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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 may’st 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.
Thus Harold deemed, as on that lady's eye
He looked, and met its beam without a thought, -
Save admiration 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.
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 inarvelled that a youth so raw
Nor felt, nor feigned at least, the oft-told flames,
Which, though sometimes they frown, yet rarely anger dames.
Little knew she that seeming marble-heart,
Now masked in 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 doated on those eyes so blue, .
Yet never would he join the lover's whining crew.
Not much he kens, I ween, of woman's breast,
Who thinks that wanton thing is won hy 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 er'n tenderness, if thou art wise ;
Brisk confidence still best with woman copes ;
Pique her and soothe in turn, soon passion crowns thy hopes.
'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 crost,
Still to the last it rankles, a disease,
Not to be cured when Love itself forgets to please.
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 ared,
To teach man what he might be, or he ought;
If that corrupted thing could ever such be taught.
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 mne by day or night she ever smiled,
Though I have marked her when none other bath,
And sought her more and more, and loved her best in wrath.
Land of Albania! where Iskander rose,
Theme of the young, and beacon of the wise, ,
And hc his name-sake, whose oft-baffled foes
Shrunk from his deeds of chivalrous emprize :
Land of Albania ! let me bend mine eyes
On thee, thon 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.
Childe Fland Peneloped the
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 Heayen to which Earth's children may aspire.
'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, fatal Trafalgar;
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 wigh.
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.
Morn dawns; and with it stern Albania's hills,
Dark Sulis' 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.
Now Harold felt himself at length alone,
Aud 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.
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?