in each clansman's ears.

Sir Evan Cameron, and his descendant Donald, the « gentle Lochiel » of the « forty-five. »

Note 4, page go, line 15. Like to the apples on the Dead Sea's shore. The (fabled) apples on the brink of the lake Asphaltes were said to be fair without, and within ashes. Vide Tacitus, Histor. I. 5. 7.

Note 5, page 102, line 18. And held within their urn one mind, one heart, one dust.

Julia Alpinula, a young Aventian priestess, died soon after a vain endeavour to save her father, condemned to death as a traitor by Aulus Cæcina. Her epitaph was discovered many years ago ;-it is thus

Julia Alpinula

Hic jaceo
Infelicis patris infelix proles,

Deæ Aventiæ Sacerdos;
Exorare patris necem non potui
Malè mori in fatis illi erat.

Vixi annos XXIII. I know of no human composition so affecting as this, nor a history of deeper interest. These are the names and actions which ought not to perish, and to which we turn with a true and healthy tenderness, from the wretched and glittering detail of a confused mass of conquest and battles, with which

he mind is roused for a time to a false and feverish sympathy, from whence it recurs at length with all the nausea consequent on such intoxication.

; Note 6, page 115, line 10. Lausanne! and Ferney! ye have been the abodes. Voltaire and Gibbon.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »