Sidor som bilder
PDF

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 I but I am not now
That which I have been —and my visions flit
Less palpably before me — and the glow
Which in my spirit dwelt is fluttering, faint, and low.

some harrowing narrative of buccaneer-exploits, to all of Horace, and Virgil, and Homer, that was dinned into his repulsive spirit ! To the shock of this change is, I suspect, to be traced much of the eccentricity of Lord Byron's future life. This fourth Canto is the fruit of a mind which had stored itself with great care and toil, and had digested with profound reflection and intense vigour what it had learned: the sentiments are not such as lie on the surface, but could only be awakened by long meditation. Whoever reads it, and is not impressed with the many grand virtues as well as gigantic powers of the mind that wrote it, seems to me to afford a proof both of insensibility of heart, and great stupidity of intellect.”—SIR. E. BRYDGEs.]

(1) [It was a thought worthy of the great spirit of Byron, after exhibiting to us his Pilgrim amidst all the most striking scenes of earthly grandeur and earthly decay, -after teaching us, like him, to sicken over the mutability, and vanity, and emptiness of human greatness, to conduct him and us at last to the borders of “the Great Deep.” It is there that we may perceive an image of the awful and unchangeable abyss of eternity, into whose bosom so much has sunk, and all shall one day sink, - of that etermity wherein the scorn and the contempt of man, and the melancholy of great, and the fretting of little minds, shall be at rest for ever. No one, but a true poet of man and of nature, would have dared to frame such a termination for such a Pilgrimage. The image of the wanderer may well be associated, for a time, with the rock of Calpe, the shattered temples of Athens, or the gigantic fragments of Rome; but when we wish to think of this dark personification as of a thing which is, where can we so well imagine him to have his daily haunt as by the roaring of the waves? It was thus that Homer represented Achilles in his moments of ungovernable

[ocr errors]

CLXXXVI. Farewell ! a word that must be, and hath been — A sound which makes us linger;-yet—farewell I Yel 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 I with him alone may rest the pain,

If such there were — with you, the moral of his

strain l

and inconsolable loss for Patroclus. It was thus he chose to depict the paternal despair of Chriseus –

“Bo 3' axian raga. Siva. roxwoologouo Saaarons.” – PRofessor Wilson.]

HISTORICAL NOTES

To

CANTO THE FOURTH.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »