Project Gutenberg's The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 2, by George Gordon Byron

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Title: The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 2

Author: George Gordon Byron

Editor: Ernest Coleridge

Release Date: May 5, 2008 [EBook #25340]

Language: English

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The Works


Poetry. Vol. II.





The source code for this HTML page contains only Latin-1 characters, but it directs the browser to display some special characters. The original work contained a few phrases or lines of Greek text. These are represented here as Greek letters, for example Λιακυρα. If the mouse is held still over such phrases, a transliteration in Beta-code pops up. Aside from Greek letters, the only unusual characters are ā (a with macron), ī (i with macron), and ē (e with macron).

An important feature of this edition is its copious notes, which are of three types. Notes indexed with both a number and a letter, for example [4.B.], are end-notes provided by Byron or, following Canto IV, by J. C. Hobhouse. These end-notes follow each Canto.

Both the verse and the end-notes have footnotes, which are indicated by small raised keys in brackets; these are links to the footnote's text. Footnotes indexed with arabic numbers (e.g. [17], [221]) are informational. Footnotes indexed with letters (e.g. [c], [bf]) document variant forms of the text from manuscripts and other sources.

In the original, footnotes were printed at the foot of the page on which they were referenced, and their indices started over on each page. In this etext, footnotes have been collected following each canto or block of end-notes, and have been numbered consecutively throughout. Text in footnotes and end-notes in square brackets is the work of Editor E. H. Coleridge. Text not in brackets is by Byron or Hobhouse. In certain notes on variant text, the editor showed deleted text struck through with lines, for example deleted words.

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The text of the present edition of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage is based upon a collation of volume i. of the Library Edition, 1855, with the following MSS.: (i.) the original MS. of the First and Second Cantos, in Byron's handwriting [MS. M.]; (ii.) a transcript of the First and Second Cantos, in the handwriting of R. C. Dallas [D.]; (iii.) a transcript of the Third Canto, in the handwriting of Clara Jane Clairmont [C.]; (iv.) a collection of "scraps," forming a first draft of the Third Canto, in Byron's handwriting [MS.]; (v.) a fair copy of the first draft of the Fourth Canto, together with the MS. of the additional stanzas, in Byron's handwriting. [MS. M.]; (vi.) a second fair copy of the Fourth Canto, as completed, in Byron's handwriting [D.].

The text of the First and Second Cantos has also been collated with the text of the First Edition of the [vi] First and Second Cantos (quarto, 1812); the text of the Third and of the Fourth Cantos with the texts of the First Editions of 1816 and 1818 respectively; and the text of the entire poem with that issued in the collected editions of 1831 and 1832.

Considerations of space have determined the position and arrangement of the notes.

Byron's notes to the First, Second, and Third Cantos, and Hobhouse's notes to the Fourth Canto are printed, according to precedent, at the end of each canto.

Editorial notes are placed in square brackets. Notes illustrative of the text are printed immediately below the variants. Notes illustrative of Byron's notes or footnotes are appended to the originals or printed as footnotes. Byron's own notes to the Fourth Canto are printed as footnotes to the text.

Hobhouse's "Historical Notes" are reprinted without addition or comment; but the numerous and intricate references to classical, historical, and archæological authorities have been carefully verified, and in many instances rewritten.

In compiling the Introductions, the additional notes, and footnotes, I have endeavoured to supply the reader with a compendious manual of reference. With the subject-matter of large portions of the three distinct poems which make up the five hundred stanzas of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage every one is more or less [vii] familiar, but details and particulars are out of the immediate reach of even the most cultivated readers.

The poem may be dealt with in two ways. It may be regarded as a repertory or treasury of brilliant passages for selection and quotation; or it may be read continuously, and with some attention to the style and message of the author. It is in the belief that Childe Harold should be read continuously, and that it gains by the closest study, reassuming its original freshness and splendour, that the text as well as Byron's own notes have been somewhat minutely annotated.

In the selection and composition of the notes I have, in addition to other authorities, consulted and made use of the following editions of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage:

i. Édition Classique, par James Darmesteter, Docteur-ès-lettres. Paris, 1882.

ii. Byron's Childe Harold, edited, with Introduction and Notes, by H. F. Tozer, M.A. Oxford, 1885 (Clarendon Press Series).

iii. Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, edited by the Rev. E.C. Everard Owen, M.A. London, 1897 (Arnold's British Classics).

Particular acknowledgments of my indebtedness to these admirable works will be found throughout the volume.

I have consulted and derived assistance from Professor Eugen Kölbing's exhaustive collation of the text of the two first cantos with the Dallas Transcript in [viii] the British Museum (Zur Textüberlieferung von Byron's Childe Harold, Cantos I., II. Leipsic, 1896); and I am indebted to the same high authority for information with regard to the Seventh Edition (1814) of the First and Second Cantos. (See Bemerkungen zu Byron's Childe Harold, Engl. Stud., 1896, xxi. 176-186.)

I have again to record my grateful acknowledgments to Dr. Richard Garnett, C.B., Dr. A. S. Murray, F.R.S., Mr. R. E. Graves, Mr. E. D. Butler, F.R.G.S., and other officials of the British Museum, for constant help and encouragement in the preparation of the notes to Childe Harold.

I desire to express my thanks to Dr. H. R. Mill, Librarian of the Royal Geographical Society; Mr. J. C. Baker, F.R.S., Keeper of the Herbarium and Library of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; Mr. Horatio F. Brown (author of Venice, an Historical Sketch, etc.); Mr. P. A. Daniel, Mr. Richard Edgcumbe, and others, for valuable information on various points of doubt and difficulty.

On behalf of the Publisher, I beg to acknowledge the kindness of his Grace the Duke of Richmond, in permitting Cosway's miniature of Charlotte Duchess of Richmond to be reproduced for this volume.

I have also to thank Mr. Horatio F. Brown for the right to reproduce the interesting portrait of "Byron at Venice," which is now in his possession.


April, 1899.



The First Canto of Childe Harold was begun at Janina, in Albania, October 31, 1809, and the Second Canto was finished at Smyrna, March 28, 1810. The dates were duly recorded on the MS.; but in none of the letters which Byron wrote to his mother and his friends from the East does he mention or allude to the composition or existence of such a work. In one letter, however, to his mother (January 14, 1811, Letters, 1898, i. 308), he informs her that he has MSS. in his possession which may serve to prolong his memory, if his heirs and executors "think proper to publish them;" but for himself, he has "done with authorship." Three months later the achievement of Hints from Horace and The Curse of Minerva persuaded him to give "authorship" another trial; and, in a letter written on board the Volage frigate (June 28, Letters, 1898, i. 313), he announces to his literary Mentor, R. C. Dallas, who had superintended the publication of English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers, that he has "an imitation of the Ars Poetica of Horace ready for Cawthorne." Byron landed in England on July 2, and on the 15th Dallas "had the pleasure of shaking hands with him at Reddish's Hotel, St. James's Street" (Recollections of the Life of Lord Byron, 1824, p. 103). There was a crowd of visitors, says Dallas, and no time for conversation; but the Imitation was placed in his hands. He took it home, read it, and was disappointed. Disparagement was out of the question; but the next morning at breakfast Dallas ventured to express some surprise that he had written nothing else. An admission or [x] confession followed that "he had occasionally written short poems, besides a great many stanzas in Spenser's measure, relative to the countries he had visited." "They are not," he added, "worth troubling you with, but you shall have them all with you if you like." "So," says Dallas, "came I by Childe Harold. He took it from a small trunk, with a number of verses."

Dallas was "delighted," and on the evening of the same day (July 16)—before, let us hope, and not after, he had consulted his "Ionian friend," Walter Rodwell Wright (see Recollections, p. 151, and Diary of H.C. Robinson, 1872, i. 17)—he despatched a letter of enthusiastic approval, which gratified Byron, but did not convince him of the extraordinary merit of his work, or of its certainty of success. It was, however, agreed that the MS. should be left with Dallas, that he should arrange for its publication and hold the copyright. Dallas would have entrusted the poem to Cawthorne, who had published English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers, and with whom, as Byron's intermediary, he was in communication; but Byron objected on the ground that the firm did not "stand high enough in the trade," and Longmans, who had been offered but had declined the English Bards, were in no case to be approached. An application to Miller, of Albemarle Street, came to nothing, because Miller was Lord Elgin's bookseller and publisher (he had just brought out the Memorandum on Lord Elgin's Pursuits in Greece), and Childe Harold denounced and reviled Lord Elgin. But Murray, of Fleet Street, who had already expressed a wish to publish for Lord Byron, was willing to take the matter into consideration. On the first of August Byron lost his mother, on the third his friend Matthews was drowned in the Cam, and for some weeks he could devote neither time nor thought to the fortunes of his poem; but Dallas had bestirred himself, and on the eighteenth was able to report that he had "seen Murray again," and that Murray was anxious that Byron's name should appear on the title-page.

To this request Byron somewhat reluctantly acceded (August 21); and a few days later (August 25) he informs Dallas that he has sent him "exordiums, annotations, etc., [xi] for the forthcoming quarto," and has written to Murray, urging him on no account to show the MS. to Juvenal, that is, Gifford. But Gifford, as a matter of course, had been already consulted, had read the First Canto, and had advised Murray to publish the poem. Byron was, or pretended to be, furious; but the solid fact that Gifford had commended his work acted like a charm, and his fury subsided. On the fifth of September (Letters, 1898, ii. 24, note) he received from Murray the first proof, and by December 14 "the Pilgrimage was concluded," and all but the preface had been printed and seen through the press.

The original draft of the poem, which Byron took out of "the little trunk" and gave to Dallas, had undergone considerable alterations and modifications before this date. Both Dallas and Murray took exception to certain stanzas which, on personal, or patriotic, or religious considerations, were provocative and objectionable. They were apprehensive, not only for the sale of the book, but for the reputation of its author. Byron fought his ground inch by inch, but finally assented to a compromise. He was willing to cut out three stanzas on the Convention of Cintra, which had ceased to be a burning question, and four more stanzas at the end of the First Canto, which reflected on the Duke of Wellington, Lord Holland, and other persons of less note. A stanza on Beckford in the First Canto, and two stanzas in the second on Lord Elgin, Thomas Hope, and the "Dilettanti crew," were also omitted. Stanza ix. of the Second Canto, on the immortality of the soul, was recast, and "sure and certain" hopelessness exchanged for a pious, if hypothetical, aspiration. But with regard to the general tenor of his politics and metaphysics, Byron stood firm, and awaited the issue.

There were additions as well as omissions. The first stanza of the First Canto, stanzas xliii. and xc., which celebrate the battles of Albuera and Talavera; the stanzas to the memory of Charles Skinner Matthews, nos. xci., xcii.; and stanzas ix., xcv.,xcvi. of the Second Canto, which record Byron's grief for the death of an unknown lover or friend, apparently (letter to Dallas, October 31, 1811) the mysterious Thyrza, and others (vide post, note on the MSS. of the First and Second Cantos of Childe Harold), [xii] were composed at Newstead, in the autumn of 1811. Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, quarto, was published on Tuesday, March 10, 1812—Moore (Life, p. 157) implies that the date of issue was Saturday, February 29; and Dallas (Recollections, p. 220) says that he obtained a copy on Tuesday, March 3 (but see advertisements in the Times and Morning Chronicle of Thursday, March 5, announcing future publication, and in the Courier and Morning Chronicle of Tuesday, March 10, announcing first appearance)—and in three days an edition of five hundred copies was sold. A second edition, octavo, with six additional poems (fourteen poems were included in the First Edition), was issued on April 17; a third on June 27; a fourth, with the "Addition to the Preface," on September 14; and a fifth on December 5, 1812,—the day on which Murray "acquainted his friends" (see advertisement in the Morning Chronicle) that he had removed from Fleet Street to No. 50, Albemarle Street. A sixth edition, identical with the fifth and fourth editions, was issued August 11, 1813; and, on February 1, 1814 (see letter to Murray, February 4, 1814), Childe Harold made a "seventh appearance." The seventh edition was a new departure altogether. Not only were nine poems added to the twenty already published, but a dedication to Lady Charlotte Harley ("Ianthe"), written in the autumn of 1812, was prefixed to the First Canto, and ten additional stanzas were inserted towards the end of the Second Canto. Childe Harold, as we have it, differs to that extent from the Childe Harold which, in a day and a night, made Byron "famous." The dedication to Ianthe was the outcome of a visit to Eywood, and his devotion to Ianthe's mother, Lady Oxford; but the new stanzas were probably written in 1810. In a letter to Dallas, September 7, 1811 (Letters, 1898, ii. 28), he writes, "I had projected an additional canto when I was in the Troad and Constantinople, and if I saw them again, it would go on." This seems to imply that a beginning had been made. In a poem, a hitherto unpublished fragment entitled Il Diavolo Inamorato (vide post, vol. iii.), which is dated August 31, 1812, five stanzas and a half, viz. stanzas lxxiii. lines 5-9, lxxix., lxxx., lxxxi., lxxxii., xxvii. of the Second Canto of Childe Harold are imbedded; and these [xiii] form part of the ten additional stanzas which were first published in the seventh edition. There is, too, the fragment entitled The Monk of Athos, which was first published (Life of Lord Byron, by the Hon. Roden Noel) in 1890, which may have formed part of this projected Third Canto.

No further alterations were made in the text of the poem; but an eleventh edition of Childe Harold, Cantos I., II., was published in 1819.

The demerits of Childe Harold lie on the surface; but it is difficult for the modern reader, familiar with the sight, if not the texture, of "the purple patches," and unattracted, perhaps demagnetized, by a personality once fascinating and always "puissant," to appreciate the actual worth and magnitude of the poem. We are "o'er informed;" and as with Nature, so with Art, the eye must be couched, and the film of association removed, before we can see clearly. But there is one characteristic feature of Childe Harold which association and familiarity have been powerless to veil or confuse—originality of design. "By what accident," asks the Quarterly Reviewer (George Agar Ellis), "has it happened that no other English poet before Lord Byron has thought fit to employ his talents on a subject so well suited to their display?" The question can only be answered by the assertion that it was the accident of genius which inspired the poet with a "new song." Childe Harold's Pilgrimage had no progenitors, and, with the exception of some feeble and forgotten imitations, it has had no descendants. The materials of the poem; the Spenserian stanza, suggested, perhaps, by Campbell's Gertrude of Wyoming, as well as by older models; the language, the metaphors, often appropriated and sometimes stolen from the Bible, from Shakespeare, from the classics; the sentiments and reflections coeval with reflection and sentiment, wear a familiar hue; but the poem itself, a pilgrimage to scenes and cities of renown, a song of travel, a rhythmical diorama, was Byron's own handiwork—not an inheritance, but a creation.

But what of the eponymous hero, the sated and melancholy "Childe," with his attendant page and yeoman, his backward glances on "heartless parasites," on "laughing dames," on goblets and other properties of "the monastic dome"? Is [xiv] Childe Harold Byron masquerading in disguise, or is he intended to be a fictitious personage, who, half unconsciously, reveals the author's personality? Byron deals with the question in a letter to Dallas (October 31): "I by no means intend to identify myself with Harold, but to deny all connection with him. If in parts I may be thought to have drawn from myself, believe me it is but in parts, and I shall not own even to that." He adds, with evident sincerity, "I would not be such a fellow as I have made my hero for all the world." Again, in the preface, "Harold is the child of imagination." This pronouncement was not the whole truth; but it is truer than it seems. He was well aware that Byron had sate for the portrait of Childe Harold. He had begun by calling his hero Childe Burun, and the few particulars which he gives of Childe Burun's past were particulars, in the main exact particulars, of Byron's own history. He had no motive for concealment, for, so little did he know himself, he imagined that he was not writing for publication, that he had done with authorship. Even when the mood had passed, it was the imitation of the Ars Poetica, not Childe Harold, which he was eager to publish; and when Childe Harold had been offered to and accepted by a publisher, he desired and proposed that it should appear anonymously. He had not as yet come to the pass of displaying "the pageant of his bleeding heart" before the eyes of the multitude. But though he shrank from the obvious and inevitable conclusion that Childe Harold was Byron in disguise, and idly "disclaimed" all connection, it was true that he had intended to draw a fictitious character, a being whom he may have feared he might one day become, but whom he did not recognize as himself. He was not sated, he was not cheerless, he was not unamiable. He was all a-quiver with youth and enthusiasm and the joy of great living. He had left behind him friends whom he knew were not "the flatterers of the festal hour"—friends whom he returned to mourn and nobly celebrate. Byron was not Harold, but Harold was an ideal Byron, the creature and avenger of his pride, which haunted and pursued its presumptuous creator to the bitter end.

Childe Harold's Pilgrimage was reviewed, or rather advertised, by Dallas, in the Literary Panorama for March, [xv] 1812. To the reviewer's dismay, the article, which appeared before the poem was out, was shown to Byron, who was paying a short visit to his old friends at Harrow. Dallas quaked, but "as it proved no bad advertisement," he escaped censure. "The blunder passed unobserved, eclipsed by the dazzling brilliancy of the object which had caused it" (Recollections, p. 221).

Of the greater reviews, the Quarterly (No. xiii., March, 1812) was published on May 12, and the Edinburgh (No. 38, June, 1812) was published on August 5, 1812.




The original MS. of the First and Second Cantos of Childe Harold, consisting of ninety-one folios bound up with a single bluish-grey cover, is in the possession of Mr. Murray.[1] A transcript from this MS., in the handwriting of R. C. Dallas, with Byron's autograph corrections, is preserved in the British Museum (Egerton MSS., No. 2027). The first edition (4to) was printed from the transcript as emended by the author. The "Addition to the Preface" was first published in the Fourth Edition.

The following notes in Byron's handwriting are on the outside of the cover of the original MS.:—

"Byron—Joannina in Albania
Begun Oct. 31st. 1809.
Concluded, Canto 2d, Smyrna,
March 28th, 1810. BYRON.

[xvii] The marginal remarks pencilled occasionally were made by two friends who saw the thing in MS. sometime previous to publication. 1812."

On the verso of the single bluish-grey cover, the lines, "Dear Object of Defeated Care," have been inscribed. They are entitled, "Written beneath the picture of J. U. D." They are dated, "Byron, Athens, 1811."

The following notes and memoranda have been bound up with the MS.:—

"Henry Drury, Harrow. Given me by Lord Byron. Being his original autograph MS. of the first canto of Childe Harold, commenced at Joannina in Albania, proceeded with at Athens, and completed at Smyrna."

"How strange that he did not seem to know that the volume contains Cantos I., II., and so written by Ld. B.!" [Note by J. Murray.]

"Sir,—I desire that you will settle any account for Childe Harold with Mr. R. C. Dallas, to whom I have presented the copyright.

Yr. obedt. Servt.,
To Mr. John Murray,
32, Fleet Street,
London, Mar. 17, 1812."

"Received, April 1st, 1812, of Mr. John Murray, the sum of one hundred pounds 15/8, being my entire half-share of the profits of the 1st Edition of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage 4to.



Mem.: This receipt is for the above sum, in part of five hundred guineas agreed to be paid by Mr. Murray for the Copyright of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage."

The following poems are appended to the MS. of the First and Second Cantos of Childe Harold:—

1. "Written at Mrs. Spencer Smith's request, in her memorandum-book—

"'As o'er the cold sepulchral stone.'"

2. "Stanzas written in passing the Ambracian Gulph, November 14, 1809."


3. "Written at Athens, January 16th, 1810—

"'The spell is broke, the charm is flown.'"

4. "Stanzas composed October 11, 1809, during the night in a thunderstorm, when the guides had lost the road to Zitza, in the range of mountains formerly called Pindus, in Albania."

On a blank leaf bound up with the MS. at the end of the volume, Byron wrote—

"Dear Ds.,—This is all that was contained in the MS., but the outside cover has been torn off by the booby of a binder.

Yours ever,


The volume is bound in smooth green morocco, bordered by a single gilt line. "MS." in gilt lettering is stamped on the side cover.


Collation of First Edition, Quarto, 1812,
with MS. of the First Canto.

The MS. numbers ninety-one stanzas, the First Edition ninety-three stanzas.

Omissions from the MS.

Stanza vii."Of all his train there was a henchman page,"—
Stanza viii."Him and one yeoman only did he take,"—
Stanza xxii."Unhappy Vathek! in an evil hour,"—
Stanza xxv."In golden characters right well designed,"—
Stanza xxvii."But when Convention sent his handy work,"—
Stanza xxviii."Thus unto Heaven appealed the people: Heaven,"—
Stanza lxxxviii."There may you read with spectacles on eyes,"—
Stanza lxxxix."There may you read—Oh, Phoebus, save Sir John,"—
Stanza xc."Yet here of Vulpes mention may be made,"—


Insertions in the First Edition.

Stanza i."Oh, thou! in Hellas deemed of heavenly birth,"—
Stanza viii."Yet oft-times in his maddest mirthful mood,"—
Stanza ix."And none did love him!—though to hall and bower,"—
Stanza xliii."Oh, Albuera! glorious field of grief!"—
Stanza lxxxv."Adieu, fair Cadiz! yea, a long adieu!"—
Stanza lxxxvi."Such be the sons of Spain, and strange her Fate,"—
Stanza lxxxviii."Flows there a tear of Pity for the dead?"—
Stanza lxxxix."Not yet, alas! the dreadful work is done,"—
Stanza xc."Not all the blood at Talavera shed,"—
Stanza xci."And thou, my friend!—since unavailing woe,"—
Stanza xcii."Oh, known the earliest, and esteemed the most,"—

The MS. of the Second Canto numbers eighty stanzas; the First Edition numbers eighty-eight stanzas.

Omissions from the MS.

Stanza viii."Frown not upon me, churlish Priest! that I,"—
Stanza xiv."Come, then, ye classic Thieves of each degree,"—
Stanza xv."Or will the gentle Dilettanti crew,"—
Stanza lxiii."Childe Harold with that Chief held colloquy,"—

Insertions in the First Edition.

Stanza viii."Yet if, as holiest men have deemed, there be,"—
Stanza ix."There, Thou! whose Love and Life together fled,"—
Stanza xv."Cold is the heart, fair Greece! that looks on Thee,"—
Stanza lii."Oh! where, Dodona! is thine agéd Grove?"—
Stanza lxiii."Mid many things most new to ear and eye,"—
Stanza lxxx."Where'er we tread 'tis haunted, holy ground,"—
Stanza lxxxiii."Let such approach this consecrated Land,"—
Stanza lxxxiv."For thee, who thus in too protracted song,"—
Stanza lxxxv."Thou too art gone, thou loved and lovely one!"—
Stanza lxxxvii."Then must I plunge again into the crowd,"—
Stanza lxxxviii."What is the worst of woes that wait on Age?"—
Stanza lxxxvi."Oh! ever loving, lovely, and beloved!"—
Stanza lxxxvii."Then must I plunge again into the crowd,"—
Stanza lxxxviii."What is the worst of woes that wait on Age?"—


Additions to the Seventh Edition, 1814.

The Second Canto, in the first six editions, numbers eighty-eight stanzas; in the Seventh Edition the Second Canto numbers ninety-eight stanzas.


 The Dedication, To Ianthe.
Stanza xxvii."More blest the life of godly Eremite,"—
Stanza lxxvii."The city won for Allah from the Giaour,"—
Stanza lxxviii."Yet mark their mirth, ere Lenten days begin,"—
Stanza lxxix."And whose more rife with merriment than thine,"—
Stanza lxxx."Loud was the lightsome tumult on the shore,"—
Stanza lxxxi."Glanced many a light Caique along the foam,"—
Stanza lxxxii."But, midst the throng' in merry masquerade,"—
Stanza lxxxiii."This must he feel, the true-born son of Greece,"—
Stanza lxxxix."The Sun, the soil—but not the slave, the same,"—
Stanza xc."The flying Mede, his shaftless broken bow,"—



1809. Canto I.
July 2.Sail from Falmouth in Lisbon packet. (Stanza xii. Letter 125.)
July 6. Arrive Lisbon. (Stanzas xvi., xvii. Letter 126.) Visit Cintra. (Stanzas xviii.-xxvi. Letter 128.) Visit Mafra. (Stanza xxix.)
July 17.Leave Lisbon. (Stanza xxviii. Letter 127.) Ride through Portugal and Spain to Seville. (Stanzas xxviii.-xlii. Letter 127.) Visit Albuera. (Stanza xliii.)
July 21.Arrive Seville. (Stanzas xlv., xlvi. Letters 127, 128.)
July 25.Leave Seville. Ride to Cadiz, across the Sierra Morena. (Stanza li.) Cadiz. (Stanzas lxv.-lxxxiv. Letters 127, 128.)
 Canto II.
Aug. 6.Arrive Gibraltar. (Letters 127, 128.)
Aug. 17.Sail from Gibraltar in Malta packet. (Stanzas xvii.-xxviii.) Malta. (Stanzas xxix.-xxxv. Letter 130.)
Sept. 19.Sail from Malta in brig-of-war Spider. (Letter 131.)
Sept. 23.Between Cephalonia and Zante.
Sept. 26.Anchor off Patras.
Sept. 27.In the channel between Ithaca and the mainland. (Stanzas xxxix.-xlii.)
Sept. 28.Anchor off Prevesa (7 p.m.). (Stanza xlv.) [xxii]
Oct. 1.Leave Prevesa, arrive Salakhora (Salagoura).
Oct. 3.Leave Salakhora, arrive Arta.
Oct. 4.Leave Arta, arrive han St. Demetre (H. Dhimittrios).
Oct. 5.Arrive Janina. (Stanza xlvii. Letter 131.)
Oct. 8.Ride into the country. First day of Ramazan.
Oct. 11.Leave Janina, arrive Zitza ("Lines written during a Thunderstorm"). (Stanzas xlviii.-li. Letter 131.)
Oct. 13.Leave Zitza, arrive Mossiani (Móseri).
Oct. 14.Leave Mossiani, arrive Delvinaki (Dhelvinaki). (Stanza liv.)
Oct. 15.Leave Delvinaki, arrive Libokhovo.
Oct. 17.Leave Libokhovo, arrive Cesarades (Kestourataes).
Oct. 18.Leave Cesarades, arrive Ereeneed (Irindi).
Oct. 19.Leave Ereeneed, arrive Tepeleni. (Stanzas lv.-lxi.)
Oct. 20.Reception by Ali Pacha. (Stanzas lxii.-lxiv.)
Oct. 23.Leave Tepeleni, arrive Locavo (Lacovon).
Oct. 24.Leave Locavo, arrive Delvinaki.
Oct. 25.Leave Delvinaki, arrive Zitza.
Oct. 26.Leave Zitza, arrive Janina.
Oct. 31.Byron begins the First Canto of Childe Harold.
Nov. 3.Leave Janina, arrive han St. Demetre.
Nov. 4.Leave han St. Demetre, arrive Arta.
Nov. 5.Leave Arta, arrive Salakhora.
Nov. 7.Leave Salakhora, arrive Prevesa.
Nov. 8.Sail from Prevesa, anchor off mainland near Parga. (Stanzas lxvii., lxviii.)
Nov. 9.Leave Parga, and, returning by land, arrive Volondorako (Valanidórakhon). (Stanza lxix.)
Nov. 10.Leave Volondorako, arrive Castrosikia (Kastrosykia).
Nov. 11.Leave Castrosikia, arrive Prevesa.
Nov. 13.Sail from Prevesa, anchor off Vonitsa.
Nov. 14.Sail from Vonitsa, arrive Lutraki (Loutráki). (Stanzas lxx., lxxii., Song "Tambourgi, Tambourgi;" stanza written in passing the Ambracian Gulph. Letter 131.)
Nov. 15.Leave Lutraki, arrive Katúna.
Nov. 16.Leave Katúna, arrive Makalá (? Machalas). [xxiii]
Nov. 18.Leave Makalá, arrive Guriá.
Nov. 19.Leave Guriá, arrive Ætolikon.
Nov. 20.Leave Ætolikon, arrive Mesolonghi.
Nov. 23.Sail from Mesolonghi, arrive Patras.
Dec. 4.Leave Patras, sleep at Han on shore.
Dec. 5.Leave Han, arrive Vostitsa (Oegion).
Dec. 14.Sail from Vostitsa, arrive Larnáki (? Itea).
Dec. 15.Leave Larnáki (? Itea), arrive Chrysó.
Dec. 16.Visit Delphi, the Pythian Cave, and stream of Castaly. (Canto I. stanza i.)
Dec. 17.Leave Chrysó, arrive Arakhova (Rhakova).
Dec. 18.Leave Arakhova, arrive Livadia (Livadhia).
Dec. 21.Leave Livadia, arrive Mazee (Mazi).
Dec. 22.Leave Mazee, arrive Thebes.
Dec. 24.Leave Thebes, arrive Skurta.
Dec. 25.Leave Skurta, pass Phyle, arrive Athens. (Stanzas i.-xv., stanza lxxiv.)
Dec. 30.Byron finishes the First Canto of Childe Harold.
Jan. 13.Visit Eleusis.
Jan. 16.Visit Mendeli (Pentelicus). (Stanza lxxxvii.)
Jan. 18.Walk round the peninsula of Munychia.
Jan. 19.Leave Athens, arrive Vari.
Jan. 20.Leave Vari, arrive Keratéa.
Jan. 23.Visit temple of Athene at Sunium. (Stanza lxxxvi.)
Jan. 24.Leave Keratéa, arrive plain of Marathon.
Jan. 25.Visit plain of Marathon. (Stanzas lxxxix., xc.)
Jan. 26.Leave Marathon, arrive Athens.
Mar. 5.Leave Athens, embark on board the Pylades (Letter 136.)
Mar. 7.Arrive Smyrna. (Letters 132, 133.)
Mar. 13.Leave Smyrna, sleep at Han, near the river Halesus.
Mar. 14.Leave Han, arrive Aiasaluk (near Ephesus).
Mar. 15.Visit site of temple of Artemis at Ephesus. (Letter 132.)
Mar. 16.Leave Ephesus, return to Smyrna. (Letter 132.) [xxiv]
Mar. 28.Byron finishes the Second Canto of Childe Harold.
April 11.Sail from Smyrna in the Salsette frigate. (Letter 134.)
April 12.Anchor off Tenedos.
April 13.Visit ruins of Alexandria Troas.
April 14.Anchor off Cape Janissary.
April 16.Byron attempts to swim across the Hellespont, explores the Troad. (Letters 135, 136.)
April 30.Visit the springs of Bunarbashi (Bunarbási).
May 1.Weigh anchor from off Cape Janissary, anchor eight miles from Dardanelles.
May 2.Anchor off Castle Chanak Kalessia (Kale i Sultaniye).
May 3.Byron and Mr. Ekenhead swim across the Hellespont (lines "Written after swimming," etc.).
May 13.Anchor off Venaglio Point, arrive Constantinople. (Stanzas lxxvii.-lxxxii. Letters 138-145.)
July 14.Sail from Constantinople in Salsette frigate.
July 18.Byron returns to Athens.

Note to "Itinerary."

[For dates and names of towns and villages, see Travels in Albania, and other Provinces of Turkey, in 1809 and 1810, by the Right Hon. Lord Broughton, G.C.B. [John Cam Hobhouse], two volumes, 1858. The orthography is based on that of Longmans' Gazetteer of the World, edited by G. G. Chisholm, 1895. The alternative forms are taken from Heinrich Kiepert's Carte de l'Épire et de la Thessalie, Berlin, 1897, and from Dr. Karl Peucker's Griechenland, Wien, 1897.]




Preface to Vol. II. of the Poemsv
Introduction to the First and Second Cantosix
Notes on the MSS. of the First and Second Cantosxvi
Preface to the First and Second Cantos3
To Ianthe11
Canto the First15
Canto the Second97
Introduction to Canto the Third211
Canto the Third215
Introduction to Canto the Fourth311
Original Draft, etc., of Canto the Fourth316
Canto the Fourth327
Historical Notes by J. C. Hobhouse465



1. Ianthe (Lady Charlotte Harley), from an Engraving by W. Finden, after a Drawing by R. Westall, R.A.Frontispiece
2. The Duchess of Richmond, from a Miniature by Richard Cosway, in the Possession of His Grace the Duke of Richmond and Gordon, K.G. To face p. 228
3. Portrait of Lord Byron at Venice, from a Painting in Oils by Ruckard, in the Possession of Horatio F. Brown, Esq.326
4. The Horses of St. Mark, from a Photograph by Alinari 338
5. S. Pantaleon, from a Woodcut published at Cremona in 1493 340
6. The Dying Gaul, from the Original in the Museum of the Capitol 432



"L'univers est une espèce de livre, dont on n'a lu que la première page quand on n'a vu que son pays. J'en ai feuilleté un assez grand nombre, que j'ai trouvé également mauvaises. Cet examen ne m'a point été infructueux. Je haïssais ma patrie. Toutes les impertinences des peuples divers, parmi lesquels j'ai vécu, m'ont reconcilié avec elle. Quand je n'aurais tiré d'autre bénéfice de mes voyages que celui-là, je n'en regretterais ni les frais ni les fatigues."—Le Cosmopolite, ou, le Citoyen du Monde, par Fougeret de Monbron. Londres, 1753.



The following poem was written, for the most part, amidst the scenes which it attempts[b] to describe. It was begun in Albania; and the parts relative to Spain and Portugal were composed from the author's observations in those countries. Thus much it may be necessary to state for the correctness of the descriptions. The scenes attempted to be sketched are in Spain, Portugal, Epirus, Acarnania and Greece. There, for the present, the poem stops: its reception will determine whether the author may venture to conduct his readers to the capital of the East, through Ionia and Phrygia: these two cantos are merely experimental.

A fictitious character is introduced for the sake of giving some connection to the piece; which, however, makes no pretension to regularity. It has been suggested to me by friends, on whose opinions I set a high value,[c]—that in this fictitious character, "Childe Harold," I may incur the suspicion of having intended some real personage: this I beg leave, once for all, to disclaim—Harold is the child of imagination, for the purpose I have stated.

In some very trivial particulars, and those merely local, [4] there might be grounds for such a notion;[d] but in the main points, I should hope, none whatever.[e]

It is almost superfluous to mention that the appellation "Childe,"[2] as "Childe Waters," "Childe Childers," etc., is used as more consonant with the old structure of versification which I have adopted. The "Good Night" in the beginning of the first Canto, was suggested by Lord Maxwell's "Good Night"[3] in the Border Minstrelsy, edited by Mr. Scott.

With the different poems[4] which have been published on Spanish subjects, there may be found some slight coincidence[f] in the first part, which treats of the Peninsula, but it can only be casual; as, with the exception of a few concluding stanzas, the whole of the poem was written in the Levant.

The stanza of Spenser, according to one of our most [5] successful poets, admits of every variety. Dr. Beattie makes the following observation:—

"Not long ago I began a poem in the style and stanza of Spenser, in which I propose to give full scope to my inclination, and be either droll or pathetic, descriptive or sentimental, tender or satirical, as the humour strikes me; for, if I mistake not, the measure which I have adopted admits equally of all these kinds of composition."[5] Strengthened in my opinion by such authority, and by the example of some in the highest order of Italian poets, I shall make no apology for attempts at similar variations in the following composition;[g] satisfied that, if they are unsuccessful, their failure must be in the execution, rather than in the design sanctioned by the practice of Ariosto, Thomson, and Beattie.

London, February, 1812.


I have now waited till almost all our periodical journals have distributed their usual portion of criticism. To the justice of the generality of their criticisms I have nothing to object; it would ill become me to quarrel with their very slight degree of censure, when, perhaps, if they had been less kind they had been more candid. Returning, therefore, to all and each my best thanks for their liberality, on one point alone I shall venture an observation. Amongst the many objections justly urged to the very indifferent character of the "vagrant Childe" (whom, notwithstanding many hints to the contrary, I still maintain to be a fictitious personage), it has been stated, that, besides the anachronism, he is very unknightly, as the times of the Knights were times of Love, Honour, and so forth.[6] Now it so happens that the good old [6] times, when "l'amour du bon vieux tems, l'amour antique," flourished, were the most profligate of all possible centuries. Those who have any doubts on this subject may consult Sainte-Palaye, passim, and more particularly vol. ii. p. 69.[7] The vows of chivalry were no better kept than any other vows whatsoever; and the songs of the Troubadours were not more decent, and certainly were much less refined, than those of Ovid. The "Cours d'Amour, parlemens d'amour, ou de courtoisie et de gentilesse" had much more of love than of courtesy or gentleness. See Rolland[8] on the same subject with Sainte-Palaye.

Whatever other objection may be urged to that most unamiable personage Childe Harold, he was so far perfectly knightly in his attributes—"No waiter, but a knight templar."[9][7] By the by, I fear that Sir Tristrem and Sir Lancelot were no better than they should be, although very poetical personages and true knights, "sans peur," though not "sans réproche." If the story of the institution of the "Garter" be not a fable, the knights of that order have for several centuries borne the badge of a Countess of Salisbury, of indifferent memory. So much for chivalry. Burke need not have regretted that its days are over, though Marie-Antoinette was quite as chaste as most of those in whose honour lances were shivered, and knights unhorsed.[10]

Before the days of Bayard, and down to those of Sir Joseph Banks[11] (the most chaste and celebrated of ancient and modern times) few exceptions will be found to this statement; and I fear a little investigation will teach us not to regret these monstrous mummeries of the middle ages.

I now leave "Childe Harold" to live his day such as he is; it had been more agreeable, and certainly more easy, to have drawn an amiable character. It had been easy to varnish over his faults, to make him do more and express less, but he never was intended as an example, further than to show, that early perversion of mind and morals leads to satiety of [8] past pleasures and disappointment in new ones, and that even the beauties of nature and the stimulus of travel (except ambition, the most powerful of all excitements) are lost on a soul so constituted, or rather misdirected. Had I proceeded with the Poem, this character would have deepened as he drew to the close; for the outline which I once meant to fill up for him was, with some exceptions, the sketch of a modern Timon,[12] perhaps a poetical Zeluco.[13]





TO IANTHE. [h] [14]

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—
[12] To such as see thee not my words were weak;
To those who gaze on thee what language could they speak?
Ah! may'st 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,[15]
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 the West!—'tis well for me
My years already doubly number thine;[16]
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.
[13] Oh! let that eye, which, wild as the Gazelle's,
Now brightly bold or beautifully shy,
Wins as it wanders, dazzles where it dwells,[17]
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[18] with this my verse entwined;
And long as kinder eyes a look shall cast[i]
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
[14] 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?[j]





Oh, thou! in Hellas deemed of heavenly birth,[k]
Muse! formed or fabled at the Minstrel's will!
Since shamed full oft by later lyres on earth,[l][20]
Mine dares not call thee from thy sacred Hill:
Yet there I've wandered by thy vaunted rill;[m]
Yes! sighed o'er Delphi's long deserted shrine, [1.B.]
[16] 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.


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;[n]
Few earthly things found favour in his sight[o]
Save concubines and carnal companie,
And flaunting wassailers of high and low degree.[21]



Childe Harold was he hight:[22]—but whence his name[p]
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 ay,[23]
However mighty in the olden time;
Nor all that heralds rake from coffined clay,
Nor florid prose, nor honied lies of rhyme,[q]
Can blazon evil deeds, or consecrate a crime.


Childe Harold basked him in the Noontide sun,[r]
Disporting there like any other fly;
[18] 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.


For he through Sin's long labyrinth had run,[s]
Nor made atonement when he did amiss,
Had sighed to many though he loved but one,[t][24]
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.


And now Childe Harold was sore sick at heart,[u]
And from his fellow Bacchanals would flee;
[19] 'Tis said, at times the sullen tear would start,
But Pride congealed the drop within his ee:[25]
Apart he stalked in joyless reverie,[v]
And from his native land resolved to go,
And visit scorching climes beyond the sea;[26]
With pleasure drugged, he almost longed for woe,
And e'en for change of scene would seek the shades below.


The Childe departed from his father's hall:
It was a vast and venerable pile;
So old, it seeméd only not to fall,
Yet strength was pillared in each massy aisle.
Monastic dome! condemned to uses vile![w]
Where Superstition once had made her den
Now Paphian girls were known to sing and smile;[x]
And monks might deem their time was come agen,[27]
If ancient tales say true, nor wrong these holy men.


VIII. [y]

Yet oft-times in his maddest mirthful mood
Strange pangs would flash along Childe Harold's brow,[z]
[21] 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.


And none did love him!—though to hall and bower[28]
He gathered revellers from far and near,
[22] He knew them flatterers of the festal hour,
The heartless Parasites of present cheer.
Yea! none did love him—not his lemans dear—[ab][29]
But pomp and power alone are Woman's care,
And where these are light Eros finds a feere;[30]
Maidens, like moths, are ever caught by glare,
And Mammon wins his way where Seraphs might despair.



Childe Harold had a mother—not forgot,[ac]
Though parting from that mother he did shun;
A sister whom he loved, but saw her not[31]
Before his weary pilgrimage begun:
If friends he had, he bade adieu to none.[ad]
Yet deem not thence his breast a breast of steel:[ae][32]
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.



His house, his home, his heritage, his lands,[af]
The laughing dames in whom he did delight,[ag]
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.[ah][33]


The sails were filled, and fair the light winds blew,[ai]
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[34]
[25] 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.


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."[35]




"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!


"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[36]
Why dost thou weep and wail?
[27] Or dost thou dread the billows' 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[aj]
More merrily along."[ak]


"Let winds be shrill, let waves roll high,[al]
I fear not wave nor wind:
Yet marvel not, Sir Childe, that I
Am sorrowful in mind;[37]
For I have from my father gone,
A mother whom I love,
And have no friend, save these alone,
But thee—and One above.



'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,[38]
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,
[29] And when they on their father call,
What answer shall she make?'—
"Enough, enough, my yeoman good,[am]
Thy grief let none gainsay;
But I, who am of lighter mood,
Will laugh to flee away.


"For who would trust the seeming sighs[an]
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.[39]



"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.[ao][40]



"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!"


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[41] greets them on their way,
And Tagus dashing onward to the Deep,
His fabled golden tribute[42] bent to pay;
And soon on board the Lusian pilots leap,
And steer 'twixt fertile shores where yet few rustics reap.[ap]



Oh, Christ! it is a goodly sight to see
What Heaven hath done for this delicious land![aq]
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[ar]


What beauties doth Lisboa[43] first unfold![as]
Her image floating on that noble tide,
Which poets vainly pave with sands of gold,[at]
But now whereon a thousand keels did ride
Of mighty strength, since Albion was allied,
And to the Lusians did her aid afford:
[33] A nation swoln with ignorance and pride,[44]
Who lick yet loathe the hand that waves the sword[au]
To save them from the wrath of Gaul's unsparing lord.


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 ee;[av]
For hut and palace show like filthily:[aw]
The dingy denizens are reared in dirt;[ax]
Ne personage of high or mean degree
Doth care for cleanness of surtout or shirt,
Though shent with Egypt's plague, unkempt, unwashed, unhurt.


Poor, paltry slaves! yet born 'midst noblest scenes—
Why, Nature, waste thy wonders on such men?
[34] Lo! Cintra's glorious Eden intervenes[45]
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[ay]
Than those whereof such things the Bard relates,
Who to the awe-struck world unlocked Elysium's gates.


The horrid crags, by toppling convent crowned,[az]
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[46] of the unruffled deep,
The orange tints that gild the greenest bough,
The torrents that from cliff to valley leap,[ba]
The vine on high, the willow branch below,
Mixed in one mighty scene, with varied beauty glow.



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 of Woe;"[47] [2.B.]
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.



And here and there, as up the crags you spring,
Mark many rude-carved crosses near the path:[48]
Yet deem not these Devotion's offering—
These are memorials frail of murderous wrath:
For wheresoe'er the shrieking victim hath
Pour'd 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. [3.B.]


On sloping mounds, or in the vale beneath,[49]
Are domes where whilome kings did make repair;
[37] 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,[bb][50]
Once formed thy Paradise, as not aware
When wanton Wealth her mightiest deeds hath done,[bc]
Meek Peace voluptuous lures was ever wont to shun.


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,[bd]
Thy fairy dwelling is as lone as Thou!
[38] 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;[be]
Swept into wrecks anon by Time's ungentle tide!


Behold the hall where chiefs were late convened! [4.B.]
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[bf]
His side is hung a seal and sable scroll,
Where blazoned glare names known to chivalry,[bg]
And sundry signatures adorn the roll,[bh]
Whereat the Urchin points and laughs with all his soul.[bi]



Convention is the dwarfish demon styled[51]
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.
[40] Here Folly dashed to earth the victor's plume,
And Policy regained what arms had lost:
[41] For chiefs like ours in vain may laurels bloom!
Woe to the conquering, not the conquered host,
Since baffled Triumph droops on Lusitania's coast.


And ever since that martial Synod met,
Britannia sickens, Cintra! at thy name;
And folks in office at the mention fret,[bj]
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?



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:[bk]
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 on truth his aching eyes grew dim.[52]


To horse! to horse! he quits, for ever quits[53]
A scene of peace, though soothing to his soul:[bl]
Again he rouses from his moping fits,
But seeks not now the harlot and the bowl.[bm]
Onward he flies, nor fixed as yet the goal
Where he shall rest him on his pilgrimage;
[43] And o'er him many changing scenes must roll
Ere toil his thirst for travel can assuage,[bn]
Or he shall calm his breast, or learn experience sage.


Yet Mafra shall one moment claim delay, [5.B.]
Where dwelt of yore the Lusians' luckless queen;[bo][54]
And Church and Court did mingle their array,
And Mass and revel were alternate seen;
[44] Lordlings and freres—ill-sorted fry I ween!
But here the Babylonian Whore hath 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 varnish guilt.


O'er vales that teem with fruits, romantic hills,
(Oh, that such hills upheld a freeborn race!)
Whereon to gaze the eye with joyaunce fills,
Childe Harold wends through many a pleasant place.[bp]
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.


More bleak to view the hills at length recede,
And, less luxuriant, smoother vales extend:[bq]
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.



Where Lusitania and her Sister meet,
Deem ye what bounds the rival realms divide?[br]
Or ere the jealous Queens of Nations greet,
Doth Tayo 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:[55]


But these between a silver streamlet[56] 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. [6.B.]



But ere the mingling bounds have far been passed,[bs]
Dark Guadiana rolls his power along
In sullen billows, murmuring and vast,
So noted ancient roundelays among.[bt]
Whilome upon his banks did legions throng
Of Moor and Knight, in mailéd 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.[57]


Oh, lovely Spain! renowned, romantic Land!
Where is that standard[58] which Pelagio bore,[bu]
When Cava's traitor-sire first called the band
That dyed thy mountain streams with Gothic gore? [7.B.]
Where are those bloody Banners which of yore
Waved o'er thy sons, victorious to the gale,
[47] And drove at last the spoilers to their shore?[59]
Red gleamed the Cross, and waned the Crescent pale,[bv]
While Afric's echoes thrilled with Moorish matrons' wail.


Teems not each ditty with the glorious tale?[60]
Ah! such, alas! the hero's amplest fate!
When granite moulders and when records fail,
A peasant's plaint prolongs his dubious date.[bw]
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 trust Tradition's simple tongue,
When Flattery sleeps with thee, and History does thee wrong?


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:
[48] 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?


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![bx]
Each volley tells that thousands cease to breathe;
Death rides upon the sulphury Siroc,[61]
Red Battle stamps his foot, and Nations feel the shock.


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
[49] 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.


By Heaven! it is a splendid sight to see[62]
(For one who hath no friend, no brother there)
Their rival scarfs of mixed embroidery,[by]
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;[63]
The Grave shall bear the chiefest prize away,
And Havoc scarce for joy can number their array.


Three hosts combine to offer sacrifice;
Three tongues prefer strange orisons on high;
[50] Three gaudy standards flout the pale blue skies;[64]
The shouts are France, Spain, Albion, Victory!
The Foe, the Victim, and the fond Ally
That fights for all, but ever fights in vain,[65]
Are met—as if at home they could not die—
To feed the crow on Talavera's plain,
And fertilise the field that each pretends to gain.


There shall they rot—Ambition's honoured fools![bz]
Yes, Honour decks the turf that wraps their clay![66]
Vain Sophistry! in these behold the tools,[ca]
The broken tools, that Tyrants cast away
[51] 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?[cb]
Or call with truth one span of earth their own,
Save that wherein at last they crumble bone by bone?


Oh, Albuera! glorious field of grief![cc][67]
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![cd]
Peace to the perished! may the warrior's meed[ce]
And tears of triumph their reward prolong![cf]
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.[cg][68]



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,[ch]
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.[ci]


Full swiftly Harold wends his lonely way[cj][69]
Where proud Sevilla triumphs unsubdued:[ck]
Yet is she free? the Spoiler's wished-for prey!
Soon, soon shall Conquest'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,
And Virtue vanquish all, and Murder cease to thrive



But all unconscious of the coming doom,[70]
The feast, the song, the revel here abounds;
Strange modes of merriment the hours consume,
Nor bleed these patriots with their country's wounds:
Nor here War's clarion, but Love's rebeck[71] sounds;[cl]
Here Folly still his votaries inthralls;
And young-eyed Lewdness walks her midnight rounds:[cm]
Girt with the silent crimes of Capitals,
Still to the last kind Vice clings to the tott'ring walls.


Not so the rustic—with his trembling mate
He lurks, nor casts his heavy eye afar,
Lest he should view his vineyard desolate,
Blasted below the dun hot breath of War.
No more beneath soft Eve's consenting star
Fandango twirls his jocund castanet:[72]
[54] Ah, Monarchs! could ye taste the mirth ye mar,
Not in the toils of Glory would ye fret;[cn]
The hoarse dull drum would sleep, and Man be happy yet!


How carols now the lusty muleteer?
Of Love, Romance, Devotion is his lay,
As whilome he was wont the leagues to cheer,
His quick bells wildly jingling on the way?
No! as he speeds, he chants "Vivā el Rey!" [8.B.]
And checks his song to execrate Godoy,
The royal wittol Charles, and curse the day
When first Spain's queen beheld the black-eyed boy,
And gore-faced Treason sprung from her adulterate joy.


On yon long level plain, at distance crowned[73]
With crags, whereon those Moorish turrets rest,
[55] Wide-scattered hoof-marks dint the wounded ground;
And, scathed by fire, the greensward's darkened vest
Tells that the foe was Andalusia's guest:
Here was the camp, the watch-flame, and the host,
Here the bold peasant stormed the Dragon's nest;
Still does he mark it with triumphant boast,
And points to yonder cliffs, which oft were won and lost.


And whomsoe'er along the path you meet
Bears in his cap the badge of crimson hue,
Which tells you whom to shun and whom to greet: [9.B.]
Woe to the man that walks in public view
Without of loyalty this token true:
Sharp is the knife, and sudden is the stroke;
And sorely would the Gallic foeman rue,
If subtle poniards, wrapt beneath the cloke,
Could blunt the sabre's edge, or clear the cannon's smoke.


At every turn Morena's dusky height[74]
Sustains aloft the battery's iron load;
And, far as mortal eye can compass sight,
The mountain-howitzer, the broken road,
[56] The bristling palisade, the fosse o'erflowed,
The stationed bands, the never-vacant watch,[co]
The magazine in rocky durance stowed,
The bolstered steed beneath the shed of thatch,
The ball-piled pyramid, the ever-blazing match, [10.B.]


Portend the deeds to come:—but he whose nod
Has tumbled feebler despots from their sway,
A moment pauseth ere he lifts the rod;
A little moment deigneth to delay:
Soon will his legions sweep through these their way;
The West must own the Scourger of the world.[cp]
Ah! Spain! how sad will be thy reckoning-day,
When soars Gaul's Vulture, with his wings unfurled,[cq]
And thou shall view thy sons in crowds to Hades hurled.


And must they fall? the young, the proud, the brave,
To swell one bloated Chiefs unwholesome reign?[75]
No step between submission and a grave?
The rise of Rapine and the fall of Spain?
[57] And doth the Power that man adores ordain
Their doom, nor heed the suppliant's appeal?
Is all that desperate Valour acts in vain?
And Counsel sage, and patriotic Zeal—
The Veteran's skill—Youth's fire—and Manhood's heart of steel?


Is it for this the Spanish maid, aroused,
Hangs on the willow her unstrung guitar,
And, all unsexed, the Anlace[76] hath espoused,
Sung the loud song, and dared the deed of war?
And she, whom once the semblance of a scar
Appalled, an owlet's 'larum chilled with dread,[77]
Now views the column-scattering bay'net jar,[cr]
The falchion flash, and o'er the yet warm dead
Stalks with Minerva's step where Mars might quake to tread.


Ye who shall marvel when you hear her tale,
Oh! had you known her in her softer hour,
[58] Marked her black eye that mocks her coal-black veil,
Heard her light, lively tones in Lady's bower,
Seen her long locks that foil the painter's power,
Her fairy form, with more than female grace,
Scarce would you deem that Saragoza's tower
Beheld her smile in Danger's Gorgon face,
Thin the closed ranks, and lead in Glory's fearful chase.


Her lover sinks—she sheds no ill-timed tear;
Her Chief is slain—she fills his fatal post;
Her fellows flee—she checks their base career;
The Foe retires—she heads the sallying host:
Who can appease like her a lover's ghost?
Who can avenge so well a leader's fall?
What maid retrieve when man's flushed hope is lost?
Who hang so fiercely on the flying Gaul,
Foiled by a woman's hand, before a battered wall? [11.B.]


Yet are Spain's maids no race of Amazons,
But formed for all the witching arts of love:
Though thus in arms they emulate her sons,
And in the horrid phalanx dare to move,
'Tis but the tender fierceness of the dove,
Pecking the hand that hovers o'er her mate:
In softness as in firmness far above
Remoter females, famed for sickening prate;
Her mind is nobler sure, her charms perchance as great.



The seal Love's dimpling finger hath impressed[cs]
Denotes how soft that chin which bears his touch: [12.B.]
Her lips, whose kisses pout to leave their nest,
Bid man be valiant ere he merit such:
Her glance how wildly beautiful! how much
Hath Phoebus wooed in vain to spoil her cheek,
Which glows yet smoother from his amorous clutch!
Who round the North for paler dames would seek?
How poor their forms appear! how languid, wan, and weak![78]


Match me, ye climes! which poets love to laud;
Match me, ye harems of the land! where now
[60] I strike my strain, far distant, to applaud
Beauties that ev'n a cynic must avow;[ct]
Match me those Houries, whom ye scarce allow
To taste the gale lest Love should ride the wind,
With Spain's dark-glancing daughters—deign to know,
There your wise Prophet's Paradise we find,
His black-eyed maids of Heaven, angelically kind.


Oh, thou Parnassus! whom I now survey,[79] [13.B.]
Not in the phrensy of a dreamer's eye,
Not in the fabled landscape of a lay,[cu]
But soaring snow-clad through thy native sky,
In the wild pomp of mountain-majesty!
What marvel if I thus essay to sing?
The humblest of thy pilgrims passing by
Would gladly woo thine Echoes with his string,
Though from thy heights no more one Muse will wave her wing.



Oft have I dreamed of Thee! whose glorious name
Who knows not, knows not man's divinest lore:
And now I view thee—'tis, alas, with shame
That I in feeblest accents must adore.
When I recount thy worshippers of yore
I tremble, and can only bend the knee;
Nor raise my voice, nor vainly dare to soar,
But gaze beneath thy cloudy canopy
In silent joy to think at last I look on Thee![80]


Happier in this than mightiest Bards have been,
Whose Fate to distant homes confined their lot,
Shall I unmoved behold the hallowed scene,
Which others rave of, though they know it not?
Though here no more Apollo haunts his Grot,
And thou, the Muses' seat, art now their grave,
[62] Some gentle Spirit still pervades the spot,
Sighs in the gale, keeps silence in the Cave,
And glides with glassy foot o'er yon melodious wave.[cv]


Of thee hereafter.—Ev'n amidst my strain
I turned aside to pay my homage here;
Forgot the land, the sons, the maids of Spain;
Her fate, to every freeborn bosom dear;
And hailed thee, not perchance without a tear.
Now to my theme—but from thy holy haunt
Let me some remnant, some memorial bear;[cw]
Yield me one leaf of Daphne's deathless plant,
Nor let thy votary's hope be deemed an idle vaunt.


But ne'er didst thou, fair Mount! when Greece was young,
See round thy giant base a brighter choir,[81]
Nor e'er did Delphi, when her Priestess sung
The Pythian hymn with more than mortal fire,
Behold a train more fitting to inspire
The song of love, than Andalusia's maids,
[63] Nurst in the glowing lap of soft Desire:
Ah! that to these were given such peaceful shades
As Greece can still bestow, though Glory fly her glades.


Fair is proud Seville; let her country boast
Her strength, her wealth, her site of ancient days; [14.B.]
But Cadiz, rising on the distant coast,[82]
Calls forth a sweeter, though ignoble praise.
Ah, Vice! how soft are thy voluptuous ways!
While boyish blood is mantling, who can 'scape[cx]
The fascination of thy magic gaze?
A Cherub-Hydra round us dost thou gape,
And mould to every taste thy dear delusive shape.


When Paphos fell by Time—accurséd Time!
The Queen who conquers all must yield to thee—
The Pleasures fled, but sought as warm a clime;
And Venus, constant to her native Sea,
To nought else constant, hither deigned to flee,
And fixed her shrine within these walls of white:
[64] Though not to one dome circumscribeth She
Her worship, but, devoted to her rite,
A thousand Altars rise, for ever blazing bright.[83]


From morn till night, from night till startled Morn[84]
Peeps blushing on the Revel's laughing crew,
The Song is heard, the rosy Garland worn;
Devices quaint, and Frolics ever new,
Tread on each other's kibes.[85] A long adieu
He bids to sober joy that here sojourns:
Nought interrupts the riot, though in lieu[cy]
Of true devotion monkish incense burns,
And Love and Prayer unite, or rule the hour by turns.[cz]



The Sabbath comes, a day of blessed rest:
What hallows it upon this Christian shore?
Lo! it is sacred to a solemn Feast:
Hark! heard you not the forest-monarch's roar?
Crashing the lance, he snuffs the spouting gore
Of man and steed, o'erthrown beneath his horn;
The thronged arena shakes with shouts for more;
Yells the mad crowd o'er entrails freshly torn,
Nor shrinks the female eye, nor ev'n affects to mourn.


The seventh day this—the Jubilee of man!
London! right well thou know'st the day of prayer:
Then thy spruce citizen, washed artisan,
And smug apprentice gulp their weekly air:
Thy coach of hackney, whiskey,[87] one-horse chair,
[66] And humblest gig through sundry suburbs whirl,[da]
To Hampstead, Brentford, Harrow make repair;
Till the tired jade the wheel forgets to hurl,
Provoking envious gibe from each pedestrian churl.[db]


Some o'er thy Thamis row the ribboned fair,[dc]
Others along the safer turnpike fly;
Some Richmond-hill ascend, some scud to Ware,
And many to the steep of Highgate hie.
Ask ye, Boeotian Shades! the reason why? [15.B.]
'Tis to the worship of the solemn Horn,[88]
[67] Grasped in the holy hand of Mystery,
In whose dread name both men and maids are sworn,
And consecrate the oath with draught, and dance till morn.


All have their fooleries—not alike are thine,
Fair Cadiz, rising o'er the dark blue sea![89]
Soon as the Matin bell proclaimeth nine,
Thy Saint-adorers count the Rosary:
Much is the Virgin teased to shrive them free
(Well do I ween the only virgin there)
From crimes as numerous as her beadsmen be;
Then to the crowded circus forth they fare:
Young, old, high, low, at once the same diversion share.


The lists are oped, the spacious area cleared,[90]
Thousands on thousands piled are seated round;
[68] Long ere the first loud trumpet's note is heard,
Ne vacant space for lated wight is found:
Here Dons, Grandees, but chiefly Dames abound,
Skilled in the ogle of a roguish eye,
Yet ever well inclined to heal the wound;
None through their cold disdain are doomed to die,
As moon-struck bards complain, by Love's sad archery.


Hushed is the din of tongues—on gallant steeds,
With milk-white crest, gold spur, and light-poised lance,
Four cavaliers prepare for venturous deeds,
And lowly-bending to the lists advance;
[69] Rich are their scarfs, their chargers featly prance:
If in the dangerous game they shine to-day,
The crowd's loud shout and ladies' lovely glance,
Best prize of better acts! they bear away,
And all that kings or chiefs e'er gain their toils repay.


In costly sheen and gaudy cloak arrayed.
But all afoot, the light-limbed Matadore
Stands in the centre, eager to invade
The lord of lowing herds; but not before
The ground, with cautious tread, is traversed o'er,
Lest aught unseen should lurk to thwart his speed:
His arms a dart, he fights aloof, nor more
Can Man achieve without the friendly steed—
Alas! too oft condemned for him to bear and bleed.


Thrice sounds the Clarion; lo! the signal falls,
The den expands, and Expectation mute
Gapes round the silent circle's peopled walls.
Bounds with one lashing spring the mighty brute,
And, wildly staring, spurns, with sounding foot,
The sand, nor blindly rushes on his foe:
Here, there, he points his threatening front, to suit
His first attack, wide-waving to and fro
His angry tail; red rolls his eye's dilated glow.



Sudden he stops—his eye is fixed—away—
Away, thou heedless boy! prepare the spear:
Now is thy time, to perish, or display
The skill that yet may check his mad career!
With well-timed croupe[91] the nimble coursers veer;
On foams the Bull, but not unscathed he goes;
Streams from his flank the crimson torrent clear:
He flies, he wheels, distracted with his throes;
Dart follows dart—lance, lance—loud bellowings speak his woes.


Again he comes; nor dart nor lance avail,
Nor the wild plunging of the tortured horse;
Though Man and Man's avenging arms assail,
Vain are his weapons, vainer is his force.
One gallant steed is stretched a mangled corse;
Another, hideous sight! unseamed appears,
His gory chest unveils life's panting source;
Though death-struck, still his feeble frame he rears;
Staggering, but stemming all, his Lord unharmed he bears.



Foiled, bleeding, breathless, furious to the last,
Full in the centre stands the Bull at bay,
Mid wounds, and clinging darts, and lances brast,[92]
And foes disabled in the brutal fray:
And now the Matadores[93] around him play,
Shake the red cloak, and poise the ready brand:
Once more through all he bursts his thundering way—
Vain rage! the mantle quits the conynge hand,
Wraps his fierce eye—'tis past—he sinks upon the sand![dd]


Where his vast neck just mingles with the spine,
Sheathed in his form the deadly weapon lies.
He stops—he starts—disdaining to decline:
Slowly he falls, amidst triumphant cries,
Without a groan, without a struggle dies.
The decorated car appears—on high
The corse is piled—sweet sight for vulgar eyes—[de][94]
[72] Four steeds that spurn the rein, as swift as shy,
Hurl the dark bulk along, scarce seen in dashing by.


Such the ungentle sport that oft invites
The Spanish maid, and cheers the Spanish swain.
Nurtured in blood betimes, his heart delights
In vengeance, gloating on another's pain.
What private feuds the troubled village stain!
Though now one phalanxed host should meet the foe,
Enough, alas! in humble homes remain,
To meditate 'gainst friend the secret blow,
For some slight cause of wrath, whence Life's warm stream must flow.[95]


But Jealousy has fled: his bars, his bolts,
His withered Centinel,[96] Duenna sage!
And all whereat the generous soul revolts,[df]
Which the stern dotard deemed he could encage,
[73] Have passed to darkness with the vanished age.
Who late so free as Spanish girls were seen,
(Ere War uprose in his volcanic rage,)
With braided tresses bounding o'er the green,
While on the gay dance shone Night's lover-loving Queen?


Oh! many a time and oft, had Harold loved,
Or dreamed he loved, since Rapture is a dream;
But now his wayward bosom was unmoved,
For not yet had he drunk of Lethe's stream;
And lately had he learned with truth to deem
Love has no gift so grateful as his wings:
How fair, how young, how soft soe'er he seem,
Full from the fount of Joy's delicious springs[dg]
Some bitter o'er the flowers its bubbling venom flings. [16.B.]


Yet to the beauteous form he was not blind,
Though now it moved him as it moves the wise;
Not that Philosophy on such a mind
E'er deigned to bend her chastely-awful eyes:
But Passion raves herself[97] to rest, or flies;
And Vice, that digs her own voluptuous tomb,
[74] Had buried long his hopes, no more to rise:[dh]
Pleasure's palled Victim! life-abhorring Gloom
Wrote on his faded brow curst Cain's unresting doom.[98]


Still he beheld, nor mingled with the throng;
But viewed them not with misanthropic hate:
Fain would he now have joined the dance, the song;
But who may smile that sinks beneath his fate?
Nought that he saw his sadness could abate:
Yet once he struggled 'gainst the Demon's sway,
And as in Beauty's bower he pensive sate,
Poured forth his unpremeditated lay,
To charms as fair as those that soothed his happier day.


TO INEZ. [99]


Nay, smile not at my sullen brow;
Alas! I cannot smile again:
Yet Heaven avert that ever thou
Shouldst weep, and haply weep in vain.


And dost thou ask what secret woe
I bear, corroding Joy and Youth?
And wilt thou vainly seek to know
A pang, ev'n thou must fail to soothe?


It is not love, it is not hate,
Nor low Ambition's honours lost,
[76] That bids me loathe my present state,
And fly from all I prized the most:


It is that weariness which springs
From all I meet, or hear, or see:
To me no pleasure Beauty brings;
Thine eyes have scarce a charm for me.


It is that settled, ceaseless gloom
The fabled Hebrew Wanderer bore;
That will not look beyond the tomb,
But cannot hope for rest before.


What Exile from himself can flee?[100]
To zones though more and more remote,[di]
Still, still pursues, where'er I be,
The blight of Life—the Demon Thought.[101]


Yet others rapt in pleasure seem,
And taste of all that I forsake;
[77] Oh! may they still of transport dream,
And ne'er—at least like me—awake!


Through many a clime 'tis mine to go,
With many a retrospection curst;
And all my solace is to know,
Whate'er betides, I've known the worst.


What is that worst? Nay do not ask—
In pity from the search forbear:
Smile on—nor venture to unmask
Man's heart, and view the Hell that's there.

Jan. 25. 1810.—[MS.]


Adieu, fair Cadiz! yea, a long adieu!
Who may forget how well thy walls have stood?
When all were changing thou alone wert true,
First to be free and last to be subdued;[102]
And if amidst a scene, a shock so rude,
Some native blood was seen thy streets to dye,
A Traitor only fell beneath the feud:[17.B.]
Here all were noble, save Nobility;
None hugged a Conqueror's chain, save fallen Chivalry!



Such be the sons of Spain, and strange her Fate!
They fight for Freedom who were never free,
A Kingless people for a nerveless state;[103]
Her vassals combat when their Chieftains flee,
True to the veriest slaves of Treachery:
Fond of a land which gave them nought but life,
Pride points the path that leads to Liberty;
Back to the struggle, baffled in the strife,
War, war is still the cry, "War even to the knife!" [18.B.]


Ye, who would more of Spain and Spaniards know[dj]
Go, read whate'er is writ of bloodiest strife:
[79] Whate'er keen Vengeance urged on foreign foe
Can act, is acting there against man's life:
[80] From flashing scimitar to secret knife,
War mouldeth there each weapon to his need—
So may he guard the sister and the wife,
So may he make each curst oppressor bleed—
So may such foes deserve the most remorseless deed!



Flows there a tear of Pity for the dead?
Look o'er the ravage of the reeking plain;
Look on the hands with female slaughter red;
Then to the dogs resign the unburied slain,
Then to the vulture let each corse remain,
Albeit unworthy of the prey-bird's maw;
Let their bleached bones, and blood's unbleaching stain,
Long mark the battle-field with hideous awe:
Thus only may our sons conceive the scenes we saw!


Nor yet, alas! the dreadful work is done;
Fresh legions pour adown the Pyrenees:
It deepens still, the work is scarce begun,
Nor mortal eye the distant end foresees.
Fall'n nations gaze on Spain; if freed, she frees
More than her fell Pizarros once enchained:
Strange retribution! now Columbia's ease
Repairs the wrongs that Quito's sons sustained,[105]
While o'er the parent clime prowls Murder unrestrained.



Not all the blood at Talavera shed,
Not all the marvels of Barossa's fight,
Not Albuera lavish of the dead,
Have won for Spain her well asserted right.
When shall her Olive-Branch be free from blight?
When shall she breathe her from the blushing toil?
How many a doubtful day shall sink in night,
Ere the Frank robber turn him from his spoil,
And Freedom's stranger-tree grow native of the soil![106]


And thou, my friend!—since unavailing woe[dk][107] [19.B.]
Bursts from my heart, and mingles with the strain—
[83] Had the sword laid thee with the mighty low,
Pride might forbid e'en Friendship to complain:
But thus unlaurelled to descend in vain,
By all forgotten, save the lonely breast,
And mix unbleeding with the boasted slain,
While Glory crowns so many a meaner crest!
What hadst thou done to sink so peacefully to rest?


Oh, known the earliest, and esteemed the most![dl][108]
Dear to a heart where nought was left so dear![dm]
Though to my hopeless days for ever lost,
In dreams deny me not to see thee here!
And Morn in secret shall renew the tear
Of Consciousness awaking to her woes,
And Fancy hover o'er thy bloodless bier,[dn]
Till my frail frame return to whence it rose,
And mourned and mourner lie united in repose.


Here is one fytte[109] of Harold's pilgrimage:
Ye who of him may further seek to know,
[84] Shall find some tidings in a future page,
If he that rhymeth now may scribble moe.
Is this too much? stern Critic! say not so:
Patience! and ye shall hear what he beheld
In other lands, where he was doomed to go:
Lands that contain the monuments of Eld,
Ere Greece and Grecian arts by barbarous hands were quelled.


[1] "The first and second cantos of Childe Harold were written in separate portions by the noble author. They were afterwards arranged for publication; and when thus arranged, the whole was copied. This copy was placed in Lord Byron's hands, and he made various alterations, corrections, and large additions. These, together with the notes, are in his Lordship's own handwriting. The manuscript thus corrected was sent to the press, and was printed under the direction of Robt. Chas. Dallas, Esq., to whom Lord Byron had given the copyright of the poem. The MS., as it came from the printers, was preserved by Mr. Dallas, and is now in the possession of his son, the Rev. Alex. Dallas."

[See Dallas Transcript, p. 1. Mus. Brit. Bibl. Egerton, 2027. Press 526. H. T.]

[a] {3} Advertisement to be prefixed ye Poem.—[MS. B.M.]

[b] Professes to describe.—[MS. B.M.]

[c] ——that in the fictitious character of "Childe Harold" I may incur the suspicion of having drawn "from myself." This I beg leave once for all to disclaim. I wanted a character to give some connection to the poem, and the one adopted suited my purpose as well as any other.—[MS. B.M.]

[d] {4} Such an idea.—[MS. B.M.]

[e] My readers will observe that where the author speaks in his own person he assumes a very different tone from that of

"The cheerless thing, the man without a friend,"

at least, till death had deprived him of his nearest connections.

I crave pardon for this Egotism, which proceeds from my wish to discard any probable imputation of it to the text.—[MS. B.M.]

[2] ["In the 13th and 14th centuries the word 'child,' which signifies a youth of gentle birth, appears to have been applied to a young noble awaiting knighthood, e.g. in the romances of Ipomydon, Sir Tryamour, etc. It is frequently used by our old writers as a title, and is repeatedly given to Prince Arthur in the Faërie Queene"—(N. Eng. Dict., art. "Childe").

Byron uses the word in the Spenserian sense, as a title implying youth and nobility.]

[3] [John, Lord Maxwell, slew Sir James Johnstone at Achmanhill, April 6, 1608, in revenge for his father's defeat and death at Dryffe Sands, in 1593. He was forced to flee to France. Hence his "Good Night." Scott's ballad is taken, with "some slight variations," from a copy in Glenriddel's MSS.—Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, 1810, i. 290-300.]

[4] [Amongst others, The Battle of Talavera, by John Wilson Croker, appeared in 1809; The Vision of Don Roderick, by Walter Scott, in 1811; and Portugal, a Poem, by Lord George Grenville, in 1812.]

[f] Some casual coincidence.—[MS. B.M.]

[5] {5} Beattie's Letters. [See letter to Dr. Blacklock, September 22, 1766 (Life of Beattie, by Sir W. Forbes, 1806, i. 89).]

[g] Satisfied that their failure.—[MS. B.M.]

[6] [See Quarterly Review, March, 1812, vol. vii. p. 191: "The moral code of chivalry was not, we admit, quite pure and spotless, but its laxity on some points was redeemed by the noble spirit of gallantry which courted personal danger in the defence of the sovereign ... of women because they are often lovely, and always helpless; and of the priesthood.... Now, Childe Harold, if not absolutely craven and recreant, is at least a mortal enemy to all martial exertion, a scoffer at the fair sex, and, apparently, disposed to consider all religions as different modes of superstition." The tone of the review is severer than the Preface indicates. Nor does Byron attempt to reply to the main issue of the indictment, an unknightly aversion from war, but rides off on a minor point, the licentiousness of the Troubadours.]

[7] {6} [See Mémoires sur l'Ancienne Chevalerie, par M. De la Curne de Sainte-Palaye, Paris, 1781: "Qu'on lise dans l'auteur du roman de Gérard de Roussillon, en Provençal, les détails très-circonstanciés dans lesquels il entre sur la réception faite par le Comte Gérard à l'ambassadeur du roi Charles; on y verra des particularités singulières qui donnent une etrange idée des moeurs et de la politesse de ces siècles aussi corrompus qu'ignorans" (ii. 69). See, too, ibid., ante, p. 65: "Si l'on juge des moeurs d'un siècle par les écrits qui nous en sont restés, nous serons en droit de juger que nos ancêtres observèrent mal les loix que leur prescrivirent la décence et l'honnêteté."]

[8] [See Recherches sur les Prérogatives des Dames chez les Gaulois sur les Cours d'Amours, par M. le Président Rolland [d'Erceville], de l'Académie d'Amiens. Paris, 1787, pp. 18-30, 117, etc.]

[9] [The phrase occurs in The Rovers, or the Double Arrangement (Poetry of the Anti-Jacobin, 1854, p. 199), by J. Hookham Frere, a skit on the "moral inculcated by the German dramas—the reciprocal duties of one or more husbands to one or more wives." The waiter at the Golden Eagle at Weimar is a warrior in disguise, and rescues the hero, who is imprisoned in the abbey of Quedlinburgh.]

[10] {7} ["But the age of chivalry is gone—the unbought grace of life, the cheap defence of nations," etc. (Reflections on the Revolution in France, by the Right Hon. Edmund Burke, M.P., 1868, p. 89).]

[11] [Passages relating to the Queen of Tahiti, in Hawkesworth's Voyages, drawn from journals kept by the several commanders, and from the papers of Joseph Banks, Esq. (1773, ii. 106), gave occasion to malicious and humorous comment. (See An Epistle from Mr. Banks, Voyager, Monster-hunter, and Amoroso, To Oberea, Queen of Otaheite, by A.B.C.) The lampoon, "printed at Batavia for Jacobus Opani" (the Queen's Tahitian for "Banks"), was published in 1773. The authorship is assigned to Major John Scott Waring (1747-1819).]

[12] {8} [Compare Childish Recollections: Poetical Works, 1898, i. 84, var. i.—

"Weary of love, of life, devour'd with spleen,
I rest a perfect Timon, not nineteen."]

[13] [John Moore (1729-1802), the father of the celebrated Sir John Moore, published Zeluco. Various views of Human Nature, taken from Life and Manners, Foreign and Domestic, in 1789. Zeluco was an unmitigated scoundrel, who led an adventurous life; but the prolix narrative of his villanies does not recall Childe Harold. There is, perhaps, some resemblance between Zeluco's unbridled childhood and youth, due to the indulgence of a doting mother, and Byron's early emancipation from discipline and control.]

[h] {11} To the Lady Charlotte Harley.—[MS. M.]

[14] [The Lady Charlotte Mary Harley, second daughter of Edward, fifth Earl of Oxford and Mortimer, was born 1801. She married, in 1823, Captain Anthony Bacon (died July 2, 1864), who had followed "young, gallant Howard" (see Childe Harold, III. xxix.) in his last fatal charge at Waterloo, and who, subsequently, during the progress of the civil war between Dom Miguel and Maria da Gloria of Portugal (1828-33), held command as colonel of cavalry in the Queen's forces, and finally as a general officer. Lady Charlotte Bacon died May 9, 1880. Byron's acquaintance with her probably dated from his visit to Lord and Lady Oxford, at Eywood House, in Herefordshire, in October-November, 1812. Her portrait, by Westall, which was painted at his request, is included among the illustrations in Finden's Illustrations of the Life and Works of Lord Byron, ii. See Gent. Mag., N.S., vol. xvii. (1864) p. 261; and an obituary notice in the Times, May 10, 1880, See, too, letter to Murray, March 29, 1813 (Letters, 1898, ii. 200).]

[15] {12} [The reference is to the French proverb, L'Amitié est l'Amour sans Ailes, which suggested the last line (line 412) of Childish Recollections, "And Love, without his pinion, smil'd on youth," and forms the title of one of the early poems, first published in 1832 (Poetical Works, 1898, i. 106, 220).]

[16] [In 1814, when the dedication was published, Byron completed his twenty-sixth year, Ianthe her thirteenth.]

[17] {13} [For the modulation of the verse, compare Pope's lines—

"Correctly cold, and regularly low."

Essay on Criticism, line 240.

"Glows while he reads, but trembles as he writes."

Ibid., line 198.]

[18] [Ianthe ("Flower o' the Narcissus") was the name of a Cretan girl wedded to one Iphis (vid. Ovid., Metamorph., ix. 714). Perhaps Byron's dedication was responsible for the Ianthe of Queen Mab (1812, 1813), who in turn bestowed her name on Shelley's eldest daughter (Mrs. Esdaile, d. 1876), who was born June 28, 1813.]


And long as kinder eyes shall deign to cast
A look along my page, that name enshrined
Shalt thou be first beheld, forgotten last.—[MS.]

[j] {14} Though more than Hope can claim—Ah! less could I require?—[MS.]

[19] {15} [The MS. does not open with stanza i., which was written after Byron returned to England, and appears first in the Dallas Transcript (see letter to Murray, September 5, 1811). Byron and Hobhouse visited Delphi, December 16, 1809, when the First Canto (see stanza lx.) was approaching completion (Travels in Albania, by Lord Broughton, 1858, i. 199).]

[k] Oh, thou of yore esteemed——.—[D.]

[l] Since later lyres are only strung on earth.—[D.]

[20] [For the substitution of the text for vars. ii., iii., see letter to Dallas, September 21, 1811 (Letters, 1898, ii. 43).]


——thy glorious rill.—[D.]
or, —wooed thee, drank the vaunted rill.—[D.]

[n] {16} Sore given to revel and to Pageantry.—[MS. erased.]


He chused the bad, and did the good affright
With concubines——.—[MS.]
No earthly things——.—[D.]

[21] ["We [i.e. Byron and C.S. Matthews] went down [April, 1809] to Newstead together, where I had got a famous cellar, and Monks' dresses from a masquerade warehouse. We were a company of some seven or eight, ... and used to sit up late in our friars' dresses, drinking burgundy, claret, champagne, and what not, out of the skull-cup, and all sorts of glasses, and buffooning all round the house, in our conventual garments" (letter to Murray, November 19, 1820. See, too, the account of this visit which Matthews wrote to his sister in a letter dated May 22, 1809 [Letters, 1898, i. 150-160, and 153, note]). Moore (Life, p. 86) and other apologists are anxious to point out that the Newstead "wassailers" were, on the whole, a harmless crew of rollicking schoolboys "—were, indeed, of habits and tastes too intellectual for mere vulgar debauchery." And as to the "alleged 'harems,'" the "Paphian girls," there were only one or two, says Moore, "among the ordinary menials." But, even so, the "wassailers" were not impeccable, and it is best to leave the story, fact or fable, to speak for itself.

[22] {17} ["Hight" is the preterite of the passive "hote," and means "was called." "Childe Harold he hight" would be more correct. Compare Spenser's Faërie Queene, bk. i. c. ix. 14. 9, "She Queene of Faeries hight." But "hight" was occasionally used with the common verbs "is," "was." Compare The Ordinary, 1651, act iii. sc. 1—

" ... the goblin
That is hight Good-fellow Robin."

Dodsley (ed. Hazlitt), xii. 253.]

[p] Childe Burun———.—[MS.]

[23] [William, fifth Lord Byron (the poet's grand-uncle), mortally wounded his kinsman, Mr. Chaworth, in a duel which was fought, without seconds or witnesses, at the Star and Garter Tavern, Pall Mall, January 29, 1765. He was convicted of wilful murder by the coroner's jury, and of manslaughter by the House of Lords; but, pleading his privilege as a peer, he was set at liberty. He was known to the country-side as the "wicked Lord," and many tales, true and apocryphal, were told to his discredit (Life of Lord Byron, by Karl Elze, 1872, pp. 5, 6).]

[q] ———nor honied glose of rhyme.—[D. pencil.]

[r] Childe Burun———.—[MS.]

[s] {18} For he had on the course too swiftly run.—[MS. erased.]

[t] Had courted many——.—[MS. erased.]

[24] [Mary Chaworth. (Compare "Stanzas to a Lady, on leaving England," passim: Poetical Works, 1898, i. 285.)]

[u] ——Childe Burun——.—[MS.]

[25] {19} [Compare The Lay of the Last Minstrel, Canto I, stanza ix. 9—

"And burning pride and high disdain
Forbade the rising tears to flow."]


And strait he fell into a reverie.—[MS.]
——sullen reverie.—[D.]

[26] [Vide post, stanza xi. line 9, note.]

[w] Strange fate directed still to uses vile.—[MS. erased.]


Now Paphian jades were heard to sing and smile.—[MS. erased.]
Now Paphian nymphs——.—[D. pencil.]

[27] [The brass eagle which was fished out of the lake at Newstead in the time of Byron's predecessor contained, among other documents, "a grant of full pardon from Henry V. of every possible crime ... which the monks might have committed previous to the 8th of December preceding (Murdris, per ipsos post decimum nonum Diem Novembris, ultimo præteritum perpetratis, si quæ fuerint, exceptis)" (Life, p. 2, note). The monks were a constant source of delight to the Newstead "revellers." Francis Hodgson, in his "Lines on a Ruined Abbey in a Romantic Country" (Poems, 1809), does not spare them—

"'Hail, venerable pile!' whose ivied walls
Proclaim the desolating lapse of years:
And hail, ye hills, and murmuring waterfalls,
Where yet her head the ruin'd Abbey rears.
No longer now the matin tolling bell,
Re-echoing loud among the woody glade,
Calls the fat abbot from his drowsy cell,
And warns the maid to flee, if yet a maid.
No longer now the festive bowl goes round,
Nor monks get drunk in honour of their God."]

[y] {20} The original MS. inserts two stanzas which were rejected during the composition of the poem:—

Of all his train there was a henchman page,
peasant                served
A dark eyed boy, who loved his master well;
And often would his pranksome prate engage
Childe Burun's ear, when his proud heart did swell
With sable thoughts that he disdained to tell.
Then would he smile on him, as Rupert smiled,
When aught that from his young lips archly fell
The gloomy film from Burun's eye beguiled;
And pleased the Childe appeared nor ere the boy reviled. And pleased for a glimpse appeared the woeful Childe. } Him and one yeoman only did he take
To travel Eastward to a far countree;
And though the boy was grieved to leave the lake
On whose firm banks he grew from Infancy,
Eftsoons his little heart beat merrily
With hope of foreign nations to behold,
And many things right marvellous to see,
Of which our lying voyagers oft have told,
From Mandevilles' and scribes of similar mold. or, In tomes pricked out with prints to monied ... sold In many a tome as true as Mandeville's of old. }

[z] ——Childe Burun——.—[MS.]

[aa] {21} Stanza ix. was the result of much elaboration. The first draft, which was pasted over the rejected stanzas (vide supra, p. 20, var. i.), retains the numerous erasures and emendations. It ran as follows:—

And none did love him though to hall and bower
few could
Haughty he gathered revellers from far and near
An evil smile just bordering on a sneer
He knew them flatterers of the festal hour
Curled on his lip
The heartless Parasites of present cheer,
As if
And deemed no mortal wight his peer
Yea! none did love him not his lemmans dear
To gentle Dames still less he could be dear
Were aught But pomp and power alone are Woman's care
But And where these are let no Possessor fear
The sex are slaves Maidens like moths are ever caught by glare
Love shrinks outshone by Mammons dazzling glare
And Mammon
That Demon wins his [MS. torn] where Angels might despair.

[28] The "trivial particular" which suggested to Byron the friendlessness and desolation of the Childe may be explained by the refusal of an old schoolfellow to spend the last day with him before he set out on his travels. The friend, possibly Lord Delawarr, excused himself on the plea that "he was engaged with his mother and some ladies to go shopping." "Friendship!" he exclaimed to Dallas. "I do not believe I shall leave behind me, yourself and family excepted, and, perhaps, my mother, a single being who will care what becomes of me" (Dallas, Recollections, etc., pp. 63, 64). Byron, to quote Charles Lamb's apology for Coleridge, was "full of fun," and must not be taken too seriously. Doubtless he was piqued at the moment, and afterwards, to heighten the tragedy of Childe Harold's exile, expanded a single act of negligence into general abandonment and desertion at the hour of trial.

[ab] {22} No! none did love him——.—[D. pencil.]

[29] The word "lemman" is used by Chaucer in both senses, but more frequently in the feminine.—[MS. M.]

[30] "Feere," a consort or mate. [Compare the line, "What when lords go with their feires, she said," in "The Ancient Fragment of the Marriage of Sir Gawaine" (Percy's Reliques, 1812, iii. 416), and the lines—

"As with the woful fere,
And father of that chaste dishonoured dame."

Titus Andronicus, act iv. sc. 1.

Compare, too, "That woman and her fleshless Pheere" (The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere, line 180 of the reprint from the first version in the Lyrical Ballads, 1798; Poems by S. T. Coleridge, 1893, App. E, p. 515).]

[ac] {23} Childe Burun——.—[MS.]

[31] [In a suppressed stanza of "Childe Harold's Good Night" (see p. 27, var. ii.), the Childe complains that he has not seen his sister for "three long years and moe." Before her marriage, in 1807, Augusta Byron divided her time between her mother's children, Lady Chichester and the Duke of Leeds; her cousin, Lord Carlisle; and General and Mrs. Harcourt. After her marriage to Colonel Leigh, she lived at Newmarket. From the end of 1805 Byron corresponded with her more or less regularly, but no meeting took place. In a letter to his sister, dated November 30, 1808 (Letters, 1898, i. 203), he writes, "I saw Col. Leigh at Brighton in July, where I should have been glad to have seen you; I only know your husband by sight." Colonel Leigh was his first cousin, as well as his half-sister's husband, and the incidental remark that "he only knew him by sight" affords striking proof that his relations and connections were at no pains to seek him out, but left him to fight his own way to social recognition and distinction. (For particulars of "the Hon. Augusta Byron," see Letters, 1898, i. 18, note.)]

[ad] Of friends he had but few, embracing none.—[MS. erased.]

[ae] Yet deem him not from this with breast of steel.—[MS. D.]

[32] [Compare Campbell's Gertrude of Wyoming, ii. 8. 1—"Yet deem not Gertrude sighed for foreign joy."]

[af] {24} His house, his home, his vassals, and his lands.—[MS. D.]


The Dalilahs——.—[MS. D.]
His damsels all——.—[MS. erased.]

[ah] ——where brighter sunbeams shine.—[MS. erased.]

[33] "Your objection to the expression 'central line' I can only meet by saying that, before Childe Harold left England, it was his full intention to traverse Persia, and return by India, which he could not have done without passing the equinoctial" (letter to Dallas, September 7, 1811; see, too, letter to his mother, October 7, 1808: Letters, 1898, i. 193; ii. 27).

[ai] The sails are filled——.—[MS.]

[34] He experienced no such emotion on the resumption of his Pilgrimage in 1816. With reference to the confession, he writes (Canto III. stanza i. lines 6-9)—

" ... I depart,
Whither I know not; but the hour's gone by,
When Albion's lessening shores could grieve or glad mine eye."

[35] {25} [See Lord Maxwell's "Good Night" in Scott's Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (Poetical Works, ii. 141, ed. 1834): "Adieu, madam, my mother dear," etc. [MS.]. Compare, too, Armstrong's "Good Night" ibid.

"This night is my departing night,
For here nae langer mun I stay;
There's neither friend nor foe of mine,
But wishes me away.
What I have done thro' lack of will,
I never, never can recall;
I hope ye're a' my friends as yet.
Good night, and joy be with you all."]

[36] {26} [Robert Rushton, the son of one of the Newstead tenants. "Robert I take with me; I like him, because, like myself, he seems a friendless animal. Tell Mr. Rushton his son is well, and doing well" (letter to Mrs. Byron, Falmouth, June 22, 1809: Letters, 1898, i. 224).]

[aj] {27}

Our best gos-hawk can hardly fly
So merrily along.—[MS.]
Our best greyhound can hardly fly.—[D. erased.]

[ak] Here follows in the MS. the following erased stanza:—

My mother is a high-born dame,
And much misliketh me;
She saith my riot bringeth shame
On all my ancestry.
I had a sister once I ween,
Whose tears perhaps will flow;
But her fair face I have not seen
For three long years and moe.


Oh master dear I do not cry
From fear of wave or wind.—[MS.]

[37] [Robert was sent back from Gibraltar under the care of Joe Murray (see letter to Mr. Rushton, August 15, 1809: Letters, 1898, i. 242).]

[38] {28} [William Fletcher, Byron's valet. He was anything but "staunch" in the sense of the song (see Byron's letters of November 12, 1809, and June 28, 1810) (Letters, 1898, i. 246, 279); but for twenty years he remained a loyal and faithful servant, helped to nurse his master in his last illness, and brought his remains back to England.]

[am] {29}

Enough, enough, my yeoman good.
All this is well to say;
But if I in thy sandals stood
I'd laugh to get away.—[MS. erased, D.]


For who would trust a paramour
Or e'en a wedded feere
Though her blue eyes were streaming o'er,
And torn her yellow hair?—[MS.]

[39] ["I leave England without regret—I shall return to it without pleasure. I am like Adam, the first convict sentenced to transportation, but I have no Eve, and have eaten no apple but what was sour as a crab" (letter to F. Hodgson, Falmouth, June 25, 1809, Letters, 1898, i. 230). If this Confessio Amantis, with which compare the "Stanzas to a Lady, on leaving England," is to be accepted as bonâ fide, he leaves England heart-whole, but for the bitter memory of Mary Chaworth.]

[ao] {30} Here follows in the MS., erased:—

Methinks it would my bosom glad,
To change my proud estate,
And be again a laughing lad
With one beloved playmate.
Since youth I scarce have pass'd an hour
Without disgust or pain,
Except sometimes in Lady's bower,
Or when the bowl I drain.

[40] ["I do not mean to exchange the ninth verse of the 'Good Night.' I have no reason to suppose my dog better than his brother brutes, mankind; and Argus we know to be a fable" (letter to Dallas, September 23, 1811: Letters, 1898, ii. 44).

Byron was recalling an incident which had befallen him some time previously (see letter to Moore, January 19, 1815): "When I thought he was going to enact Argus, he bit away the backside of my breeches, and never would consent to any kind of recognition, in despite of all kinds of bones which I offered him." See, too, for another thrust at Argus, Don Juan, Canto III. stanza xxiii. But he should have remembered that this particular Argus "was half a wolf by the she side." His portrait is preserved at Newstead (see Poetical Works, 1898, i. 280, Edition de Luxe).

For the expression of a different sentiment, compare The Inscription on the Monument of a Newfoundland Dog (first published in Hobhouse's Imit. and Transl., 1809), and the prefatory inscription on Boatswain's grave in the gardens of Newstead, dated November 16, 1808 (Life, p. 73).]

[41] {31} [Cintra's "needle-like peaks," to the north-west of Lisbon, are visible from the mouth of the Tagus.]

[42] [Compare Ovid, Amores, i. 15, and Pliny, Hist. Nat., iv. 22. Small particles of gold are still to be found in the sands of the Tagus, but the quantity is, and perhaps always was, inconsiderable.]

[ap] ——where thronging rustics reap.—[MS. erased.]

[aq] {32} What God hath done—[MS. D.]

[ar] Those Lusian brutes and earth from worst of wretches purge.—[MS.]

[43] ["Lisboa is the Portuguese word, consequently the very best. Ulissipont is pedantic; and as I have Hellas and Eros not very long before, there would be something like an affectation of Greek terms, which I wish to avoid" (letter to Dallas, September 23, 1811: Letters, 1898, ii. 44. See, too, Poetical Works, 1883, p. 5).]

[as] Ulissipont, or Lisbona.—[MS. pencil.]


Which poets, prone to lie, have paved with gold.—[MS.]
Which poets sprinkle o'er with sands of gold.—[MS. pencil.]
Which fabling poets—[D. pencil.]

[44] {33} [For Byron's estimate of the Portuguese, see The Curse of Minerva, lines 233, 234, and note to line 231 (Poetical Works, 1898, i. 469, 470). In the last line of the preceding stanza, the substitution of the text for var. i. was no doubt suggested by Dallas in the interests of prudence.]


Who hate the very hand that waves the sword
To shield them, etc.—[MS. D.]
To guard them, etc.—[MS. pencil.]


Mid many things that grieve both nose and ee.—[MS.]
Midst many——.—[MS. D.]

[aw] ——smelleth filthily.—[MS. D.]

[ax] ——dammed with dirt.—[MS. erased.]

[45] {34} [For a fuller description of Cintra, see letter to Mrs. Byron, dated August 11, 1808 (Life, p. 92; Letters, 1898, i. 237). Southey, not often in accord with Byron, on his return from Spain (1801) testified that "for beauty all English, perhaps all existing, scenery must yield to Cintra" (Life and Corr. of R. Southey, ii. 161).]

[ay] ——views too sweet and vast——.—[MS. erased.]


——by tottering convent crowned.—[MS. erased.]
Alcornoque.—[Note (pencil).]

[46] "The sky-worn robes of tenderest blue." Collins' Ode to Pity [MS. and D.].

[ba] The murmur that the sparkling torrents keep.—[MS. erased.]

[47] {35} [The convent of Nossa Señora (now the Palazio) da Peña, and the Cork Convent, were visited by Beckford (circ. 1780), and are described in his Italy, with Sketches of Spain and Portugal (8vo, 1834), the reissue of his Letters Picturesque and Poetical (4to, 1783).

"Our first object was the convent of Nossa Senhora da Penha, the little romantic pile of white building I had seen glittering from afar when I first sailed by the coast of Lisbon. From this pyramidical elevation the view is boundless; you look immediately down upon an immense expanse of sea.

... A long series of detached clouds of a dazzling whiteness suspended low over the waves had a magic effect, and in pagan times might have appeared, without any great stretch of fancy, the cars of marine divinities, just risen from the bosom of their element."—Italy, etc., p. 249.

"Before the entrance, formed by two ledges of ponderous rock, extends a smooth level of greensward.... The Hermitage, its cell, chapel, and refectory, are all scooped out of the native marble, and lined with the bark of the cork tree. Several of the passages are not only roofed, but floored with the same material ... The shrubberies and garden-plots dispersed amongst the mossy rocks ... are delightful, and I took great pleasure in ... following the course of a transparent rill, which was conducted through a rustic water-shoot, between bushes of lavender and roses, many of the tenderest green."—Ibid., p. 250.

The inscription to the memory of Honorius (d. 159, æt. 95) is on a stone in front of the cave—

"Hic Honorius vitam finivit;
Et ideo cum Deo in coelis revivit."]

[48] {36} "I don't remember any crosses there."—[Pencilled note by J.C. Hobhouse.]

[The crosses made no impression upon Hobhouse, who, no doubt, had realized that they were nothing but guideposts. For an explanation, see letter of Mr. Matthew Lewtas to the Athenæum, July 19, 1873: "The track from the main road to the convent, rugged and devious, leading up to the mountain, is marked out by numerous crosses now, just as it was when Byron rode along it in 1809, and it would appear he fell into the mistake of considering that the crosses were erected to show where assassinations had been committed."]

[49] [Beckford, describing the view from the convent, notices the wild flowers which adorned "the ruined splendour." "Amidst the crevices of the mouldering walls ... I noticed some capillaries and polypodiums of infinite delicacy; and on a little flat space before the convent a numerous tribe of pinks, gentians, and other Alpine plants, fanned and invigorated by the fresh mountain air."—Italy, etc., 1834, p. 229.

The "Prince's palace" (line 5) may be the royal palace at Cintra, "the Alhambra of the Moorish kings," or, possibly, the palace (vide post, stanza xxix. line 7) at Mafra, ten miles from Cintra.]

[bb] {37} There too proud Vathek—England's wealthiest son.—[MS. D.]

[50] [William Beckford, 1760 (?1759)-1844, published Vathek in French in 1784, and in English in 1787. He spent two years (1794-96) in retirement at Quinta da Monserrate, three miles from Cintra. Byron thought highly of Vathek. "I do not know," he writes (The Giaour, l. 1328, note), "from what source the author ... may have drawn his materials ... but for correctness of costume ... and power of imagination, it surpasses all European imitations.... As an Eastern tale, even Rasselas must bow before it; his happy valley will not bear a comparison with the 'Hall of Eblis.'" In the MS. there is an additional stanza reflecting on Beckford, which Dallas induced him to omit. It was afterwards included by Moore among the Occasional Pieces, under the title of To Dives: a Fragment (Poetical Works, 1883, p. 548). (For Beckford, see Letters, 1898, i. 228, note 1; and with regard to the "Stanzas on Vathek," see letter to Dallas, September 26, 1811: Letters, 1898, ii. 47.)]


When Wealth and Taste their worst and best have done,
Meek Peace pollution's lure voluptuous still must shun.—[MS.]


But now thou blasted Beacon unto man.—[MS.]
——thou Beacon unto erring man.—[MS. D.]

[be] {38} Vain are the pleasaunces by art supplied.—[MS. D.]

[bf] ——yclad, and by.—[MS. D.]

[bg] Where blazoned glares a name spelt "Wellesley."—[MS. D.]

[bh] ——are on the roll.—[MS. erased, D.]

[bi] The following stanzas, which appear in the MS., were excluded at the request of Dallas (see his letter of October 10, 1811, Recollections of the Life of Lord Byron, 1824, pp. 173-187), Letters, 1898, ii. 51:—

In golden characters right well designed
First on the list appeareth one "Junot;"
Then certain other glorious names we find,
(Which Rhyme compelleth me to place below:)
Dull victors! baffled by a vanquished foe,
Wheedled by conynge tongues of laurels due,
Stand, worthy of each other in a row
Sirs Arthur, Harry, and the dizzard Hew
Dalrymple, seely wight, sore dupe of t'other tew.
Convention is the dwarfy demon styled
That failed the knights in Marialva's dome:
Of brains (if brains they had) he them beguiled,
And turned a nation's shallow joy to gloom.
For well I wot, when first the news did come
That Vimiera's field by Gaul was lost,
For paragraph ne paper scarce had room,
Such Pæans teemed for our triumphant host,
In Courier, Chronicle, and eke in Morning Post.
But when Convention sent his handy workbr /> Pens, tongues, feet, hands combined in wild uproar;
Mayor, Aldermen, laid down the uplifted fork;
The Bench of Bishops half forgot to snore;
Stern Cobbett,[A]who for one whole week forbore
To question aught, once more with transport leapt,
And bit his devilish quill agen, and swore
With foes such treaty never should be kept,
While roared the blatant Beast,[B] and roared, and raged, and—slept!!
Thus unto Heaven appealed the people: Heaven
Which loves the lieges of our gracious King,
Decreed that ere our Generals were forgiven,
Enquiry should be held about the thing.
But Mercy cloaked the babes beneath her wing;
And as they spared our foes so spared we them;
(Where was the pity of our Sires for Byng?)[C]
Yet knaves, not idiots should the law condemn;
Then live ye gallant Knights! and bless your Judges' phlegm!

[A] [Sir Hew Dalrymple's despatch on the so-called Convention of Cintra is dated September 3, and was published in the London Gazette Extraordinary, September 16, 1808. The question is not alluded to in the Weekly Political Register of September 17, but on the 24th Cobbett opened fire with a long article (pp. 481-502) headed, "Conventions in Portugal," which was followed up by articles on the same subject in the four succeeding issues. Articles iii., iv., v., vi., of the "Definitive Convention" provided for the restoration of the French troops and their safe convoy to France, with their artillery, equipments, and cavalry. "Did the men," asks Cobbett (September 24), "who made this promise beat the Duke d'Abrantés [Junot], or were they like curs, who, having felt the bite of the mastiff, lose all confidence in their number, and, though they bark victory, suffer him to retire in quiet, carrying off his bone to be disposed of at his leisure? No, not so; for they complaisantly carry the bone for him." The rest of the article is written in a similar strain.]

[B] ["'Blatant beast.'[*] A figure for the mob. I think first used by Smollett, in his Adventures of an Atom.[**] Horace has the 'bellua multorum capitum.'[***] In England, fortunately enough, the illustrious mobility has not even one."—[MS.]]

[*] [Spenser (Faërie Queene, bk. vi. cantos iii. 24; xii. 27, sq.) personifies the vox populi, with its thousand tongues, as the "blatant beast."]

[**][In The History and Adventures of an Atom (Smollett's Works, 1872, vi. 385), Foksi-Roku (Henry Fox, the first Lord Holland) passes judgment on the populace. "The multitude, my lords, is a many-headed monster, it is a Cerberus that must have a sop; it is a wild beast, so ravenous that nothing but blood will appease its appetite; it is a whale, that must have a barrel for its amusement; it is a demon, to which we must offer human sacrifice.... Bihn-Goh must be the victim—happy if the sacrifice of his single life can appease the commotions of his country." Foksi-Roku's advice is taken, and Bihn-Goh (Byng) "is crucified for cowardice."]

[***][Horace, Odes, II. xiii. 34: "Bellua centiceps."]

[C]"By this query it is not meant that our foolish generals should have been shot, but that Byng [Admiral John Byng, born 1704, was executed March 14, 1757] might have been spared; though the one suffered and the others escaped, probably for Candide's reason 'pour encourager les autres.'"[****]—[MS.]

[****] ["Dans ce pays-ci il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres."—Candide, xxii.]

[51] {39} [On August 21, 1808, Sir Harry Burrard (1755-1813) superseded in command Sir Arthur Wellesley, who had, on the same day, repulsed Junot at Vimiera. No sooner had he assumed his position as commander-in-chief, than he countermanded Wellesley's order to give pursuit and make good the victory. The next day (August 22) Sir Hew Dalrymple in turn superseded Burrard, and on the 23rd, General Kellerman approached the English with certain proposals from Junot, which a week later were formulated by the so-called Convention of Cintra, to which Kellerman and Wellesley affixed their names. When the news reached England that Napoleon's forces had been repulsed with loss, and yet the French had been granted a safe exit from Portugal, the generals were assailed with loud and indiscriminate censure. Burrard's interference with Wellesley's plans was no doubt ill-judged and ill-timed; but the opportunity of pursuit having been let slip, the acceptance of Junot's terms was at once politic and inevitable. A court of inquiry, which was held in London in January, 1809, upheld both the armistice of August 22 and the Convention; but neither Dalrymple nor Burrard ever obtained a second command, and it was not until Talavera (July 28, 1809) had effaced the memories of Cintra that Wellesley was reinstated in popular favour.]

[bj] {41} ——at the mention sweat.—[MS. D.]

[bk] {42} More restless than the falcon as he flies.—[MS. erased.]

[52] [With reference to this passage, while yet in MS., an early reader (?Dallas) inquires, "What does this mean?" And a second (?Hobhouse) rejoins, "What does the question mean? It is one of the finest stanzas I ever read."]

[53] [Byron and Hobhouse sailed from Falmouth, July 2, 1809; reached Lisbon on the 6th or 7th; and on the 17th started from Aldea Galbega ("the first stage from Lisbon, which is only accessible by water") on horseback for Seville. "The horses are excellent—we rode seventy miles a day" (see letters of August 6 to F. Hodgson, and August 11, 1809, to Mrs. Byron; Letters, 1898, i. 234, 236).]

[bl] ——long foreign to his soul.—[MS. erased.]

[bm] ——the strumpet and the bowl.—[MS. D]

[bn] {43} And countries more remote his hopes engage.—[MS. erased.]


Where dwelt of yore the Lusians' crazy queen,—[MS.]
Where dwelt of yore Lusania's——.—[D.]

[54] [Her luckless Majesty went subsequently mad; and Dr. Willis, who so dexterously cudgelled kingly pericraniums, could make nothing of hers. (For the Rev. Francis Willis, see Poetical Works, 1898, i. 416.)

Maria I. (b. 1734), who married her uncle, Pedro III., reigned with him 1777-86, and, as sole monarch, from 1786 to 1816. The death of her husband, of her favourite confessor, Ignatio de San Caetano, who had been raised by Pombal from the humblest rank to the position of archbishop in partibus, and of her son, turned her brain, and she became melancholy mad. She was only queen in name after 1791, and in 1799 her son, Maria José Luis, was appointed regent. Beckford saw her in 1787, and was impressed by her dignified bearing. "Justice and clemency," he writes, "the motto so glaringly misapplied on the banner of the abhorred Inquisition, might be transferred, with the strictest truth, to this good princess" (Italy, with Sketches of Spain and Portugal, 1834, p. 256). Ten years later, Southey, in his Letters from Spain, 1797, p. 541, ascribes the "gloom" of the court of Lisbon to "the dreadful malady of the queen." When the Portuguese royal family were about to embark for Brazil in November, 1807, the queen was once more seen in public after an interval of sixteen years. "She had to wait some while upon the quay for the chair in which she was to be carried to the boat, and her countenance, in which the insensibility of madness was only disturbed by wonder, formed a striking contrast to the grief which appeared in every other face" (Southey's History of the Peninsular War, i. 110).]

[bp] {44} Childe Burun——.—[MS.]


Less swoln with culture soon the vales extend
And long horizon-bounded realms appear.—[MS. erased.]

[br] {45} Say Muse what bounds——.—[MS. D.]

[55] The Pyrenees.—[MS.]

[56] [If, as stanza xliii. of this canto (added in 1811) intimates, Byron passed through "Albuera's plain" on his way from Lisbon to Seville, he must have crossed the frontier at a point between Elvas and Badajoz. In that case the "silver streamlet" may be identified as the Caia. Beckford remarks on "the rivulet which separates the two kingdoms" (Italy, etc., 1834, p. 291).]

[bs] {46} But eer the bounds of Spain have far been passed.—[MS. D.]


For ever famed—in many a native song.—[MS. erased.]
——a noted song.—[MS. D.]

[57] [Compare Virgil, Æneid, i. 100—

"Ubi tot Simois correpta sub undis
Scuta virûm galeasque et fortia corpora volvit."]

[58] [The standard, a cross made of Asturian oak (La Cruz de la Victoria), which was said to have fallen from heaven before Pelayo gained the victory over the Moors at Cangas, in A.D. 718, is preserved at Oviedo. Compare Southey's Roderick, XXV.: Poetical Works, 1838, ix. 241, and note, pp. 370, 371.]

[bu]which Pelagius bore.—[MS. D.]

[59] {47} [The Moors were finally expelled from Granada in 1492, in the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella.]

[bv] ——waxed the Crescent pale.—[MS. erased.]

[60] [The reference is to the Romanceros and Caballerías of the sixteenth century.]

[bw] ——thy little date.—[MS. erased.]


——from rock to rock
Blue columns soaring loft in sulphury wreath
Fragments on fragments in contention knock.—[MS. erased, D.]

[61] "The Siroc is the violent hot wind that for weeks together blows down the Mediterranean from the Archipelago. Its effects are well known to all who have passed the Straits of Gibraltar."—[MS. D.]

[62] {49} [The battle of Talavera began July 27, 1809, and lasted two days. As Byron must have reached Seville by the 21st or 22nd of the month, he was not, as might be inferred, a spectator of any part of the engagement. Writing to his mother, August 11, he says, "You have heard of the battle near Madrid, and in England they would call it a victory—a pretty victory! Two hundred officers and five thousand men killed, all English, and the French in as great force as ever. I should have joined the army, but we have no time to lose before we get up the Mediterranean."—Letters, i. 241.]


Their rival scarfs that shine so gloriously.—[MS. erased.]
Their rural scarfs——.—[MS. D.]

[63] [Compare Campbell's "Hohenlinden"—"Few, few shall part where many meet."]

[64] {50} [Compare Macbeth, act i. sc. 2, line 51—"Where the Norweyan banners flout the sky."]

[65] [In a letter to Colonel Malcolm, December 3, 1809, the Duke admits that the spoils of conquest were of a moral rather than of a material kind. "The battle of Talavera was certainly the hardest fought of modern days.... It is lamentable that, owing to the miserable inefficiency of the Spaniards, ... the glory of the action is the only benefit which we have derived from it.... I have in hand a most difficult task.... In such circumstances one may fail, but it would be dishonourable to shrink from the task."—Wellington Dispatches, 1844, iii. 621.]


There shall they rot—while rhymers tell the fools
How honour decks the turf that wraps their clay!
Liars avaunt!——.—[MS.]

[66] Two lines of Collins' Ode, "How sleep the brave," etc., have been compressed into one—

"There Honour comes a pilgrim grey,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay."

[ca] But Reason's elf in these beholds——.—[D.]

[cb] {51}

——a fancied throne
As if they compassed half that hails their sway.—[MS. erased.]

[cc] ——glorious sound of grief.—[D.]

[67] [The battle of Albuera (May 16, 1811), at which the English, under Lord Beresford, repulsed Soult, was somewhat of a Pyrrhic victory. "Another such a battle," wrote the Duke, "would ruin us. I am working hard to put all right again." The French are said to have lost between 8000 and 9000 men, the English 4158, the Spaniards 1365.]

[cd] A scene for mingling foes to boast and bleed.—[D.]

[ce] Yet peace be with the perished—-.—[D. erased.]

[cf] And tears and triumph make their memory long.—[D. erased.]

[cg] ——there sink with other woes.—[D. erased.]

[68] [Albuera was celebrated by Scott, in his Vision of Don Roderick. The Battle of Albuera, a Poem (anon.), was published in October, 1811.]

[ch] {52} Who sink in darkness——.—[MS. erased.]

[ci] ——swift Rapines path pursued.—[MS. D.]

[cj] To Harold turn we as——.—[MS. erased.]

[69] [In this "particular" Childe Harold did not resemble his alter ego. Hobhouse and "part of the servants" (Joe Murray, Fletcher, a German, and the "page" Robert Rushton, constituted his "whole suite"), accompanied Byron in his ride across Spain from Lisbon to Gibraltar. (See Letters, 1898, i. 224, 236.)]

[ck] Where proud Sevilha——.—[MS. D.]

[70] {53} [Byron, en route for Gibraltar, passed three days at Seville at the end of July or the beginning of August, 1809. By the end of January, 1810, the French had appeared in force before Seville. Unlike Zaragoza and Gerona, the pleasure-loving city, "after some negotiations, surrendered, with all its stores, foundries, and arsenal complete, and on the 1st of February the king [Joseph] entered in triumph" (Napier's History of the War in the Peninsula, ii. 295).]

[71] [A kind of fiddle with only two strings, played on by a bow, said to have been brought by the Moors into Spain.]

[cl] Not here the Trumpet, but the rebeck sounds.—[MS. erased.]

[cm] And dark-eyed Lewdness——.—[MS. erased.]

[72] [See The Waltz: Poetical Works, 1898, i. 492, note 1.]

[cn] {54} Not in the toils of Glory would ye sweat.—[MS. erased, D.]

[73] [The scene is laid on the heights of the Sierra Morena. The travellers are looking across the "long level plain" of the Guadalquivir to the mountains of Ronda and Granada, with their "hill-forts ...perched everywhere like eagles' nests" (Ford's Handbook for Spain, i. 252). The French, under Dupont, entered the Morena, June 2, 1808. They stormed the bridge at Alcolea, June 7, and occupied Cordoba, but were defeated at Bailen, July 19, and forced to capitulate. Hence the traces of war. The "Dragon's nest" (line 7) is the ancient city of Jaen, which guards the skirts of the Sierras "like a watchful Cerberus." It was taken by the French, but recaptured by the Spanish, early in July, 1808 (History of the War in the Peninsula, i. 71-80).]

[74] {55} [The Sierra Morena gets its name from the classical Montes Mariani, not, as Byron seems to imply, from its dark and dusky aspect.]

[co] {56} ——the never-changing watch.—[MS. D.]

[cp] The South must own——.—[MS. D.]

[cq] When soars Gaul's eagle——.—[MS. D.]

[75] [As time went on, Byron's sentiments with regard to Napoleon underwent a change, and he hesitates between sympathetic admiration and reluctant disapproval. At the moment his enthusiasm was roused by Spain's heroic resistance to the new Alaric, "the scourger of the world," and he expresses himself like Southey "or another" (vide post, Canto III., pp. 238, 239).]

[76] {57} ["A short two-edged knife or dagger ... formerly worn at the girdle" (N. Eng. Dict., art. "Anlace"). The "anlace" of the Spanish heroines was the national weapon, the puñal, or cuchillo, which was sometimes stuck in the sash (Handbook for Spain, ii. 803).]

[77] [Compare Macbeth, act v. sc. 5, line 10—

"The Time has been, my senses would have cooled
To hear a night-shriek."]


——-the column-scattering bolt afar,
The falchion's flash—[MS. erased, D.]

[cs] {59}

The seal Love's rosy finger has imprest
On her fair chin denotes how soft his touch:
Her lips where kisses make voluptuous nest.—[MS. erased.]

[78] [Writing to his mother (August 11, 1809), Byron compares "the Spanish style" of beauty to the disadvantage of the English: "Long black hair, dark languishing eyes, clear olive complexions, and forms more graceful in motion than can be conceived by an Englishman ... render a Spanish beauty irresistible" (Letters, 1898, i. 239). Compare, too, the opening lines of The Girl of Cadiz, which gave place to the stanzas To Inez, at the close of this canto—

"Oh never talk again to me
Of northern climes and British ladies."

But in Don Juan, Canto XII. stanzas lxxiv.-lxxvii., he makes the amende to the fair Briton—

"She cannot step as doth an Arab barb,
Or Andalusian girl from mass returning.

But though the soil may give you time and trouble,
Well cultivated, it will render double."]

[ct] {60}

Beauties that need not fear a broken vow.—[MS. erased.]
——a lecher's vow.—[MS.]

[79] [The summit of Parnassus is not visible from Delphi or the neighbourhood. Before he composed "these stanzas" (December 16), (see note 13.B.) at the foot of Parnassus, Byron had first surveyed its "snow-clad" majesty as he sailed towards Vostizza (on the southern shore of the Gulf of Corinth), which he reached on the 5th, and quitted on the 14th of December. "The Echoes" (line 8) which were celebrated by the ancients (Justin, Hist., lib. xxiv. cap. 6), are those made by the Phædriades, or "gleaming peaks," a "lofty precipitous escarpment of red and grey limestone" at the head of the valley of the Pleistus, facing southwards.—Travels in Albania, i. 188, 199; Geography of Greece, by H. F. Tozer, 1873, p. 230.]

[cu] Not in the landscape of a fabled lay.—[MS. D.]

[80] {61} ["Upon Parnassus, going to the fountain of Delphi (Castri) in 1809, I saw a flight of twelve eagles (Hobhouse said they were vultures—at least in conversation), and I seized the omen. On the day before, I composed the lines to Parnassus [in Childe Harold] and, on beholding the birds, had a hope that Apollo had accepted my homage. I have, at least, had the name and fame of a poet during the poetical period of life (from twenty to thirty). Whether it will last is another matter; but I have been a votary of the deity and the place, and am grateful for what he has done in my behalf, leaving the future in his hands, as I left the past" (B. Diary, 1821).]

[cv] {62} And walks with glassy steps o'er Aganippe's wave.—[MS. erased.]


Let me some remnant of thy Spirit bear
Some glorious thought to my petition grant.—[MS. erased, D.]

[81] ["Parnassus ... is distinguished from all other Greek mountains by its mighty mass. This, with its vast buttresses, almost fills up the rest of the country" (Geography of Greece, by H.F. Tozer, 1873, p. 226).]

[82] {63} [In his first letter from Spain (to F. Hodgson, August 6, 1809) Byron exclaims, "Cadiz, sweet Cadiz!—it is the first spot in the creation ... Cadiz is a complete Cythera." See, too, letter to Mrs. Byron, August 11, 1809 (Letters, 1898, i. 234, 239).]


While boyish blood boils gaily, who can 'scape
The lurking lures of thy enchanting gaze.—[MS. erased.]

[83] {64} [It must not be supposed that the "thousand altars" of Cadiz correspond with and are in contrast to the "one dome" of Paphos. The point is that where Venus fixes her shrine, at Paphos or at Cadiz, altars blaze and worshippers abound (compare Æneid, i. 415-417)—

"Ipsa Paphum sublimis abit, sedesque revisit
Læta suas, ubi templum illi, centumque Sabæo
Ture calent aræ."]

[84] [Compare Milton's Paradise Lost, i.—

... from morn
To noon he fell, from noon to dewy eve.]

[85] [It was seldom that Byron's memory played him false, but here a vague recollection of a Shakespearian phrase has beguiled him into a blunder. He is thinking of Hamlet's jibe on the corruption of manners, "The age is grown so picked that the toe of the peasant comes so near the heel of the courtier, he galls his kibe" (act v. sc. 1, line 150), and he forgets that a kibe is not a heel or a part of a heel, but a chilblain.]


——though in lieu
Of true devotion monkish temples share
The hours misspent, and all in turns is Love or Prayer.——
[MS. erased.]

[cz] ——or rule the hour in turns.——[D.]

[86] {65} [As he intimates in the Preface to Childe Harold, Byron had originally intended to introduce "variations" in his poem of a droll or satirical character. Beattie, Thomson, Ariosto, were sufficient authorities for these humorous episodes. The stanzas on the Convention of Cintra (stanzas xxv.-xxviii. of the MS.), and the four stanzas on Sir John Carr; the concluding stanzas of the MS., which were written in this lighter vein, were suppressed at the instance of Dallas, or Murray, or Gifford. From a passage in a letter to Dallas (August 21, 1811), it appears that Byron had almost made up his mind to leave out "the two stanzas of a buffooning cast on London's Sunday" (Letters, 1898, i. 335). But, possibly, owing to their freedom from any compromising personalities, or because wiser counsels prevailed, they were allowed to stand, and continued (wrote Moore in 1832) to "disfigure the poem."]

[87] [A whiskey is a light carriage in which the traveller is whisked along.]

[da] {66} And humbler gig——.—[MS.]

[db] And droughty man alights and roars for "Roman Purl."[*]—[MS. D.]

[*] A festive liquor so called. Query why "Roman"? [Query if "Roman"? "'Purl Royal,' Canary wine with a dash of the tincture of wormwood" (Grose's Class. Dict.).]

----for Punch or Purl.—[D.]

[dc] Some o'er thy Thames convoy——.—[MS. D.]

[88] [Hone's Everyday Book (1827, ii. 80-87) gives a detailed account of the custom of "swearing on the horns" at Highgate. "The horns, fixed on a pole of about five feet in length, were erected by placing the pole upright on the ground near the person to be sworn, who is requested to take off his hat," etc. The oath, or rather a small part of it, ran as follows: "Take notice what I am saying unto you, for that is the first word of your oath—mind that! You must acknowledge me [the landlord] to be your adopted father, etc.... You must not eat brown bread while you can get white, except you like the brown best. You must not drink small beer while you can get strong, except you like the small best. You must not kiss the maid while you can kiss the mistress, but sooner than lose a good chance you may kiss them both," etc. Drovers, who frequented the "Gate House" at the top of the hill, and who wished to keep the tavern to themselves, are said to have been responsible for the rude beginnings of this tedious foolery.]

[89] {67} [M. Darmesteter quotes a striking passage from Gautier's Voyage en Espagne (xv.), in appreciation of Cadiz and Byron: "L'aspect de Cadix, en venant du large, est charmant. A la voir ainsi étincelante de blancheur entre l'azur de la mer et l'azur du ciel, on dirait une immense couronne de filigrane d'argent; le dôme de la cathédrale, peint en jaune, semble une tiare de vermeil posée au milieu. Les pots de fleurs, les volutes et les tourelles qui terminent les maisons, varient à l'infini la dentelure. Byron a merveilleusement caractérisé la physionomie de Cadix en une seule touche:

"Brillante Cadix, qui t'élèves vers le ciel du milieu du bleu foncé de la mer."]

[90] [The actors in a bull-fight consist of three or four classes: the chulos or footmen, the banderilleros or dart-throwers, the picadores or horsemen, the matadores or espadas the executioners. Each bull-fight, which lasts about twenty minutes, is divided into three stages or acts. In the first act the picadores receive the charge of the bull, defending themselves, but not, as a rule, attacking the foe with their lances or garrochas. In the second act the chulos, who are not mounted, wave coloured cloaks or handkerchiefs in the bull's face, and endeavour to divert his fury from the picadores, in case they have been thrown or worsted in the encounter. At the same time, the banderilleros are at pains to implant in either side of the bull's neck a number of barbed darts ornamented with cut paper, and, sometimes, charged with detonating powder. It is de rigeur to plant the barbs exactly on either side. In the third and final act, the protagonist, the matador or espada, is the sole performer. His function is to entice the bull towards him by waving the muleta or red flag, and, standing in front of the animal, to inflict the death-wound by plunging his sword between the left shoulder and the blade. "The teams of mules now enter, glittering with flags and tinkling with bells, whose gay decorations contrast with the stern cruelty and blood; the dead bull is carried off at a rapid gallop, which always delights the populace."—Handbook for Spain, by Richard Ford, 1898, i. 67-76.]

[91] {70} "The croupe is a particular leap taught in the manège."—[MS.] [Croupe, or croup, denotes the hind quarters of a horse. Compare Scott's ballad of "Young Lochinvar"—"So light to the croupe the fair lady he swung." Here it is used for "croupade," "a high curvet in which the hind legs are brought up under the belly of the horse" (N. Eng. Dict., art. "Croupade.")]

[92] {71} ["Brast" for "burst" is found in Spenser (Faërie Queene, i. 9. 21. 7), and is still current in Lancashire dialect. See Lanc. Gloss. (E. D. S. "brast").]

[93] [One bull-fight, one matador. In describing the last act Byron confuses the chulos or cloak-waving footmen, who had already played their part, with the single champion, the matador, who is about to administer the coup de grâce.]

[dd] ——he lies along the sand.—[MS. erased.]


The trophy corse is reared—disgusting prize.
or, The corse is reared—sparkling the chariot flies.—[MS. M.]

[94] [Compare Virgil, Æneid, viii. 264—

"Pedibusque informe cadaver
Protrahitur. Nequeunt expleri corda tuendo—"]

[95] {72} "The Spaniards are as revengeful as ever. At Santa Otella, I heard a young peasant threaten to stab a woman (an old one, to be sure, which mitigates the offence), and was told, on expressing some small surprise, that this ethic was by no means uncommon."—[MS.]

[96] [Byron's "orthodoxy" of the word "centinel" was suggested by the Spanish centinela, or, perhaps, by Spenser's "centonell" (Faërie Queene, bk. i. c. ix. st. 41, line 8).]


And all whereat the wandering soul revolts
Which that stern dotard dreamed he could encage.—[MS. erased.]

[dg] {73}

Full from the heart of Joy's delicious springs
Some Bitter bubbles up, and even on Roses stings.—[MS.]

[97] [The Dallas Transcript reads "itself," but the MS. and earlier editions "herself."]

[dh] {74}

Had buried then his hopes, no more to rise:
Drugged with dull pleasure! life-abhorring Gloom
Wrote on his faded brow curst Cain's wandering doom.—[MS. erased.]
Had buried there.—[MS. D.]

[98] [Byron's belief or, rather, haunting dread, that he was predestined to evil is to be traced to the Calvinistic teaching of his boyhood (compare Childe Harold, Canto III. stanza lxx. lines 8, 9; and Canto IV. stanza xxxiv. line 6). Lady Byron regarded this creed of despair as the secret of her husband's character, and the source of his aberrations. In a letter to H. C. Robinson, March 5, 1855, she writes, "Not merely from casual expressions, but from the whole tenour of Lord Byron's feelings, I could not but conclude he was a believer in the inspiration of the Bible, and had the gloomiest Calvinistic tenets. To that unhappy view of the relation of the creature to the Creator, I have always ascribed the misery of his life.... Instead of being made happier by any apparent good, he felt convinced that every blessing would be 'turned into a curse' to him. Who, possessed by such ideas, could lead a life of love and service to God or man? They must in a measure realize themselves. 'The worst of it is, I do believe,' he said. I, like all connected with him, was broken against the rock of predestination."]

[99] {75} "Stanzas to be inserted after stanza 86th in Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, instead of the song at present in manuscript."-[MS. note to "To Inez."] [The stanzas To Inez are dated January 25, 1810, on which day Byron and Hobhouse visited Marathon. Most likely they were addressed to Theresa Macri, the "Maid of Athens," or some favourite of the moment, and not to "Florence" (Mrs. Spencer Smith), whom he had recently (January 16) declared emerita to the tune of "The spell is broke, the charm is flown." A fortnight later (February 10), Hobhouse, accompanied by the Albanian Vasilly and the Athenian Demetrius, set out for the Negroponte. "Lord Byron was unexpectedly detained at Athens" (Travels in Albania, i. 390). (For the stanzas to The Girl of Cadiz, which were suppressed in favour of those To Inez, see Poetical Works, 1891, p. 14, and vol. iii. of the present issue.)]

[100] {76} [Compare Horace, Odes, II. xvi. 19, 20—

"Patriæ quis exsul
Se quoque fugit?"]


To other zones howe'er remote
Still, still pursuing clings to me.—[MS. erased.]

[101] [Compare Prior's Solomon, bk. iii. lines 85, 86—

"In the remotest wood and lonely grot
Certain to meet that worst of evils—thought."]

[102] {77} [Cadiz was captured from the Moors by Alonso el Sabio, in 1262. It narrowly escaped a siege, January-February, 1810. Soult commenced a "serious bombardment," May 16, 1812, but, three months later, August 24, the siege was broken up. Stanza lxxxv. is not in the original MS.]

[103] {78} [Charles IV. abdicated March 19, 1808, in favour of his son Ferdinand VII.; and in the following May, Charles once more abdicated on his own behalf, and Ferdinand for himself and his heirs, in favour of Napoleon. Thenceforward Charles was an exile, and Ferdinand a prisoner at Valençay, and Spain, so far as the Bourbons were concerned, remained "kingless," until motives of policy procured the release of the latter, who re-entered his kingdom March 22, 1814.]


Ye, who would more of Spain and Spaniards know,
Sights, Saints, Antiques, Arts, Anecdotes and War,
Go hie ye hence to Paternoster Row
Are they not written in the Boke of Carr,[A]
Green Erin's Knight and Europe's wandering star!
Then listen, Readers, to the Man of Ink,
Hear what he did, and sought, and wrote afar;
All those are cooped within one Quarto's brink,
This borrow, steal,—don't buy,—and tell us what you think.
There may you read with spectacles on eyes,
How many Wellesleys did embark for Spain,[B]
As if therein they meant to colonise,
How many troops y-crossed the laughing main
That ne'er beheld the said return again:
How many buildings are in such a place,
How many leagues from this to yonder plain,
How many relics each cathedral grace,
And where Giralda stands on her gigantic base.[C]
There may you read (Oh, Phoebus, save Sir John!
That these my words prophetic may not err)[D]
All that was said, or sung, and lost, or won,
By vaunting Wellesley or by blundering Frere,[E]
He that wrote half the "Needy Knife-Grinder,"[F]
Thus Poesy the way to grandeur paves[G]
Who would not such diplomatists prefer?
But cease, my Muse, thy speed some respite craves,
Leave legates to the House, and armies to their graves.
Yet here of Vulpes mention may be made,[H][J]
Who for the Junta modelled sapient laws,
Taught them to govern ere they were obeyed:
Certes fit teacher to command, because
His soul Socratic no Xantippe awes;
Blest with a Dame in Virtue's bosom nurst,
With her let silent Admiration pause!
True to her second husband and her first:
On such unshaken fame let Satire do its worst.

[A] "Porphyry said that the prophecies of Daniel were written after their completion, and such may be my fate here; but it requires no second sight to foretell a tome; the first glimpse of the knight was enough."—[MS.]

["I have seen Sir John Carr at Seville and Cadiz, and, like Swift's barber, have been down on my knees to beg he would not put me into black and white" (letter to Hodgson, August 6, 1809, Letters, 1898, i. 235, note).]

[B] "I presume Marquis and Mr. and Pole and Sir A. are returned by this time, and eke the bewildered Frere whose conduct was canvassed by the Commons."—[MS.]

[A motion which had been brought forward in the House of Commons, February 24, 1809, "to inquire into the causes ...of the late campaign in Spain," was defeated, but the Government recalled J. Hookham Frere, British Minister to the Supreme Junta, and nominated the Marquis Wellesley Ambassador Extraordinary to Seville. Wellesley landed in Spain early in August, but a duel which took place, September 21, between Perceval and Canning led to changes in the ministry, and, with a view to taking office, he left Cadiz November 10, 1809. His brother, Henry Wellesley (1773-1847, first Baron Cowley), succeeded him as Envoy Extraordinary. If "Mr." stands for Henry Wellesley, "Pole" may be William Wellesley Pole, afterwards third Earl of Mornington.]

[C][The base of the Giralda, the cathedral tower at Seville, is a square of fifty feet. The pinnacle of the filigree belfry, which surmounts the original Moorish tower, "is crowned with El Girardillo, a bronze statue of La Fé, The Faith.... Although 14 feet high, and weighing 2800 lbs., it turns with the slightest breeze."—Ford's Handbook for Spain, i. 174.]

[D][Vide ante, p. 78, note 2.]

[E]By shrivelled Wellesley——.—[MS. erased.]

[F] "The Needy Knife-grinder," in the Anti-Jacobin, was a joint production of Messrs. Frere and Canning.


None better known for doing things by halves
As many in our Senate did aver.—[MS. erased.]

[H] Yet surely Vulpes merits some applause.—[MS. erased.]

[J] [Henry Richard Vassall Fox, second Lord Holland (1773-1840), accompanied Sir David Baird to Corunna, September, 1808, and made a prolonged tour in Spain, returning in the autumn of 1809. He suggested to the Junta of Seville to extend their functions as a committee of defence, and proposed a new constitution. His wife, Elizabeth Vassall, the daughter of a rich Jamaica planter, was first married (June 27, 1786) to Sir Godfrey Webster, Bart. Sir Godfrey divorced his wife July 3, 1797, and three days later she was married to Lord Holland. She had lived with him for some time previously, and before the divorce had borne him a son, Charles Richard Fox (1796-1873), who was acknowledged by Lord Holland.]

[104] {81} [Stanzas lxxxviii.-xciii., which record the battles of Barossa (March 5, 1811) and Albuera (May 16, 1811), and the death of Byron's school-friend Wingfield (May 14, 1811), were written at Newstead in August, 1811, and take the place of four omitted stanzas (q.v. supra).]

[105] [Francisco Pizarro (1480-1541), with his brothers, Hernando, Juan Gonzalo, and his half-brother Martin de Alcantara, having revisited Spain, set sail for Panama in 1530. During his progress southward from Panama, he took the island of Puna, which formed part of the province of Quito. His defeat and treacherous capture of Atuahalpa, King of Quito, younger brother of Huascar the Supreme Inca, took place in 1532, near the town of Caxamarca, in Peno (Mod. Univ. History, 1763, xxxviii. 295, seq.). Spain's weakness during the Napoleonic invasion was the opportunity of her colonies. Quito, the capital of Ecuador, rose in rebellion, August 10, 1810, and during the same year Mexico and La Plata began their long struggle for independence.]

[106] {82} [During the American War of Independence (1775-83), and afterwards during the French Revolution, it was the custom to plant trees as "symbols of growing freedom." The French trees were decorated with "caps of Liberty." No such trees had ever been planted in Spain. (See note by the Rev. E.C. Everard Owen, Childe Harold, 1897, p. 158.)]


And thou, my friend! since thus my selfish woe
Bursts from my heart,{ to weaken in however light my strain, for ever light the——.—[D.]
Had the sword laid thee, with the mighty, low
Pride had forbade me of thy fall to plain.—[MS. D.]

[107] [Compare the In Memoriam stanzas at the end of Beattie's Minstrel—"And am I left to unavailing woe?" II. 63, line 2.]

[dl] {83} ——belov'd the most.—[MS. D.]

[108] [With reference to this stanza, Byron wrote to Dallas, October 25, 1811 (Letters, 1898, ii. 58, 59), "I send you a conclusion to the whole. In a stanza towards the end of Canto I. in the line,

"Oh, known the earliest and beloved the most,

I shall alter the epithet to 'esteemed the most.'"]

[dm] ——where none so long was dear.—[MS. D.]

[dn] And fancy follow to——.—[MS. D.]

[109] "Fytte" means "part."—[Note erased.]




Yes! sighed o'er Delphi's long deserted shrine.

Stanza i. line 6.

The little village of Castri stands partially on the site of Delphi. Along the path of the mountain, from Chrysso, are the remains of sepulchres hewn in and from the rock:—"One," said the guide, "of a king who broke his neck hunting." His majesty had certainly chosen the fittest spot for such an achievement.

A little above Castri is a cave, supposed the Pythian, of immense depth; the upper part of it is paved, and now a cowhouse.

On the other side of Castri stands a Greek monastery; some way above which is the cleft in the rock, with a range of caverns difficult of ascent, and apparently leading to the interior of the mountain; probably to the Corycian Cavern mentioned by Pausanias. From this part descend the fountain and the "Dews of Castalie."

[Byron and Hobhouse slept at Crissa December 15, and visited Delphi December 16, 1809.—Travels in Albania, i. 199-209.]


And rest ye at "Our Lady's house of Woe."

Stanza xx. line 4.

The convent of "Our Lady of Punishment," Nossa Señora de Pena, on the summit of the rock. Below, at some [86] distance, is the Cork Convent, where St. Honorius dug his den, over which is his epitaph. From the hills, the sea adds to the beauty of the view.—[Note to First Edition.] Since the publication of this poem, I have been informed [by W. Scott, July 1, 1812] of the misapprehension of the term Nossa Señora de Pena. It was owing to the want of the tilde, or mark over the ñ, which alters the signification of the word: with it, Peña signifies a rock; without it, Pena has the sense I adopted. I do not think it necessary to alter the passage; as, though the common acceptation affixed to it is "Our Lady of the Rock," I may well assume the other sense from the severities practised there.—[Note to Second Edition.]


Throughout this purple land, where Law secures not life.

Stanza xxi. line 9.

It is a well-known fact that in the year 1809, the assassinations in the streets of Lisbon and its vicinity were not confined by the Portuguese to their countrymen; but that Englishmen were daily butchered: and so far from redress being obtained, we were requested not to interfere if we perceived any compatriot defending himself against his allies. I was once stopped in the way to the theatre at eight o'clock in the evening, when the streets were not more empty than they generally are at that hour, opposite to an open shop, and in a carriage with a friend: had we not fortunately been armed, I have not the least doubt that we should have "adorned a tale" instead of telling one. The crime of assassination is not confined to Portugal; in Sicily and Malta we are knocked on the head at a handsome average nightly, and not a Sicilian or Maltese is ever punished!


Behold the hall where chiefs were late convened!

Stanza xxiv. line 1.

The Convention of Cintra was signed in the palace of the Marchese Marialva. The late exploits of Lord Wellington have effaced the follies of Cintra. He has, indeed, done wonders; he has perhaps changed the character of a nation, reconciled rival superstitions, and baffled an enemy who never retreated before his predecessor.

["The armistice, the negotiations, the convention, the execution of its provisions, were commenced, conducted, [87] concluded, at the distance of thirty miles from Cintra, with which place they had not the slightest connection, political, military, or local. Yet Lord Byron has sung that the convention was signed in the Marquis of Marialva's house at Cintra" (Napier's History of the War in the Peninsula, i. 161). The "suspension of arms" is dated "Head Quarters of the British Army, August 22, 1808." The "Definitive Convention for the Evacuation of Portugal by the British Army" is dated "Head Quarters, Lisbon, August 30, 1808." (See Wordsworth's pamphlet Concerning the Relations of Great Britain, Spain, and Portugal, etc., 1809, App. pp. 199-201. For sentiments almost identical with those expressed in stanzas xxiv., xxv., see ibid., p. 49, et passim.)]


Yet Mafra shall one moment claim delay.

Stanza xxix. line 1.

The extent of Mafra is prodigious; it contains a palace, convent, and most superb church. The six organs are the most beautiful I ever beheld, in point of decoration: we did not hear them, but were told that their tones were correspondent to their splendour. Mafra is termed the Escurial of Portugal.

[Mafra was built by D. João V. The foundation-stone was laid November 7, 1717, and the church consecrated October 22, 1730. (For descriptions of Mafra, see Southey's Life and Correspondence, ii. 113; and Letters, 1898, i. 237.)]


Well doth the Spanish hind the difference know
'Twixt him and Lusian slave, the lowest of the low.

Stanza xxxiii. lines 8 and 9.

As I found the Portuguese, so I have characterised them. That they are since improved, at least in courage, is evident.

[The following "Note on Spain and Portugal," part of the original draft of Note 3 (p. 86), was suppressed at the instance of Dallas: "We have heard wonders of the Portuguese lately, and their gallantry. Pray Heaven it continue; yet 'would it were bed-time, Hal, and all were well!' They must fight a great many hours, by 'Shrewsbury clock,' before the number [88] of their slain equals that of our countrymen butchered by these kind creatures, now metamorphosed into 'Caçadores,' and what not. I merely state a fact, not confined to Portugal; for in Sicily and Malta we are knocked on the head at a handsome average nightly, and not a Sicilian or Maltese is ever punished! The neglect of protection is disgraceful to our government and governors; for the murders are as notorious as the moon that shines upon them, and the apathy that overlooks them. The Portuguese, it is to be hoped, are complimented with the 'Forlorn Hope,'—if the cowards are become brave (like the rest of their kind, in a corner), pray let them display it. But there is a subscription for these θρασύδειλοι[110] (they need not be ashamed of the epithet once applied to the Spartans); and all the charitable patronymics, from ostentatious A. to diffident Z., and £1 1s. 0d. from 'An Admirer of Valour,' are in requisition for the lists at Lloyd's, and the honour of British benevolence. Well! we have fought, and subscribed, and bestowed peerages, and buried the killed by our friends and foes; and, lo! all this is to be done over again! Like Lien Chi (in Goldsmith's Citizen of the World), as we 'grow older, we grow never the better.' It would be pleasant to learn who will subscribe for us, in or about the year 1815, and what nation will send fifty thousand men, first to be decimated in the capital, and then decimated again (in the Irish fashion, nine out of ten), in the 'bed of honour;' which, as Serjeant Kite says [in Farquhar's Recruiting Officer, act i. sc. 1], is considerably larger and more commodious than 'the bed of Ware.' Then they must have a poet to write the 'Vision of Don Perceval,'[111] and generously bestow the profits of the well and widely printed quarto, to rebuild the 'Backwynd' and the 'Canongate,' or furnish new kilts for the half-roasted Highlanders. Lord Wellington, however, has enacted marvels; and so did his Oriental brother, whom I saw charioteering over the French flag, and heard clipping bad Spanish, after listening to the speech of a patriotic cobler of Cadiz, on the event of his own entry [89] into that city, and the exit of some five thousand bold Britons out of this 'best of all possible worlds' [Pangloss, in Candide]. Sorely were we puzzled how to dispose of that same victory of Talavera; and a victory it surely was somewhere, for everybody claimed it. The Spanish despatch and mob called it Cuesta's, and made no great mention of the Viscount; the French called it theirs[1] (to my great discomfiture,—for a French consul stopped my mouth in Greece with a pestilent Paris Gazette, just as I had killed Sebastiani'[112] 'in buckram,' and King Joseph 'in Kendal green'),—and we have not yet determined what to call it, or whose; for, certes, it was none of our own. Howbeit, Massena's retreat [May, 1811] is a great comfort; and as we have not been in the habit of pursuing for some years past, no wonder we are a little awkward at first. No doubt we shall improve; or, if not, we have only to take to our old way of retrograding, and there we are at home."—Recollections of the Life of Lord Byron, 1824, pp. 179-185.]


When Cava's traitor-sire first called the band
That dyed thy mountain streams with Gothic gore.

Stanza xxxv. lines 3 and 4.

Count Julian's daughter, the Helen of Spain. Pelagius preserved his independence in the fastnesses of the Asturias, and the descendants of his followers, after some centuries, completed their struggle by the conquest of Grenada.

[Roderick the Goth violated Florinda, or Caba, or Cava, daughter of Count Julian, one of his principal lieutenants. In revenge for this outrage, Julian allied himself with Musca, the Caliph's lieutenant in Africa, and countenanced the invasion of Spain by a body of Saracens and Africans commanded by Tarik, from whom Jebel Tarik, Tarik's Rock, that is, Gibraltar, is said to have been named. The issue was the defeat and death of Roderick and the Moorish occupation of Spain. A Spaniard, according to Cervantes, may call his dog, but not his daughter, Florinda. (See Vision of Don Roderick, by Sir W. Scott, stanza iv. note 5.)]



No! as he speeds, he chants "Vivā el Rey!"

Stanza xlviii. line 5.

"Vivā el Rey Fernando!" Long live King Ferdinand! is the chorus of most of the Spanish patriotic songs. They are chiefly in dispraise of the old King Charles, the Queen, and the Prince of Peace. I have heard many of them: some of the airs are beautiful. Godoy, the Principe de la Paz, of an ancient but decayed family, was born at Badajoz, on the frontiers of Portugal, and was originally in the ranks of the Spanish guards; till his person attracted the queen's eyes, and raised him to the dukedom of Alcudia, etc., etc. It is to this man that the Spaniards universally impute the ruin of their country.

[Manuel de Godoy (1767-1851) received the title of Principe de la Paz, Prince of the Peace, in 1795, after the Treaty of Basle, which ceded more than half St. Domingo to France. His tenure of power, as prime minister and director of the king's policy, coincided with the downfall of Spanish power, and before the commencement of the Peninsular War he was associated in the minds of the people with national corruption and national degradation. He was, moreover, directly instrumental in the betrayal of Spain to France. By the Treaty of Fontainebleau, October 27, 1807, Portugal was to be divided between the King of Etruria and Godoy as Prince of the Algarves, Portuguese America was to fall to the King of Spain, and to bring this about Napoleon's troops were to enter Spain and march directly to Lisbon. The sole outcome of the treaty was the occupation of Portugal and subsequent invasion of Spain. Before Byron had begun his pilgrimage, Godoy's public career had come to an end. During the insurrection at Aranjuez, March 17-19, 1808, when Charles IV. abdicated in favour of his son Ferdinand VII., Godoy was only preserved from the fury of the populace by a timely imprisonment. In the following May, by which time Ferdinand himself was a prisoner in France, he was released at the instance of Murat, and ordered to accompany Charles to Bayonne, for the express purpose of cajoling his master into a second abdication in favour of Napoleon. The remainder of his long life was passed, first at Rome, and afterwards at Paris, in exile and dependence. The execration of Godoy, "who was really a mild, good-natured man," must, in Napier's judgment, be attributed to Spanish venom and [91] Spanish prejudice. The betrayal of Spain was, he thinks, the outcome of Ferdinand's intrigues no less than of Godoy's unpatriotic ambition. Another and perhaps truer explanation of popular odium is to be found in his supposed atheism and well-known indifference to the rites of the Church, which many years before had attracted the attention of the Holy Office. The peasants cursed Godoy because the priests triumphed over his downfall (Napier's History of the War in the Peninsula, i. 8; Southey's Peninsular War, i. 85 note, 93, 215, 280).]


Bears in his cap the badge of crimson hue,
Which tells you whom to shun and whom to greet.

Stanza l. lines 2 and 3.

The red cockade, with "Fernando Septimo" in the centre.


The ball-piled pyramid, the ever-blazing match.

Stanza li. line 9.

All who have seen a battery will recollect the pyramidal form in which shot and shells are piled. The Sierra Morena was fortified in every defile through which I passed in my way to Seville.


Foiled by a woman's hand, before a battered wall.

Stanza lvi. line 9.

Such were the exploits of the Maid of Saragoza, who by her valour elevated herself to the highest rank of heroines. When the author was at Seville, she walked daily on the Prado, decorated with medals and orders, by command of the Junta.

[The story, as told by Southey (who seems to have derived his information from The Narrative of the Siege of Zaragoza, by Charles Richard Vaughan, M.B., 1809), is that "Augustina Zaragoza (sic), a handsome woman of the lower class, about twenty-two years of age," a vivandiere, in the course of her rounds came with provisions to a battery near the Portello gate. The gunners had all been killed, and, as the citizens held back, "Augustina sprang over the dead and dying, snatched a match from the hand of a dead artilleryman, and fired off a twenty-six pounder; then, [92] jumping upon the gun, made a solemn vow never to quit it alive during the siege."

After the retreat of the French, "a pension was settled upon Augustina, and the daily pay of an artilleryman. She was also to wear a small shield of honour, embroidered upon the sleeve of her gown, with 'Zaragoza' inscribed upon it" (Southey's Peninsular War, ii. 14, 34).

Napier, "neither wholly believing nor absolutely denying these exploits," which he does not condescend to give in detail, remarks "that for a long time afterwards, Spain swarmed with Zaragoza heroines, clothed in half-uniforms, and theatrically loaded with weapons."

A picture of "The Defence of Saragossa," painted by Sir David Wilkie, which contained her portrait, was exhibited in the Royal Academy in 1829, and was purchased by the king (Napier's History of the War in the Peninsula, i. 45; Life of Sir D. Wilkie, by John W. Mollett, 1881, p. 83). Compare, too, The Age of Bronze, vii. lines 53-56—

" ... the desperate wall
Of Saragossa, mightiest in her fall;
The man nerved to a spirit, and the maid
Waving her more than Amazonian blade."]


The seal Love's dimpling finger hath impressed
Denotes how soft that chin which bears his touch.

Stanza lviii. lines 1 and 2.

"Sigilla in mento impressa Amoris digitulo
Vestigio demonstrant mollitudinem."

Aul. Gel.

[The quotation does not occur in Aulus Gellius, but is a fragment in iambic metre from the Papia papæ περὶ ἐγκωμίων of M. Terentius Varro, cited by the grammarian Nonius Marcellus (De Comp. Doct., ii. 135, lines 19-23). Sigilla is a variant of the word in the text, laculla, a diminutive of lacuna, signifying a dimple in the chin. Lacullum is not to be found in Facciolati. (Vide Riese, Varro. Satur. Menipp. Rel., 1865, p. 164.)]


Oh, thou Parnassus!

Stanza lx. line 1.

These stanzas were written in Castri (Delphos), at the foot of Parnassus, now called Λιακυρα (Liakura), Dec. [16], 1809.



Fair is proud Seville; let her country boast
Her strength, her wealth, her site of ancient days.

Stanza lxv. lines 1 and 2.

Seville was the Hispalis of the Romans.


Ask ye, Boeotian Shades! the reason why?

Stanza lxx. line 5.

This was written at Thebes, and consequently in the best situation for asking and answering such a question; not as the birthplace of Pindar, but as the capital of Boeotia, where the first riddle was propounded and solved.

[Byron reached Thebes December 22, 1809. By the first riddle he means, of course, the famous enigma of Oedipus—the prototype of Boeotian wit.]


Some bitter o'er the flowers its bubbling venom flings.

Stanza lxxxii. line 9.

"Medio de fonte leporum
Surgit amari aliquid quod in ipseis floribus angat."

Lucr., iv. 1133.


A Traitor only fell beneath the feud.

Stanza lxxxv. line 7.

Alluding to the conduct and death of Solano, the governor of Cadiz, in May, 1808.

[The Marquis of Solano, commander-in-chief of the forces at Cadiz, was murdered by the populace. The "Supreme Junta" of Seville had directed him to attack the French fleet anchored off Cadiz, and Admiral Purvis, acting in concert with General Spencer, had offered to co-operate, but Solano was unwilling to take his orders "from a self-constituted authority, and hesitated to commit his country in war with a power whose strength he knew better than the temper of his countrymen." "His abilities, courage, and unblemished character have never been denied."—Napier's War in the Peninsula, i. 20, 21.]



"War even to the knife!"

Stanza lxxxvi. line 9.

"War to the knife." Palafox's answer to the French general at the siege of Saragoza.

[Towards the close of the first siege of Zaragoza, August 5, 1808, Marshal Lefebvre (1755-1820), under the impression that the city had fallen into his hands, "required Palafox to surrender in these words: 'Quartel-general, Santa Engracia. La Capitulation!' ['Head-quarters, St. Engracia. Capitulation']. The reply was, 'Quartel-general, Zaragoza. Guerra al cuchillo' ['Head-quarters, Zaragoza. War at the knife's point']." Subsequently, December, 1808, when Moncey (1754-1842) again called upon him to surrender, he appealed to the people of Madrid. "The dogs," he said, "by whom he was beset scarcely left him time to clean his sword from their blood; but they still found their grave at Zaragoza." Southey notes that "all Palafox's proclamations had the high tone and something of the inflection of Spanish romance, suiting the character of those to whom it was directed" (Peninsular War, ii. 25; iii. 152; Narrative of the Siege, by C. R. Vaughan, 1809, pp. 22, 23). Napier, whose account of the first siege of Zaragoza is based on Caballero's Victoires et Conquètes des Français, and on the Journal of Lefebvre's Operations (MSS.), does not record these romantic incidents. He attributes the raising of the siege to the "bad discipline of the French, and the system of terror established by the Spanish leaders." The inspirers and proclaimers of "war even to the knife" were, he maintains, Tio or Goodman Jorge (Jorge Ibort) and Tio Murin, and not Palafox, who was ignorant of war, and who, on more than one occasion, was careful to provide for his own safety (History of the War in the Peninsula, i. 41-46).]


And thou, my friend! etc.

Stanza xci. line 1.

The Honourable John Wingfield, of the Guards, who died of a fever at Coimbra (May 14, 1811). I had known him ten years, the better half of his life, and the happiest part of mine. In the short space of one month I have lost her who gave me being, and most of those who had made [95] that being tolerable. To me the lines of Young are no fiction—

"Insatiate archer! could not one suffice?
Thy shaft flew thrice, and thrice my peace was slain,
And thrice ere thrice yon moon had fill'd her horn."

Night Thoughts: The Complaint, Night i.
(London, 1825, p. 5).

I should have ventured a verse to the memory of the late Charles Skinner Matthews, Fellow of Downing College, Cambridge, were he not too much above all praise of mine. His powers of mind, shown in the attainment of greater honours, against the ablest candidates, than those of any graduate on record at Cambridge, have sufficiently established his fame on the spot where it was acquired; while his softer qualities live in the recollection of friends who loved him too well to envy his superiority. [To an objection made by Dallas to this note, Byron replied, "I was so sincere in my note on the late Charles Matthews, and do feel myself so totally unable to do justice to his talents, that the passage must stand for the very reason you bring against it. To him all the men I ever knew were pigmies. He was an intellectual giant. It is true I loved Wingfield better; he was the earliest and the dearest, and one of the few one could never repent of having loved: but in ability—ah! you did not know Matthews,!"—Letters, 1898, ii. 8. [For Charles Skinner Matthews, and the Honourable John Wingfield, see Letters, 1898, i. 150 note, 180 note. See, too, "Childish Recollections," Poems, 1898, i. 96, note.]


[110] {88} [Vide post, p. 196, note 1.]

[111] [In a letter to J. B. S. Morritt, April 26, 1811, Sir Walter Scott writes, "I meditate some wild stanzas referring to the Peninsula; if I can lick them into any shape, I hope to get something handsome from the booksellers for the Portuguese sufferers: 'Silver and gold have I none, but that which I have I will give unto them.' My lyrics are called The Vision of Don Roderick." —Lockhart's Mem. of the Life of Sir W. Scott, 1871, p. 205.]

[112] {89} [François Horace Bastien Sebastiani (1772-1851), one of Napoleon's generals, defeated the Spanish at Ciudad Real, March 17, 1809. In his official report he said that he had sabred more than 3000 Spaniards in flight. At the battle of Talavera, July 27, his corps suffered heavily; but at Almonacid, August 11, he was again victorious over the Spanish.]




Childe Harold
Canto 2.
Byron. Joannina in Albania.
Begun Oct. 31st 1809.
Concluded Canto 2. Smyrna.
March 28th, 1810.[MS. D.]




Come, blue-eyed Maid of Heaven!—but Thou, alas!
Didst never yet one mortal song inspire—
[100] Goddess of Wisdom! here thy temple was,
And is, despite of War and wasting fire, [1.B.]
And years, that bade thy worship to expire:
But worse than steel, and flame, and ages slow, [2.B.]
Is the dread sceptre and dominion dire
Of men who never felt the sacred glow
That thoughts of thee and thine on polished breasts bestow.


Ancient of days! august Athena! where,[do]
Where are thy men of might? thy grand in soul?
Gone—glimmering through the dream of things that were:[dp]
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!
[101] The Warrior's weapon and the Sophist's stole[114]
Are sought in vain, and o'er each mouldering tower,
Dim with the mist of years, gray flits the shade of power.[dq]


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.[dr]
Even 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.[ds]


Bound to the Earth, he lifts his eye to Heaven—
Is't not enough, Unhappy Thing! to know
Thou art? Is this a boon so kindly given,
That being, thou would'st be again, and go,
[102] Thou know'st not, reck'st not to what region, so[115]
On Earth no more, but mingled with the skies?
Still wilt thou dream on future Joy and Woe?[dt]
Regard and weigh yon dust before it flies:
That little urn saith more than thousand Homilies.


Or burst the vanished Hero's lofty mound;
Far on the solitary shore he sleeps: [3.B.]
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.[du][116]
Remove yon skull from out the scattered heaps:
Is that a Temple where a God may dwell?
Why ev'n the Worm at last disdains her shattered cell!


Look on its broken arch, its ruined wall,
Its chambers desolate, and portals foul:
Yes, this was once Ambition's airy hall,
The Dome of Thought, the Palace of the Soul:
[103] Behold through each lack-lustre, eyeless hole,
The gay recess of Wisdom and of Wit[117]
And Passion's host, that never brooked control:
Can all Saint, Sage, or Sophist ever writ,
People this lonely tower, this tenement refit?


Well didst thou speak, Athena's wisest son![118]
"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.


Yet if, as holiest men have deemed, there be[dv]
A land of Souls beyond that sable shore,
[104] 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!


There, Thou!—whose Love and Life together fled,
Have left me here to love and live in vain—
[105] 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,[dw]
For me 'twere bliss enough to know thy spirit blest!


Here let me sit upon this massy stone,
The marble column's yet unshaken base;
Here, son of Saturn! was thy favourite throne: [4.B.]
Mightiest of many such! Hence let me trace
The latent grandeur of thy dwelling-place.
It may not be: nor ev'n can Fancy's eye
[106] Restore what Time hath laboured to deface.
Yet these proud Pillars claim no passing sigh;
Unmoved the Moslem sits, the light Greek carols by.


But who, of all the plunderers of yon Fane[121]
On high—where Pallas linger'd, loth to flee
The latest relic of her ancient reign—
The last, the worst, dull spoiler, who was he?[dx]
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 hear these altars o'er the long-reluctant brine. [5.B.]


But most the modern Pict's ignoble boast,[dy][122]
To rive what Goth, and Turk, and Time hath spared: [6.B.]
[107] 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 displace Athenæ's poor remains:
Her Sons too weak the sacred shrine to guard,
Yet felt some portion of their Mother's pains, [7.B.]
And never knew, till then, the weight of Despot's chains.


What! shall it e'er be said by British tongue,[dz]
Albion was happy in Athena's tears?
[108] 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.[ea]



Where was thine Ægis, Pallas! that appalled[eb]
Stern Alaric and Havoc on their way? [8.B.]
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.


Cold is the heart, fair Greece! that looks on Thee,
Nor feels as Lovers o'er the dust they loved;
[110] 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[ec]
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![123]


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;[124]
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.


He that has sailed upon the dark blue sea
Has viewed at times, I ween, a full fair sight,
[111] When the fresh breeze is fair as breeze may be,
The white sail 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.


And oh, the little warlike world within!
The well-reeved guns, the netted canopy, [9.B.]
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.[ed]


White is the glassy deck, without a stain,
Where on the watch the staid Lieutenant walks:
Look on that part which sacred doth remain[ee]
For the lone Chieftain, who majestic stalks,
Silent and feared by all—not oft he talks
With aught beneath him, if he would preserve
[112] That strict restraint, which broken, ever balks
Conquest and Fame: but Britons rarely swerve
From law, however stern, which tends their strength to nerve[ef].


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.[125]
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 sail hauled down to halt for logs like these!


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[eg]:
Such be our fate when we return to land!
[113] Meantime some rude Arion's restless hand[eh]
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.


Through Calpe's straits survey the steepy shore;[ei]
Europe and Afric on each other gaze![126]
Lands of the dark-eyed Maid and dusky Moor
Alike beheld beneath pale Hecate's blaze:
How softly on the Spanish shore she plays![127]
Disclosing rock, and slope, and forest brown,[128]
[114] Distinct, though darkening with her waning phase;
But Mauritania's giant-shadows frown,
From mountain-cliff to coast descending sombre down.


'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,[ej]
Though friendless now, will dream it had a friend.
Who with the weight of years would wish to bend,
When Youth 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?[ek]


Thus bending o'er the vessel's laving side,
To gaze on Dian's wave-reflected sphere,[el]
The Soul forgets her schemes of Hope and Pride,[em]
And flies unconscious o'er each backward year;
[115] None are so desolate but something dear,[en]
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.


To sit on rocks—to muse o'er flood and fell—
To slowly trace the forest's shady scene,
[116] 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;[ep]
This is not Solitude—'tis but to hold
Converse with Nature's charms, and view her stores unrolled.


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![130]
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![eq]


More blest the life of godly Eremite,
Such as on lonely Athos may be seen,
[117] 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.


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 wingéd sea-girt citadel;
[118] 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!


But not in silence pass Calypso's isles, [10.B.]
The sister tenants of the middle deep;
There for the weary still a Haven smiles,
Though the fair Goddess long hath 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.[132]


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[133] could another ever share
This wayward, loveless heart, it would be thine:
[119] 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:
[120] 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.


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;[134]
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.


Not much he kens, I ween, of Woman's breast,
Who thinks that wanton thing is won by sighs;
[121] 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 ev'n tenderness, if thou art wise;
Brisk Confidence still best with woman copes:[er]
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—[es]
These are thy fruits, successful Passion! these![135]
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,
[122] And many a varied shore to sail along,
By pensive Sadness, not by Fiction, led—
Climes, fair withal as ever mortal head[et]
Imagined in its little schemes of thought;[eu]
Or e'er in new Utopias were ared,[136]
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.[ev]
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.[137]


Land of Albania! where Iskander rose,[138]
Theme of the young, and beacon of the wise,[139]
[124] And he his namesake, whose oft-baffled foes
Shrunk from his deeds of chivalrous emprize:
Land of Albania! let me bend mine eyes [11.B.]
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.


Childe Harold sailed, and passed the barren spot,[140]
Where sad Penelope o'erlooked the wave; [12.B.]
[125] 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.[141]


'Twas on a Grecian autumn's gentle eve
Childe Harold hailed Leucadia's cape afar;
[126] A spot he longed to see, nor cared to leave:
Oft did he mark the scenes of vanished war,
Actium—Lepanto—fatal Trafalgar; [13.B.]
Mark them unmoved, for he would not delight
(Born beneath some remote inglorious star)[142]
In themes of bloody fray, or gallant fight,
But loathed the bravo's trade, and laughed at martial wight.[ew]


But when he saw the Evening star above
Leucadia's far-projecting rock of woe,
And hailed the last resort of fruitless love, [14.B.]
He felt, or deemed he felt, no common glow:
And as the stately vessel glided slow[143]
Beneath the shadow of that ancient mount,
He watched the billows' melancholy flow,
And, sunk albeit in thought as he was wont,[ex]
More placid seemed his eye, and smooth his pallid front.


Morn dawns; and with it stern Albania's hills,
Dark Suli's rocks, and Pindus' inland peak,[144]
[127] 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,
And bade to Christian tongues a long adieu;
Now he adventured on a shore unknown,[145]
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,
[128] Forgets that Pride to pampered priesthood dear;
Churchman and Votary alike despised.
Foul Superstition! howsoe'er disguised,
For whatsoever symbol thou art prized,
Thou sacerdotal gain, but general loss!
Who from true Worship's gold can separate thy dross?


Ambracia's gulf behold, where once was lost
A world for Woman, lovely, harmless thing![ey][146]
In yonder rippling bay, their naval host
Did many a Roman chief and Asian King [15.B.]
To doubtful conflict, certain slaughter bring:
Look where the second Cæsar's trophies rose![147] [16.B.]
Now, like the hands that reared them, withering:
Imperial Anarchs, doubling human woes![ez]
God! was thy globe ordained for such to win and lose?


From the dark barriers of that rugged clime,
Ev'n to the centre of Illyria's vales,
Childe Harold passed o'er many a mount sublime,
Through lands scarce noticed in historic tales:
Yet in famed Attica such lovely dales
Are rarely seen; nor can fair Tempe boast
A charm they know not; loved Parnassus fails,
Though classic ground and consecrated most,
To match some spots that lurk within this lowering coast.


He passed bleak Pindus, Acherusia's lake, [17.B.]
And left the primal city of the land,
And onwards did his further journey take[148]
To greet Albania's Chief, whose dread command [18.B.]
Is lawless law; for with a bloody hand
He sways a nation,—turbulent and bold:
Yet here and there some daring mountain-band
Disdain his power, and from their rocky hold
Hurl their defiance far, nor yield, unless to gold. [19.B.]


Monastic Zitza![149] from thy shady brow, [20.B.]
Thou small, but favoured spot of holy ground!
[130] Where'er we gaze—around—above—below,—
What rainbow tints, what magic charms are found!
Rock, river, forest, mountain, all abound,
And bluest skies that harmonise the whole:
Beneath, the distant Torrent's rushing sound
Tells where the volumed Cataract doth roll
Between those hanging rocks, that shock yet please the soul.


Amidst the grove that crowns yon tufted hill,
Which, were it not for many a mountain nigh
Rising in lofty ranks, and loftier still,
Might well itself be deemed of dignity,
The Convent's white walls glisten fair on high:
Here dwells the caloyer, nor rude is he, [21.B.]
Nor niggard of his cheer;[150] the passer by
Is welcome still; nor heedless will he flee
From hence, if he delight kind Nature's sheen to see.



Here in the sultriest season let him rest,
Fresh is the green beneath those aged trees;
Here winds of gentlest wing will fan his breast,[fa]
From Heaven itself he may inhale the breeze:
The plain is far beneath—oh! let him seize
Pure pleasure while he can; the scorching ray
Here pierceth not, impregnate with disease:
Then let his length the loitering pilgrim lay,
And gaze, untired, the Morn—the Noon—the Eve away.


Dusky and huge, enlarging on the sight,
Nature's volcanic Amphitheatre, [22.B.]
Chimæra's Alps extend from left to right:
Beneath, a living valley seems to stir;
Flocks play, trees wave, streams flow, the mountain-fir
Nodding above; behold black Acheron! [23.B.]
Once consecrated to the sepulchre.
Pluto! if this be Hell I look upon,
Close shamed Elysium's gates, my shade shall seek for none[fb].



Ne city's towers pollute the lovely view;
Unseen is Yanina, though not remote,
Veiled by the screen of hills: here men are few,
Scanty the hamlet, rare the lonely cot:
But, peering down each precipice, the goat[fc]
Browseth; and, pensive o'er his scattered flock,
The little shepherd in his white capote [24.B.]
Doth lean his boyish form along the rock,
Or in his cave awaits the Tempest's short-lived shock.[fd]


Oh! where, Dodona![151] is thine agéd Grove,
Prophetic Fount, and Oracle divine?
[133] What valley echoed the response of Jove?
What trace remaineth of the Thunderer's shrine?
All, all forgotten—and shall Man repine
That his frail bonds to fleeting life are broke?[152]
Cease, Fool! the fate of Gods may well be thine:
Wouldst thou survive the marble or the oak?
When nations, tongues, and worlds must sink beneath the stroke!


Epirus' bounds recede, and mountains fail;[153]
Tired of up-gazing still, the wearied eye
[134] Reposes gladly on as smooth a vale
As ever Spring yclad in grassy dye:[154]
Ev'n on a plain no humble beauties lie,
Where some bold river breaks the long expanse,
And woods along the banks are waving high,
Whose shadows in the glassy waters dance,
Or with the moonbeam sleep in Midnight's solemn trance.


The Sun had sunk behind vast Tomerit, [25.B.]
And Laos wide and fierce came roaring by; [26.B.]
The shades of wonted night were gathering yet,
When, down the steep banks winding warily,
Childe Harold saw, like meteors in the sky,[155]
The glittering minarets of Tepalen,
Whose walls o'erlook the stream; and drawing nigh,
He heard the busy hum of warrior-men
Swelling the breeze that sighed along the lengthening glen.



He passed the sacred Haram's silent tower,
And underneath the wide o'erarching gate
Surveyed the dwelling of this Chief of power,
Where all around proclaimed his high estate.
Amidst no common pomp the Despot sate,
While busy preparation shook the court,
Slaves, eunuchs, soldiers, guests, and santons[156] wait;[fe]
Within, a palace, and without, a fort:
Here men of every clime appear to make resort.


Richly caparisoned, a ready row
Of arméd horse, and many a warlike store,
Circled the wide-extending court below;
Above, strange groups adorned the corridore;
And oft-times through the area's echoing door
Some high-capped Tartar spurred his steed away:
The Turk—the Greek—the Albanian—and the Moor,
Here mingled in their many-hued array,
While the deep war-drum's sound announced the close of day.[ff]



The wild Albanian kirtled to his knee,
With shawl-girt head and ornamented gun,
And gold-embroidered garments, fair to see;
The crimson-scarféd men of Macedon;
The Delhi with his cap of terror on,
And crooked glaive—the lively, supple Greek
And swarthy Nubia's mutilated son;
The bearded Turk that rarely deigns to speak,
Master of all around, too potent to be meek,


Are mixed conspicuous: some recline in groups,[157]
Scanning the motley scene that varies round;
There some grave Moslem to devotion stoops,
And some that smoke, and some that play, are found;
[137] Here the Albanian proudly treads the ground;
Half-whispering there the Greek is heard to prate;
Hark! from the Mosque the nightly solemn sound,
The Muezzin's call doth shake the minaret,
"There is no god but God!—to prayer—lo! God is great!"


Just at this season Ramazani's fast[158]
Through the long day its penance did maintain:
But when the lingering twilight hour was past,
Revel and feast assumed the rule again:
Now all was bustle, and the menial train
Prepared and spread the plenteous board within;
The vacant Gallery now seemed made in vain,
But from the chambers came the mingling din,
As page and slave anon were passing out and in.[159]


Here woman's voice is never heard: apart,
And scarce permitted, guarded, veiled, to move,[fg]
She yields to one her person and her heart,
Tamed to her cage, nor feels a wish to rove:
For, not unhappy in her Master's love,[fh]
And joyful in a mother's gentlest cares,
Blest cares! all other feelings far above!
Herself more sweetly rears the babe she bears
Who never quits the breast—no meaner passion shares.


In marble-paved pavilion, where a spring
Of living water from the centre rose,
Whose bubbling did a genial freshness fling,
And soft voluptuous couches breathed repose,
Ali reclined, a man of war and woes:[160]
Yet in his lineaments ye cannot trace,
While Gentleness her milder radiance throws[161]
Along that agéd venerable face,
The deeds that lurk beneath, and stain him with disgrace.


It is not that yon hoary lengthening beard
Ill suits the passions which belong to Youth;[fi]
Love conquers Age—so Hafiz hath averr'd,
So sings the Teian, and he sings in sooth[162]
But crimes that scorn the tender voice of ruth,[fj][163]
Beseeming all men ill, but most the man
[140] In years, have marked him with a tiger's tooth;
Blood follows blood, and, through their mortal span,
In bloodier acts conclude those who with blood began.[fk][164]


'Mid many things most new to ear and eye[fl]
The Pilgrim rested here his weary feet,
And gazed around on Moslem luxury,
Till quickly, wearied with that spacious seat
Of Wealth and Wantonness, the choice retreat
Of sated Grandeur from the city's noise:
And were it humbler it in sooth were sweet;
But Peace abhorreth artificial joys,
And Pleasure, leagued with Pomp, the zest of both destroys.



Fierce are Albania's children, yet they lack
Not virtues, were those virtues more mature.
Where is the foe that ever saw their back?
Who can so well the toil of War endure?
Their native fastnesses not more secure
Than they in doubtful time of troublous need:
Their wrath how deadly! but their friendship sure,
When Gratitude or Valour bids them bleed,
Unshaken rushing on where'er their Chief may lead.


Childe Harold saw them in their Chieftain's tower
Thronging to War in splendour and success;
And after viewed them, when, within their power,
Himself awhile the victim of distress;
That saddening hour when bad men hotlier press:
But these did shelter him beneath their roof,
When less barbarians would have cheered him less,
And fellow-countrymen have stood aloof— [27.B.]
In aught that tries the heart, how few withstand the proof!


It chanced that adverse winds once drove his bark
Full on the coast of Suli's shaggy shore,[165]
[142] When all around was desolate and dark;
To land was perilous, to sojourn more;
Yet for awhile the mariners forbore,
Dubious to trust where Treachery might lurk:
At length they ventured forth, though doubting sore
That those who loathe alike the Frank and Turk
Might once again renew their ancient butcher-work.


Vain fear! the Suliotes stretched the welcome hand,
Led them o'er rocks and past the dangerous swamp,
Kinder than polished slaves though not so bland,
And piled the hearth, and wrung their garments damp,
[143] And filled the bowl, and trimmed the cheerful lamp,
And spread their fare; though homely, all they had:
Such conduct bears Philanthropy's rare stamp:
To rest the weary and to soothe the sad,
Doth lesson happier men, and shames at least the bad.


It came to pass, that when he did address
Himself to quit at length this mountain-land,
Combined marauders half-way barred egress,
And wasted far and near with glaive and brand;
And therefore did he take a trusty band
To traverse Acarnania's forest wide,
In war well-seasoned, and with labours tanned,
Till he did greet white Achelous' tide,
And from his further bank Ætolia's wolds espied.[166]


Where lone Utraikey forms its circling cove,[167]
And weary waves retire to gleam at rest,
[144] How brown the foliage of the green hill's grove,
Nodding at midnight o'er the calm bay's breast,
As winds come lightly whispering from the West,
Kissing, not ruffling, the blue deep's serene:—
Here Harold was received a welcome guest;
Nor did he pass unmoved the gentle scene,
For many a joy could he from Night's soft presence glean.


On the smooth shore the night-fires brightly blazed,
The feast was done, the red wine circling fast, [28.B.]
And he that unawares had there ygazed
With gaping wonderment had stared aghast;
For ere night's midmost, stillest hour was past,
The native revels of the troop began;
Each Palikar his sabre from him cast, [29.B.]
And bounding hand in hand, man linked to man,
Yelling their uncouth dirge, long daunced the kirtled clan.[168]



Childe Harold at a little distance stood
And viewed, but not displeased, the revelrie,
Nor hated harmless mirth, however rude:
In sooth, it was no vulgar sight to see
Their barbarous, yet their not indecent, glee;
And, as the flames along their faces gleamed,
Their gestures nimble, dark eyes flashing free,
The long wild locks that to their girdles streamed,
While thus in concert they this lay half sang, half screamed:—[169] [30.B.]



Tambourgi![170] Tambourgi! thy 'larum afar[fm] [31.B.]
Gives hope to the valiant, and promise of war;
All the Sons of the mountains arise at the note,
Chimariot, Illyrian, and dark Suliote!


Oh! who is more brave than a dark Suliote,
In his snowy camese[171] and his shaggy capote?
To the wolf and the vulture he leaves his wild flock,
And descends to the plain like the stream from the rock.


Shall the sons of Chimari, who never forgive[fn]
The fault of a friend, bid an enemy live?
Let those guns so unerring such vengeance forego?
What mark is so fair as the breast of a foe?[172]


Macedonia sends forth her invincible race;
For a time they abandon the cave and the chase:
But those scarfs of blood-red shall be redder, before
The sabre is sheathed and the battle is o'er.


Then the Pirates of Parga that dwell by the waves,
And teach the pale Franks what it is to be slaves,
Shall leave on the beach the long galley and oar,
And track to his covert the captive on shore.


I ask not the pleasures that riches supply,
My sabre shall win what the feeble must buy;
Shall win the young bride with her long flowing hair,[fo]
And many a maid from her mother shall tear.


I love the fair face of the maid in her youth,[fp]
Her caresses shall lull me, her music shall soothe;[fq]
Let her bring from the chamber her many-toned lyre,
And sing us a song on the fall of her Sire.


Remember the moment when Previsa fell,[173] [32.B.]
The shrieks of the conquered, the conquerors' yell;
The roofs that we fired, and the plunder we shared,
The wealthy we slaughtered, the lovely we spared.


I talk not of mercy, I talk not of fear;
He neither must know who would serve the Vizier:
Since the days of our Prophet the Crescent ne'er saw
A chief ever glorious like Ali Pashaw.


Dark Muchtar his son to the Danube is sped,[174]
Let the yellow-haired[175] Giaours[176] view his horse-tail[177] with dread;
[149] When his Delhis[178] come dashing in blood o'er the banks,
How few shall escape from the Muscovite ranks!


Selictar![179] unsheathe then our chief's Scimitār;
Tambourgi! thy 'larum gives promise of War.[fr]
Ye Mountains, that see us descend to the shore,
Shall view us as Victors, or view us no more!


Fair Greece! sad relic of departed Worth! [33.B.]
Immortal, though no more; though fallen, great!
Who now shall lead thy scattered children forth,
And long accustomed bondage uncreate?
Not such thy sons who whilome did await,
The helpless warriors of a willing doom,
In bleak Thermopylæ's sepulchral strait—
Oh! who that gallant spirit shall resume,
Leap from Eurotas' banks, and call thee from the tomb?[180]



Spirit of Freedom! when on Phyle's brow [34.B.]
Thou sat'st with Thrasybulus and his train,
Couldst thou forebode the dismal hour which now
Dims the green beauties of thine Attic plain?
Not thirty tyrants now enforce the chain,
But every carle can lord it o'er thy land;
Nor rise thy sons, but idly rail in vain,
Trembling beneath the scourge of Turkish hand,
From birth till death enslaved; in word, in deed, unmanned.[fs]


In all save form alone, how changed! and who
That marks the fire still sparkling in each eye,
Who but would deem their bosoms burned anew
With thy unquenchéd beam, lost Liberty![ft]
And many dream withal the hour is nigh
That gives them back their fathers' heritage:
For foreign arms and aid they fondly sigh,
Nor solely dare encounter hostile rage,
Or tear their name defiled from Slavery's mournful page.



Hereditary Bondsmen! know ye not
Who would be free themselves must strike the blow?
By their right arms the conquest must be wrought?[181]
Will Gaul or Muscovite redress ye? No!
True—they may lay your proud despoilers low,
But not for you will Freedom's Altars flame.
Shades of the Helots! triumph o'er your foe!
Greece! change thy lords, thy state is still the same;
Thy glorious day is o'er, but not thine years of shame.


The city won for Allah from the Giaour
The Giaour from Othman's race again may wrest;
And the Serai's impenetrable tower
Receive the fiery Frank, her former guest; [35.B.]
Or Wahab's[182] rebel brood who dared divest
The Prophet's tomb of all its pious spoil, [36.B.]
May wind their path of blood along the West;
But ne'er will Freedom seek this fated soil,
But slave succeed to slave through years of endless toil.



Yet mark their mirth—ere Lenten days begin,
That penance which their holy rites prepare
To shrive from Man his weight of mortal sin,
By daily abstinence and nightly prayer;
But ere his sackcloth garb Repentance wear,
Some days of joyaunce are decreed to all,
To take of pleasaunce each his secret share,
In motley robe to dance at masking ball,
And join the mimic train of merry Carnival.


And whose more rife with merriment than thine,
Oh Stamboul! once the Empress of their reign?
Though turbans now pollute Sophia's shrine,
And Greece her very altars eyes in vain:
(Alas! her woes will still pervade my strain!)
Gay were her minstrels once, for free her throng,
All felt the common joy they now must feign,
Nor oft I've seen such sight, nor heard such song,
As wooed the eye, and thrilled the Bosphorus along.



Loud was the lightsome tumult on the shore,[184]
Oft Music changed, but never ceased her tone,
And timely echoed back the measured oar,
And rippling waters made a pleasant moan:
The Queen of tides on high consenting shone,
And when a transient breeze swept o'er the wave,
'Twas, as if darting from her heavenly throne,
A brighter glance her form reflected gave,
Till sparkling billows seemed to light the banks they lave.


Glanced many a light Caique along the foam,
Danced on the shore the daughters of the land,
No thought had man or maid of rest or home,
While many a languid eye and thrilling hand
Exchanged the look few bosoms may withstand,
Or gently prest, returned the pressure still:
Oh Love! young Love! bound in thy rosy band,
Let sage or cynic prattle as he will,
These hours, and only these, redeem Life's years of ill![185]



But, midst the throng in merry masquerade,
Lurk there no hearts that throb with secret pain,
Even through the closest searment[186] half betrayed?
To such the gentle murmurs of the main
Seem to re-echo all they mourn in vain;
To such the gladness of the gamesome crowd
Is source of wayward thought and stern disdain:
How do they loathe the laughter idly loud,
And long to change the robe of revel for the shroud!


This must he feel, the true-born son of Greece,
If Greece one true-born patriot still can boast:
Not such as prate of War, but skulk in Peace,
The bondsman's peace, who sighs for all he lost,
Yet with smooth smile his Tyrant can accost,
And wield the slavish sickle, not the sword:
Ah! Greece! they love thee least who owe thee most—
Their birth, their blood, and that sublime record[187]
Of hero Sires, who shame thy now degenerate horde!



When riseth Lacedemon's Hardihood,
When Thebes Epaminondas rears again,
When Athens' children are with hearts endued,[fu]
When Grecian mothers shall give birth to men,
Then may'st thou be restored; but not till then.
A thousand years scarce serve to form a state;
An hour may lay it in the dust: and when
Can Man its shattered splendour renovate,
Recall its virtues back, and vanquish Time and Fate?


And yet how lovely in thine age of woe,
Land of lost Gods and godlike men, art thou!
Thy vales of evergreen, thy hills of snow, [37.B.]
Proclaim thee Nature's varied favourite now:
Thy fanes, thy temples to thy surface bow,
Commingling slowly with heroic earth,
Broke by the share of every rustic plough:
So perish monuments of mortal birth,
So perish all in turn, save well-recorded Worth:[188]



Save where some solitary column[189] mourns
Above its prostrate brethren of the cave; [38.B.]
Save where Tritonia's[190] airy shrine adorns
Colonna's cliff,[191] and gleams along the wave;
Save o'er some warrior's half-forgotten grave,
Where the gray stones and unmolested grass
Ages, but not Oblivion, feebly brave;
While strangers, only, not regardless pass,
Lingering like me, perchance, to gaze, and sigh "Alas!"


Yet are thy skies as blue, thy crags as wild;
Sweet are thy groves, and verdant are thy fields,
[157] Thine olive ripe as when Minerva[192] smiled,
And still his honied wealth Hymettus[193] yields;
There the blithe Bee his fragrant fortress builds,
The free-born wanderer of thy mountain-air;
Apollo still thy long, long summer gilds,
Still in his beam Mendeli's marbles glare:[fv]
Art, Glory, Freedom fail, but Nature still is fair.


Where'er we tread 'tis haunted, holy ground;
No earth of thine is lost in vulgar mould,
But one vast realm of Wonder spreads around,
And all the Muse's tales seem truly told,
Till the sense aches with gazing to behold
The scenes our earliest dreams have dwelt upon;
Each hill and dale, each deepening glen and wold
Defies the power which crushed thy temples gone:
Age shakes Athenæ's tower, but spares gray Marathon.[195]



The Sun, the soil—but not the slave, the same;—
Unchanged in all except its foreign Lord,
Preserves alike its bounds and boundless fame[fw]
The Battle-field, where Persia's victim horde
First bowed beneath the brunt of Hellas' sword,
As on the morn to distant Glory dear,
When Marathon became a magic word; [39.B.]
Which uttered, to the hearer's eye appear[fx]
The camp, the host, the fight, the Conqueror's career,[fy]


The flying Mede, his shaftless broken bow—[fz][196]
The fiery Greek, his red pursuing spear;
Mountains above—Earth's, Ocean's plain below—
Death in the front, Destruction in the rear!
[159] Such was the scene—what now remaineth here?
What sacred Trophy marks the hallowed ground,
Recording Freedom's smile and Asia's tear?[ga]
The rifled urn, the violated mound,[197]
The dust thy courser's hoof, rude stranger! spurns around.


Yet to the remnants of thy Splendour past[gb]
Shall pilgrims, pensive, but unwearied, throng;
Long shall the voyager, with th' Ionian blast,[198]
Hail the bright clime of Battle and of Song:
Long shall thine annals and immortal tongue
Fill with thy fame the youth of many a shore;
Boast of the agéd! lesson of the young!
Which Sages venerate and Bards adore,
As Pallas and the Muse unveil their awful lore.


The parted bosom clings to wonted home,
If aught that's kindred cheer the welcome hearth;
He that is lonely—hither let him roam,
And gaze complacent on congenial earth.
Greece is no lightsome land of social mirth:
But he whom Sadness sootheth may abide,
[160] And scarce regret the region of his birth,
When wandering slow by Delphi's sacred side,
Or gazing o'er the plains where Greek and Persian died.[199]


Let such approach this consecrated Land,
And pass in peace along the magic waste;
But spare its relics—let no busy hand
Deface the scenes, already how defaced!
Not for such purpose were these altars placed:
Revere the remnants Nations once revered:
So may our Country's name be undisgraced,
So may'st thou prosper where thy youth was reared,
By every honest joy of Love and Life endeared!


For thee, who thus in too protracted song
Hast soothed thine Idlesse with inglorious lays,
Soon shall thy voice be lost amid the throng
Of louder Minstrels in these later days:
To such resign the strife for fading Bays—
Ill may such contest now the spirit move
Which heeds nor keen Reproach nor partial Praise,[gc]
Since cold each kinder heart that might approve—
And none are left to please when none are left to love.



Thou too art gone, thou loved and lovely one!
Whom Youth and Youth's affections bound to me;
Who did for me what none beside have done,
Nor shrank from one albeit unworthy thee.
What is my Being! thou hast ceased to be!
Nor staid to welcome here thy wanderer home,
Who mourns o'er hours which we no more shall see—
Would they had never been, or were to come!
Would he had ne'er returned to find fresh cause to roam![gd][200]


Oh! ever loving, lovely, and beloved!
How selfish Sorrow ponders on the past,
And clings to thoughts now better far removed!
But Time shall tear thy shadow from me last.[ge]
All thou couldst have of mine, stern Death! thou hast;
The Parent, Friend, and now the more than Friend:
Ne'er yet for one thine arrows flew so fast,[201]
And grief with grief continuing still to blend,
Hath snatched the little joy that Life had yet to lend.


Then must I plunge again into the crowd,
And follow all that Peace disdains to seek?
Where Revel calls, and Laughter, vainly loud,
False to the heart, distorts the hollow cheek,
To leave the flagging spirit doubly weak;
Still o'er the features, which perforce they cheer,
To feign the pleasure or conceal the pique:
Smiles form the channel of a future tear,
Or raise the writhing lip with ill-dissembled sneer.


What is the worst of woes that wait on Age?
What stamps the wrinkle deeper on the brow?
To view each loved one blotted from Life's page,
And be alone on earth, as I am now.
Before the Chastener humbly let me bow,
O'er Hearts divided and o'er Hopes destroyed:
Roll on, vain days! full reckless may ye flow,
Since Time hath reft whate'er my soul enjoyed,[gf]
And with the ills of Eld mine earlier years alloyed.

[Note.—The MS. closes with stanza xcii. Stanzas xciii.-xcviii. were added after Childe Harold was in the press. Byron sent them to Dallas, October 11, 1811, and, apparently, on the same day composed the Epistle to a Friend (F. Hodgson) in answer to some lines exhorting the Author to be cheerful, and to "Banish Care," and the first poem To Thyrza ("Without a stone to mark the Spot"). "I have sent," he writes, "two or three additional stanzas for both 'Fyttes.' I have been again shocked with a death, and have lost one very dear to me in happier times; but 'I have almost forgot the taste of grief,' and 'supped full of horrors' till I have become callous, nor have I a tear left for an event which, five years ago, would have bowed down my head to the earth. It seems as though I were to experience in my youth the greatest misery of age. My friends fall around me, and I shall be left a lonely tree before I am withered." In one respect he would no longer disclaim identity with Childe Harold. "Death had deprived him of his nearest connections." He had seen his friends "around him fall like leaves in wintry weather." He felt "like one deserted;" and in the "dusky shadow" of that early desolation he was destined to walk till his life's end. It is not without cause when "a man of great spirit grows melancholy."

In connection with this subject, it may be noted that lines 6 and 7 of stanza xcv. do not bear out Byron's contention to Dallas (Letters, October 14 and 31, 1811), that in these three in memoriam stanzas (ix., xcv., xcvi.) he is bewailing an event which took place after he returned to Newstead. The "more than friend" had "ceased to be" before the "wanderer" returned. It is evident that Byron did not take Dallas into his confidence.]



[113] {99} [Stanzas i.-xv. form a kind of dramatic prologue to the Second Canto of the Pilgrimage. The general meaning is clear enough, but the unities are disregarded. The scene shifts more than once, and there is a moral within a moral. The poet begins by invoking Athena (Byron wrote Athenæ) to look down on the ruins of "her holy and beautiful house," and bewails her unreturning heroes of the sword and pen. He then summons an Oriental, a "Son of the Morning," Moslem or "light Greek," possibly a Canis venaticus, the discoverer or vendor of a sepulchral urn, and, with an adjuration to spare the sacred relic, points to the Acropolis, the cemetery of dead divinities, and then once more to the urn at his feet. "'Vanity of vanities—all is vanity!' Gods and men may come and go, but Death 'goes on for ever.'" The scene changes, and he feigns to be present at the rifling of a barrow, the "tomb of the Athenian heroes" on the plain of Marathon, or one of the lonely tumuli on Sigeum and Rhoeteum, "the great and goodly tombs" of Achilles and Patroclus ("they twain in one golden urn"); of Antilochus, and of Telamonian Ajax. Marathon he had already visited, and marked "the perpendicular cut" which at Fauvel's instigation had been recently driven into the large barrow; and he had, perhaps, read of the real or pretended excavation by Signor Ghormezano (1787) of a tumulus at the Sigean promontory. The "mind's eye," which had conjured up "the shattered heaps," images a skull of one who "kept the world in awe," and, after moralizing in Hamlet's vein on the humorous catastrophe of decay, the poet concludes with the Preacher "that there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave." After this profession of unfaith, before he returns to Harold and his pilgrimage, he takes up his parable and curses Elgin and all his works. The passage as a whole suggests the essential difference between painting and poetry. As a composition, it recalls the frontispiece of a seventeenth-century classic. The pictured scene, with its superfluity of accessories, is grotesque enough; but the poetic scenery, inconsequent and yet vivid as a dream, awakens, and fulfills the imagination. (Travels in Albania, by Lord Broughton, 1858, i. 380; ii. 128, 129, 138; The Odyssey, xxiv. 74, sq. See, too, Byron's letters to his mother, April 17, and to H. Drury, May 3, 1810: Letters, 1898, i. 262.)]

[do] {100} Ancient of days! august Athenæ! where.—[MS. D.]

[dp] Gone—mingled with the waste——.—[MS. erased.]

[114] {101} ["Stole," apart from its restricted use as an ecclesiastical vestment, is used by Spenser and other poets as an equivalent for any long and loosely flowing robe, but is, perhaps inaccurately, applied to the short cloak (tribon), the "habit" of Socrates when he lived, and, after his death, the distinctive dress of the cynics.]

[dq] ——gray flits the Ghost of Power.—[MS. D. erased.]

[dr] ——whose altars cease to burn.—[D.]

[ds] ——whose Faith is built on reeds.—[MS. D. erased.]

[115] {102} [Compare Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, act iii, sc. 1, lines 5-7—

"Reason thus with life:
If I do lose thee, I do lose a thing
That none but fools would keep."]

[dt] Still wilt thou harp——.—[MS. D. erased.]

[du] Though 'twas a God, as graver records tell.—[MS. erased.]

[116] [The demigods Erechtheus and Theseus "appeared" at Marathon, and fought side by side with Miltiades (Grote's History of Greece, iv. 284).]

[117] {103} [Compare Shakespeare, Hamlet, act v. sc. 1, passim.]

[118] [Socrates affirmed that true self-knowledge was to know that we know nothing, and in his own case he denied any other knowledge; but "this confession of ignorance was certainly not meant to be a sceptical denial of all knowledge." "The idea of knowledge was to him a boundless field, in the face of which he could not but be ignorant" (Socrates and the Socratic Schools, by Dr. E. Zeller, London, 1868, p. 102).]

[119] [Stanzas viii. and ix. are not in the MS.

The expunged lines (see var. i.) carried the Lucretian tenets of the preceding stanza to their logical conclusion. The end is silence, not a reunion with superior souls. But Dallas objected; and it may well be that, in the presence of death, Byron could not "guard his unbelief," or refrain from a renewed questioning of the "Grand Perhaps." Stanza for stanza, the new version is an improvement on the original. (See Recollections of the Life of Lord Byron, 1824, p. 169. See, too, letters to Hodgson, September 3 and September 13, 1811: Letters, 1898, ii. 18, 34.)]


Frown not upon me, churlish Priest! that I
Look not for Life, where life may never be:
I am no sneerer at thy phantasy;
Thou pitiest me, alas! I envy thee,
Thou bold Discoverer in an unknown sea
Of happy Isles and happier Tenants there;
I ask thee not to prove a Sadducee;[*]
Still dream of Paradise, thou know'st not where,[**]
Which if it be thy sins will never let thee share.[***]
—[MS. D. erased.]

[*]The Sadducees did not believe in the Resurrection.—[MS. D.]

But look upon a scene that once was fair.—[Erased.]
Zion's holy hill which thou wouldst fancy fair.—[Erased.]
As those, which thou delight'st to rear in upper air.—[Erased.]
Yet lovs't too well to bid thine erring brother share.—[D. erased.]

[120] {104} [Byron forwarded this stanza in a letter to Dallas, dated October 14, 1811, and was careful to add, "I think it proper to state to you, that this stanza alludes to an event which has taken place since my arrival here, and not to the death of any male friend" (Letters. 1898, ii. 57). The reference is not to Edleston, as Dallas might have guessed, and as Wright (see Poetical Works, 1891, p. 17) believed. Again, in a letter to Dallas, dated October 31, 1811 (ibid., ii. 65), he sends "a few stanzas," presumably the lines "To Thyrza," which are dated October 31, 1811, and says that "they refer to the death of one to whose name you are a stranger, and, consequently, cannot be interested (sic) ... They relate to the same person whom I have mentioned in Canto 2nd, and at the conclusion of the poem." It follows from this second statement that we have Byron's authority for connecting stanza ix. with stanzas xcv., xcvi., and, inferentially, his authority for connecting stanzas ix., xcv., xcvi. with the group of "Thyrza" poems. And there our knowledge ends. We must leave the mystery where Byron willed that it should be left. "All that we know is, nothing can be known."]

[dw] {105}

Whate'er beside} Howe'er may be Futurity's behest.[*]
Or seeing thee no more to sink in sullen rest.—[MS. D.]

[*][See letter to Dallas, October 14, 1811.]

[121] {106} [For note on the "Elgin Marbles," see Introduction to the Curse of Minerva: Poetical Works, 1898, i. 453-456.]


The last, the worst dull Robber, who was he?
Blush Scotland such a slave thy son could be
England! I joy no child he was of thine:
Thy freeborn men revere what once was free,
Nor tear the Sculpture from its saddening shrine,
Nor bear the spoil away athwart the weeping Brine.—[MS. D. erased.]


This be the wittol Picts ignoble boast.—[MS. D.]
To rive what Goth and Turk, and Time hath spared:
Cold and accursed as his native coast.—[MS. D. erased]

[122] ["On the plaster wall of the Chapel of Pandrosos adjoining the Erechtheum, these words have been very deeply cut—

'Quod non fecerunt Goti,
Hoc fecerunt Scoti'"

(Travels in Albania, 1858, i. 299). M. Darmesteter quotes the original: "mot sur les Barberini" ("Quod non fecere Barbari, Fecere Barberini"). It may be added that Scotchmen are named among the volunteers who joined the Hanoverian mercenaries in the Venetian invasion of Greece in 1686. (See The Curse of Minerva: Poetical Works, 1898, i. 463, note 1; Finlay's Hist. of Greece, v. 189.)]

[dz] {107}

What! shall it e'er be said by British tongue,
Albion was happy while Athenæ mourned?
Though in thy name the slave her bosom wrung,
Albion! I would not see thee thus adorned
With gains thy generous spirit should have scorned,
From Man distinguished by some monstrous sign,
Like Attila the Hun was surely horned,[A]
Who wrought the ravage amid works divine:
Oh that Minerva's voice lent its keen aid to mine.—[MS. D. erased.]
What! shall it e'er be said by British tongue,
Albion was happy in Athenæ's tears?
Though in thy name the slave her bosom wrung,
Let it not vibrate in pale Europe's ears,[B]
The Saviour Queen, the free Britannia, wears
The last poor blunder of a bleeding land:
That 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.—[MS. D.][C]

[A] Attila was horned, if we may trust contemporary legends, and the etchings of his visage in Lavater.—[M.S.]

[B] Lines 5-9 in the Dallas transcript are in Byron's handwriting.

[C] Which centuries forgot——.—[D. erased.]

[ea] {108} After stanza xiii. the MS. inserts the two following stanzas:—

Come then, ye classic Thieves of each degree,
Dark Hamilton[A] and sullen Aberdeen,
Come pilfer all the Pilgrim loves to see,
All that yet consecrates the fading scene:
Ah! better were it ye had never been,
Nor ye, nor Elgin, nor that lesser wight.
The victim sad of vase-collecting spleen.
House-furnisher withal, one Thomas[B] hight,
Than ye should bear one stone from wronged Athenæ's site.
Or will the gentle Dilettanti crew
Now delegate the task to digging Gell,[C]
That mighty limner of a bird's eye view,
How like to Nature let his volumes tell:
Who can with him the folio's limit swell
With all the Author saw, or said he saw?
Who can topographize or delve so well?
No boaster he, nor impudent and raw,
His pencil, pen, and spade, alike without a flaw.—[D. erased.]

[A] [William Richard Hamilton (1777-1859) was the son of Anthony Hamilton, Archdeacon of Colchester, etc., and grandson of Richard Terrick, Bishop of London. In 1799, when Lord Elgin was appointed Ambassador to the Sublime Porte, Hamilton accompanied him as private secretary. After the battle of Ramassieh (Alexandria, March 20, 1801), and the subsequent evacuation of Egypt by the French (August 30, 1801), Hamilton, who had been sent on a diplomatic mission, was successful in recapturing the Rosetta Stone, which, in violation of a specified agreement, had been placed on board a French man-of-war. He was afterwards employed by Elgin as agent plenipotentiary in the purchase, removal, and deportation of marbles. He held office (1809-22) as Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and as Minister at the Court of Naples (1822-25). From 1838 to 1858 he was a Trustee of the British Museum. He published, in 1809, Ægyptiaca, or Some Account of the Ancient and Modern State of Egypt; and, in 1811, his Memorandum on the Subject of the Earl of Elgin's Pursuits in Greece. (For Hamilton, see English Bards, etc., line 509; Poetical Works, 1898, i. 336, note 2.)]

[B] Thomas Hope, Esqr., if I mistake not, the man who publishes quartos on furniture and costume.

[Thomas Hope (1770-1831) (see Hints from Horace, line 7: Poetical Works, 1898, i. 390, note 1) published, in 1805, a folio volume entitled, Household Furniture and Internal Decoration. It was severely handled in the Edinburgh Review (No. xx.) for July, 1807.]

[C] It is rumoured Gell is coming out to dig in Olympia. I wish him more success than he had at Athens. According to Lusieri's account, he began digging most furiously without a firmann, but before the resurrection of a single sauce-pan, the Painter countermined and the Way-wode countermanded and sent him back to bookmaking.—[MS. D.]

[See English Bards, etc., lines 1033, 1034: Poetical Works, 1898, i. 379, note 1.]

[eb] Where was thine Ægis, Goddess——.—[MS. D. erased]

[ec] {110} ——which it had well behoved.—[MS. D.]

[123] [The Athenians believed, or feigned to believe, that the marbles themselves shrieked out in shame and agony at their removal from their ancient shrines.]

[124] [Byron is speaking of his departure from Spain, but he is thinking of his departure from Malta, and his half-hearted amour with Mrs. Spencer Smith.]

[ed] {111} ——that rosy urchin guides.—[MS.]

[ee] Save on that part——.—[MS. erased.]

[ef] {112}

From Discipline's stern law——.—[MS.]
——keen law——.—[MS. D.]

[125] An additional "misery to human life!"—lying to at sunset for a large convoy, till the sternmost pass ahead. Mem.: fine frigate, fair wind likely to change before morning, but enough at present for ten knots!—[MS. D.]

[eg] ——their melting girls believe.—[MS.]

[eh] {113}

Meantime some rude musician's restless hand
Ply's the brisk instrument that sailors love.—[MS. D. erased.]

[ei] Through well-known straits behold the steepy shore.—[MS. erased.]

[126] [Compare Coleridge's reflections, in his diary for April 19, 1804, on entering the Straits of Gibraltar: "When I first sat down, with Europe on my left and Africa on my right, both distinctly visible, I felt a quickening of the movements in the blood, but still felt it as a pleasure of amusement rather than of thought and elevation; and at the same time, and gradually winning on the other, the nameless silent forms of nature were working in me, like a tender thought in a man who is hailed merrily by some acquaintance in his work, and answers it in the same tone" (Anima Poetæ, 1895, pp. 70, 71).]

[127] ["The moon is in the southern sky as the vessel passes through the Straits; consequently, the coast of Spain is in light, that of Africa in shadow" (Childe Harold, edited by H. F. Tozer, 1885, p. 232).]

[128] [Campbell, in Gertrude of Wyoming, Canto I. stanza ii. line 6, speaks of "forests brown;" but, as Mr. Tozer points out, "'brown' is Byron's usual epithet for landscape seen in moonlight." (Compare Canto II. stanza lxx. line 3; Parisina, i. 10; and Siege of Corinth, ii. 1.)]

[ej] {114}

Bleeds the lone heart, once boundless in its zeal.—[D.]
And friendless now, yet dreams it had a friend.—[MS.]
or, Far from affection's chilled or changing zeal.—[MS.]
Divided far by fortune, wave or steel
Though friendless now we once have had a friend.—
[MS. D. erased.]

[ek] Ah! happy years! I would I were once more a boy.—[MS.]

[el] To gaze on Dian's wan reflected sphere.—[MS. D]

[em] ——her dreams of hope and pride.—[MS. D. erased.]

[en] {115} None are so wretched[*] but that——.—[MS.D.]

[*] "Desolate."—[MS. pencil.]

[eo] T.t.b. [tres tres bien], but why insert here.—[MS. pencil.]

[129] [In this stanza M. Darmesteter detects "l'accent Wordsworthien" prior to any "doses" as prescribed by Shelley, and quotes as a possible model the following lines from Beattie's Minstrel:—

"And oft the craggy cliff he lov'd to climb,
When all in mist the world below was lost,
What dreadful pleasure! there to stand sublime,
Like shipwreck'd mariner on desert coast,
And view th' enormous waste of vapour, tost
In billows, lengthening to th' horizon round,
Now scoop'd in gulfs, with mountains now emboss'd!
And hear the voice of mirth, and song rebound,
Flocks, herds, and waterfalls, along the hoar profound."

In felicity of expression, the copy, if it be a copy, surpasses the original; but in the scope and originality of the image, it is vastly inferior. Nor are these lines, with the possible exception of line 3—"Where things that own not Man's dominion dwell," at all Wordsworthian. They fail in that imaginative precision which the Lake poets regarded as essential, and they lack the glamour and passion without which their canons of art would have profited nothing. Six years later, when Byron came within sound of Wordsworth's voice, he struck a new chord—a response, not an echo. Here the motive is rhetorical, not immediately poetical.]

[ep] {116} ——and foaming linns to lean.—[MS. D. erased.]

[130] [There are none to bless us, for when we are in distress the great, the rich, the gay, shrink from us; and when we are popular and prosperous those who court us care nothing for us apart from our success. Neither do they bless us, or we them.]

[eq] This is to live alone—This, This is solitude.—[MS. D.]

[131] [The MS. of stanza xxvii. is on the fly-leaf of a bound volume of proof-sheets entitled "Additions to Childe Harold," It was first published in the seventh edition, 1814. It may be taken for granted that Byron had seen what he describes. There is, however, no record of any visit to Mount Athos, either in his letters from the East or in Hobhouse's journals.

The actual mount, "the giant height [6350 feet], rears itself in solitary magnificence, an insulated cone of white limestone." "When it is seen from a distance, the peninsula [of which the southern portion rises to a height of 2000 feet] is below the horizon, and the peak rises quite solitary from the sea." Of this effect Byron may have had actual experience; but Hobhouse, in describing the prospect from Cape Janissary, is careful to record that "Athos itself is said to be sometimes visible in the utmost distance (circ. 90 miles), but it was not discernible during our stay on the spot." (Murray's Handbook for Greece, p. 843; Childe Harold, edited by H. F. Tozer, p. 233; Travels in Albania, 1858, ii. 103. Compare, too, the fragment entitled the Monk of Athos, first published in the Hon. Roden Noel's Life of Lord Byron, 1890.)]

[132] {118} ["Le sage Mentor, poussant Télémaque, qui était assis sur le bord du rocher, le précipite dans le mer et s'y jette avec lui.... Calypso inconsolable, rentra dans sa grotte, qu'elle remplit de ses hurlements."—Fénelon's Télémaque, vi., Paris, 1837. iii. 43.]

[133] [For Mrs. Spencer Smith, see Letters, 1898, i. 244, 245, note. Moore (Life, pp. 94, 95) contrasts stanzas xxx.-xxxv., with their parade of secret indifference and plea of "a loveless heart," with the tenderness and warmth of his after-thoughts in Albania ("Lines composed during a Thunderstorm," etc.), and decides the coldness was real, the sentiment assumed. He forgets the flight of time. The lines were written in October, 1809, within a month of his departure from "Calypso's isles," and the Childe Harold stanzas belong to the early spring of 1810. "Ou sont les neiges d'antan?" Moreover, he speaks by the card. Writing at Athens, January 16, 1810, he tells us, "The spell is broke, the charm is flown."]

[134] {120} [More than one commentator gravely "sets against" this line—Byron's statement to Dallas (Corr. of Lord Byron, Paris, 1824, iii. 91), "I am not a Joseph or a Scipio; but I can safely affirm that never in my life I seduced any woman." Compare Memoirs of Count Carlo Gozzi, 1890, ii. 12, "Never have I employed the iniquitous art of seduction ... Languishing in soft and thrilling sentiments, I demanded from a woman a sympathy and inclination of like nature with my own. If she fell ... I should have remembered how she made for me the greatest of all sacrifices.... I should have worshipped her like a deity. I could have spent my life's blood in consoling her; and without swearing eternal constancy, I should have been most stable on my side in loving such a mistress."]

[er] {121} Brisk Impudence——.—[MS.]

[es] Youth wasted, wretches born——.—[MS. erased.]

[135] [Compare Lucretius, iv. 1121-4—

"Adde quod absumunt viris pereuntque labore,

Labitur interea res, et Babylonica fiunt:
Languent officia, atque ægrotat fama vacillans."]

[et] {122} Climes strange withal as ever mortal head.—[MS.]

[eu] Suspected in its little pride of thought.—[MS. erased.]

[136] ["Were counselled or advised." The passive "were ared" seems to lack authority. (See N. Eng. Dict., art. "Aread.")]


Her not unconscious though her weakly child.
or,    ——her rudest child.—[MS. erased.]

[137] [Compare the description of the thunderstorm in the Alps (Canto III. stanzas xcii.-xcvi., pp. 273-275); and Manfred, act ii. sc. 2—

"My joy was in the wilderness; to breathe
The difficult air of the iced mountain-top—

In them my early strength exulted; or
To follow through the night the moving moon,
The stars and their development; or catch
The dazzling lightnings till my eyes grew dim."

Beattie, who describes the experiences of his own boyhood in the person of Edwin in The Minstrel, had already made a like protestation—

"In sooth he was a strange and wayward youth.
Fond of each gentle and each dreadful scene.
In darkness and in storm he found delight;
Not less than when on ocean-wave serene
The Southern sun diffus'd his dazzling sheen;
Even sad vicissitude amus'd his soul."

Kirke White, too, who was almost Byron's contemporary, and whose verses he professed to admire—

"Would run a visionary boy
When the hoarse tempest shook the vaulted sky."

This love of Nature in her wilder aspects, which was perfectly genuine, and, indeed, meritorious, was felt to be out of the common, a note of the poetic temperament, worth recording, but unlikely to pass without questioning and remonstrance.]

[138] {123} [Alexander's mother, Olympias, was an Epiriote. She had a place in the original draft of Tennyson's Palace of Art (Life of Lord Tennyson,. 119)—

"One was Olympias; the floating snake
Roll'd round her ankles, round her waist
Knotted," etc.

Plutarch (Vitæ, Lipsiæ:, 1814, vi. 170) is responsible for the legend: Ὢφθη δέ ποτε καὶ δράκων κοιμωμένης τῆς Ὀλυμπιάδου παρεκτεταμένς τῷ σώματι, "Now, one day, when Olympias lay abed, beside her body a dragon was espied stretched out at full length." (Compare, too, Dryden's Alexander's Feast, stanza ii.)]

[139] [Mr. Tozer (Childe Harold, p. 236) takes this line to mean "whom the young love to talk of, and the wise to follow as an example," and points to Alexander's foresight as a conqueror, and the "extension of commerce and civilization" which followed his victories. But, surely, the antithesis lies between Alexander the ideal of the young, and Alexander the deterrent example of the old. The phrase, "beacon of the wise," if Hector in Troilus and Cressida (act ii. sc. 2, line 16) is an authority, is proverbial.

" ... The wound of peace is surety,
Surety secure; but modest doubt is call'd
The beacon of the wise, the tent that searches
To the bottom of the worst."

The beauty, the brilliance, the glory of Alexander kindle the enthusiasm of the young; but the murder of Clytus and the early death which he brought upon himself are held up by the wise as beacon-lights to save others from shipwreck.]

[140] [Byron and Hobhouse sailed for Malta in the brig-of-war Spider on Tuesday, September 19, 1809 (Byron, in a letter to his mother, November 12, says September 21), and anchored off Patras on the night of Sunday, the 24th. On Tuesday, the 26th, they were under way at 12 noon, and on the evening of that day they saw the sun set over Mesalonghi. The next morning, September 27, they were in the channel between Ithaca and the mainland, with Ithaca, then in the hands of the French, to the left. "We were close to it," says Hobhouse, "and saw a few shrubs on a brown heathy land, two little towns in the hills scattered among trees." The travellers made "but little progress this day," and, apparently, having redoubled Cape St. Andreas, the southern extremity of Ithaca, they sailed (September 28) through the channel between Ithaca and Cephalonia, passed the hill of Ætos, on which stood the so-called "Castle of Ulysses," whence Penelope may have "overlooked the wave," and caught sight of "the Lover's refuge" in the distance. Towards the close of the same day they doubled Cape Ducato ("Leucadia's cape," the scene of Sappho's leap), and, sailing under "the ancient mount," the site of the Temple of Apollo, anchored off Prevesa at seven in the evening. Poetry and prose are not always in accord. If, as Byron says, it was "an autumn's eve" when they hailed "Leucadia's cape afar," if the evening star shone over the rock when they approached it, they must have sailed fast to reach Prevesa, some thirty miles to the north, by seven o'clock. But de minimis, the Muse is as disregardful as the Law. And, perhaps, after all, it was Hobhouse who misread his log-book. (Travels in Albania, i. 4, 5; Murray's Handbook for Greece, pp. 40, 46.)]

[141] {125} [The meaning of this passage is not quite so obvious as it seems. He has in his mind the words, "He saved others, Himself He cannot save," and, applying this to Sappho, asks, "Why did she who conferred immortality on herself by her verse prove herself mortal?" Without Fame, and without verse the cause and keeper of Fame, there is no heaven, no immortality, for the sons of men. But what security is there for the eternity of verse and Fame? "Quis custodiet custodes?"]

[142] {126} [For Byron's "star" similes, see Canto III. stanza xxxviii. line 9.]

[ew] ——and looked askance on Mars.—[MS. erased.]

[143] [Compare the line in Tennyson's song, Break, break, break, "And the stately ships go on."]


And roused him more from thought than he was wont
While Pleasure almost seemed to smooth his pallid front.—[MS. D.]
While Pleasure almost smiled along——.—[MS. erased.]

[144] [By "Suli's rocks" Byron means the mountainous district in the south of the Epirus. The district of Suli formed itself into a small republic at the close of the last century, and offered a formidable resistance to Ali Pacha. "Pindus' inland peak," Monte Metsovo, which forms part of the ridge which divides Epirus from Thessaly, is not visible from the sea-coast.]

[145] {127} ["Shore unknown." (See Byron's note to stanza xxxviii. line 5.)]

[ey] {128} ——lovely harmful thing.—[MS. pencil.]

[146] [Compare Byron's Stanzas written on passing the Ambracian Gulph.]

[147] [Nicopolis, "the city of victory," which Augustus, "the second Cæsar," built to commemorate Actium, is some five miles to the north of Prevesa. Byron and Hobhouse visited the ruins on the 30th of September, and again on the 12th of November (see Byron's letter to Mrs. Byron. November 12, 1809: Letters, 1898, i. 251).]


Imperial wretches, doubling human woes!
God!—was thy globe ere made——.—[MS. erased.]

[148] {129} [The travellers left Prevesa on October 1, and arrived at Janina on October 5. They left Janina on October 11, and reached Zitza at nightfall (Byron at 3 a.m., October 12). They left Zitza on October 13, and arrived at Tepeleni on October 19.]

[149] [On the evening of October 11, as the party was approaching Zitza, Hobhouse and the Albanian, Vasilly, rode on, leaving "Lord Byron and the baggage behind." It was getting dark, and just as the luckier Hobhouse contrived to make his way to the village, the rain began to fall in torrents. Before long, "the thunder roared as it seemed without any intermission; for the echoes of one peal had not ceased to roll in the mountains before another crash burst over our heads." Byron, dragoman, and baggage were not three miles from Zitza when the storm began, and they lost their way. After many wanderings and adventures they were finally conducted by ten men with pine torches to the hut; but by that time it was three o'clock in the morning. Hence the "Stanzas composed during a Thunderstorm."—Hobhouse's Travels in Albania, i. 69-71.]

[150] {130} ["The prior of the monastery, a humble, meek-mannered man, entertained us in a warm chamber with grapes and a pleasant white wine ...We were so well pleased with everything about us that we agreed to lodge with him."—Hobhouse's Travels in Albania, i. 73.]

[fa] Here winds, if winds there be, will fan his breast.—[MS. D. erased.]

[fb] Keep Heaven for better souls, my shade shall seek for none.—[MS. erased.]

[fc] {132}

But frequent is the lamb, the kid, the goat
And watching pensive with his browsing flock.—[MS. erased.]

[fd] Counting the hours beneath yon skies unerring shock.—[MS. erased.]

[151] [The site of Dodona, a spot "at the foot of Mount Tomaros" (Mount Olytsika) in the valley of Tcharacovista, was finally determined, in 1876, by excavations carried out, at his own expense, by M. Constantin Carapanos, a native of Arta. In his monograph, Dodone et ses Ruines (Paris, 1878, 4to), M. Carapanos gives a detailed description of the theatre, the twofold Temenos (I. L'Enceinte du Temple, II. Téménos, pp. 13-28), including the Temple of Zeus and a sanctuary of Aphrodite, and of the numerous ex voto offerings and inscriptions on lead which were brought to light during the excavations, and helped to identify the ruins. An accompanying folio volume of plates contains (Planches, i., ii.) a map of the valley of Tcharacovista, and a lithograph of Mount Tomaros, "d'un aspect majestueux et pittoresque ... un roc nu sillonné par le lit de nombreux torrents" (p. 8). Behind Dodona, on the summit of the many-named chain of hills which confronts Mount Tomaros, are "bouquets de chêne," sprung it may be from the offspring of the προσήγοροι δρύες (Æsch., Prom., 833), the "talking oaks," which declared the will of Zeus. For the "prophetic fount" (line 2), Servius, commenting on Virgil, Æneid, iii. 41-66, seems to be the authority: "Circa hoc templum quercus immanis fuisse dicitur ex cujus radicibus fons manebat, qui suo murmure instinctu Deorum diversis oracula reddebat" (Virgilii Opera, Leovardiæ, 1717, i. 548).

Byron and Hobhouse, on one of their excursions from Janina, explored and admired the ruins of the "amphitheatre," but knew not that "here and nowhere else" was Dodona (Travels in Albania, i. 53-56).]

[152] {133} [The sentiment that man, "whose breath is in his nostrils," should consider the impermanence of all that is stable and durable before he cries out upon his own mortality, may have been drawn immediately from the famous letter of consolation sent by Sulpitius Severus to Cicero, which Byron quotes in a note to Canto IV. stanza xliv., or, in the first instance, from Tasso's Gerusalemme Liberata, xv. 20—

"Giace l'alta Cartago; appena i segni
Dell' alte sue ruini il lido serba.
Muojono le città; muojono i regni:
Copre i fasti, e le pompe, arena ed erba;
E l'uom d'esser mortal par cue si sdegni!"

Compare, too, Addison's "Reflections in Westminster Abbey," Spectator, No. 26.]

[153] [The six days' journey from Zitza to Tepeleni is compressed into a single stanza. The vale (line 3) may be that of the Kalama, through which the travellers passed (October 13) soon after leaving Zitza, or, more probably, the plain of Deropoli ("well-cultivated, divided by rails and low hedges, and having a river flowing through it to the south"), which they crossed (October 15) on their way from Delvinaki, the frontier village of Illyria, to Libokhovo.]

[154] {134} ["Yclad," used as a preterite, not a participle (compare Coleridge's "I wis" [Christabel, part i. line 92]), is a Byronism—"archaisme incorrect," says M. Darmesteter.]

[155] ["During the fast of the Ramazan, ... the gallery of each minaret is decorated with a circlet of small lamps. When seen from a distance, each minaret presents a point of light, 'like meteors in the sky;' and in a large city, where they are numerous, they resemble a swarm of fireflies."—H.F. Tozer. (Compare The Giaour, i. 449-452—

"When Rhamazan's last sun was set,
And flashing from each minaret.
Millions of lamps proclaimed the feast
Of Bairam through the boundless East.")]

[156] {135} ["A kind of dervish or recluse ... regarded as a saint."—Cent. Dict., art. "Santon."]

[fe] ——guests and vassals wait.—[MS. erased.]

[ff] While the deep Tocsin's sound——.—[MS. D. erased.]

[157] {136} ["We were disturbed during the night by the perpetual carousal which seemed to be kept up in the gallery, and by the drum, and the voice of the 'muezzinn,' or chanter, calling the Turks to prayers from the minaret of the mosck attached to the palace. This chanter was a boy, and he sang out his hymn is a sort of loud melancholy recitative. He was a long time repeating the Eraun. The first exclamation was repeated four times, the remaining words twice; and the long and piercing note in which he concluded his confession of faith, by twice crying out the word 'hou!' ['At solemn sound of "Alla Hu!"' Giaour, i. 734] still rings in my ears."—Hobhouse's Travels in Albania, i. 95. D'Ohsonn gives the Eraun at full length: "Most high God! [four times repeated]. I acknowledge that there is no other God except God! I acknowledge that there is no other God except God! I acknowledge that Mohammed is the prophet of God! Come to prayer! Come to prayer! Come to the temple of salvation! Come to the temple of salvation! Great God! great God! There is no God except God!"—Oriental Antiquities (Philadelphia, 1788), p. 341.]

[158] {137} ["The Ramazan, or Turkish Lent, which, as it occurs in each of the thirteen months in succession, fell this year in October ... Although during this month the strictest abstinence, even from tobacco and coffee, is observed in the daytime, yet with the setting of the sun the feasting commences."—Travels in Albania, i. 66. "The Ramadan or Rhamazan is the ninth month of the Mohammedan year. As the Mohammedans reckon by lunar time, it begins each year eleven days earlier than in the preceding year, so that in thirty-three years it occurs successively in all the seasons."—Imp. Dictionary.]

[159] [The feast was spread within the courtyard, "in the part farthest from the dwelling," and when the revelry began the "immense large gallery" or corridor, which ran along the front of the palace and was open on one side to the court, was deserted. "Opening into the gallery were the doors of several apartments," and as the servants passed in and out, the travellers standing in the courtyard could hear the sound of voices.—Travels in Albania, i. 93.]

[fg] {138}

——even for health to move.—[MS.]
She saves for one——.—[MS. erased.]


For boyish minions of unhallowed love
The shameless torch of wild desire is lit,
Caressed, preferred even to woman's self above,
Whose forms for Nature's gentler errors fit
All frailties mote excuse save that which they commit.—[MS. D. erased.]

[160] [For an account of Ali Pasha (1741-1822), see Letters, 1898, i. 246, note.]

[161] [In a letter to his mother, November 12, 1809, Byron writes, "He [Ali] said he was certain I was a man of birth, because I had small ears, curling hair, and little white hands. ... He told me to consider him as a father whilst I was in Turkey, and said he looked on me as his son. Indeed, he treated me like a child, sending me almonds and sugared sherbet, fruit and sweetmeats, twenty times a day." Many years after, in the first letter On Bowles' Strictures, February 7, 1821, he introduces a reminiscence of Ali: "I never judge from manners, for I once had my pocket picked by the civillest gentleman I ever met with; and one of the mildest persons I ever saw was Ali Pasha" (Life, p. 689).]

[fi] {139} Delights to mingle with the lips of youth.—[MS. D. erased.]

[162] [Anacreon sometimes bewails, but more often defies old age. (Vide Carmina liv., xi., xxxiv.)

The paraphrase "Teian Muse" recurs in the song, "The Isles of Greece," Don Juan, Canto III.]

[fj] But 'tis those ne'er forgotten acts of ruth.—[MS. D.]

[163] [In the first edition the reading (see var. ii.) is, "But crimes, those ne'er forgotten crimes of ruth." The mistake was pointed out in the Quarterly Review (March, 1812, No. 13, vol. vii. p. 193).

But in Spenser "ruth" means sorrow as well as pity, and three weeks after Childe Harold was published, Ali committed a terrible crime, the outcome of an early grief. On March 27, 1812, in revenge for wrongs done to his mother and sister nearly thirty years before, he caused 670 Gardhikiots to be massacred in the khan of Valiare, and followed up the act of treachery by sacking, plundering, and burning the town of Gardiki, and, "in direct violation of the Mohammedan law," carrying off and reducing to slavery the women and children.—Finlay's Hist. of Greece (edited by Rev. H. F. Tozer, 1877), vi. 67, 68.]

[fk] {140} Those who in blood begin in blood conclude their span.—[MS. erased.]

[164] [This was prophetic. "On the 5th of February, 1822, a meeting took place between Ali and Mohammed Pasha.... When Mohammed rose to depart, the two viziers, being of equal rank, moved together towards the door.... As they parted Ali bowed low to his visitor, and Mohammed, seizing the moment when the watchful eye of the old man was turned away, drew his hanjar, and plunged it in Ali's heart. He walked on calmly to the gallery, and said to the attendants, 'Ali of Tepalen is dead.' ... The head of Ali was exposed at the gate of the serai."—Finlay's Hist. of Greece, 1877, vi. 94, 95.]


Childe Harold with that chief held colloquy
Yet what they spake it boots not to repeat;
Converse may little charm strange ear or eye;
Albeit he rested on that spacious seat,
Of Moslem luxury the choice retreat.—[MS. D. erased.]
Four days he rested on that worthy seat.-[MS. erased.]

[165] {141} [The travellers left Janina on November 3, and reached Prevesa November 7. At midday November 9 they set sail for Patras in a galliot of Ali's, "a vessel of about fifty tons burden, with three short masts and a large lateen sail." Instead of doubling Cape Ducato, they were driven out to sea northward, and, finally, at one o'clock in the morning, anchored off the Port of Phanari on the Suliote coast. Towards the evening of the next day (November 10) they landed in "the marshy bay" (stanza lxviii. line 2) and rode to Volondorako, where they slept. "Here they were well received by the Albanian primate of the place and by the Vizier's soldiers quartered there." Instead of re-embarking in the galliot, they returned to Prevesa by land (November 11). As the country to the north of the Gulf of Arta was up in arms, and bodies of robbers were abroad, they procured an escort of thirty-seven Albanians, hired another galliot, and on Monday, the 13th, sailed across the entrance of the gulf as far as the fortress of Vonitsa, where they anchored for the night. By four o'clock in the afternoon of November 14 they reached Utraikey or Lutraki, "situated in a deep bay surrounded with rocks at the south-east corner of the Gulf of Arta." The courtyard of a barrack on the shore is the scene of the song and dance (stanzas lxx.-lxxii.). Here, in the original MS., the pilgrimage abruptly ends, and in the remaining stanzas the Childe moralizes on the fallen fortunes and vanished heroism of Greece.—Travels in Albania, i. 157-165.]

[166] {143} [The route from Utraikey to Gouria (November 15-18) lay through "thick woods of oak," with occasional peeps of the open cultivated district of Ætolia on the further side of the Aspropotamo, "white Achelous' tide." The Albanian guard was not dismissed until the travellers reached Mesolonghi (November 21).]

[167] [With this description Mr. Tozer compares Virgil, Æneid, i. 159-165, and Tasso's imitation in Gerus. Lib., canto xv. stanzas 42, 43. The following lines from Hoole's translation (Jerusalem Delivered, bk. xv. lines 310, 311, 317, 318) may be cited:—

"Amidst these isles a lone recess is found,
Where circling shores the subject flood resound ...
Within the waves repose in peace serene;
Black forests nod above, a silvan scene!"]

[168] {144} ["In the evening the gates were secured, and preparations were made for feeding our Albanians. A goat was killed and roasted whole, and four fires were kindled in the yard, round which the soldiers seated themselves in parties. After eating and drinking, the greater part of them assembled round the largest of the fires, and, whilst ourselves and the elders of the party were seated on the ground, danced round the blaze to their own songs, in the manner before described, but with astonishing energy. All their songs were relations of some robbing exploits. One of them ... began thus: 'When we set out from Parga there were sixty of us!' then came the burden of the verse—

'Robbers all at Parga!
Robbers all at Parga!'
Κλέφτεις ποτὲ Πάργα!
Κλέφτεις ποτὲ Πάργα!

And as they roared out this stave, they whirled round the fire, dropped, and rebounded from their knees, and again whirled round as the chorus was again repeated."—Travels in Albania, i. 166, 167.]

[169] {145} [This was not Byron's first experience of an Albanian war-song. At Salakhora, on the Gulf of Arta (nine miles north-east of Prevesa), which he reached on October 1, the Albanian guard at the custom-house entertained the travellers by "singing some songs." "The music is extremely monotonous and nasal; and the shrill scream of their voices was increased by each putting his hand behind his ear and cheek, to give more force to the sound."—Travels in Albania, i. 28.

Long afterwards, in 1816, one evening, on the Lake of Geneva, Byron entertained Shelley, Mary, and Claire with "an Albanian song." They seem to have felt that such melodies "unheard are sweeter." Hence, perhaps, his petit nom, "Albè," that is, the "Albaneser."—Life of Shelley, by Edward Dowden, 1896, p. 309.]

[170] {146} [Tambourgi, "drummer," a Turkish word, formed by affixing the termination -gi, which signifies "one who discharges any occupation," to the French tambour (H. F. Tozer, Childe Harold, p. 246).]

[fm] ——thy tocsin afar.—[MS. D. erased.]

[171] [The camese is the fustanella or white kilt of the Toska, a branch of the Albanian, or Shkipetar, race. Spenser has the forms "camis," "camus." The Arabic quamīç occurs in the Koran, but is thought to be an adaptation of the Latin camisia, camisa.—Finlay's Hist, of Greece, vi. 39; N. Eng. Dict., art. "Camis." (For "capote," vide post, p. 181.)]

[fn] Shall the sons of Chimæra——.—[MS. D.]

[172] [The Suliotes, after a protracted and often successful resistance, were finally reduced by Ali, in December, 1803. They are adjured to forget their natural desire for vengeance, and to unite with the Albanians against their common foe, the Russians.]

[fo] {147} Shall win the young minions——.—[MS. D.]

[fp] ——the maid and the youth.—[MS.]

[fq] Their caresses shall lull us, their voices shall soothe.—[MS. D. erased.]

[173] {148} [So, too, at Salakhora (October 1): "One of the songs was on the taking of Prevesa, an exploit of which the Albanians are vastly proud; and there was scarcely one of them in which the name of Ali Pasha was not roared out and dwelt upon with peculiar energy."—Travels in Albania, i. 29.

Prevesa, which, with other Venetian possessions, had fallen to the French in 1797, was taken in the Sultan's name by Ali, in October, 1798. The troops in the garrison (300 French, 460 Greeks) encountered and were overwhelmed by 5000 Albanians, on the plain of Nicopolis. The victors entered and sacked the town.]

[174] [Ali's eldest son, Mukhtar, the Pasha of Berat, had been sent against the Russians, who, in 1809, invaded the trans-Danubian provinces of the Ottoman Empire.]

[175] Yellow is the epithet given to the Russians.

[176] Infidel.

[177] The insignia of a Pacha.

[178] {149} [The literal meaning of Delhi or Deli, is, says M. Darmesteter, "fou" ["properly madmen" (D'Herbelot)], a title bestowed on Turkish warriors honoris causû. Byron suggests "forlorn hope" as an equivalent; but there is a wide difference between the blood-drunkenness of the Turk and the "foolishness" of British chivalry.]

[179] Sword-bearer.

[fr] Tambourgi! thy tocsin——.—[MS. D. erased]

[180] [Compare "The Isles of Greece," stanza 7 (Don Juan, Canto III.)—

"Earth! render back from out thy heart
A remnant of our Spartan dead!
Of the three hundred grant but three
To make a new Thermopylæ!"

The meaning is, "When shall another Lysander spring from Laconia ('Eurotas' banks') and revive the heroism of the ancient Spartans?"]

[fs] {150} A fawning feeble race, untaught, enslaved, unmanned.—[MS. erased.]

[ft] ——fair Liberty.—[MS. erased, D.]

[181] {151} [Compare The Age of Bronze, vi. lines 39-46.]

[182] [The Wahabees, who took their name from the Arab sheik Mohammed ben Abd-el-Wahab, arose in the province of Nedj, in Central Arabia, about 1760. Half-socialists, half-puritans, they insisted on fulfilling to the letter the precepts of the Koran. In 1803-4 they attacked and ravaged Mecca and Medinah, and in 1808 they invaded Syria and took Damascus. During Byron's residence in the East they were at the height of their power, and seemed to threaten the very existence of the Turkish empire.]

[183] {152} [Byron spent two months in Constantinople (Stamboul, i.e. εἰς τὴν πόλιν)—from May 14 to July 14, 1810. The "Lenten days," which were ushered in by a carnival, were those of the second "great" Lent of the Greek Church, that of St. Peter and St. Paul, which begins on the first Monday after Trinity, and ends on the 29th of June.]

[184] {153} [These al-fresco festivities must, it is presumed, have taken place on the two days out of the seven when you "might not 'damn the climate' and complain of the spleen." Hobhouse records excursions to the Valley of Sweet Waters; to Belgrade, where "the French minister gave a sort of fête-champêtre," when "the carousal lasted four days," and when "night after night is kept awake by the pipes, tabors, and fiddles of these moonlight dances;" and to the grove of Fanar-Baktchesi.—Travels in Albania, ii. 242-258.]


["There's nothing like young Love, No! No!
There's nothing like young love at last."]

[186] {154} [It has been assumed that "searment" is an incorrect form of "cerement," the cloth dipped "in melting wax, in which dead bodies were enfolded when embalmed" (Hamlet, act i. sc. 4), but the sense of the passage seems rather to point to "cerecloth," "searcloth," a plaster to cover up a wound. The "robe of revel" does but half conceal the sore and aching heart.]

[187] [For the accentuation of the word, compare Chaucer, "The Sompnour's Tale" (Canterbury Tales, line 7631)—

"And dronkennesse is eke a foul recórd
Of any man, and namely of a lord."]

[fu] When Athens' children are with arts endued.—[MS. D.]

[188] [Compare Ecclus. xliv. 8, 9: "There be of them, that have left a name behind them, that their praises might be reported. And some there be, which have no memorial; who are perished, as though they had never been."]

[189] {156} [The "solitary column" may be that on the shore of the harbour of Colonna, in the island of Kythnos (Thermia), or one of the detached columns of the Olympeion.]

[190] [Tritonia, or Tritogenia, one of Athena's names of uncertain origin. Hofmann's Lexicon Universale, Tooke's Pantheon, and Smith's Classical Dictionary are much in the same tale. Lucan (Pharsalia, lib. ix. lines 350-354) derives the epithet from Lake Triton, or Tritonis, on the Mediterranean coast of Libya—

"Hanc et Pallas amat: patrio quæ vertice nata
Terrarum primum Libyen (nam proxima coelo est,
Ut probat ipse calor) tetigit, stagnique quietâ
Vultus vidit aquâ, posuitque in margine plantas,
Et se dilectâ Tritonida dixit ab undâ."]

[191] [Hobhouse dates the first visit to Cape Colonna, January 24, 1810.]

[192] {157} [Athené's dower of the olive induced the gods to appoint her as the protector and name-giver of Athens. Poseidon, who had proffered a horse, was a rejected candidate. (See note by Rev. E. C. Owen, Childe Harold, 1897, p. 175.)]

[193] ["The wild thyme is in great abundance; but there are only two stands of bee-hives on the mountains, and very little of the real honey of Hymettus is to be now procured at Athens.... A small pot of it was shown to me as a rarity" (Travels in Albania, i. 341). There is now, a little way out of Athens, a "honey-farm, where the honey from Hymettus is prepared for sale" (Handbook for Greece, p. 500).]

[fv] ——Pentele's marbles glare.—[MS. D. erased.]

[194] [Stanzas lxxxviii.-xc. are not in the MS., but were first included in the seventh edition, 1814.]

[195] [Byron and Hobhouse, after visiting Colonna, slept at Keratéa, and proceeded to Marathon on January 25, returning to Athens on the following day.]

[fw] {158} Preserve alike its form——.—[MS. L.]

[fx] When uttered to the listener's eye——.—[MS. L.]

[fy] The host, the plain, the fight——.—[MS. L.]

[fz] The shattered Mede who flies with broken bow.—[MS. L.]

[196] ["The plain of Marathon is enclosed on three sides by the rocky arms of Parnes and Pentelicus, while the fourth is bounded by the sea." After the first rush, when the victorious wings, where the files were deep, had drawn together and extricated the shallower and weaker centre, which had been repulsed by the Persians and the Sakæ, "the pursuit became general, and the Persians were chased to their ships, ranged in line along the shore. Some of them became involved in the impassable marsh, and there perished." (See Childe Harold, edited by H. F. Tozer, 1885, p. 253; Grote's History of Greece, iv. 276. See, too, Travels in Albania, i. 378-384.)]

[ga] To tell what Asia troubled but to hear.—[MS. L.]

[197] [See note to Canto II. stanzas i.-xv., pp. 99, 100.]

[gb] Long to the remnants—.——[D.]

[198] [The "Ionian blast" is the western wind that brings the voyager across the Ionian Sea.]

[199] {160} [The original MS. closes with this stanza.]

[gc] Which heeds nor stern reproach——.—[D.]

[gd] {161}Would I had ne'er returned——.—[D.]


"To Mr. Dallas.

The 'he' refers to 'Wanderer' and anything is better than I I I I always I.



[4th Revise B.M.]

[ge] But Time the Comforter shall come at last.—[MS. erased.]

[201] [Compare Young's Night Thoughts ("The Complaint," Night i.). Vide ante, p. 95.]


Though Time not yet hath ting'd my locks with snow,[*]
Yet hath he reft whate'er my soul enjoy'd.—[D.]

[*] "To Mr. Dallas.

If Mr. D. wishes me to adopt the former line so be it. I prefer the other I confess, it has less egotism—the first sounds affected.



[Dallas assented, and directed the printer to let the Roll stand.]




Despite of War and wasting fire.

Stanza i. line 4.

Part of the Acropolis was destroyed by the explosion of a magazine during the Venetian siege.

[In 1684, when the Venetian Armada threatened Athens, the Turks removed the Temple of Victory, and made use of the materials for the construction of a bastion. In the autumn of 1687, when the city was besieged by the Venetians under Francesco Morosini (1618-1694; Doge of Venice, 1688), "mortars were planted ... near the north-east corner of the rock, which threw their shells at a high angle, with a low charge, into the Acropolis.... On the 25th of September, a Venetian bomb blew up a small powder-magazine in the Propylæa, and on the following evening another fell in the Parthenon, where the Turks had deposited ... a considerable quantity of powder.... A terrific explosion took place; the central columns of the peristyle, the walls of the cella, and the immense architraves and cornices they supported, were scattered around the remains of the temple. The Propylæa had been partly destroyed in 1656 by the explosion of a magazine which was struck by lightning."—Finlay's History of Greece, 1887, i. 185.]


But worse than steel, and flame, and ages slow,
Is the dread sceptre and dominion dire.

Stanza i. lines 6, 7.

We can all feel, or imagine, the regret with which the ruins of cities, once the capitals of empires, are beheld: the [166] reflections suggested by such objects are too trite to require recapitulation. But never did the littleness of man, and the vanity of his very best virtues, of patriotism to exalt, and of valour to defend his country appear more conspicuous than in the record of what Athens was, and the certainty of what she now is. This theatre of contention between mighty factions, of the struggles of orators, the exaltation and deposition of tyrants, the triumph and punishment of generals, is now become a scene of petty intrigue and perpetual disturbance, between the bickering agents of certain British nobility and gentry. "The wild foxes, the owls and serpents in the ruins of Babylon,"[202] were surely less degrading than such inhabitants. The Turks have the plea of conquest for their tyranny, and the Greeks have only suffered the fortune of war, incidental to the bravest; but how are the mighty fallen, when two painters[203] contest the privilege of plundering the Parthenon, and triumph in turn, according to the tenor of each succeeding firman! Sylla could but punish, Philip subdue, and Xerxes burn Athens; but it remained for the paltry antiquarian, and his despicable agents, to render her contemptible as himself and his pursuits. The Parthenon, before its destruction, in part, by fire during the Venetian siege, had been a temple, a church, and a mosque.[204] In each point of view it is an object of regard: it changed its worshippers; but still it was a place of worship thrice sacred to devotion: its violation is a triple sacrifice. But—

"Man, proud man,
Drest in a little brief authority,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high Heaven
As make the angels weep."

[Shakespeare, Measure for Measure,
act ii. sc. 2, lines 117-122.]


Far on the solitary shore he sleeps.

Stanza v. line 2.

It was not always the custom of the Greeks to burn their dead; the greater Ajax, in particular, was interred entire. Almost all the chiefs became gods after their decease; and he was indeed neglected, who had not annual games near his tomb, or festivals in honour of his memory by his countrymen, as Achilles, Brasidas, etc., and at last even Antinous, whose death was as heroic as his life was infamous.


Here, son of Saturn! was thy favourite throne.

Stanza x. line 3.

The Temple of Jupiter Olympius, of which sixteen columns, entirely of marble, yet survive; originally there were one hundred and fifty. These columns, however, are by many supposed to have belonged to the Pantheon.

[The Olympieion, or Temple of Zeus Olympius, on the south-east of the Acropolis, some five hundred yards from the foot of the rock, was begun by Pisistratos, and completed seven hundred years later by Hadrian. It was one of the three or four largest temples of antiquity. The cella had been originally enclosed by a double row of twenty columns at the sides, and a triple row of eight columns at each front, making a hundred and four columns in all; but in 1810 only sixteen "lofty Corinthian columns" were standing. Mr. Tozer points out that "'base' is accurate, because Corinthian columns have bases, which Doric columns have not," and notes that the word "'unshaken' implies that the column itself had fallen, but the base remains."—Childe Harold, 1888, p. 228.]


And bear these altars o'er the long-reluctant brine.

Stanza xi. line 9.

The ship was wrecked in the Archipelago.

[The Mentor, which Elgin had chartered to convey to England a cargo consisting of twelve chests of antiquities, was wrecked off the Island of Cerigo, in 1803. His secretary, W. R. Hamilton, set divers to work, and rescued four chests; but the remainder were not recovered till 1805.]



To rive what Goth, and Turk, and Time hath spared.

Stanza xii. line 2.

At this moment (January 3, 1810), besides what has been already deposited in London, an Hydriot vessel is in the Pyræus to receive every portable relic. Thus, as I heard a young Greek observe, in common with many of his countrymen—for, lost as they are, they yet feel on this occasion—thus may Lord Elgin boast of having ruined Athens. An Italian painter of the first eminence, named Lusieri[205], is the agent of devastation; and like the Greek finder[206] of Verres in Sicily, who followed the same profession, he has proved the able instrument of plunder. Between this artist and the French Consul Fauvel[207], who wishes to rescue the remains for his own government, there is now a violent dispute concerning a car employed in their conveyance, the wheel of which—I wish they were both broken upon it!—has been locked up by the Consul, and Lusieri has laid his complaint before the Waywode. Lord Elgin has been extremely happy in his choice of Signer Lusieri. During a residence of ten years in Athens, he never had the curiosity to proceed [169] as far as Sunium (now Cape Colonna),[208] till he accompanied us in our second excursion. However, his works, as far as [170] they go, are most beautiful: but they are almost all unfinished. While he and his patrons confine themselves to tasting medals, appreciating cameos, sketching columns, and cheapening gems, their little absurdities are as harmless as insect or fox-hunting, maiden-speechifying, barouche-driving, or any such pastime; but when they carry away three or four shiploads of the most valuable and massy relics that time and barbarism have left to the most injured and most celebrated of cities: when they destroy, in a vain attempt to tear down, those works which have been the admiration of ages, I know no motive which can excuse, no name which can designate, the perpetrators of this dastardly devastation. It was not the least of the crimes laid to the charge of Verres, that he had plundered Sicily, in the manner since imitated at Athens. The most unblushing impudence could hardly go farther than to affix the name of its plunderer to the walls of the Acropolis; while the wanton and useless defacement of the whole range of the basso-relievos, in one compartment of the temple, will never permit that name to be pronounced by an observer without execration.

On this occasion I speak impartially: I am not a collector or admirer of collections, consequently no rival; but I have some early prepossession in favour of Greece, and do not think the honour of England advanced by plunder, whether of India or Attica.

Another noble Lord [Aberdeen] has done better, because he has done less: but some others, more or less noble, yet "all honourable men," have done best, because, after a deal of excavation and execration, bribery to the Waywode, mining and countermining, they have done nothing at all. We had such ink-shed, and wine-shed, which almost ended [171] in bloodshed![209] Lord E.'s "prig"—see Jonathan Wild for the definition of "priggism"[210]—quarrelled with another, Gropius[211] by name (a very good name too for his business), and muttered something about satisfaction, in a verbal answer to a note of the poor Prussian: this was stated at [172] table to Gropius, who laughed, but could eat no dinner afterwards. The rivals were not reconciled when I left Greece. I have reason to remember their squabble, for they wanted to make me their arbitrator.


Her Sons too weak the sacred shrine to guard,
Yet felt some portion of their Mother's pains.

Stanza xii. lines 7 and 8.

I cannot resist availing myself of the permission of my friend Dr. Clarke, whose name requires no comment with the public, but whose sanction will add tenfold weight to my testimony, to insert the following extract from a very obliging letter of his to me, as a note to the above lines:—"When the last of the Metopes was taken from the Parthenon, and, in moving of it, great part of the superstructure with one of the triglyphs was thrown down by the workmen whom Lord Elgin employed, the Disdar, who beheld the mischief done to the building, took his pipe from his mouth, dropped a tear, and in a supplicating tone of voice, said to Lusieri, Τέλος!—I was present." The Disdar alluded to was the father of the present Disdar.

[Disdar, or Dizdar, i.e. castle-holder—the warden of a castle or fort (N. Eng. Dict., art. "Dizdar"). The story is told at greater length in Travels in Various Countries of Europe, Asia, and Africa, by Edward Daniel Clarke, LL.D., 1810-14, Part II. sect. ii. p. 483.]


Where was thine Ægis, Pallas! that appalled
Stern Alaric and Havoc on their way?

Stanza xiv. lines i and 2.

According to Zosimus, Minerva and Achilles frightened Alaric from the Acropolis: but others relate that the Gothic king was nearly as mischievous as the Scottish peer.—See Chandler.

[Zosimus, Historiæ, lib. v. cap. 6, Corp. Scr. Byz., 1837, p. 253. As a matter of fact, Alaric, King of the Visigoths, occupied Athens in A.D. 395 without resistance, and carried off the movable treasures of the city, though he did not destroy buildings or works of art.—Note by Rev. E. C. Owen, Childe Harold, 1898, p. 162.]



The netted canopy.

Stanza xviii. line 2.

To prevent blocks or splinters from falling on deck during action.


But not in silence pass Calypso's isles.

Stanza xxix. line 1.

Goza is said to have been the island of Calypso.

[Strabo (Paris, 1853), lib. i. cap. ii. 57 and lib. vii. cap. iii. 50, says that Apollodorus blamed the poet Callimachus, who was a grammarian and ought to have known better, for his contention that Gaudus, i.e. Gozo, was Calypso's isle. Ogygia (Odyssey, i. 50) was

"a sea-girt isle,
Where is the navel of the sea, a woodland isle."

It was surely as a poet, not as a grammarian, that Callimachus was at fault.]


Land of Albania! let me bend mine eyes
On thee, thou rugged Nurse of savage men!

Stanza xxxviii. lines 5 and 6.

Albania comprises part of Macedonia, Illyria, Chaonia, and Epirus. Iskander is the Turkish word for Alexander; and the celebrated Scanderbeg[212] (Lord Alexander) is alluded to in the third and fourth lines of the thirty-eighth stanza. I [174] do not know whether I am correct in making Scanderbeg the countryman of Alexander, who was born at Pella in Macedon, but Mr. Gibbon terms him so, and adds Pyrrhus to the list, in speaking of his exploits.

Of Albania Gibbon remarks that a country "within sight of Italy is less known than the interior of America." Circumstances, of little consequence to mention, led Mr. Hobhouse and myself into that country before we visited any other part of the Ottoman dominions; and with the exception of Major Leake,[213] then officially resident at Joannina, no other Englishmen have ever advanced beyond the capital into the interior, as that gentleman very lately assured me. Ali Pacha was at that time (October, 1809) carrying on war against Ibrahim Pacha, whom he had driven to Berat, a strong fortress, which he was then besieging: on our arrival at Joannina we were invited to Tepaleni, his highness's birthplace, and favourite Serai, only one day's distance from Berat; at this juncture the Vizier had made it his headquarters. After some stay in the capital, we accordingly followed; but though furnished with every accommodation, and escorted by one of the Vizier's secretaries, we were nine days (on account of the rains) in accomplishing a journey which, on our return, barely occupied four. On our route we passed two cities, Argyrocastro and Libochabo, apparently little inferior to Yanina in size; and no pencil or pen can ever do justice to the scenery in the vicinity of Zitza and Delvinachi, the frontier village of Epirus and Albania Proper.

On Albania and its inhabitants I am unwilling to descant, because this will be done so much better by my fellow-traveller, in a work which may probably precede this in publication, that I as little wish to follow as I would to anticipate him.[214] But some few observations are necessary to the text. The Arnaouts, or Albanese, struck me forcibly by their resemblance to the Highlanders of Scotland, in dress, figure, and manner of living. Their very mountains seemed Caledonian, with a kinder climate. The kilt, though white; the spare, active form; their dialect, Celtic in its sound; and their hardy habits, all carried me back to Morven. No nation are so detested and dreaded by their neighbours as the Albanese; the Greeks hardly regard them as Christians, [175] or the Turks as Moslems; and in fact they are a mixture of both, and sometimes neither. Their habits are predatory—all are armed; and the red-shawled Arnaouts, the Montenegrins, Chimariots, and Gegdes, are treacherous;[215] the others differ somewhat in garb, and essentially in character. As far as my own experience goes, I can speak favourably. I was attended by two, an Infidel and a Mussulman, to Constantinople and every other part of Turkey which came within my observation; and more faithful in peril, or indefatigable in service, are rarely to be found. The Infidel was named Basilius; the Moslem, Dervish Tahiri; the former a man of middle age, and the latter about my own. Basili was strictly charged by Ali Pacha in person to attend us; and Dervish was one of fifty who accompanied us through the forests of Acarnania to the banks of Achelous, and onward to Messalonghi in Ætolia. There I took him into my own service, and never had occasion to repent it till the moment of my departure.

When, in 1810, after the departure of my friend Mr. Hobhouse for England, I was seized with a severe fever in the Morea, these men saved my life by frightening away my physician, whose throat they threatened to cut if I was not cured within a given time. To this consolatory assurance of posthumous retribution, and a resolute refusal of Dr. Romanelli's prescriptions, I attributed my recovery.[gg] I had left my last remaining English servant at Athens; my dragoman was as ill as myself, and my poor Arnaouts nursed me with an attention which would have done honour to civilization. They had a variety of adventures; for the Moslem, Dervish, being a remarkably handsome man, was always squabbling with the husbands of Athens; insomuch that four of the principal Turks paid me a visit of remonstrance at the Convent on the subject of his having taken a woman from the bath—whom he had lawfully bought, however—a thing quite contrary to etiquette. Basili also was extremely gallant amongst his own persuasion, and had the greatest veneration for the church, mixed with the highest contempt of churchmen, whom he cuffed upon occasion in a most heterodox manner. Yet he never passed a church [176] without crossing himself; and I remember the risk he ran in entering St. Sophia, in Stambol, because it had once been a place of his worship. On remonstrating with him on his inconsistent proceedings, he invariably answered, "Our church is holy, our priests are thieves:" and then he crossed himself as usual, and boxed the ears of the first "papas" who refused to assist in any required operation, as was always found to be necessary where a priest had any influence with the Cogia Bashi[216] of his village. Indeed, a more abandoned race of miscreants cannot exist than the lower orders of the Greek clergy.

When preparations were made for my return, my Albanians were summoned to receive their pay. Basili took his with an awkward show of regret at my intended departure, and marched away to his quarters with his bag of piastres. I sent for Dervish, but for some time he was not to be found; at last he entered, just as Signor Logotheti,[217] father to the ci-devant Anglo-consul of Athens, and some other of my Greek acquaintances, paid me a visit. Dervish took the money in his hand, but on a sudden dashed it to the ground; and clasping his hands, which he raised to his forehead, rushed out of the room weeping bitterly. From that moment to the hour of my embarkation, he continued his lamentations, and all our efforts to console him only produced this answer, "Μ'αφεινει", "He leaves me." Signer Logotheti, who never wept before for anything less than the loss of a para (about the fourth of a farthing), melted; the padre of the convent, my attendants, my visitors—and I verily believe that even Sterne's "foolish fat scullion" would have left her "fish-kettle" to sympathize with the unaffected and unexpected sorrow of this barbarian.[218]

For my own part, when I remembered that, a short time before my departure from England, a noble and most intimate associate had excused himself from taking leave of me because he had to attend a female relation "to a milliner's,"[219] I felt no less surprised than humiliated by the present occurrence and the past recollection. That Dervish would leave me with some regret was to be expected; when master and man have been scrambling over the mountains of a dozen provinces together, they are unwilling to separate; but his present feelings, contrasted with his native ferocity, [177] improved my opinion of the human heart. I believe this almost feudal fidelity is frequent amongst them. One day, on our journey over Parnassus, an Englishman in my service gave him a push in some dispute about the baggage, which he unluckily mistook for a blow; he spoke not, but sat down leaning his head upon his hands. Foreseeing the consequences, we endeavoured to explain away the affront, which produced the following answer:—"I have been a robber; I am a soldier; no captain ever struck me; you are my master, I have eaten your bread, but by that bread! (a usual oath) had it been otherwise, I would have stabbed the dog, your servant, and gone to the mountains." So the affair ended, but from that day forward he never thoroughly forgave the thoughtless fellow who insulted him. Dervish excelled in the dance of his country, conjectured to be a remnant of the ancient Pyrrhic: be that as it may, it is manly, and requires wonderful agility. It is very distinct from the stupid Romaika,[220] the dull round-about of the Greeks, of which our Athenian party had so many specimens.

The Albanians in general (I do not mean the cultivators of the earth in the provinces, who have also that appellation, but the mountaineers) have a fine cast of countenance; and the most beautiful women I ever beheld, in stature and in features, we saw levelling the road broken down by the torrents between Delvinachi and Libochabo. Their manner of walking is truly theatrical; but this strut is probably the effect of the capote, or cloak, depending from one shoulder. Their long hair reminds you of the Spartans, and their courage in desultory warfare is unquestionable. Though they have some cavalry amongst the Gegdes, I never saw a good Arnaout horseman; my own preferred the English saddles, which, however, they could never keep. But on foot they are not to be subdued by fatigue.


And passed the barren spot,
Where sad Penelope o'erlooked the wave.

Stanza xxxix. lines 1 and 2.




Actium—Lepanto—fatal Trafalgar.

Stanza xl. line 5.

Actium and Trafalgar need no further mention. The battle of Lepanto [October 7, 1571], equally bloody and considerable, but less known, was fought in the Gulf of Patras. Here the author of Don Quixote lost his left hand.

["His [Cervantes'] galley the Marquesa, was in the thick of the fight, and before it was over he had received three gun-shot wounds, two in the breast and one on the left hand or arm." In consequence of his wound "he was seven months in hospital before he was discharged. He came out with his left hand permanently disabled; he had lost the use of it, as Mercury told him in the 'Viaje del Parnase,' for the greater glory of the right."—Don Quixote, A Translation by John Ormsby, 1885, Introduction, i. 13.]


And hailed the last resort of fruitless love.

Stanza xli. line 3.

Leucadia, now Santa Maura. From the promontory (the Lover's Leap) Sappho is said to have thrown herself.

[Strabo (lib. x. cap. 2, ed. Paris, 1853, p. 388) gives Menander as an authority for the legend that Sappho was the first to take the "Lover's Leap" from the promontory of Leucate. Writers, he adds, better versed in antiquities ἀρχαιολογικώτεροι, prefer the claims of one Cephalus. Another legend, which he gives as a fact, perhaps gave birth to the later and more poetical fiction. The Leucadians, he says, once a year, on Apollo's day, were wont to hurl a criminal from the rock into the sea by way of expiation and propitiation. Birds of all kinds were attached to the victim to break his fall, and, if he reached the sea uninjured, there was a fleet of little boats ready to carry him to other shores. It is possible that dim memories of human sacrifice lingered in the islands, that in course of time victims were transformed into "lovers," and it is certain that poets and commentators, "prone to lie," are responsible for names and incidents.]



Many a Roman chief and Asian King.

Stanza xlv. line 4.

It is said, that on the day previous to the battle of Actium, Antony had thirteen kings at his levee.

[Plutarch, in his Antonius, gives the names of "six auxiliary kings who fought under his banners," and mentions six other kings who did not attend in person but sent supplies. Shakespeare (Anthony and Cleopatra, act iii. sc. 6, lines 68-75), quoting Plutarch almost verbatim, enumerates ten kings who were "assembled" in Anthony's train—

"Bocchus, the king of Libya; Archelaus,
Of Cappadocia; Philadelphos, king
Of Paphlagonia; the Thracian king, Adallas;
King Malchus of Arabia; king of Pont;
Herod of Jewry; Mithridates, king
Of Comagene; Polemon and Amintas,
The kings of Mede and Lycaonia,
With a more larger list of sceptres."

Other authorities for the events of the campaign and battle of Actium (Dion Cassius, Appian, and Orosius) are silent as to "kings;" but Florus (iv. 11) says that the wind-tossed waters "vomited back" to the shore gold and purple, the spoils of the Arabians and Sabæans, and a thousand other peoples of Asia.]


Look where the second Cæsar's trophies rose.

Stanza xlv. line 6.

Nicopolis, whose ruins are most extensive, is at some distance from Actium, where the wall of the Hippodrome survives in a few fragments. These ruins are large masses of brickwork, the bricks of which are joined by interstices of mortar, as large as the bricks themselves, and equally durable.


Acherusia's lake.

Stanza xlvii. line 1.

According to Pouqueville, the lake of Yanina; but Pouqueville is always out.

[The lake of Yanina (Janina or Joannina) was the ancient Pambotis. "At the mouth of the gorge [of Suli], where it suddenly comes to an end, was the marsh, the Palus Acherusia, in the neighbourhood of which was the Oracle."—Geography of Greece, by H. F. Tozer, 1873, p. 121.]



To greet Albania's Chief.

Stanza xlvii. line 4.

The celebrated Ali Pacha. Of this extraordinary man there is an incorrect account in Pouqueville's Travels. [For note on Ali Pasha (1741-1822), see Letters, 1898, i. 246.]


Yet here and there some daring mountain-band
Disdain his power, and from their rocky hold
Hurl their defiance far, nor yield, unless to gold.

Stanza xlvii. lines 7, 8, and 9.

Five thousand Suliotes, among the rocks and in the castle of Suli, withstood thirty thousand Albanians for eighteen years; the castle at last was taken by bribery. In this contest there were several acts performed not unworthy of the better days of Greece.

[Ali Pasha assumed the government of Janina in 1788, but it was not till December 12, 1803, that the Suliotes, who were betrayed by their leaders, Botzaris and Koutsonika and others, finally surrendered.—Finlay's History of Greece, 1877, vi. 45-50.]


Monastic Zitza! etc.

Stanza xlviii. line 1.

The convent and village of Zitza are four hours' journey from Joannina, or Yanina, the capital of the Pachalick. In the valley the river Kalamas (once the Acheron) flows, and, not far from Zitza, forms a fine cataract. The situation is perhaps the finest in Greece, though the approach to Delvinachi and parts of Acarnania and Ætolia may contest the palm. Delphi, Parnassus, and, in Attica, even Cape Colonna and Port Raphti, are very inferior; as also every scene in Ionia, or the Troad: I am almost inclined to add the approach to Constantinople; but, from the different features of the last, a comparison can hardly be made.



Here dwells the caloyer.

Stanza xlix. line 6.

The Greek monks are so called.

[Caloyer is derived from the late Greek καλόγηρος, "good in old age," through the Italian caloieso. Hence the accent on the last syllable.—N. Eng. Dict.]


Nature's volcanic Amphitheatre.

Stanza li. line 2.

The Chimariot mountains appear to have been volcanic.

[By "Chimæra's Alps" Byron probably meant the Ceraunian Mountains, which are "woody to the top, but disclose some wide chasms of red rock" (Travels in Albania, i. 73) to the north of Jannina,—not the Acroceraunian (Chimariot) Mountains, which run from north to south-west along the coast of Mysia. "The walls of rock (which do not appear to be volcanic) rise in tiers on every side, like the seats and walls of an amphitheatre" (H. F. Tozer). The near distance may have suggested an amphitheatre; but he is speaking of the panorama which enlarged on his view, and uses the word not graphically, but metaphorically, of the entire "circle of the hills."]


Behold black Acheron!

Stanza li. line 6.

Now called Kalamas.


In his white capote.

Stanza lii. line 7.

Albanese cloak.

[The capote (feminine of capot, masculine diminutive of cope, cape) was a long shaggy cloak or overcoat, with a hood, worn by soldiers, etc.—N. Eng. Dict., art. "Capote."]



The Sun had sunk behind vast Tomerit.

Stanza lv. line 1.

Anciently Mount Tomarus.

["Mount Tomerit, or Tomohr," says Mr. Tozer, "lies north-east of Tepalen, and therefore the sun could not set behind it" (Childe Harold, 1885, p. 272). But, writing to Drury, May 3, 1810, Byron says that "he penetrated as far as Mount Tomarit." Probably by "Tomarit" he does not mean Mount Tomohr, which lies to the north-east of Berat, but Mount Olytsika, ancient Tomaros (vide ante, p. 132, note 1), which lies to the west of Janina, between the valley of Tcharacovista and the sea. "Elle domine," writes M. Carapanos, "toutes les autres montagnes qui l'entourent." "Laos," Mr. Tozer thinks, "is a mere blunder for Aöus, the Viosa (or Voioussa), which joins the Derapuli a few miles south of Tepaleni, and flows under the walls of the city" (Dodone et ses Ruines, 1878, p. 8). (For the Aöus and approach to Tepeleni, see Travels in Albania, i. 91.)]


And Laos wide and fierce came roaring by.

Stanza lv. line 2.

The river Laos was full at the time the author passed it; and, immediately above Tepaleen, was to the eye as wide as the Thames at Westminster; at least in the opinion of the author and his fellow-traveller. In the summer it must be much narrower. It certainly is the finest river in the Levant; neither Achelous, Alpheus, Acheron, Scamander, nor Cayster, approached it in breadth or beauty.


And fellow-countrymen have stood aloof.

Stanza lxvi. line 8.

Alluding to the wreckers of Cornwall.


The red wine circling fast.

Stanza lxxi. line 2.

The Albanian Mussulmans do not abstain from wine, and, indeed, very few of the others.



Each Palikar his sabre from him cast.

Stanza lxxi. line 7.

Palikar, shortened when addressed to a single person, from Παλικαρι [παλληκάρι], a general name for a soldier amongst the Greeks and Albanese, who speak Romaic: it means, properly, "a lad."


While thus in concert, etc.

Stanza lxxii. line 9.

As a specimen of the Albanian or Arnaout dialect of the Illyric, I here insert two of their most popular choral songs, which are generally chanted in dancing by men or women indiscriminately. The first words are merely a kind of chorus without meaning, like some in our own and all other languages.

1. Bo, Bo, Bo, Bo, Bo, Bo,
Naciarura, popuso.
2. Naciarura na civin
Ha pen derini ti hin.
3. Ha pe uderi escrotini
Ti vin ti mar servetini.
4. Caliriote me surme
Ea ha pe pse dua tive.
5. Buo, Bo, Bo, Bo, Bo,
Gi egem spirta esimiro.
6. Caliriote vu le funde
Ede vete tunde tunde.
7. Caliriote me surme
Ti mi put e poi mi le.
8. Se ti puta citi mora
Si mi ri ni veti udo gia.
9. Va le ni il che cadale
Celo more, more celo.
10. Plu hari ti tirete
Plu huron cia pra seti.
1. Lo, Lo, I come, I come;
be thou silent.
2. I come, I run; open the
door that I may enter.
3. Open the door by halves,
that I may take my turban.
4. Caliriotes[A] with the dark
eyes, open the gate that
I may enter.
5. Lo, Lo, I hear thee, my soul.
6. An Arnaout girl, in costly
garb, walks with graceful pride.
7. Caliriot maid of the dark
eyes, give me a kiss.
8. If I have kissed thee,
what hast thou gained?
My soul is consumed with fire.
9. Dance lightly, more
gently, and gently still.
10. Make not so much dust
to destroy your embroidered hose.

[A] The Albanese, particularly the women, are frequently termed "Caliriotes," for what reason I inquired in vain.


The last stanza would puzzle a commentator: the men have certainly buskins of the most beautiful texture, but the ladies (to whom the above is supposed to be addressed) have nothing under their little yellow boots and slippers but a well-turned and sometimes very white ankle. The Arnaout girls are much handsomer than the Greeks, and their dress is far more picturesque. They preserve their shape much longer also, from being always in the open air. It is to be observed, that the Arnaout is not a written language: the words of this song, therefore, as well as the one which follows, are spelt according to their pronunciation. They are copied by one who speaks and understands the dialect perfectly, and who is a native of Athens.

1. Ndi sefda tinde ulavossa
Vettimi upri vi lofsa.
2. Ah vaisisso mi privi lofse
Si mi rini mi la vosse.
3. Uti tasa roba stua
Sitti eve tulati dua.
4. Roba stinori ssidua
Qu mi sini vetti dua.
5. Qurmini dua civileni
Roba ti siarmi tildi eni.
6. Utara pisa vaisisso me
simi rin ti hapti
Eti mi bire a piste si gui
dendroi tiltati.
7. Udi vura udorini udiri
cicova cilti mora
Udorini talti hollna u ede
caimoni mora.
1. I am wounded by thy
love, and have loved
but to scorch myself.
2. Thou hast consumed me!
Ah, maid! thou hast
struck me to the heart.
3. I have said I wish no
dowry, but thine eyes
and eyelashes.
4. The accursed dowry I
want not, but thee only.
5. Give me thy charms, and
let the portion feed the flames.
6. I have loved thee, maid,
with a sincere soul, but
thou hast left me like
a withered tree.
7. If I have placed my hand
on thy bosom, what
have I gained? my
hand is withdrawn, but
retains the flame.

I believe the two last stanzas, as they are in a different measure, ought to belong to another ballad. An idea something similar to the thought in the last lines was expressed [185] by Socrates, whose arm having come in contact with one of his "ὑpokolpioi," Critobulus or Cleobulus, the philosopher complained of a shooting pain as far as his shoulder for some days after, and therefore very properly resolved to teach his disciples in future without touching them.


Tambourgi! Tambourgi! thy 'larum afar.

Song, stanza 1, line 1.

These stanzas are partly taken from different Albanese songs, as far as I was able to make them out by the exposition of the Albanese in Romaic and Italian.


Remember the moment when Previsa fell.

Song, stanza 8, line 1.

It was taken by storm from the French [October, 1798].


Fair Greece! sad relic of departed Worth! etc.

Stanza lxxiii. line 1.

Some thoughts on this subject will be found in the subjoined papers, pp. 187-208.


Spirit of Freedom! when on Phyle's brow
Thou sat'st with Thrasybulus and his train.

Stanza lxxiv. lines 1 and 2.

Phyle, which commands a beautiful view of Athens, has still considerable remains: it was seized by Thrasybulus, previous to the expulsion of the Thirty.

[Byron and Hobhouse caught their first glance of Athens from this spot, December 25, 1809. (See Byron's note.) "The ruins," says Hobhouse, "are now called Bigla Castro, or The Watchtower."]


Receive the fiery Frank, her former guest.

Stanza lxxvii. line 4.

When taken by the Latins, and retained for several years. See Gibbon. [From A.D. 1204 to 1261.]



The Prophet's tomb of all its pious spoil.

Stanza lxxvii. line 6.

Mecca and Medina were taken some time ago by the Wahabees, a sect yearly increasing. [Vide supra, p. 151.]


Thy vales of evergreen, thy hills of snow.

Stanza lxxxv. line 3.

On many of the mountains, particularly Liakura, the snow never is entirely melted, notwithstanding the intense heat of the summer; but I never saw it lie on the plains, even in winter.

[This feature of Greek scenery, in spring, may, now and again, be witnessed in our own country in autumn—a blue lake, bordered with summer greenery in the foreground, with a rear-guard of "hills of snow" glittering in the October sunshine.]


Save where some solitary column mourns
Above its prostrate brethren of the cave.

Stanza lxxxvi. lines 1 and 2.

Of Mount Pentelicus, from whence the marble was dug that constructed the public edifices of Athens. The modern name is Mount Mendeli. An immense cave, formed by the quarries, still remains, and will till the end of time.

[Mendeli is the ancient Pentelicus. "The white lines marking the projecting veins" of marble are visible from Athens (Geography of Greece, by H.F. Tozer, 1873, p. 129).]


When Marathon became a magic word.

Stanza lxxxix. line 7.

"Siste Viator—heroa calcas!" was the epitaph on the famous Count Merci;[221]—what then must be our feelings [187] when standing on the tumulus of the two hundred (Greeks) who fell on Marathon? The principal barrow has recently been opened by Fauvel: few or no relics, as vases, etc. were found by the excavator. The plain of Marathon[222] was offered to me for sale at the sum of sixteen thousand piastres, about nine hundred pounds! Alas!—"Expende[223]—quot libras in duce summo—invenies!"—was the dust of Miltiades worth no more? It could scarcely have fetched less if sold by weight.

Papers Referred to by Note 33.


Before I say anything about a city of which every body, traveller or not, has thought it necessary to say something, I will request Miss Owenson,[225] when she next borrows an Athenian heroine for her four volumes, to have the goodness to marry her to somebody more of a gentleman than a "Disdar Aga" (who by the by is not an Aga), the most [188] impolite of petty officers, the greatest patron of larceny[226] Athens ever saw (except Lord E.), and the unworthy occupant of the Acropolis, on a handsome annual stipend of 150 piastres (eight pounds sterling), out of which he has only to pay his garrison, the most ill-regulated corps in the ill-regulated Ottoman Empire. I speak it tenderly, seeing I was once the cause of the husband of "Ida of Athens" nearly suffering the bastinado; and because the said "Disdar" is a turbulent husband, and beats his wife; so that I exhort and beseech Miss Owenson to sue for a separate maintenance in behalf of "Ida." Having premised thus much, on a matter of such import to the readers of romances, I may now leave Ida to mention her birthplace.

Setting aside the magic of the name, and all those associations which it would be pedantic and superfluous to recapitulate, the very situation of Athens would render it the favourite of all who have eyes for art or nature. The climate, to me at least, appeared a perpetual spring; during eight months I never passed a day without being as many hours on horseback: rain is extremely rare, snow never lies in the plains, and a cloudy day is an agreeable rarity. In Spain, Portugal, and every part of the East which I visited, except Ionia and Attica, I perceived no such superiority of climate to our own; and at Constantinople, where I passed May, June, and part of July (1810), you might "damn the climate, and complain of spleen," five days out of seven.[227]

The air of the Morea is heavy and unwholesome, but the moment you pass the isthmus in the direction of Megara the change is strikingly perceptible. But I fear Hesiod will still be found correct in his description of a Boeotian winter.[228]

We found at Livadia an "esprit fort" in a Greek bishop, of all free-thinkers! This worthy hypocrite rallied his own religion with great intrepidity (but not before his flock), and talked of a mass as a "coglioneria."[229] It was impossible to think better of him for this; but, for a Boeotian, he was brisk with all his absurdity. This phenomenon (with the exception indeed of Thebes, the remains of Chæronea, the [189] plain of Platea, Orchomenus, Livadia, and its nominal cave of Trophonius) was the only remarkable thing we saw before we passed Mount Cithæron.

The fountain of Dirce turns a mill: at least my companion (who, resolving to be at once cleanly and classical, bathed in it) pronounced it to be the fountain of Dirce,[230] and any body who thinks it worth while may contradict him. At Castri we drank of half a dozen streamlets, some not of the purest, before we decided to our satisfaction which was the true Castalian, and even that had a villanous twang, probably from the snow, though it did not throw us into an epic fever, like poor Dr. Chandler.[231]

From Fort Phyle, of which large remains still exist, the plain of Athens, Pentelicus, Hymettus, the Ægean, and the Acropolis, burst upon the eye at once; in my opinion, a more glorious prospect than even Cintra or Istambol. Not the view from the Troad, with Ida, the Hellespont, and the more distant Mount Athos, can equal it, though so superior in extent.

I heard much of the beauty of Arcadia, but excepting the view from the Monastery of Megaspelion (which is inferior to Zitza in a command of country), and the descent from the mountains on the way from Tripolitza to Argos, Arcadia has little to recommend it beyond the name.

"Sternitur, et dulces moriens reminiscitur Argos."

Æneid, x. 782.

Virgil could have put this into the mouth of none but an Argive, and (with reverence be it spoken) it does not deserve the epithet. And if the Polynices of Statius, "In mediis audit duo litora campis" (Thebaidos, i. 335), did actually hear both shores in crossing the isthmus of Corinth, he had better ears than have ever been worn in such a journey since.

"Athens," says a celebrated topographer, "is still the most polished city of Greece."[232] Perhaps it may of Greece, but not of the Greeks; for Joannina in Epirus is universally allowed, amongst themselves, to be superior in the wealth, refinement, learning, and dialect of its inhabitants. The [190] Athenians are remarkable for their cunning; and the lower orders are not improperly characterised in that proverb, which classes them with the "Jews of Salonica, and the Turks of the Negropont."

Among the various foreigners resident in Athens, French, Italians, Germans, Ragusans, etc., there was never a difference of opinion in their estimate of the Greek character, though on all other topics they disputed with great acrimony.

M. Fauvel, the French Consul, who has passed thirty years principally at Athens, and to whose talents as an artist, and manners as a gentleman, none who have known him can refuse their testimony, has frequently declared in my hearing, that the Greeks do not deserve to be emancipated; reasoning on the grounds of their "national and individual depravity!" while he forgot that such depravity is to be attributed to causes which can only be removed by the measure he reprobates.

M. Roque,[233] a French merchant of respectability long settled in Athens, asserted with the most amusing gravity, "Sir, they are the same canaille that existed in the days of Themistocles!" an alarming remark to the "Laudator temporis acti." The ancients banished Themistocles; the moderns cheat Monsieur Roque; thus great men have ever been treated!

In short, all the Franks who are fixtures, and most of the Englishmen, Germans, Danes, etc., of passage, came over by degrees to their opinion, on much the same grounds that a Turk in England would condemn the nation by wholesale, because he was wronged by his lacquey, and overcharged by his washerwoman.

Certainly it was not a little staggering when the Sieurs Fauvel and Lusieri, the two greatest demagogues of the day, who divide between them the power of Pericles and the popularity of Cleon, and puzzle the poor Waywode with perpetual differences, agreed in the utter condemnation, "nulla virtute redemptum" (Juvenal, lib. i. Sat. iv. line 2), of the Greeks in general, and of the Athenians in particular. For my own humble opinion, I am loth to hazard it, knowing as I do, that there be now in MS. no less than five tours of the first magnitude, and of the most threatening aspect, all in typographical array, by persons of wit and honour, and regular common-place books: but, if I may say this, without offence, it seems to me rather hard to declare so positively and pertinaciously, as almost everybody has [191] declared, that the Greeks, because they are very bad, will never be better.

Eton and Sonnini[234] have led us astray by their panegyrics and projects; but, on the other hand, De Pauw and Thornton[235] have debased the Greeks beyond their demerits.

The Greeks will never be independent; they will never be sovereigns as heretofore, and God forbid they ever should! but they may be subjects without being slaves. Our colonies are not independent, but they are free and industrious, and such may Greece be hereafter.

At present, like the Catholics of Ireland and the Jews throughout the world, and such other cudgelled and heterodox people, they suffer all the moral and physical ills that can afflict humanity. Their life is a struggle against truth; they are vicious in their own defence. They are so unused to kindness, that when they occasionally meet with it they look upon it with suspicion, as a dog often beaten snaps at your fingers if you attempt to caress him. "They are ungrateful, notoriously, abominably ungrateful!"—this is the general cry. Now, in the name of Nemesis! for what are they to be grateful? Where is the human being that ever conferred a benefit on Greek or Greeks? They are to be grateful to the Turks for their fetters, and to the Franks for their broken promises and lying counsels. They are to be grateful to the artist who engraves their ruins, and to the antiquary who carries them away; to the traveller whose janissary flogs them, and to the scribbler whose journal abuses them. This is the amount of their obligations to foreigners.



Franciscan Convent, Athens, January 23, 1811.[236]

Amongst the remnants of the barbarous policy of the earlier ages, are the traces of bondage which yet exist in different countries; whose inhabitants, however divided in religion and manners, almost all agree in oppression.

The English have at last compassionated their negroes, and under a less bigoted government, may probably one day release their Catholic brethren; but the interposition of foreigners alone can emancipate the Greeks, who, otherwise, appear to have as small a chance of redemption from the Turks, as the Jews have from mankind in general.

Of the ancient Greeks we know more than enough; at least the younger men of Europe devote much of their time to the study of the Greek writers and history, which would be more usefully spent in mastering their own. Of the moderns, we are perhaps more neglectful than they deserve; and while every man of any pretensions to learning is tiring out his youth, and often his age, in the study of the language and of the harangues of the Athenian demagogues in favour of freedom, the real or supposed descendants of these sturdy republicans are left to the actual tyranny of their masters, although a very slight effort is required to strike off their chains.

To talk, as the Greeks themselves do, of their rising again to their pristine superiority, would be ridiculous: as the rest of the world must resume its barbarism, after reasserting the sovereignty of Greece: but there seems to be no very great obstacle, except in the apathy of the Franks, to their becoming an useful dependency, or even a free state, with a proper guarantee;—under correction, however, be it spoken, for many and well-informed men doubt the practicability even of this.

The Greeks have never lost their hope, though they are now more divided in opinion on the subject of their probable [193] deliverers. Religion recommends the Russians; but they have twice been deceived and abandoned by that power, and the dreadful lesson they received after the Muscovite desertion in the Morea has never been forgotten. The French they dislike; although the subjugation of the rest of Europe will, probably, be attended by the deliverance of continental Greece. The islanders look to the English for succour, as they have very lately possessed themselves of the Ionian republic, Corfu excepted.[237] But whoever appear with arms in their hands will be welcome; and when that day arrives, Heaven have mercy on the Ottomans; they cannot expect it from the Giaours.

But instead of considering what they have been, and speculating on what they may be, let us look at them as they are.

And here it is impossible to reconcile the contrariety of opinions: some, particularly the merchants, decrying the Greeks in the strongest language; others, generally travellers, turning periods in their eulogy, and publishing very curious speculations grafted on their former state, which can have no more effect on their present lot, than the existence of the Incas on the future fortunes of Peru.

One very ingenious person terms them the "natural allies of Englishmen;" another no less ingenious, will not allow them to be the allies of anybody, and denies their very descent from the ancients; a third, more ingenious than either, builds a Greek empire on a Russian foundation, and realises (on paper) all the chimeras of Catharine II. As to the question of their descent, what can it import whether the Mainotes[238] are the lineal Laconians or not? or the present Athenians as indigenous as the bees of Hymettus, or as the [194] grasshoppers, to which they once likened themselves? What Englishman cares if he be of a Danish, Saxon, Norman, or Trojan blood? or who, except a Welshman, is afflicted with a desire of being descended from Caractacus?

The poor Greeks do not so much abound in the good things of this world, as to render even their claims to antiquity an object of envy; it is very cruel, then, in Mr. Thornton to disturb them in the possession of all that time has left them; viz. their pedigree, of which they are the more tenacious, as it is all they can call their own. It would be worth while to publish together, and compare, the works of Messrs. Thornton and De Pauw, Eton and Sonnini; paradox on one side, and prejudice on the other. Mr. Thornton conceives himself to have claims to public confidence from a fourteen years' residence at Pera; perhaps he may on the subject of the Turks, but this can give him no more insight into the real state of Greece and her inhabitants, than as many years spent in Wapping into that of the Western Highlands.

The Greeks of Constantinople live in Fanal;[239] and if Mr. Thornton did not oftener cross the Golden Horn than his brother merchants are accustomed to do, I should place no great reliance on his information. I actually heard one of these gentlemen boast of their little general intercourse with the city, and assert of himself, with an air of triumph, that he had been but four times at Constantinople in as many years.

As to Mr. Thornton's voyages in the Black Sea with Greek vessels, they gave him the same idea of Greece as a cruise to Berwick in a Scotch smack would of Johnny Groat's house. Upon what grounds then does he arrogate the right of condemning by wholesale a body of men of whom he can know little? It is rather a curious circumstance that Mr. Thornton, who so lavishly dispraises Pouqueville on every occasion of mentioning the Turks, has yet recourse to him as authority on the Greeks, and terms him an impartial observer. Now, Dr. Pouqueville is as little entitled to that appellation as Mr. Thornton to confer it on him.

The fact is, we are deplorably in want of information on the subject of the Greeks, and in particular their literature; nor is there any probability of our being better acquainted, till our intercourse becomes more intimate, or their independence [195] confirmed. The relations of passing travellers are as little to be depended on as the invectives of angry factors; but till something more can be attained, we must be content with the little to be acquired from similar sources.[240]

However defective these may be, they are preferable to the parodoxes of men who have read superficially of the ancients, and seen nothing of the moderns, such as De Pauw; who, when he asserts that the British breed of horses is ruined by Newmarket, and that the Spartans[241] were [196] cowards in the field,[242] betrays an equal knowledge of English horses and Spartan men. His "philosophical observations" have a much better claim to the title of "poetical." It could not be expected that he who so liberally condemns some of the most celebrated institutions of the ancient, should have mercy on the modern Greeks; and it fortunately happens, that the absurdity of his hypothesis on their forefathers refutes his sentence on themselves.

Let us trust, then, that, in spite of the prophecies of De Pauw, and the doubts of Mr. Thornton, there is a reasonable hope of the redemption of a race of men, who, whatever may be the errors of their religion and policy, have been amply punished by three centuries and a half of captivity.


Athens, Franciscan Convent, March 17, 1811.

"I must have some talk with this learned Theban."[244]

Some time after my return from Constantinople to this city I received the thirty-first number of the Edinburgh Review[245] as a great favour, and certainly at this distance an acceptable one, from the captain of an English frigate off Salamis. In that number, Art. 3, containing the review of a French translation of Strabo,[246] there are introduced some remarks on the modern Greeks and their literature, with a [197] short account of Coray, a co-translator in the French version. On those remarks I mean to ground a few observations; and the spot where I now write will, I hope, be sufficient excuse for introducing them in a work in some degree connected with the subject. Coray, the most celebrated of living Greeks, at least among the Franks, was born at Scio (in the Review, Smyrna is stated, I have reason to think, incorrectly), and besides the translation of Beccaria and other works mentioned by the Reviewer, has published a lexicon in Romaic and French, if I may trust the assurance of some Danish travellers lately arrived from Paris; but the latest we have seen here in French and Greek is that of Gregory Zolikogloou.[247] Coray has recently been involved in an unpleasant controversy with M. Gail,[248] a Parisian commentator and editor of some translations from the Greek poets, in consequence of the Institute having awarded him the prize for his version of Hippocrates' "Περὶ ὑδάτων," etc., to the disparagement, and consequently displeasure, of the said Gail. To his exertions, literary and patriotic, great praise is undoubtedly due; but a part of that praise ought not to be withheld from the two brothers Zosimado (merchants settled in Leghorn), who sent him to Paris and maintained him, for the express purpose of elucidating the ancient, and [198] adding to the modern, researches of his countrymen. Coray, however, is not considered by his countrymen equal to some who lived in the two last centuries; more particularly Dorotheus of Mitylene,[249] whose Hellenic writings are so much esteemed by the Greeks, that Meletius[250] terms him "Μετὰ τὸν Θουκυδίδην καὶ Ξενοφώντα ἄριστος Ἑλλήνων" (p. 224, Ecclesiastical History, iv.).

Panagiotes Kodrikas, the translator of Fontenelle, and Kamarases,[251] who translated Ocellus Lucanus on the Universe into French, Christodoulus,[252] and more particularly Psalida,[253] whom I have conversed with in Joannina, are also in high repute among their literati. The last-mentioned has published in Romaic and Latin a work on True Happiness, dedicated to Catherine II. But Polyzois,[254] who [199] is stated by the Reviewer to be the only modern except Coray who has distinguished himself by a knowledge of Hellenic, if he be the Polyzois Lampanitziotes of Yanina, who has published a number of editions in Romaic, was neither more nor less than an itinerant vender of books; with the contents of which he had no concern beyond his name on the title page, placed there to secure his property in the publication; and he was, moreover, a man utterly destitute of scholastic acquirements. As the name, however, is not uncommon, some other Polyzois may have edited the Epistles of Aristænetus.

It is to be regretted that the system of continental blockade has closed the few channels through which the Greeks received their publications, particularly Venice and Trieste. Even the common grammars for children are become too dear for the lower orders. Amongst their original works the Geography of Meletius, Archbishop of Athens, and a multitude of theological quartos and poetical pamphlets, are to be met with; their grammars and lexicons of two, three, and four languages are numerous and excellent. Their poetry is in rhyme. The most singular piece I have lately seen is a satire in dialogue between a Russian, English, and French traveller, and the Waywode of Wallachia (or Blackbey, as they term him), an archbishop, a merchant,[255] and Cogia Bachi (or primate), in succession; to all of whom under the Turks the writer attributes their present degeneracy. Their songs are sometimes pretty and pathetic, but their tunes generally unpleasing to the ear of a Frank; the best is the famous "Δεύτε, παῖδες τῶν Ἑλλήνων," by the unfortunate Riga.[256] But from a catalogue of more than sixty authors, now before me, only fifteen can be found who have touched on any theme except theology.

I am intrusted with a commission by a Greek of Athens named Marmarotouri to make arrangements, if possible, for printing in London a translation of Barthelemi's Anacharsis in Romaic, as he has no other opportunity, unless he dispatches the MS. to Vienna by the Black Sea and Danube.


The Reviewer mentions a school established at Hecatonesi,[257] and suppressed at the instigation of Sebastiani:[258] he means Cidonies, or, in Turkish, Haivali; a town on the continent, where that institution for a hundred students and three professors still exists. It is true that this establishment was disturbed by the Porte, under the ridiculous pretext that the Greeks were constructing a fortress instead of a college; but on investigation, and the payment of some purses to the Divan, it has been permitted to continue. The principal professor, named Ueniamin (i.e. Benjamin), is stated to be a man of talent, but a freethinker. He was born in Lesbos, studied in Italy, and is master of Hellenic, Latin, and some Frank languages: besides a smattering of the sciences.

Though it is not my intention to enter farther on this topic than may allude to the article in question, I cannot but observe that the Reviewer's lamentation over the fall of the Greeks appears singular, when he closes it with these words: "The change is to be attributed to their misfortunes rather than to any 'physical degradation.'" It may be true that the Greeks are not physically degenerated, and that Constantinople contained on the day when it changed masters as many men of six feet and upwards as in the hour of prosperity; but ancient history and modern politics instruct us that something more than physical perfection is necessary to preserve a state in vigour and independence; and the Greeks, in particular, are a melancholy example of the near connexion between moral degradation and national decay.

The Reviewer mentions a plan "we believe" by Potemkin[259] for the purification of the Romaic; and I have endeavoured in vain to procure any tidings or traces of its existence. There was an academy in St. Petersburg for the Greeks; but it was suppressed by Paul, and has not been revived by his successor.


There is a slip of the pen, and it can only be a slip of the pen, in p. 58, No. 31, of the Edinburgh Review, where these words occur: "We are told that when the capital of the East yielded to Solyman"—It may be presumed that this last word will, in a future edition, be altered to Mahomet II.[260] The "ladies of Constantinople," it seems, at that period spoke a dialect, "which would not have disgraced the lips of an Athenian." I do not know how that might be, but am sorry to say that the ladies in general, and the Athenians in particular, are much altered; being far from choice either [202]in their dialect or expressions, as the whole Attic race are barbarous to a proverb:—

"Ὠ Ἀθῆναι, πρώτη χώρα,
Τί γαιδάρους τρέφεις τώρα;"[261]

In Gibbon, vol. x. p. 161, is the following sentence:—"The vulgar dialect of the city was gross and barbarous, though the compositions of the church and palace sometimes affected to copy the purity of the Attic models." Whatever may be asserted on the subject, it is difficult to conceive that the "ladies of Constantinople," in the reign of the last Cæsar, spoke a purer dialect than Anna Comnena[262] wrote, three centuries before: and those royal pages are not esteemed the best models of composition, although the princess γλῶτταν εἶχεν ἈΚΡΙΒΩΕ Ἀττικιϛούσαν.[263] In the Fanal, and in Yanina, the best Greek is spoken: in the latter there is a flourishing school under the direction of Psalida.

There is now in Athens a pupil of Psalida's, who is making a tour of observation through Greece: he is intelligent, and better educated than a fellow-commoner of most colleges. I mention this as a proof that the spirit of inquiry is not dormant among the Greeks.

The Reviewer mentions Mr. Wright,[264] the author of the beautiful poem Horæ Ionicæ, as qualified to give details of these nominal Romans and degenerate Greeks; and also of their language: but Mr. Wright, though a good poet and an able man, has made a mistake where he states the Albanian dialect of the Romaic to approximate nearest to the Hellenic; for the Albanians speak a Romaic as notoriously corrupt as the Scotch of Aberdeenshire, or the Italian of Naples. Yanina, (where, next to the Fanal, the Greek is purest,) although the capital of Ali Pacha's dominions, is not in Albania, but Epirus; and beyond Delvinachi in Albania Proper up to Argyrocastro and Tepaleen (beyond which I did not advance) they speak worse Greek than even the Athenians. I was attended for a year and a half by two of these singular mountaineers, whose mother tongue is [203] Illyric, and I never heard them or their countrymen (whom I have seen, not only at home, but to the amount of twenty thousand in the army of Vely Pacha[265]) praised for their Greek, but often laughed at for their provincial barbarisms.

I have in my possession about twenty-five letters, amongst which some from the Bey of Corinth, written to me by Notaras, the Cogia Bachi, and others by the dragoman of the Caimacam[266] of the Morea (which last governs in Vely Pacha's absence), are said to be favourable specimens of their epistolary style. I also received some at Constantinople from private persons, written in a most hyperbolical style, but in the true antique character.

The Reviewer proceeds, after some remarks on the tongue in its past and present state, to a paradox (page 59) on the great mischief the knowledge of his own language has done to Coray, who, it seems, is less likely to understand the ancient Greek, because he is perfect master of the modern! This observation follows a paragraph, recommending, in explicit terms, the study of the Romaic, as "a powerful auxiliary," not only to the traveller and foreign merchant, but also to the classical scholar; in short, to every body except the only person who can be thoroughly acquainted with its uses; and by a parity of reasoning, our own language is conjectured to be probably more attainable by "foreigners" than by ourselves! Now, I am inclined to think, that a Dutch Tyro in our tongue (albeit himself of Saxon blood) would be sadly perplexed with "Sir Tristram,"[267] or any other given "Auchinleck MS." with or without a grammar or glossary; and to most apprehensions it seems evident that none but a native can acquire a competent, far less complete, knowledge of our obsolete idioms. We may give the critic credit for his ingenuity, but no more believe him than we do Smollett's Lismahago,[268] who maintains that the purest English is spoken in Edinburgh. That Coray may err is very possible; but if he does, the fault is in the man rather than in his mother tongue, which is, as it ought to be, of the greatest aid to the native student.—Here the Reviewer [204] proceeds to business on Strabo's translators, and here I close my remarks.

Sir W. Drummond, Mr. Hamilton, Lord Aberdeen, Dr. Clarke, Captain Leake, Mr. Gell, Mr. Walpole,[269] and many others now in England, have all the requisites to furnish details of this fallen people. The few observations I have offered I should have left where I made them, had not the article in question, and above all the spot where I read it, induced me to advert to those pages, which the advantage of my present situation enabled me to clear, or at least to make the attempt.

I have endeavoured to waive the personal feelings which rise in despite of me in touching upon any part of the Edinburgh Review; not from a wish to conciliate the favour of its writers, or to cancel the remembrance of a syllable I have formerly published, but simply from a sense of the impropriety of mixing up private resentments with a disquisition of the present kind, and more particularly at this distance of time and place.

Additional Note on the Turks.

The difficulties of travelling in Turkey have been much exaggerated, or rather have considerably diminished, of late [205] years. The Mussulmans have been beaten into a kind of sullen civility very comfortable to voyagers.

It is hazardous to say much on the subject of Turks and Turkey; since it is possible to live amongst them twenty years without acquiring information, at least from themselves. As far as my own slight experience carried me, I have no complaint to make; but am indebted for many civilities (I might almost say for friendship), and much hospitality, to Ali Pacha, his son Vely Pacha of the Morea, and several others of high rank in the provinces. Suleyman Aga, late Governor of Athens, and now of Thebes, was a bon vivant, and as social a being as ever sat cross-legged at a tray or a table. During the carnival, when our English party were masquerading, both himself and his successor were more happy to "receive masks" than any dowager in Grosvenor-square.[270]

On one occasion of his supping at the convent, his friend and visitor, the Cadi[271] of Thebes, was carried from table perfectly qualified for any club in Christendom; while the worthy Waywode himself triumphed in his fall.

In all money transactions with the Moslems, I ever found the strictest honour, the highest disinterestedness. In transacting business with them, there are none of those dirty peculations, under the name of interest, difference of exchange, commission, etc., etc., uniformly found in applying to a Greek consul to cash bills, even on the first houses in Pera.

With regard to presents, an established custom in the East, you will rarely find yourself a loser; as one worth acceptance is generally returned by another of similar value—a horse, or a shawl.

In the capital and at court the citizens and courtiers are formed in the same school with those of Christianity; but there does not exist a more honourable, friendly, and high-spirited character than the true Turkish provincial Aga, or Moslem country gentleman. It is not meant here to designate the governors of towns, but those Agas who, by a kind of feudal tenure, possess lands and houses, of more or less extent, in Greece and Asia Minor.

The lower orders are in as tolerable discipline as the rabble in countries with greater pretensions to civilisation. A Moslem, in walking the streets of our country-towns, would be more incommoded in England than a Frank in a similar situation in Turkey. Regimentals are the best travelling dress.


The best accounts of the religion and different sects of Islamism may be found in D'Ohsson's[272] French; of their manners, etc., perhaps in Thornton's English. The Ottomans, with all their defects, are not a people to be despised. Equal at least to the Spaniards, they are superior to the Portuguese. If it be difficult to pronounce what they are, we can at least say what they are not: they are not treacherous, they are not cowardly, they do not burn heretics, they are not assassins, nor has an enemy advanced to their capital. They are faithful to their sultan till he becomes unfit to govern, and devout to their God without an inquisition. Were they driven from St. Sophia to-morrow, and the French or Russians enthroned in their stead, it would become a question whether Europe would gain by the exchange. England would certainly be the loser.

With regard to that ignorance of which they are so generally, and sometimes justly accused, it may be doubted, always excepting France and England, in what useful points of knowledge they are excelled by other nations. Is it in the common arts of life? In their manufactures? Is a Turkish sabre inferior to a Toledo? or is a Turk worse clothed or lodged, or fed and taught, than a Spaniard? Are their Pachas worse educated than a Grandee? or an Effendi[273] than a Knight of St. Jago? I think not.

I remember Mahmout, the grandson of Ali Pacha, asking whether my fellow-traveller and myself were in the upper or lower House of Parliament. Now, this question from a boy of ten years old proved that his education had not been neglected. It may be doubted if an English boy at that age knows the difference of the Divan from a College of Dervises; but I am very sure a Spaniard does not. How little Mahmout, surrounded as he had been entirely by his Turkish tutors, had learned that there was such a thing as a Parliament, it were useless to conjecture, unless we suppose that his instructors did not confine his studies to the Koran.

In all the mosques there are schools established, which [207] are very regularly attended; and the poor are taught without the church of Turkey being put into peril. I believe the system is not yet printed (though there is such a thing as a Turkish press, and books printed on the late military institution of the Nizam Gedidd);[274] nor have I heard whether the Mufti and the Mollas have subscribed, or the Caimacan and the Tefterdar taken the alarm, for fear the ingenuous youth of the turban should be taught not to "pray to God their way." The Greeks also—a kind of Eastern Irish papists—have a college of their own at Maynooth,—no, at Haivali; where the heterodox receive much the same kind of countenance from the Ottoman as the Catholic college from the English legislature. Who shall then affirm that the Turks are ignorant bigots, when they thus evince the exact proportion of Christian charity which is tolerated in the most prosperous and orthodox of all possible kingdoms? But though they allow all this, they will not suffer the Greeks to participate in their privileges: no, let them fight their battles, and pay their haratch (taxes), be drubbed in this world, and damned in the next. And shall we then emancipate our Irish Helots? Mahomet forbid! We should then be bad Mussulmans, and worse Christians: at present we unite the best of both—jesuitical faith, and something not much inferior to Turkish toleration.


Amongst an enslaved people, obliged to have recourse to foreign presses even for their books of religion, it is less to be wondered at that we find so few publications on general subjects than that we find any at all. The whole number of the Greeks, scattered up and down the Turkish empire and elsewhere, may amount, at most, to three millions; and yet, for so scanty a number, it is impossible to discover any nation with so great a proportion of books and their authors as the Greeks of the present century. "Aye," but say the generous advocates of oppression, who, while they assert [208] the ignorance of the Greeks, wish to prevent them from dispelling it, "ay, but these are mostly, if not all, ecclesiastical tracts, and consequently good for nothing." Well! and pray what else can they write about? It is pleasant enough to hear a Frank, particularly an Englishman, who may abuse the government of his own country; or a Frenchman, who may abuse every government except his own, and who may range at will over every philosophical, religious, scientific, sceptical, or moral subject, sneering at the Greek legends. A Greek must not write on politics, and cannot touch on science for want of instruction; if he doubts he is excommunicated and damned; therefore his countrymen are not poisoned with modern philosophy; and as to morals, thanks to the Turks! there are no such things. What then is left him, if he has a turn for scribbling? Religion and holy biography; and it is natural enough that those who have so little in this life should look to the next. It is no great wonder then, that in a catalogue now before me of fifty-five Greek writers, many of whom were lately living, not above fifteen should have touched on anything but religion. The catalogue alluded to is contained in the twenty-sixth chapter of the fourth volume of Meletius' Ecclesiastical History.

[The above forms a preface to an Appendix, headed "Remarks on the Romaic or Modern Greek Language, with Specimens and Translations," which was printed at the end of the volume, after the "Poems," in the first and successive editions of Childe Harold. It contains (1) a "List of Romaic Authors;" (2) the "Greek War-Song," Δεῦτε, Παῖδες τῶν Ἑλλήνων; (3) "Romaic Extracts," of which the first, "a Satire in dialogue" (vide Note III. supra), is translated (see Epigrams, etc., vol. vi. of the present issue); (4) scene from Ο Καφενὲς (the Café), translated from the Italian of Goldoni by Spiridion Vlanti, with a "Translation;" (5) "Familiar Dialogues" in Romaic and English; (6) "Parallel Passages from St. John's Gospel;" (7) "The Inscriptions at Orchomenos from Meletius" (see Travels in Albania, etc., i. 224); (8) the "Prospectus of a Translation of Anacharsis into Romaic, by my Romaic master, Marmarotouri, who wished to publish it in England;" (9) "The Lord's Prayer in Romaic" and in Greek.

The Excursus, which is remarkable rather for the evidence which it affords of Byron's industry and zeal for acquiring knowledge, than for the value or interest of the subject-matter, has been omitted from the present issue. The "Remarks," etc., are included in the "Appendix" to Lord Byron's Poetical Works, 1891, pp. 792-797. (See, too, letter to Dallas, September 21, 1811: Letters, ii. 43.)]


[202] {166} ["Owls and serpents" are taken from Isa. xiii. 21, 22; "foxes" from Lam. v. 18, "Zion is desolate, the foxes walk upon it."]

[203] [For Herr Gropius, vide post, note 6.] (see also its footnote—Transcriber)

[204] [The Parthenon was converted into a church in the sixth century by Justinian, and dedicated to the Divine Wisdom. About 1460 the church was turned into a mosque. After the siege in 1687 the Turks erected a smaller mosque within the original enclosure. "The only relic of the mosque dedicated by Mohammed the Conqueror (1430-1481) is the base of the minaret ... at the south-west corner of the Cella" (Handbook for Greece, p. 319).]

[205] {168} ["Don Battista Lusieri, better known as Don Tita," was born at Naples. He followed Sir William Hamilton "to Constantinople, in 1799, whence he removed to Athens." "It may be said of Lusieri, as of Claude Lorraine, 'If he be not the poet, he is the historian of nature.'"—Travels, etc., by E. D. Clarke, 1810-1823, Part II. sect. ii. p. 469, note. See, too, Poetical Works, 1898, i. 455.]

[206] ["Mirandum in modum (canes venaticos diceres) ita odorabantur omnia et pervestigabant, ut, ubi quidque esset, aliqua ratione invenirent" (Cicero, In Verrem, Act. II. lib. iv. 13). Verres had two finders: Tlepolemus a worker in wax, and Hiero a painter. (See Introduction to The Curse of Minerva: Poems, 1898, i. 455.)]

[207] [M. Fauvel was born in Burgundy, circ. 1754. In 1787 he was attached to the suite of the Count Choiseul-Gouffier, French Ambassador at Constantinople, and is said to have prepared designs and illustrations for his patron's Voyage Pittoresque de la Grèce, vol. i. 1787, vol. ii. 1809. He settled at Athens, and was made vice-consul by the French Government. In his old age, after more than forty years' service at Athens, he removed finally to Smyrna, where he was appointed consul-general.—Biographic des Contemporains (Rabbe), 1834, art. "(N.) Fauvel."]

[208] {169} In all Attica, if we except Athens itself and Marathon, there is no scene more interesting than Cape Colonna.[A] To the antiquary and artist, sixteen columns are an inexhaustible source of observation and design; to the philosopher, the supposed scene of some of Plato's conversations will not be unwelcome; and the traveller will be struck with the beauty of the prospect over "Isles that crown the Ægean deep:" but, for an Englishman, Colonna has yet an additional interest, as the actual spot of Falconer's[B] shipwreck. Pallas and Plato are forgotten in the recollection of Falconer and Campbell:—

"Here in the dead of night, by Lonna's steep,[C]
The seaman's cry was heard along the deep."

This temple of Minerva may be seen at sea from a great distance. In two journeys which I made, and one voyage to Cape Colonna, the view from either side, by land, was less striking than the approach from the isles. In our second land excursion, we had a narrow escape from a party of Mainotes, concealed in the caverns beneath. We were told afterwards, by one of their prisoners, subsequently ransomed, that they were deterred from attacking us by the appearance of my two Albanians: conjecturing very sagaciously, but falsely, that we had a complete guard of these Arnaouts at hand, they remained stationary, and thus saved our party, which was too small to have opposed any effectual resistance. Colonna is no less a resort of painters than of pirates; there

"The hireling artist plants his paltry desk,
And makes degraded nature picturesque."

See Hodgson's Lady Jane Grey, etc.[D][1809, p. 214].

But there Nature, with the aid of Art, has done that for herself. I was fortunate enough to engage a very superior German artist; and hope to renew my acquaintance with this and many other Levantine scenes, by the arrival of his performances.

[A] [This must have taken place in 1811, after Hobhouse returned to England.—Travels in Albania, i. 373, note.]

[B] [William Falconer (1732-1769), second mate of a vessel in the Levant trade, was wrecked between Alexandria and Venice. Only three of the crew survived. His poem, The Shipwreck, was published in 1762. It was dedicated to the Duke of York, and through his intervention he was "rated as a midshipman in the Royal Navy." Either as author or naval officer, he came to be on intimate terms with John Murray the first, who thought highly of his abilities, and offered him (October 16, 1768) a partnership in his new bookselling business in Fleet Street. In September, 1769, he embarked for India as purser of the Aurora frigate, which touched at the Cape, but never reached her destination. See Memoir, by J. S. Clarke; The Shipwreck, 1804, pp. viii.-xlvi.]

[C] Yes, at the dead of night, etc.—Pleasures of Hope, lines 149, 150.

[D] [The quotation is from Hodgson's "Lines on a Ruined Abbey in a Romantic Country," vide ante, Canto I., p. 20, note.]

[209] {171} ["It was, however, during our stay in the place, to be lamented that a war, more than civil, was raging on the subject of Lord Elgin's pursuits in Greece, and had enlisted all the French settlers and the principal Greeks on one side or the other of the controversy. The factions of Athens were renewed."—Travels in Albania, etc., i. 243.]

[210] This word, in the cant language, signifies thieving.—Fielding's History of Jonathan Wild, i. 3, note.

[211] This Sr. Gropius was employed by a noble Lord for the sole purpose of sketching, in which he excels: but I am sorry to say, that he has, through the abused sanction of that most respectable name, been treading at humble distance in the steps of Sr. Lusieri.—A shipful of his trophies was detained, and I believe confiscated, at Constantinople in 1810. I am most happy to be now enabled to state, that "this was not in his bond;" that he was employed solely as a painter, and that his noble patron disavows all connection with him, except as an artist. If the error in the first and second edition of this poem has given the noble Lord a moment's pain, I am very sorry for it: Sr. Gropius has assumed for years the name of his agent; and though I cannot much condemn myself for sharing in the mistake of so many, I am happy in being one of the first to be undeceived. Indeed, I have as much pleasure in contradicting this as I felt regret in stating it.—[Note to Third Edition.]

[According to Bryant's Dict. of Painters, and other biographical dictionaries, Karl Wilhelm Gropius (whom Lamartine, in his Voyage en Orient, identifies with the Gropius "injustement accusé par lord Byron dans ses notes mordantes sur Athènes") was born at Brunswick, in 1793, travelled in Italy and Greece, making numerous landscape and architectural sketches, and finally settled at Berlin in 1827, where he opened a diorama, modelled on that of Daguerre, "in connection with a permanent exhibition of painting.... He was considered the first wit in Berlin, where he died in 1870." In 1812, when Byron wrote his note to the third edition of Childe Harold, Gropius must have been barely of age, and the statement "that he has for years assumed the name of his (a noble Lord's) agent" is somewhat perplexing.]

[212] {173} [George Castriota (1404-1467) (Scanderbeg, or Scander Bey), the youngest son of an Albanian chieftain, was sent with his four brothers as hostage to the Sultan Amurath II. After his father's death in 1432 he carried on a protracted warfare with the Turks, and finally established the independence of Albania. "His personal strength and address were such as to make his prowess in the field resemble that of a knight of romance." He died at Lissa, in the Gulf of Venice, and when the island was taken by Mohammed II., the Turks are said to have dug up his bones and hung them round their necks, either as charms against wounds or "amulets to transfer his courage to themselves." (Hofmann's Lexicon Universale; Gorton's Biog. Dict., art. "Scanderbeg.")]

[213] {174} [William Martin Leake (1777-1860), traveller and numismatist, published (inter alia) Researches in Greece, in 1814. He was "officially resident" in Albania, February, 1809-March, 1810.]

[214] [A Journey through Albania during the Years 1809-10, London, 1812.]

[215] {175} [The inhabitants of Albania, of the Shkipetar race, consist of two distinct branches: the Gueghs, who belong to the north, and are for the most part Catholics; and the Tosks of the south, who are generally Mussulmans (Finlay's History of Greece, i. 35).]

[gg] I laughed so much as to induce a violent perspiration to which ... I attribute my present individuality.—[D.]

[216] {176} [The mayor of the village; in Greek, προεστός.]

[217] [The father of the Consulina Teodora Macri, and grandfather of the "Maid of Athens."]

[218] [Tristram Shandy, 1775, iv. 44.]

[219] [See Recollections of the Life of Lord Byron, 1824, p.64.]

[220] {177} [Compare The Waltz, line 125—"O say, shall dull Romaika's heavy sound." Poems, 1898, i. 492.]

[221] {186} [François Mercy de Lorraine, who fought against the Protestants in the Thirty Years' War, was mortally wounded at the battle of Nordlingen, August 3, 1645.]

[222] {187} [Byron and Hobhouse visited Marathon, January 25, 1810. The unconsidered trifle of the "plain" must have been offered to Byron during his second residence at Athens, in 1811.]

[223] ["Expende Annibalem—quot libras," etc. (Juvenal, x. 147), is the motto of the Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte, which was written April 10, 1814.—Journal, 1814; Life, p. 325.]

[224] [Compare letter to Hodgson, September 25, 1811: Letters, 1898, ii. 45.]

[225] [Miss Owenson (Sydney, Lady Morgan), 1783-1859, published her Woman, or Ida of Athens, in 4 vols., in 1812. Writing to Murray, February 20, 1818, Byron alludes to the "cruel work" which an article (attributed to Croker but, probably, written by Hookham Frere) had made with her France in the Quarterly Review (vol. xvii. p. 260); and in a note to The Two Foscari, act iii. sc. 1, he points out that his description of Venice as an "Ocean-Rome" had been anticipated by Lady Morgan in her "fearless and excellent work upon Italy." The play was completed July 9, 1821, but the work containing the phrase, "Rome of the Ocean," had not been received till August 16 (see, too, his letter to Murray, August 23, 1821). His conviction of the excellence of Lady Morgan's work was, perhaps strengthened by her outspoken eulogium.]

[226] {188} [For the Disdar's extortions, see Travels in Albania, i. 244.]


["The poor ...when once abroad,
Grow sick, and damn the climate like a lord."

Pope, Imit. of Horace, Ep. 1, lines 159, 160.]

[228] [Works and Days, v. 493, et seq.; Hesiod. Carm., C. Goettlingius (1843), p. 215.]

[229] Nonsense; humbug.

[230] {189} [Hobhouse pronounced it to be the Fountain of Ares, the Paraporti Spring, "which serves to swell the scanty waters of the Dirce." The Dirce flows on the west; the Ismenus, which forms the fountain, to the east of Thebes. "The water was tepid, as I found by bathing in it" (Travels in Albania, i. 233; Handbook for Greece, p. 703).]

[231] [Travels in Greece, ch. lxvii.]

[232] [Gell's Itinerary of Greece (1810), Preface, p. xi.]

[233] {190} [For M. Roque, see Itinéraire de Paris à Jérusalem: Oeuvres Chateaubriand, Paris, 1837, ii. 258-266.]

[234] {191} [William Eton published (1798-1809) A Survey of the Turkish Empire, in which he advocated the cause of Greek independence. Sonnini de Manoncourt (1751-1812), another ardent phil-Hellenist, published his Voyage en Grèce et en Turquie in 1801.]

[235] [Cornelius de Pauw (1739-1799), Dutch historian, published, in 1787, Recherches philosophiques sur les Grecs. Byron reflects upon his paradoxes and superficiality in Note II., infra. Thomas Thornton published, in 1807, a work entitled Present State of Turkey (see Note II., infra).]

[236] {192} [The MSS. of Hints from Horace and The Curse of Minerva are dated, "Athens, Capuchin Convent, March 12 and March 17, 1811." Proof B of Hints from Horace is dated, "Athens, Franciscan Convent, March 12, 1811." Writing to Hodgson, November 14, 1810, he says, "I am living alone in the Franciscan monastery with one 'friar' (a Capuchin of course) and one 'frier' (a bandy-legged Turkish cook)" (Letters, 1898, i. 307).]

[237] {193} [The Ionian Islands, with the exception of Corfù and Paxos, fell into the hands of the English in 1809, 1810. Paxos was captured in 1814, but Corfù, which had been blockaded by Napoleon, was not surrendered till the restoration of the Bourbons in 1815.]

[238] [The Mainotes or Mainates, who take their name from Maina, near Cape Tænaron, were the Highlanders of the Morea, "remarkable for their love of violence and plunder, but also for their frankness and independence." "Pedants have termed the Mainates descendants of the ancient Spartans," but "they must be either descended from the Helots, or from the Perioikoi.... To an older genealogy they can have no pretension."—Finlay's History of Greece, 1877, v. 113; vi. 26.]

[239] {194} [The Fanal, or Phanár, is to the left, Pera to the right, of the Golden Horn. "The water of the Golden Horn, which flows between the city and the suburbs, is a line of separation seldom transgressed by the Frank residents."—Travels in Albania, ii. 208.]

[240] {195} A word, en passant, with Mr. Thornton and Dr. Pouqueville, who have been guilty between them of sadly clipping the Sultan's Turkish.[A]

Dr. Pouqueville tells a long story of a Moslem who swallowed corrosive sublimate in such quantities that he acquired the name of "Suleyman Yeyen" i.e. quoth the Doctor, "Suleyman the eater of corrosive sublimate." "Aha," thinks Mr. Thornton (angry with the Doctor for the fiftieth time), "have I caught you?"[B]—Then, in a note, twice the thickness of the Doctor's anecdote, he questions the Doctor's proficiency in the Turkish tongue, and his veracity in his own.—"For," observes Mr. Thornton (after inflicting on us the tough participle of a Turkish verb), "it means nothing more than 'Suleyman the eater,' and quite cashiers the supplementary 'sublimate.'" Now both are right, and both are wrong. If Mr. Thornton, when he next resides "fourteen years in the factory," will consult his Turkish dictionary, or ask any of his Stamboline acquaintance, he will discover that "Suleyma'n yeyen," put together discreetly, mean the "Swallower of sublimate" without any "Suleyman" in the case: "Suleyma" signifying "corrosive sublimate" and not being a proper name on this occasion, although it be an orthodox name enough with the addition of n. After Mr. Thornton's frequent hints of profound Orientalism, he might have found this out before he sang such pæans over Dr. Pouqueville.

After this, I think "Travellers versus Factors" shall be our motto, though the above Mr. Thornton has condemned "hoc genus omne," for mistake and misrepresentation. "Ne Sutor ultra crepidam," "No merchant beyond his bales." N.B. For the benefit of Mr. Thornton, "Sutor" is not a proper name.

[A] [For Pouqueville's story of the "thériakis" or opium-eaters, see Voyage en Morée, 1805, ii. 126.]

[B] [Thornton's Present State of Turkey, ii. 173.]

[241] Recherches Philosophiques sur les Grecs, 1787, i. 155.

[242] {196} [De Pauw (Rech. Phil. sur les Grecs, 1788, ii. 293), in repeating Plato's statement (Laches, 191), that the Lacedæmonians at Platæa first fled from the Persians, and then, when the Persians were broken, turned upon them and won the battle, misapplies to them the term θρασύδειλοι (Arist., Eth. Nic., iii. 9.7)—men, that is, who affect the hero, but play the poltroon.]

[243] [Attached as a note to line 562 of Hints from Horace (MS. M.).]

[244] ["I'll talk a word with this same learned Theban." Shakespeare, King Lear, act iii. sc. 4, line 150.]

[245] [For April, 1810: vol. xvi. pp. 55, sq.]

[246] [Diamant or Adamantius Coray (1748-1833), scholar and phil-Hellenist, declared his views on the future of the Greeks in the preface to a translation of Beccaria Bonesani's treatise, Dei Delitti e delle Pene (1764), which was published in Paris in 1802. He began to publish his Bibliothèque Hellénique, in 17 vols., in 1805. He was of Chian parentage, but was born at Smyrna. Κοραη Αὐτοβιογραφια, Athens, 1891.]

[247] I have in my possession an excellent lexicon "τρίγλωσσον" which I received in exchange from S. G——, Esq., for a small gem: my antiquarian friends have never forgotten it or forgiven me.

[Λεξικὸν τρίγλωσσον τῆς Γαλλικῆς, Ἰταλικῆς, καὶ 'Ρωμαικῆς διαλέκτου, κ.τ.λ., 3 vols., Vienna, 1790. By Georgie Vendoti (Bentotes, or Bendotes) of Joanina. The book was in Hobhouse's possession in 1854.]

[248] In Gail's pamphlet against Coray, he talks of "throwing the insolent Hellenist out of the windows." On this a French critic exclaims, "Ah, my God! throw an Hellenist out of the window! what sacrilege!" It certainly would be a serious business for those authors who dwell in the attics: but I have quoted the passage merely to prove the similarity of style among the controversialists of all polished countries; London or Edinburgh could hardly parallel this Parisian ebullition.

[Jean Baptiste Gail (1755-1829), Professor of Greek in the Collége de France, published, in 1810, a quarto volume entitled, Réclamations de J. B. Gail, ... et observations sur l'opinion en virtu de laquelle le juri—propose de décerner un prix à M. Coray, à l'exclusion de la chasse de Xénophon, du Thucydide, etc., grec-latin-français, etc.]

[249] {198} Dorotheus of Mitylene (fl. sixteenth century), Archbishop of Monembasia (Anglicè "Malmsey"), on the south-east coast of Laconia, was the author of a Universal History (Βιβλιον Ἱστορικόν, κ.τ.λ.), edited by A. Tzigaras, Venice, 1637, 4to.

[250] Meletius of Janina (1661-1714) was Archbishop of Athens, 1703-14. His principal work is Ancient and Modern Geography, Venice, 1728, fol. He also wrote an Ecclesiastical History, in four vols., Vienna, 1783-95.

[251] Panagios (Panagiotes) Kodrikas, Professor of Greek at Paris, published at Vienna, in 1794, a Greek translation of Fontenelle's Entretiens sur la Pluralite des Mondes. John Camarases, a Constantinopolitan, translated into French the apocryphal treatise, De Universi Natura, attributed to Ocellus Lucanus, a Pythagorean philosopher, who is said to have flourished in Lucania in the fifth century B.C.

[252] Christodoulos, an Acarnanian, published a work, Περὶ Φιλοσόφου, Φιλοσοφίας, Φυσιῶν, Μεταφυσικῶν, κ.τ.λ., at Vienna, in 1786.

[253] Athanasius Psalidas published, at Vienna, in 1791, a sceptical work entitled, True Felicity (Ἀληθὴς Εὐδαιμονία). "Very learned, and full of quotations, but written in false taste."—MS. M. He was a schoolmaster at Janina, where Byron and Hobhouse made his acquaintance—"the only person," says Hobhouse, "I ever saw who had what might be called a library, and that a very small one" (Travels in Albania, etc., i. 508).

[254] Hobhouse mentions a patriotic poet named Polyzois, "the new Tyrtæus," and gives, as a specimen of his work, "a war-song of the Greeks in Egypt, fighting in the cause of Freedom."—Travels in Albania, etc., i. 507; ii. 6, 7.

[255] {199} [By Blackbey is meant Bey of Vlack, i.e. Wallachia. (See a Translation of this "satire in dialogue"—"Remarks on the Romaic," etc., Poetical Works, 1891, p. 793.)]

[256] [Constantine Rhigas (born 1753), the author of the original of Byron's "Sons of the Greeks, arise," was handed over to the Turks by the Austrians, and shot at Belgrade in 1793, by the orders of Ali Pacha.]

[257] {200} [The Hecatonnesi are a cluster of islands in the Gulf of Adramyttium, over against the harbour and town of Aivali or Aivalik. Cidonies may stand for ἡ πόλις κυδωνὶς, the quince-shaped city. "At Haivali or Kidognis, opposite to Mytilene, there is a sort of university for a hundred students and three professors, now superintended by a Greek of Mytilene, who teaches not only the Hellenic, but Latin, French, and Italian."—Travels in Albania, etc., i. 509, 510.]

[258] [François Horace Bastien, Conte Sebastiani (1772-1851), was ambassador to the Sublime Porte, May, 1806-June, 1807.]

[259] [Gregor Alexandrovitch Potemkin (1736-1791), the favourite of the Empress Catherine II.]

[260] {201} In a former number of the Edinburgh Review, 1808, it is observed: "Lord Byron passed some of his early years in Scotland, where he might have learned that pibroch does not mean a bagpipe, any more than duet means a fiddle." Query,—Was it in Scotland that the young gentlemen of the Edinburgh Review learned that Solyman means Mahomet II. any more than criticism means infallibility?—but thus it is,

"Cædimus, inque vicem præbemus crura sagittis."

Persius, Sat. iv. 42.

The mistake seemed so completely a lapse of the pen (from the great similarity of the two words, and the total absence of error from the former pages of the literary leviathan) that I should have passed it over as in the text, had I not perceived in the Edinburgh Review much facetious exultation on all such detections, particularly a recent one, where words and syllables are subjects of disquisition and transposition; and the above-mentioned parallel passage in my own case irresistibly propelled me to hint how much easier it is to be critical than correct. The gentlemen, having enjoyed many a triumph on such victories, will hardly begrudge me a slight ovation for the present.

[At the end of the review of Childe Harold, February, 1812 (xix., 476), the editor inserted a ponderous retort to this harmless and good-natured "chaff:" "To those strictures of the noble author we feel no inclination to trouble our readers with any reply ... we shall merely observe that if we viewed with astonishment the immeasurable fury with which the minor poet received the innocent pleasantry and moderate castigation of our remarks on his first publication, we now feel nothing but pity for the strange irritability of temperament which can still cherish a private resentment for such a cause, or wish to perpetuate memory of personalities as outrageous as to have been injurious only to their authors."]

[261] ["O Athens, first of all lands, why in these latter days dost thou nourish asses?"]

[262] [Anna Comnena (1083-1148), daughter of Alexis I., wrote the Alexiad, a history of her father's reign.]

[263] [Zonaras (Annales, B 240), lib. viii. cap. 26, A 4. Venice, 1729.]

[264] [See English Bards, etc., line 877: Poems, 1898, i. 366, note 1.]

[265] {203} [For Vely Pacha, the son of Ali Pacha, Vizier of the Morea, see Letters, 1898, i. 248, note 1.]

[266] [The Caimacam was the deputy or lieutenant of the grand Vizier.]

[267] [Scott published "Sir Tristrem, a Metrical Romance of the Thirteenth Century, by Thomas of Ercildoun," in 1804.]

[268] [Captain Lismahago, a paradoxical and pedantic Scotchman, the favoured suitor of Miss Tabitha Bramble, in Smollett's Expedition of Humphry Clinker.]

[269] {204} [Sir William Drummond (1780?-1828) published, inter alia, A Review of the Government of Athens and Sparta, in 1795; and Herculanensia, an Archæological and Philological Dissertation containing a Manuscript found at Herculaneum, in conjunction with the Rev. Robert Walpole (see letter to Harness, December 8, 1811. See Letters, 1898, ii. 79, note 3).

For Aberdeen and Hamilton, see English Bards, etc., line 509: Poetical Works, 1898, i. 336, note 2, and Childe Harold, Canto II. supplementary stanzas, ibid., ii. 108.

Edward Daniel Clarke, LL.D. (1769-1822), published Travels in Various Countries, 1810-1823 (vide ante, p. 172, note 7).

For Leake, vide ante, p. 174, note 1.

For Gell, see English Bards, etc., line 1034, note 1: Poetical Works, 1898, i. 379.

The Rev. Robert Walpole (1781-1856), in addition to his share in Herculanensia, completed the sixth volume of Clarke's Travels, which appeared in 1823.]

[270] {205} [Compare English Bards, etc., line 655, note 2: Poetical Works, 1898, i. 349.]

[271] [The judge of a town or village—the Spanish alcalde.—N. Eng. Dict., art. "Cadi."]

[272] {206} [Mouradja D'Ohsson (1740-1804), an Armenian by birth, spent many years at Constantinople as Swedish envoy. He published at Paris (1787-90, two vols. fol.) his Tableau général de l'empire Othoman, a work still regarded as the chief authority on the subject.]

[273] ["Effendi," derived from the Greek αὐθέντης, through the Romaic ἀφέντης, an "absolute master," is a title borne by distinguished civilians.

The Spanish order of St. James of Compostella was founded circ. A.D. 1170.]

[274] {207} [The "Nizam Gedidd," or new ordinance, which aimed at remodelling the Turkish army on a quasi-European system, was promulgated by Selim III in 1808.

A "mufti" is an expounder, a "molla" or "mollah" a superior judge, of the sacred Moslem law. The "tefterdars" or "defterdars" were provincial registrars and treasurers under the supreme defterdar, or Chancellor of the Exchequer.]



"Afin que cette application vous forcât à penser à autre chose. Il n'y a en vérité de remède que celui-là et le temps."—Lettres du Roi de Prusse et de M. D'Alembert.[275] [Lettre cxlvi. Sept. 7, 1776.]



The Third Canto of Childe Harold was begun early in May, and finished at Ouchy, near Lausanne, on the 27th of June, 1816. Byron made a fair copy of the first draft of his poem, which had been scrawled on loose sheets, and engaged the services of "Claire" (Jane Clairmont) to make a second transcription. Her task was completed on the 4th of July. The fair copy and Claire's transcription remained in Byron's keeping until the end of August or the beginning of September, when he consigned the transcription to "his friend Mr. Shelley," and the fair copy to Scrope Davies, with instructions to deliver them to Murray (see Letters to Murray, October 5, 9, 15, 1816). Shelley landed at Portsmouth, September 8, and on the 11th of September he discharged his commission.

"I was thrilled with delight yesterday," writes Murray (September 12), "by the announcement of Mr. Shelley with the MS. of Childe Harold. I had no sooner got the quiet possession of it than, trembling with auspicious hope, ... I carried it ... to Mr. Gifford.... He says that what you have heretofore published is nothing to this effort.... Never, since my intimacy with Mr. Gifford, did I see him so heartily pleased, or give one fiftieth part of the praise, with one thousandth part of the warmth."

The correction of the press was undertaken by Gifford, not without some remonstrance on the part of Shelley, who maintained that "the revision of the proofs, and the retention or alteration of certain particular passages had been entrusted to his discretion" (Letter to Murray, October 30, 1816).


When, if ever, Mr. Davies, of "inaccurate memory" (Letter to Murray, December 4, 1816), discharged his trust is a matter of uncertainty. The "original MS." (Byron's "fair copy") is not forthcoming, and it is improbable that Murray, who had stipulated (September 20) "for all the original MSS., copies, and scraps," ever received it. The "scraps" were sent (October 5) in the first instance to Geneva, and, after many wanderings, ultimately fell into the possession of Mrs. Leigh, from whom they were purchased by the late Mr. Murray.

The July number of the Quarterly Review (No. XXX.) was still in the press, and, possibly, for this reason it was not till October 29 that Murray inserted the following advertisement in the Morning Chronicle: "Lord Byron's New Poems. On the 23d of November will be published The Prisoners (sic) of Chillon, a Tale and other Poems. A Third Canto of Childe Harold...." But a rival was in the field. The next day (October 30), in the same print, another advertisement appeared: "The R. H. Lord Byron's Pilgrimage to the Holy Land.... Printed for J. Johnston, Cheapside.... Of whom may be had, by the same author, a new ed. (the third) of Farewell to England: with three other poems...." It was, no doubt, the success of his first venture which had stimulated the "Cheapside impostor," as Byron called him, to forgery on a larger scale.

The controversy did not end there. A second advertisement (Morning Chronicle, November 15) of "Lord Byron's Pilgrimage," etc., stating that "the copyright of the work was consigned" to the Publisher "exclusively by the Noble Author himself, and for which he gives 500 guineas," precedes Murray's second announcement of The Prisoners of Chillon, and the Third Canto of Childe Harold, in which he informs "the public that the poems lately advertised are not written by Lord Byron. The only bookseller at present authorised to print Lord Byron's poems is Mr. Murray...." Further precautions were deemed necessary. An injunction in Chancery was applied for by Byron's agents and representatives (see, for a report of the case in the Morning Chronicle, November 28, 1816, Letters, vol. iv., Letter to Murray, December 9, 1816, note), and granted by the Chancellor, [213] Lord Eldon. Strangely enough, Sir Samuel Romilly, whom Byron did not love, was counsel for the plaintiff.

In spite of the injunction, a volume entitled "Lord Byron's Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, a Poem in Two Cantos. To which is attached a fragment, The Tempest," was issued in 1817. It is a dull and, apparently, serious production, suggested by, but hardly an imitation of, Childe Harold. The notes are descriptive of the scenery, customs, and antiquities of Palestine. The Tempest, on the other hand, is a parody, and by no means a bad parody, of Byron at his worst; e.g.—

"There was a sternness in his eye,
Which chilled the soul—one knew not why—
But when returning vigour came,
And kindled the dark glare to flame,
So fierce it flashed, one well might swear,
A thousand souls were centred there."

It is possible that this Pilgrimage was the genuine composition of some poetaster who failed to get his poems published under his own name, or it may have been the deliberate forgery of John Agg, or Hewson Clarke, or C. F. Lawler, the pseudo Peter Pindar—"Druids" who were in Johnston's pay, and were prepared to compose pilgrimages to any land, holy or unholy, which would bring grist to their employer's mill. (See the Advertisements at the end of Lord Byron's Pilgrimage, etc.)

The Third Canto was published, not as announced, on the 23rd, but on the 18th of November. Murray's "auspicious hope" of success was amply fulfilled. He "wrote to Lord Byron on the 13th of December, 1816, informing him that at a dinner at the Albion Tavern, he had sold to the assembled booksellers 7000 of his Third Canto of Childe Harold...." The reviews were for the most part laudatory. Sir Walter Scott's finely-tempered eulogium (Quart. Rev., No. xxxi., October, 1816 [published February 11, 1817]), and Jeffrey's balanced and cautious appreciation (Edin. Rev., No. liv., December, 1816 [published February 14, 1817]) have been reprinted in their collected works. Both writers conclude with an aspiration—Jeffrey, that

"This puissant spirit
Yet shall reascend,
Self-raised, and repossess its native seat!"


Scott, in the "tenderest strain" of Virgilian melody—

"I decus, i nostrum, melioribus utere fatis!"

Note on MSS. of the Third Canto.

[The following memorandum, in Byron's handwriting, is prefixed to the Transcription:—

"This copy is to be printed from—subject to comparison with the original MS. (from which this is a transcription) in such parts as it may chance to be difficult to decypher in the following. The notes in this copy are more complete and extended than in the former—and there is also one stanza more inserted and added to this, viz. the 33d. B.

Byron. July 10th, 1816.

Diodati, near ye Lake of Geneva."

The "original MS." to which the memorandum refers is not forthcoming (vide ante, p. 212), but the "scraps" (MS.) are now in Mr. Murray's possession. Stanzas i.-iii., and the lines beginning, "The castled Crag of Drachenfels," are missing.

Claire's Transcription (C.) occupies the first 119 pages of a substantial quarto volume. Stanzas xxxiii. and xcix.-cv. and several of the notes are in Byron's handwriting. The same volume contains Sonnet on Chillon, in Byron's handwriting; a transcription of the Prisoners (sic) of Chillon (so, too, the advertisement in the Morning Chronicle, October 29, 1816); Sonnet, "Rousseau," etc., in Byron's handwriting, and transcriptions of Stanzas to——, "Though the day of my destiny's over;" Darkness; Churchill's Grave; The Dream; The Incantation (Manfred, act ii. sc. 1); and Prometheus.]




Is thy face like thy mothers, my fair child!
Ada! sole daughter of my house and heart?[276]
[216] When last I saw thy young blue eyes they smiled,
And then we parted,—not as now we part,
But with a hope.—
Awaking with a start,
The waters heave around me; and on high
The winds lift up their voices: I depart,
Whither I know not; but the hour's gone by,
When Albion's lessening shores could grieve or glad mine eye.[gh]


Once more upon the waters! yet once more![277]
And the waves bound beneath me as a steed
[217] That knows his rider.[278] Welcome to their roar!
Swift be their guidance, wheresoe'er it lead!
Though the strained mast should quiver as a reed,
And the rent canvass fluttering strew the gale,[gi]
Still must I on; for I am as a weed,
Flung from the rock, on Ocean's foam, to sail
Where'er the surge may sweep, the tempest's breath prevail.


In my youth's summer I did sing of One,
The wandering outlaw of his own dark mind;[279]
Again I seize the theme, then but begun,
And bear it with me, as the rushing wind
[218] Bears the cloud onwards: in that Tale I find
The furrows of long thought, and dried-up tears,
Which, ebbing, leave a sterile track behind,
O'er which all heavily the journeying years
Plod the last sands of life,—where not a flower appears.


Since my young days of passion—joy, or pain—
Perchance my heart and harp have lost a string—
And both may jar: it may be, that in vain
I would essay as I have sung to sing[gj]:
Yet, though a dreary strain, to this I cling;
So that it wean me from the weary dream
Of selfish grief or gladness—so it fling
Forgetfulness around me—it shall seem
To me, though to none else, a not ungrateful theme.


He, who grown aged in this world of woe,
In deeds, not years,[280] piercing the depths of life,
So that no wonder waits him—nor below
Can Love or Sorrow, Fame, Ambition, Strife,
Cut to his heart again with the keen knife
Of silent, sharp endurance—he can tell
[219] Why Thought seeks refuge in lone caves, yet rife
With airy images, and shapes which dwell
Still unimpaired, though old, in the Soul's haunted cell.[gk]


'Tis to create, and in creating live[281]
A being more intense that we endow[gl]
With form our fancy, gaining as we give
The life we image, even as I do now—
What am I? Nothing: but not so art thou,
Soul of my thought! with whom I traverse earth,
[220] Invisible but gazing, as I glow—
Mixed with thy spirit, blended with thy birth,
And feeling still with thee in my crushed feelings' dearth.


Yet must I think less wildly:—I have thought
Too long and darkly, till my brain became,
In its own eddy boiling and o'erwrought,
A whirling gulf of phantasy and flame:[gm]
And thus, untaught in youth my heart to tame,
My springs of life were poisoned.[282] 'Tis too late:
Yet am I changed; though still enough the same
In strength to bear what Time can not abate,[gn]
And feed on bitter fruits without accusing Fate.


Something too much of this:—but now 'tis past,
And the spell closes with its silent seal—[283]
[221] Long absent Harold re-appears at last;
He of the breast which fain no more would feel,[go]
Wrung with the wounds which kill not, but ne'er heal;
Yet Time, who changes all, had altered him
In soul and aspect as in age: years steal
Fire from the mind as vigour from the limb;
And Life's enchanted cup but sparkles near the brim.


His had been quaffed too quickly, and he found
The dregs were wormwood; but he filled again,
And from a purer fount, on holier ground,
And deemed its spring perpetual—but in vain!
Still round him clung invisibly a chain
Which galled for ever, fettering though unseen,
And heavy though it clanked not; worn with pain,
Which pined although it spoke not, and grew keen,
Entering with every step he took through many a scene.



Secure in guarded coldness, he had mixed[gp]
Again in fancied safety with his kind,
And deemed his spirit now so firmly fixed
And sheathed with an invulnerable mind,
That, if no joy, no sorrow lurked behind;
And he, as one, might 'midst the many stand
Unheeded, searching through the crowd to find
Fit speculation—such as in strange land
He found in wonder-works of God and Nature's hand.[gq]


But who can view the ripened rose, nor seek[gr]
To wear it? who can curiously behold
The smoothness and the sheen of Beauty's cheek,
Nor feel the heart can never all grow old?[gs]
Who can contemplate Fame through clouds unfold
The star[284] which rises o'er her steep, nor climb?
[223] Harold, once more within the vortex, rolled
On with the giddy circle, chasing Time,
Yet with a nobler aim than in his Youth's fond prime.[gt][285]


But soon he knew himself the most unfit[gu]
Of men to herd with Man, with whom he held
Little in common; untaught to submit
His thoughts to others, though his soul was quelled
In youth by his own thoughts; still uncompelled,
He would not yield dominion of his mind
To Spirits against whom his own rebelled,
Proud though in desolation—which could find
A life within itself, to breathe without mankind.


Where rose the mountains, there to him were friends;[gv]
Where rolled the ocean, thereon was his home;
[224] Where a blue sky, and glowing clime, extends,
He had the passion and the power to roam;
The desert, forest, cavern, breaker's foam,
Were unto him companionship; they spake
A mutual language, clearer than the tome
Of his land's tongue, which he would oft forsake
For Nature's pages glassed by sunbeams on the lake.


Like the Chaldean, he could watch the stars,[gw]
Till he had peopled them with beings bright
As their own beams; and earth, and earth-born jars,
And human frailties, were forgotten quite:
Could he have kept his spirit to that flight
He had been happy; but this clay will sink
Its spark immortal, envying it the light
To which it mounts, as if to break the link
That keeps us from yon heaven which woos us to its brink.[gx]


But in Man's dwellings he became a thing[gy]
Restless and worn, and stern and wearisome,
[225] Drooped as a wild-born falcon with clipt wing,
To whom the boundless air alone were home:
Then came his fit again, which to o'ercome,
As eagerly the barred-up bird will beat
His breast and beak against his wiry dome
Till the blood tinge his plumage—so the heat
Of his impeded Soul would through his bosom eat.


Self-exiled Harold wanders forth again,[286]
With nought of Hope left—but with less of gloom;
The very knowledge that he lived in vain,
That all was over on this side the tomb,
Had made Despair a smilingness assume,
Which, though 'twere wild,—as on the plundered wreck
When mariners would madly meet their doom
With draughts intemperate on the sinking deck,—
Did yet inspire a cheer, which he forbore to check.


Stop!—for thy tread is on an Empire's dust!
An Earthquake's spoil is sepulchred below!
Is the spot marked with no colossal bust?[287]
Nor column trophied for triumphal show?
[226] None; but the moral's truth tells simpler so.—[gz][288]
As the ground was before, thus let it be;—[ha]
How that red rain hath made the harvest grow!
And is this all the world has gained by thee,
Thou first and last of Fields! king-making Victory?


And Harold stands upon this place of skulls,
The grave of France, the deadly Waterloo![hb]
How in an hour the Power which gave annuls
Its gifts, transferring fame as fleeting too!—
In "pride of place" here last the Eagle flew, [1.B.]
Then tore with bloody talon the rent plain,[hc]
[227] Pierced by the shaft of banded nations through;
Ambition's life and labours all were vain—
He wears the shattered links of the World's broken chain.[hd]


Fit retribution! Gaul may champ the bit
And foam in fetters;—but is Earth more free?[289]
[228] Did nations combat to make One submit?
Or league to teach all Kings true Sovereignty?[he]
What! shall reviving Thraldom again be
The patched-up Idol of enlightened days?
Shall we, who struck the Lion down, shall we
Pay the Wolf homage? proffering lowly gaze
And servile knees to Thrones? No! prove before ye praise!


If not, o'er one fallen Despot boast no more!
In vain fair cheeks were furrowed with hot tears
For Europe's flowers long rooted up before
The trampler of her vineyards; in vain, years
Of death, depopulation, bondage, fears,
Have all been borne, and broken by the accord
Of roused-up millions: all that most endears
Glory, is when the myrtle wreathes a Sword,
Such as Harmodius [2.B.] drew on Athens' tyrant Lord.


There was a sound of revelry by night,[290]
And Belgium's Capital had gathered then
[229] Her Beauty and her Chivalry—and bright
The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men;[hf]
A thousand hearts beat happily; and when
Music arose with its voluptuous swell,
Soft eyes looked love to eyes which spake again,
And all went merry as a marriage bell; [3.B.]
But hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell!


Did ye not hear it?—No—'twas but the Wind,
Or the car rattling o'er the stony street;
On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
[230] To chase the glowing Hours with flying feet—
But hark!—that heavy sound breaks in once more,
As if the clouds its echo would repeat;
And nearer—clearer—deadlier than before![hg]
Arm! Arm! it is—it is—the cannon's opening roar![hh]


Within a windowed niche of that high hall
Sate Brunswick's fated Chieftain; he did hear[291]
That sound the first amidst the festival,
And caught its tone with Death's prophetic ear;
[231] And when they smiled because he deemed it near,
His heart more truly knew that peal too well[hi]
Which stretched his father on a bloody bier,
And roused the vengeance blood alone could quell;
He rushed into the field, and, foremost fighting, fell.


Ah! then and there was hurrying to and fro—
And gathering tears, and tremblings of distress,[hj]
And cheeks all pale, which but an hour ago
Blushed at the praise of their own loveliness—
And there were sudden partings, such as press[hk]
The life from out young hearts, and choking sighs
Which ne'er might be repeated; who could guess
If ever more should meet those mutual eyes,
Since upon night so sweet such awful morn could rise![hl]


And there was mounting in hot haste—the steed,
The mustering squadron, and the clattering car,
Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,
And swiftly forming in the ranks of war—
[232] And the deep thunder peal on peal afar;
And near, the beat of the alarming drum
Roused up the soldier ere the Morning Star;
While thronged the citizens with terror dumb,[hm]
Or whispering, with white lips—"The foe! They come! they come!"


And wild and high the "Cameron's Gathering" rose!
The war-note of Lochiel, which Albyn's hills
Have heard, and heard, too, have her Saxon foes;—
How in the noon of night that pibroch thrills,
Savage and shrill! But with the breath which fills
Their mountain-pipe, so fill the mountaineers
With the fierce native daring which instils
The stirring memory of a thousand years,
And Evan's—Donald's [4.B.] fame rings in each clansman's ears!


And Ardennes [5.B.] waves above them her green leaves,[hn]
Dewy with Nature's tear-drops, as they pass—
Grieving, if aught inanimate e'er grieves,
Over the unreturning brave,—alas!
[233] Ere evening to be trodden like the grass
Which now beneath them, but above shall grow
In its next verdure, when this fiery mass
Of living Valour, rolling on the foe
And burning with high Hope, shall moulder cold and low.


Last noon beheld them full of lusty life;—
Last eve in Beauty's circle proudly gay;
The Midnight brought the signal-sound of strife,
The Morn the marshalling in arms,—the Day
Battle's magnificently-stern array!
The thunder-clouds close o'er it, which when rent
The earth is covered thick with other clay
Which her own clay shall cover, heaped and pent,
Rider and horse,—friend,—foe,—in one red burial blent!


Their praise is hymned by loftier harps than mine;
Yet one I would select from that proud throng,
Partly because they blend me with his line,
And partly that I did his Sire some wrong,[292]
And partly that bright names will hallow song;[ho]
And his was of the bravest, and when showered
[234] The death-bolts deadliest the thinned files along,
Even where the thickest of War's tempest lowered,
They reached no nobler breast than thine, young, gallant Howard![293]


There have been tears and breaking hearts for thee,
And mine were nothing, had I such to give;
But when I stood beneath the fresh green tree,
Which living waves where thou didst cease to live,
And saw around me the wide field revive
With fruits and fertile promise, and the Spring[294]
Come forth her work of gladness to contrive,
With all her reckless birds upon the wing,
I turned from all she brought to those she could not bring. [6.B.]



I turned to thee, to thousands, of whom each
And one as all a ghastly gap did make
In his own kind and kindred, whom to teach
Forgetfulness were mercy for their sake;
The Archangel's trump, not Glory's, must awake
Those whom they thirst for; though the sound of Fame
May for a moment soothe, it cannot slake
The fever of vain longing, and the name
So honoured but assumes a stronger, bitterer claim.


They mourn, but smile at length—and, smiling, mourn:
The tree will wither long before it fall;
The hull drives on, though mast and sail be torn;[hp]
The roof-tree sinks, but moulders on the hall
In massy hoariness; the ruined wall
Stands when its wind-worn battlements are gone;
[236] The bars survive the captive they enthral;
The day drags through though storms keep out the sun;[hq]
And thus the heart will break, yet brokenly live on:[295]


Even as a broken Mirror,[296] which the glass
In every fragment multiplies—and makes
[237] A thousand images of one that was,
The same—and still the more, the more it breaks;
And thus the heart will do which not forsakes,
Living in shattered guise; and still, and cold,
And bloodless, with its sleepless sorrow aches,
Yet withers on till all without is old,
Showing no visible sign, for such things are untold.


There is a very life in our despair,
Vitality of poison,—a quick root
Which feeds these deadly branches; for it were
As nothing did we die; but Life will suit
Itself to Sorrow's most detested fruit,
Like to the apples on the Dead Sea's shore, [7.B.]
All ashes to the taste: Did man compute
Existence by enjoyment, and count o'er
Such hours 'gainst years of life,—say, would he name threescore?


The Psalmist numbered out the years of man:
They are enough; and if thy tale be true,[hr]
Thou, who didst grudge him even that fleeting span,[297]
More than enough, thou fatal Waterloo!
[238] Millions of tongues record thee, and anew
Their children's lips shall echo them, and say—
"Here, where the sword united nations drew,[hs]
Our countrymen were warring on that day!"
And this is much—and all—which will not pass away.


There sunk the greatest, nor the worst of men,
Whose Spirit, antithetically mixed,
One moment of the mightiest, and again
On little objects with like firmness fixed;[ht]
Extreme in all things! hadst thou been betwixt,
Thy throne had still been thine, or never been;
For Daring made thy rise as fall: thou seek'st[hu][298]
Even now to re-assume the imperial mien,[299]
And shake again the world, the Thunderer of the scene!


Conqueror and Captive of the Earth art thou!
She trembles at thee still, and thy wild name[hv]
Was ne'er more bruited in men's minds than now
That thou art nothing, save the jest of Fame,
[240] Who wooed thee once, thy Vassal, and became[hw]
The flatterer of thy fierceness—till thou wert
A God unto thyself; nor less the same
To the astounded kingdoms all inert,
Who deemed thee for a time whate'er thou didst assert.


Oh, more or less than man—in high or low—
Battling with nations, flying from the field;
Now making monarchs' necks thy footstool, now
More than thy meanest soldier taught to yield;
An Empire thou couldst crush, command, rebuild,
But govern not thy pettiest passion, nor,
However deeply in men's spirits skilled,
Look through thine own, nor curb the lust of War,
Nor learn that tempted Fate will leave the loftiest Star.


Yet well thy soul hath brooked the turning tide
With that untaught innate philosophy,
Which, be it Wisdom, Coldness, or deep Pride,[hx]
Is gall and wormwood to an enemy.
When the whole host of hatred stood hard by,
To watch and mock thee shrinking, thou hast smiled[hy]
[241] With a sedate and all-enduring eye;—
When Fortune fled her spoiled and favourite child,
He stood unbowed beneath the ills upon him piled.


Sager than in thy fortunes; for in them[hz]
Ambition steeled thee on too far to show
That just habitual scorn, which could contemn
Men and their thoughts; 'twas wise to feel, not so
To wear it ever on thy lip and brow,
And spurn the instruments thou wert to use
Till they were turned unto thine overthrow:
'Tis but a worthless world to win or lose;
So hath it proved to thee, and all such lot who choose.


If, like a tower upon a headlong rock,
Thou hadst been made to stand or fall alone,
Such scorn of man had helped to brave the shock;
But men's thoughts were the steps which paved thy throne,
Their admiration thy best weapon shone;
The part of Philip's son was thine, not then
(Unless aside thy Purple had been thrown)
Like stern Diogenes to mock at men—
For sceptred Cynics Earth were far too wide a den. [8.B.]



But Quiet to quick bosoms is a Hell,
And there hath been thy bane; there is a fire
And motion of the Soul which will not dwell
In its own narrow being, but aspire
Beyond the fitting medium of desire;
And, but once kindled, quenchless evermore,
Preys upon high adventure, nor can tire[ia]
Of aught but rest; a fever at the core,
Fatal to him who bears, to all who ever bore.


This makes the madmen who have made men mad
By their contagion; Conquerors and Kings,
Founders of sects and systems, to whom add
Sophists, Bards, Statesmen, all unquiet things
Which stir too strongly the soul's secret springs,[ib]
And are themselves the fools to those they fool;
Envied, yet how unenviable! what stings
Are theirs! One breast laid open were a school
Which would unteach Mankind the lust to shine or rule:


Their breath is agitation, and their life
A storm whereon they ride, to sink at last,
[243] And yet so nursed and bigoted to strife,
That should their days, surviving perils past,
Melt to calm twilight, they feel overcast[ic]
With sorrow and supineness, and so die;
Even as a flame unfed, which runs to waste
With its own flickering, or a sword laid by,
Which eats into itself, and rusts ingloriously.


He who ascends to mountain-tops, shall find
The loftiest peaks most wrapt in clouds and snow;
He who surpasses or subdues mankind,
Must look down on the hate of those below.[id]
Though high above the Sun of Glory glow,
And far beneath the Earth and Ocean spread,
Round him are icy rocks, and loudly blow
Contending tempests on his naked head,[ie]
And thus reward the toils which to those summits led.


Away with these! true Wisdom's world will be[if]
Within its own creation, or in thine,
Maternal Nature! for who teems like thee,[ig]
Thus on the banks of thy majestic Rhine?
[244] There Harold gazes on a work divine,
A blending of all beauties; streams and dells,
Fruit, foliage, crag, wood, cornfield, mountain, vine,
And chiefless castles breathing stern farewells
From gray but leafy walls, where Ruin greenly dwells.[ih]


And there they stand, as stands a lofty mind,
Worn, but unstooping to the baser crowd,
All tenantless, save to the crannying Wind,
Or holding dark communion with the Cloud
There was a day when they were young and proud;
Banners on high, and battles[300] passed below;
But they who fought are in a bloody shroud,
And those which waved are shredless dust ere now,[ii]
And the bleak battlements shall bear no future blow.


Beneath these battlements, within those walls,
Power dwelt amidst her passions; in proud state
Each robber chief upheld his arméd halls,
Doing his evil will, nor less elate
[245] Than mightier heroes of a longer date.
What want these outlaws conquerors should have[ij] [9.B.]
But History's purchased page to call them great?
A wider space—an ornamented grave?
Their hopes were not less warm, their souls were full as brave.[ik]


In their baronial feuds and single fields,
What deeds of prowess unrecorded died!
And Love, which lent a blazon to their shields,[301]
With emblems well devised by amorous pride,
Through all the mail of iron hearts would glide;
But still their flame was fierceness, and drew on
Keen contest and destruction near allied,
And many a tower for some fair mischief won,
Saw the discoloured Rhine beneath its ruin run.


But Thou, exulting and abounding river!
Making thy waves a blessing as they flow
Through banks whose beauty would endure for ever
Could man but leave thy bright creation so,
Nor its fair promise from the surface mow[il]
With the sharp scythe of conflict, then to see
[246] Thy valley of sweet waters, were to know[302]
Earth paved like Heaven—and to seem such to me,[im]
Even now what wants thy stream?—that it should Lethe be.


A thousand battles have assailed thy banks,
But these and half their fame have passed away,
And Slaughter heaped on high his weltering ranks:
Their very graves are gone, and what are they?[303]
Thy tide washed down the blood of yesterday,
And all was stainless, and on thy clear stream
Glassed, with its dancing light, the sunny ray;[in]
But o'er the blacken'd memory's blighting dream
Thy waves would vainly roll, all sweeping as they seem.


Thus Harold inly said, and passed along,
Yet not insensible to all which here
Awoke the jocund birds to early song
In glens which might have made even exile dear:
[247] Though on his brow were graven lines austere,
And tranquil sternness, which had ta'en the place
Of feelings fierier far but less severe—
Joy was not always absent from his face,
But o'er it in such scenes would steal with transient trace.


Nor was all Love shut from him, though his days
Of Passion had consumed themselves to dust.
It is in vain that we would coldly gaze
On such as smile upon us; the heart must
Leap kindly back to kindness, though Disgust[io]
Hath weaned it from all worldlings: thus he felt,
For there was soft Remembrance, and sweet Trust
In one fond breast, to which his own would melt,
And in its tenderer hour on that his bosom dwelt.[304]


And he had learned to love,—I know not why,
For this in such as him seems strange of mood,
The helpless looks of blooming Infancy,
Even in its earliest nurture; what subdued,
To change like this, a mind so far imbued
With scorn of man, it little boots to know;
[248] But thus it was; and though in solitude
Small power the nipped affections have to grow,
In him this glowed when all beside had ceased to glow.


And there was one soft breast, as hath been said,[ip]
Which unto his was bound by stronger ties
Than the church links withal; and—though unwed,
That love was pure—and, far above disguise,[iq]
Had stood the test of mortal enmities
Still undivided, and cemented more
By peril, dreaded most in female eyes;[305]
But this was firm, and from a foreign shore
Well to that heart might his these absent greetings pour![ir]


The castled Crag of Drachenfels[306] [10.B.]
Frowns o'er the wide and winding Rhine,
Whose breast of waters broadly swells
Between the banks which bear the vine,
And hills all rich with blossomed trees,
And fields which promise corn and wine,
And scattered cities crowning these,
Whose far white walls along them shine,
Have strewed a scene, which I should see
With double joy wert thou with me.


And peasant girls, with deep blue eyes,
And hands which offer early flowers,
Walk smiling o'er this Paradise;
Above, the frequent feudal towers
Through green leaves lift their walls of gray;
And many a rock which steeply lowers,
And noble arch in proud decay,
Look o'er this vale of vintage-bowers;
But one thing want these banks of Rhine,—
Thy gentle hand to clasp in mine!


I send the lilies given to me—
Though long before thy hand they touch,
[250] I know that they must withered be,
But yet reject them not as such;
For I have cherished them as dear,
Because they yet may meet thine eye,
And guide thy soul to mine even here,
When thou behold'st them drooping nigh,
And know'st them gathered by the Rhine,
And offered from my heart to thine!


The river nobly foams and flows—
The charm of this enchanted ground,
And all its thousand turns disclose
Some fresher beauty varying round:
The haughtiest breast its wish might bound
Through life to dwell delighted here;
Nor could on earth a spot be found
To Nature and to me so dear—
Could thy dear eyes in following mine
Still sweeten more these banks of Rhine!


By Coblentz, on a rise of gentle ground,
There is a small and simple Pyramid,
Crowning the summit of the verdant mound;
Beneath its base are Heroes' ashes hid—
[251] Our enemy's—but let not that forbid
Honour to Marceau! o'er whose early tomb[is]
Tears, big tears, gushed from the rough soldier's lid,
Lamenting and yet envying such a doom,
Falling for France, whose rights he battled to resume.


Brief, brave, and glorious was his young career,—
His mourners were two hosts, his friends and foes;
And fitly may the stranger lingering here
Pray for his gallant Spirit's bright repose;—
For he was Freedom's Champion, one of those,
The few in number, who had not o'erstept[307]
The charter to chastise which she bestows
On such as wield her weapons; he had kept
The whiteness of his soul—and thus men o'er him wept. [11.B.]


Here Ehrenbreitstein, [12.B.] with her shattered wall
Black with the miner's blast, upon her height
Yet shows of what she was, when shell and ball
Rebounding idly on her strength did light:—
A Tower of Victory! from whence the flight
Of baffled foes was watched along the plain:
[252] But Peace destroyed what War could never blight,
And laid those proud roofs bare to Summer's rain—
On which the iron shower for years had poured in vain.[308]


Adieu to thee, fair Rhine! How long delighted
The stranger fain would linger on his way!
Thine is a scene alike where souls united
Or lonely Contemplation thus might stray;
And could the ceaseless vultures cease to prey[it]
On self-condemning bosoms, it were here,
Where Nature, nor too sombre nor too gay,
Wild but not rude, awful yet not austere,[iu]
Is to the mellow Earth as Autumn to the year.[309]


Adieu to thee again! a vain adieu!
There can be no farewell to scene like thine;
[253] The mind is coloured by thy every hue;
And if reluctantly the eyes resign
Their cherished gaze upon thee, lovely Rhine!
'Tis with the thankful glance of parting praise;
More mighty spots may rise—more glaring shine,[iv]
But none unite in one attaching maze
The brilliant, fair, and soft,—the glories of old days,


The negligently grand, the fruitful bloom[310]
Of coming ripeness, the white city's sheen,
The rolling stream, the precipice's gloom,
The forest's growth, and Gothic walls between,—
The wild rocks shaped, as they had turrets been,
In mockery of man's art; and these withal
A race of faces happy as the scene,
Whose fertile bounties here extend to all,
Still springing o'er thy banks, though Empires near them fall.



But these recede. Above me are the Alps,
The Palaces of Nature, whose vast walls
Have pinnacled in clouds their snowy scalps,[iw]
And throned Eternity in icy halls
Of cold Sublimity, where forms and falls[311]
The Avalanche—the thunderbolt of snow!
All that expands the spirit, yet appals,
Gather around these summits, as to show
How Earth may pierce to Heaven, yet leave vain man below.


But ere these matchless heights I dare to scan,
There is a spot should not be passed in vain,—
Morat! the proud, the patriot field! where man
May gaze on ghastly trophies of the slain,
Nor blush for those who conquered on that plain;
Here Burgundy bequeathed his tombless host,
[255] A bony heap, through ages to remain,
Themselves their monument;[312]—the Stygian coast
Unsepulchred they roamed, and shrieked each wandering ghost. [ix] [313] [13.B.]


While Waterloo with Cannæ's carnage vies,[314]
Morat and Marathon twin names shall stand;
They were true Glory's stainless victories,
Won by the unambitious heart and hand
[256] Of a proud, brotherly, and civic band,
All unbought champions in no princely cause
Of vice-entailed Corruption; they no land[iy]
Doomed to bewail the blasphemy of laws
Making Kings' rights divine, by some Draconic clause.


By a lone wall a lonelier column rears
A gray and grief-worn aspect of old days;
'Tis the last remnant of the wreck of years,
And looks as with the wild-bewildered gaze
Of one to stone converted by amaze,
Yet still with consciousness; and there it stands
Making a marvel that it not decays,
When the coeval pride of human hands,
Levelled Aventicum, [14.B.] hath strewed her subject lands.


And there—oh! sweet and sacred be the name!—
Julia—the daughter—the devoted—gave
Her youth to Heaven; her heart, beneath a claim
Nearest to Heaven's, broke o'er a father's grave.
Justice is sworn 'gainst tears, and hers would crave
The life she lived in—but the Judge was just—
[257] And then she died on him she could not save.[iz]
Their tomb was simple, and without a bust,[ja]
And held within their urn one mind—one heart—one dust. [15.B.]


But these are deeds which should not pass away,
And names that must not wither, though the Earth
Forgets her empires with a just decay,
The enslavers and the enslaved—their death and birth;
The high, the mountain-majesty of Worth
Should be—and shall, survivor of its woe,
And from its immortality, look forth
In the sun's face, like yonder Alpine snow, [16.B.]
Imperishably pure beyond all things below.


Lake Leman woos me with its crystal face,
The mirror where the stars and mountains view
The stillness of their aspect in each trace
Its clear depth yields of their far height and hue:[jb]
There is too much of Man here,[315] to look through
With a fit mind the might which I behold;
[258] But soon in me shall Loneliness renew
Thoughts hid, but not less cherished than of old,
Ere mingling with the herd had penned me in their fold.


To fly from, need not be to hate, mankind:
All are not fit with them to stir and toil,
Nor is it discontent to keep the mind
Deep in its fountain, lest it overboil[jc][316]
In the hot throng, where we become the spoil
Of our infection, till too late and long
We may deplore and struggle with the coil,
In wretched interchange of wrong for wrong
Midst a contentious world, striving where none are strong.[jd]


There, in a moment, we may plunge our years[317]
In fatal penitence, and in the blight
[260] Of our own Soul turn all our blood to tears,
And colour things to come with hues of Night;
The race of life becomes a hopeless flight
To those that walk in darkness: on the sea
The boldest steer but where their ports invite—
But there are wanderers o'er Eternity[je][318]
Whose bark drives on and on, and anchored ne'er shall be.


Is it not better, then, to be alone,
And love Earth only for its earthly sake?
[261] By the blue rushing of the arrowy[319] Rhone, [17.B.]
Or the pure bosom of its nursing Lake,
Which feeds it as a mother who doth make
A fair but froward infant her own care,
Kissing its cries away as these awake;—[jf]
Is it not better thus our lives to wear,
Than join the crushing crowd, doomed to inflict or bear?


I live not in myself, but I become
Portion of that around me; and to me
High mountains are a feeling, but the hum[320]
Of human cities torture: I can see[jg]
[262] Nothing to loathe in Nature, save to be[jh]
A link reluctant in a fleshly chain,
Classed among creatures, when the soul can flee,
And with the sky—the peak—the heaving plain[ji]
Of Ocean, or the stars, mingle—and not in vain.


And thus I am absorbed, and this is life:—
I look upon the peopled desert past,
As on a place of agony and strife,
Where, for some sin, to Sorrow I was cast,
To act and suffer, but remount at last[jj]
With a fresh pinion; which I feel to spring,
Though young, yet waxing vigorous as the Blast
Which it would cope with, on delighted wing,
Spurning the clay-cold bonds which round our being cling.[jk][321]


And when, at length, the mind shall be all free
From what it hates in this degraded form,[jl]
Reft of its carnal life, save what shall be
Existent happier in the fly and worm,—
When Elements to Elements conform,
And dust is as it should be, shall I not
Feel all I see less dazzling but more warm?
The bodiless thought? the Spirit of each spot?[jm]
Of which, even now, I share at times the immortal lot?[322]


Are not the mountains, waves, and skies, a part[jn]
Of me and of my Soul, as I of them?
Is not the love of these deep in my heart
With a pure passion? should I not contemn
All objects, if compared with these? and stem
A tide of suffering, rather than forego
[264] Such feelings for the hard and worldly phlegm
Of those whose eyes are only turned below,
Gazing upon the ground, with thoughts which dare not glow?[jo][323]


But this is not my theme; and I return[jp]
To that which is immediate, and require
Those who find contemplation in the urn,
To look on One, whose dust was once all fire,—
A native of the land where I respire
The clear air for a while—a passing guest,
Where he became a being,—whose desire
Was to be glorious; 'twas a foolish quest,
The which to gain and keep, he sacrificed all rest.


Here the self-torturing sophist, wild Rousseau,[jq]
The apostle of Affliction, he who threw
Enchantment over Passion, and from Woe
Wrung overwhelming eloquence, first drew
[265] The breath which made him wretched; yet he knew
How to make Madness beautiful, and cast
O'er erring deeds and thoughts, a heavenly hue[jr]
Of words, like sunbeams, dazzling as they past
The eyes, which o'er them shed tears feelingly and fast.


His love was Passion's essence—as a tree
On fire by lightning; with ethereal flame
Kindled he was, and blasted; for to be
Thus, and enamoured, were in him the same.[js]
But his was not the love of living dame,
Nor of the dead who rise upon our dreams,
But of ideal Beauty, which became
In him existence, and o'erflowing teems
Along his burning page, distempered though it seems.


This breathed itself to life in Julie, this
Invested her with all that's wild and sweet;
This hallowed, too, the memorable kiss [18.B.]
Which every morn his fevered lip would greet,
From hers, who but with friendship his would meet;
But to that gentle touch, through brain and breast
[266] Flashed the thrilled Spirit's love-devouring heat;[jt]
In that absorbing sigh perchance more blest
Than vulgar minds may be with all they seek possest.


His life was one long war with self-sought foes,
Or friends by him self-banished;[324] for his mind
Had grown Suspicion's sanctuary, and chose,
For its own cruel sacrifice, the kind,[ju]
'Gainst whom he raged with fury strange and blind.
But he was phrensied, wherefore, who may know?
Since cause might be which Skill could never find;[jv]
But he was phrensied by disease or woe,
To that worst pitch of all, which wears a reasoning show.


For then he was inspired,[325] and from him came,
As from the Pythian's mystic cave of yore,
[267] Those oracles which set the world in flame,[326]
Nor ceased to burn till kingdoms were no more:
Did he not this for France? which lay before
Bowed to the inborn tyranny of years?[327]
Broken and trembling to the yoke she bore,
Till by the voice of him and his compeers,
Roused up to too much wrath which follows o'ergrown fears?


They made themselves a fearful monument!
The wreck of old opinions—things which grew,[jw]
Breathed from the birth of Time: the veil they rent,
And what behind it lay, all earth shall view.[jx]
[268] But good with ill they also overthrew,
Leaving but ruins, wherewith to rebuild
Upon the same foundation, and renew
Dungeons and thrones, which the same hour refilled,
As heretofore, because Ambition was self-willed.


But this will not endure, nor be endured!
Mankind have felt their strength, and made it felt.
They might have used it better, but, allured
By their new vigour, sternly have they dealt
On one another; Pity ceased to melt
With her once natural charities. But they,
Who in Oppression's darkness caved had dwelt,
They were not eagles, nourished with the day;
What marvel then, at times, if they mistook their prey?


What deep wounds ever closed without a scar?
The heart's bleed longest, and but heal to wear
That which disfigures it; and they who war
With their own hopes, and have been vanquished, bear
Silence, but not submission: in his lair
Fixed Passion holds his breath, until the hour
Which shall atone for years; none need despair:
It came—it cometh—and will come,—the power
To punish or forgive—in one we shall be slower.[jy][328]


Clear, placid Leman! thy contrasted lake,
With the wild world I dwelt in, is a thing
Which warns me, with its stillness, to forsake
Earth's troubled waters for a purer spring.
This quiet sail is as a noiseless wing
To waft me from distraction; once I loved
Torn Ocean's roar, but thy soft murmuring
Sounds sweet as if a Sister's voice reproved,
That I with stern delights should e'er have been so moved.


It is the hush of night, and all between
Thy margin and the mountains, dusk, yet clear,
Mellowed and mingling, yet distinctly seen,
Save darkened Jura,[329] whose capt heights appear
Precipitously steep; and drawing near,
There breathes a living fragrance from the shore,
Of flowers yet fresh with childhood; on the ear
Drops the light drip of the suspended oar,
Or chirps the grasshopper one good-night carol more.



He is an evening reveller, who makes[jz]
His life an infancy, and sings his fill;[ka][330]
At intervals, some bird from out the brakes
Starts into voice a moment, then is still.
There seems a floating whisper on the hill,
But that is fancy—for the Starlight dews
All silently their tears of Love instil,
Weeping themselves away, till they infuse
Deep into Nature's breast the spirit of her hues.[kb]


Ye Stars! which are the poetry of Heaven!
If in your bright leaves we would read the fate
Of men and empires,—'tis to be forgiven,
That in our aspirations to be great,
Our destinies o'erleap their mortal state,
And claim a kindred with you; for ye are
A Beauty and a Mystery, and create
In us such love and reverence from afar,
That Fortune,—Fame,—Power,—Life, have named themselves a Star.[331]



All Heaven and Earth are still—though not in sleep,
But breathless, as we grow when feeling most;[332]
And silent, as we stand in thoughts too deep:—
All Heaven and Earth are still: From the high host
Of stars, to the lulled lake and mountain-coast,
All is concentered in a life intense,
Where not a beam, nor air, nor leaf is lost,
But hath a part of Being, and a sense
Of that which is of all Creator and Defence.[333]


Then stirs the feeling infinite, so felt[kc]
In solitude, where we are least alone;
A truth, which through our being then doth melt,
And purifies from self: it is a tone,
The soul and source of Music, which makes known[kd]
Eternal harmony, and sheds a charm
Like to the fabled Cytherea's zone,[334]
Binding all things with beauty;—'twould disarm
The spectre Death, had he substantial power to harm.


Not vainly did the early Persian make[335]
His altar the high places, and the peak
[273] Of earth-o'ergazing mountains,[19.B.]—and thus take
A fit and unwalled temple, there to seek
The Spirit, in whose honour shrines are weak
Upreared of human hands. Come, and compare
Columns and idol-dwellings—Goth or Greek—
With Nature's realms of worship, earth and air—
Nor fix on fond abodes to circumscribe thy prayer!


The sky is changed!—and such a change! Oh Night, [20.B.]
And Storm, and Darkness, ye are wondrous strong,
Yet lovely in your strength, as is the light
Of a dark eye in Woman![336] Far along,
From peak to peak, the rattling crags among
Leaps the live thunder! Not from one lone cloud,
But every mountain now hath found a tongue,
And Jura answers, through her misty shroud,
Back to the joyous Alps, who call to her aloud!


And this is in the Night:—Most glorious Night![ke]
Thou wert not sent for slumber! let me be
[274] A sharer in thy fierce and far delight,—
A portion of the tempest and of thee![kf]
How the lit lake shines, a phosphoric sea,[kg]
And the big rain comes dancing to the earth!
And now again 'tis black,—and now, the glee
Of the loud hills shakes with its mountain-mirth,
As if they did rejoice o'er a young Earthquake's birth.[kh]


Now, where the swift Rhone cleaves his way between
Heights which appear as lovers who have parted[ki][337]
In hate, whose mining depths so intervene,
That they can meet no more, though broken-hearted:
Though in their souls, which thus each other thwarted,
Love was the very root of the fond rage
[275] Which blighted their life's bloom, and then departed:—
Itself expired, but leaving them an age
Of years all winters,—war within themselves to wage:[kj]


Now, where the quick Rhone thus hath cleft his way,
The mightiest of the storms hath ta'en his stand:
For here, not one, but many, make their play,
And fling their thunder-bolts from hand to hand,
Flashing and cast around: of all the band,
The brightest through these parted hills hath forked
His lightnings,—as if he did understand,
That in such gaps as Desolation worked,
There the hot shaft should blast whatever therein lurked.


Sky—Mountains—River—Winds—Lake—Lightnings! ye!
With night, and clouds, and thunder—and a Soul
To make these felt and feeling, well may be
Things that have made me watchful; the far roll
Of your departing voices, is the knoll[338]
Of what in me is sleepless,—if I rest.
[276] But where of ye, O Tempests! is the goal?
Are ye like those within the human breast?
Or do ye find, at length, like eagles, some high nest?


Could I embody and unbosom now
That which is most within me,—could I wreak
My thoughts upon expression, and thus throw
Soul—heart—mind—passions—feelings—strong or weak—
All that I would have sought, and all I seek,
Bear, know, feel—and yet breathe—into one word,
And that one word were Lightning, I would speak;
But as it is, I live and die unheard,
With a most voiceless thought, sheathing it as a sword.


The Morn is up again, the dewy Morn,
With breath all incense, and with cheek all bloom—
Laughing the clouds away with playful scorn,
And living as if earth contained no tomb,—
And glowing into day: we may resume
The march of our existence: and thus I,
Still on thy shores, fair Leman! may find room
And food for meditation, nor pass by
Much, that may give us pause, if pondered fittingly.



Clarens! sweet Clarens[339] birthplace of deep Love!
Thine air is the young breath of passionate Thought;
Thy trees take root in Love; the snows above,[kk]
The very Glaciers have his colours caught,
[278] And Sun-set into rose-hues sees them wrought [21.B.]
By rays which sleep there lovingly: the rocks,[kl]
The permanent crags, tell here of Love, who sought
In them a refuge from the worldly shocks,
Which stir and sting the Soul with Hope that woos, then mocks.


Clarens! by heavenly feet thy paths are trod,—[km]
Undying Love's, who here ascends a throne
To which the steps are mountains; where the God
Is a pervading Life and Light,—so shown[kn]
Not on those summits solely, nor alone
In the still cave and forest; o'er the flower
His eye is sparkling, and his breath hath blown,
His soft and summer breath, whose tender power[ko]
Passes the strength of storms in their most desolate hour.


All things are here of Him; from the black pines,[340]
Which are his shade on high, and the loud roar
[279] Of torrents, where he listeneth, to the vines
Which slope his green path downward to the shore,
Where the bowed Waters meet him, and adore,
Kissing his feet with murmurs; and the Wood,
The covert of old trees, with trunks all hoar,
But light leaves, young as joy, stands where it stood,[kp]
Offering to him, and his, a populous solitude.


A populous solitude of bees and birds,
And fairy-formed and many-coloured things,
Who worship him with notes more sweet than words,[kq]
And innocently open their glad wings,
Fearless and full of life: the gush of springs,
And fall of lofty fountains, and the bend
Of stirring branches, and the bud which brings
The swiftest thought of Beauty, here extend
Mingling—and made by Love—unto one mighty end.


He who hath loved not, here would learn that lore,[341]
And make his heart a spirit; he who knows
[280] That tender mystery, will love the more;
For this is Love's recess, where vain men's woes,
And the world's waste, have driven him far from those,[kr]
For 'tis his nature to advance or die;
He stands not still, but or decays, or grows
Into a boundless blessing, which may vie
With the immortal lights, in its eternity!


'Twas not for fiction chose Rousseau this spot,
Peopling it with affections; but he found
It was the scene which Passion must allot
To the Mind's purified beings; 'twas the ground
Where early Love his Psyche's zone unbound,[342]
And hallowed it with loveliness: 'tis lone,
And wonderful, and deep, and hath a sound,
And sense, and sight of sweetness; here the Rhone
Hath spread himself a couch, the Alps have reared a throne.


Lausanne! and Ferney! ye have been the abodes
Of Names which unto you bequeathed a name; [22.B.]
Mortals, who sought and found, by dangerous roads,
A path to perpetuity of Fame:
[281] They were gigantic minds, and their steep aim
Was, Titan-like, on daring doubts to pile
Thoughts which should call down thunder, and the flame
Of Heaven again assailed—if Heaven, the while,
On man and man's research could deign do more than smile.


The one was fire and fickleness,[343] a child
Most mutable in wishes, but in mind
A wit as various,—gay, grave, sage, or wild,—
Historian, bard, philosopher, combined;[ks]
He multiplied himself among mankind,
The Proteus of their talents: But his own
[282] Breathed most in ridicule,—which, as the wind,
Blew where it listed, laying all things prone,—
Now to o'erthrow a fool, and now to shake a throne.[344]


The other, deep and slow, exhausting thought,[kt]
And hiving wisdom with each studious year,
In meditation dwelt—with learning wrought,
And shaped his weapon with an edge severe,
Sapping a solemn creed with solemn sneer;
The lord of irony,—that master-spell,
[283] Which stung his foes to wrath, which grew from fear[ku][345]
And doomed him to the zealot's ready Hell,
Which answers to all doubts so eloquently well.


Yet, peace be with their ashes,—for by them,
If merited, the penalty is paid;
It is not ours to judge,—far less condemn;
The hour must come when such things shall be made
Known unto all,—or hope and dread allayed
By slumber, on one pillow, in the dust,[kv]
Which, thus much we are sure, must lie decayed;
And when it shall revive, as is our trust,[346]
'Twill be to be forgiven—or suffer what is just.


But let me quit Man's works, again to read
His Maker's, spread around me, and suspend
This page, which from my reveries I feed,
Until it seems prolonging without end.
The clouds above me to the white Alps tend,
And I must pierce them, and survey whate'er[347]
May be permitted, as my steps I bend
To their most great and growing region, where
The earth to her embrace compels the powers of air.


Italia too! Italia! looking on thee,
Full flashes on the Soul the light of ages,
Since the fierce Carthaginian almost won thee,
To the last halo of the Chiefs and Sages
Who glorify thy consecrated pages;
Thou wert the throne and grave of empires; still,[348]
[285] The fount at which the panting Mind assuages
Her thirst of knowledge, quaffing there her fill,
Flows from the eternal source of Rome's imperial hill.


Thus far have I proceeded in a theme
Renewed with no kind auspices:—to feel
We are not what we have been, and to deem
We are not what we should be,—and to steel
The heart against itself; and to conceal,
With a proud caution, love, or hate, or aught,—
Passion or feeling, purpose, grief, or zeal,—
Which is the tyrant Spirit of our thought,
Is a stern task of soul:—No matter,—it is taught.[349]


And for these words, thus woven into song,
It may be that they are a harmless wile,—[kw]
The colouring of the scenes which fleet along,[kx]
Which I would seize, in passing, to beguile
[286] My breast, or that of others, for a while.
Fame is the thirst of youth,—but I am not[ky]
So young as to regard men's frown or smile,
As loss or guerdon of a glorious lot;—
I stood and stand alone,—remembered or forgot.


I have not loved the World, nor the World me;
I have not flattered its rank breath,[350] nor bowed
To its idolatries a patient knee,
Nor coined my cheek to smiles,—nor cried aloud
In worship of an echo: in the crowd
They could not deem me one of such—I stood
Among them, but not of them[351]—in a shroud
Of thoughts which were not their thoughts, and still could,
Had I not filed my mind, which thus itself subdued. [23.B.]


I have not loved the World, nor the World me,—
But let us part fair foes; I do believe,
Though I have found them not, that there may be
Words which are things,—hopes which will not deceive,
And Virtues which are merciful, nor weave
Snares for the failing; I would also deem
O'er others' griefs that some sincerely grieve—[kz] [24.B.]
That two, or one, are almost what they seem,—
That Goodness is no name—and Happiness no dream.


My daughter! with thy name this song begun!
My daughter! with thy name thus much shall end!—
I see thee not—I hear thee not—but none
Can be so wrapt in thee; Thou art the Friend
To whom the shadows of far years extend:
Albeit my brow thou never should'st behold,
My voice shall with thy future visions blend,
And reach into thy heart,—when mine is cold,—
A token and a tone, even from thy father's mould.



To aid thy mind's developement,—to watch
Thy dawn of little joys,—to sit and see
Almost thy very growth,—to view thee catch
Knowledge of objects,—wonders yet to thee!
To hold thee lightly on a gentle knee,
And print on thy soft cheek a parent's kiss,—
This, it should seem, was not reserved for me—
Yet this was in my nature:—as it is,
I know not what is there, yet something like to this.


Yet, though dull Hate as duty should be taught,[353]
I know that thou wilt love me: though my name
[289] Should be shut from thee, as a spell still fraught
With desolation, and a broken claim:
Though the grave closed between us,—'twere the same,
I know that thou wilt love me—though to drain[354]
My blood from out thy being were an aim,
And an attainment,—all would be in vain,—
Still thou would'st love me, still that more than life retain.


The child of Love![355] though born in bitterness,
And nurtured in Convulsion! Of thy sire
These were the elements,—and thine no less.
As yet such are around thee,—but thy fire
Shall be more tempered, and thy hope far higher!
Sweet be thy cradled slumbers! O'er the sea
And from the mountains where I now respire,
Fain would I waft such blessing upon thee,
As—with a sigh—I deem thou might'st have been to me![la]


[275] {209} [D'Alembert (Jean-le-Rond, philosopher, mathematician, and belletrist, 1717-1783) had recently lost his friend, Mlle. (Claire Françoise) L'Espinasse, who died May 23, 1776. Frederick prescribes quelque problème bien difficile à résoudre as a remedy for vain regrets (Oeuvres de Frédéric II., Roi de Prusse, 1790, xiv. 64, 65).]

[276] {215} ["If you turn over the earlier pages of the Huntingdon peerage story, you will see how common a name Ada was in the early Plantagenet days. I found it in my own pedigree in the reigns of John and Henry.... It is short, ancient, vocalic, and had been in my family; for which reasons I gave it to my daughter."—Letter to Murray, Ravenna, October 8, 1820.

The Honourable Augusta Ada Byron was born December 10, 1815; was married July 8, 1835, to William King Noel (1805-1893), eighth Baron King, created Earl of Lovelace, 1838; and died November 27, 1852. There were three children of the marriage—Viscount Ockham (d. 1862), the present Earl of Lovelace, and the Lady Anna Isabella Noel, who was married to Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, Esq., in 1869.

"The Countess of Lovelace," wrote a contributor to the Examiner, December 4, 1852, "was thoroughly original, and the poet's temperament was all that was hers in common with her father. Her genius, for genius she possessed, was not poetic, but metaphysical and mathematical, her mind having been in the constant practice of investigation, and with rigour and exactness." Of her devotion to science, and her original powers as a mathematician, her translation and explanatory notes of F. L. Menabrea's Notices sur le machine Analytique de Mr. Babbage, 1842, a defence of the famous "calculating machine," remain as evidence.

"Those who view mathematical science not merely as a vast body of abstract and immutable truths, ... but as possessing a yet deeper interest for the human race, when it is remembered that this science constitutes the language through which alone we can adequately express the great facts of the natural world ... those who thus think on mathematical truth as the instrument through which the weak mind of man can most effectually read his Creator's works, will regard with especial interest all that can tend to facilitate the translation of its principles into explicit practical forms." So, for the moment turning away from algebraic formulæ and abstruse calculations, wrote Ada, Lady Lovelace, in her twenty-eighth year. See "Translator's Notes," signed A. A. L., to A Sketch of the Analytical Engine invented by Charles Babbage, Esq., London, 1843.

It would seem, however, that she "wore her learning lightly as a flower." "Her manners [Examiner], her tastes, her accomplishments, in many of which, music especially, she was proficient, were feminine in the nicest sense of the word." Unlike her father in features, or in the bent of her mind, she inherited his mental vigour and intensity of purpose. Like him, she died in her thirty-seventh year, and at her own request her coffin was placed by his in the vault at Hucknall Torkard. (See, too, Athenæum, December 4, 1852, and Gent. Mag., January, 1853.)]

[gh] {216} could grieve my gazing eye.—[C. erased.]

[277] Compare Henry V., act iii. sc. 1, line 1—"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more."

[278] {217} [Compare The Two Noble Kinsmen (now attributed to Shakespeare, Fletcher, and Massinger), act ii. sc. 1, lines 73, seq.

"Oh, never
Shall we two exercise like twins of Honour
Our arms again, and feel our fiery horses
Like proud seas under us."

"Out of this somewhat forced simile," says the editor (John Wright) of Lord Byron's Poetical Works, issued in 1832, "by a judicious transposition of the comparison, and by the substitution of the more definite waves for seas, Lord Byron's clear and noble thought has been produced." But the literary artifice, if such there be, is subordinate to the emotion of the writer. It is in movement, progress, flight, that the sufferer experiences a relief from the poignancy of his anguish.]

[gi] And the rent canvass tattering——.—[C.]

[279] ["The metaphor is derived from a torrent-bed, which, when dried up, serves for a sandy or shingly path."—Note by H. F. Tozer, Childe Harold, 1885, p. 257. Or, perhaps, the imagery has been suggested by the action of a flood, which ploughs a channel for itself through fruitful soil, and, when the waters are spent, leaves behind it "a sterile track," which does, indeed, permit the traveller to survey the desolation, but serves no other purpose of use or beauty.]

[gj] {218} I would essay of all I sang to sing.—[MS.]

[280] [Compare Manfred, act ii. sc. 1, lines 51, 52—

"Think'st thou existence doth depend on time?
It doth; but actions are our epoch."]

[gk] {219} Still unimpaired though worn——.—[MS. erased.]

[281] [It is the poet's fond belief that he can find the true reality in "the things that are not seen."

"Out of these create he can
Forms more real than living man—
Nurslings of Immortality."

"Life is but thought," and by the power of the imagination he thinks to "gain a being more intense," to add a cubit to his spiritual stature. Byron professes the same faith in The Dream (stanza i. lines 19-22), which also belongs to the summer of 1816—

"The mind can make
Substance, and people planets of its own
With beings brighter than have been, and give
A breath to forms which can outlive all flesh."

At this stage of his poetic growth, in part converted by Shelley, in part by Wordsworth as preached by Shelley, Byron, so to speak, "got religion," went over for a while to the Church of the mystics. There was, too, a compulsion from within. Life had gone wrong with him, and, driven from memory and reflection, he looks for redemption in the new earth which Imagination and Nature held in store.]


A brighter being that we thus endow
With form our fancies——.—[MS.]

[gm] {220} A dizzy world——.—[MS. erased.]

[282] [Compare The Dream, viii. 6, seq.—

"Pain was mixed
In all which was served up to him, until

He fed on poisons, and they had no power,
But were a kind of nutriment."]

[gn] To bear unbent what Time cannot abate.—[MS.]

[283] [Of himself as distinct from Harold he will say no more. On the tale or spell of his own tragedy is set the seal of silence; but of Harold, the idealized Byron, he once more takes up the parable. In stanzas viii.-xv. he puts the reader in possession of some natural changes, and unfolds the development of thought and feeling which had befallen the Pilgrim since last they had journeyed together. The youthful Harold had sounded the depth of joy and woe. Man delighted him not—no, nor woman neither. For a time, however, he had cured himself of this trick of sadness. He had drunk new life from the fountain of natural beauty and antique lore, and had returned to take his part in the world, inly armed against dangers and temptations. And in the world he had found beauty, and fame had found him. What wonder that he had done as others use, and then discovered that he could not fare as others fared? Henceforth there remained no comfort but in nature, no refuge but in exile!]

[go] {221}

He of the breast that strove no more to feel,
Scarred with the wounds——.—[MS.]

[gp] {222} Secure in curbing coldness——.—[MS.]

[gq] Shines through the wonder-works—of God and Nature's hand.—[MS.]


Who can behold the flower at noon, nor seek
To pluck it? who can stedfastly behold.—[MS.]

[gs] Nor feel how Wisdom ceases to be cold.—[MS. erased.]

[284] [The Temple of Fame is on the summit of a mountain; "Clouds overcome it;" but to the uplifted eye the mists dispel, and behold the goddess pointing to her star—the star of glory!]

[gt] {223} Yet with a steadier step than in his earlier time.—[MS. erased.]

[285] [Compare Manfred, act ii. sc. 2, lines 50-58—

"From my youth upwards
My spirit walked not with the souls of men,
Nor looked upon the earth with human eyes;

My joys, my griefs, my passions, and my powers
Made me a stranger; though I wore the form,
I had no sympathy with breathing flesh."

Compare, too, with stanzas xiii., xiv., ibid., lines 58-72.]

[gu] Fool he not to know.—[MS. erased.]


Where there were mountains there for him were friends.
Where there was Ocean—there he was at home.—[MS.]

[gw] {224}

Like the Chaldean he could gaze on stars.—[MS.]
——adored the stars.—[MS. erased.]

[gx] That keeps us from that Heaven on which we love to think.—[MS.]


But in Man's dwelling—Harold was a thing
Restless and worn, and cold and wearisome.—[MS.]

[286] {225} [In this stanza the mask is thrown aside, and "the real Lord Byron" appears in propriâ personâ.]

[287] [The mound with the Belgian lion was erected by William I. of Holland, in 1823.]

[gz] {226} None; but the moral truth tells simpler so.—[MS.]

[288] [Stanzas xvii., xviii., were written after a visit to Waterloo. When Byron was in Brussels, a friend of his boyhood, Pryse Lockhart Gordon, called upon him and offered his services. He escorted him to the field of Waterloo, and received him at his house in the evening. Mrs. Gordon produced her album, and begged for an autograph. The next morning Byron copied into the album the two stanzas which he had written the day before. Lines 5-8 of the second stanza (xviii.) ran thus—

"Here his last flight the haughty Eagle flew,
Then tore with bloody beak the fatal plain,
Pierced with the shafts of banded nations through ..."

The autograph suggested an illustration to an artist, R. R. Reinagle (1775-1863), "a pencil-sketch of a spirited chained eagle, grasping the earth with his talons." Gordon showed the vignette to Byron, who wrote in reply, "Reinagle is a better poet and a better ornithologist than I am; eagles and all birds of prey attack with their talons and not with their beaks, and I have altered the line thus—

"'Then tore with bloody talon the rent plain.'"

(See Personal Memoirs of Pryse Lockhart Gordon, 1830, ii. 327, 328.)]

[ha] ——and still must be.—[MS.]

[hb] ——the fatal Waterloo.—[MS.]


Here his last flight the haughty eagle flew.—[MS.]
Then bit with bloody beak the rent plain.—[MS. erased.]
Then tore with bloody beak——.—[MS.]

[hd] {227} And Gaul must wear the links of her own broken chain.—[MS.]

[289] [With this "obstinate questioning" of the final import and outcome of "that world-famous Waterloo," compare the Ode from the French, "We do not curse thee, Waterloo," written in 1815, and published by John Murray in Poems (1816). Compare, too, The Age of Waterloo, v. 93, "Oh, bloody and most bootless Waterloo!" and Don Juan, Canto VIII. stanzas xlviii.-l., etc. Shelley, too, in his sonnet on the Feelings of a Republican on the Fall of Bonaparte (1816), utters a like lament (Shelley's Works, 1895, ii. 385)—

"I know
Too late, since thou and France are in the dust,
That Virtue owns a more eternal foe
Than Force or Fraud: old Custom, legal Crime,
And bloody Faith, the foulest birth of Time."

Even Wordsworth, after due celebration of this "victory sublime," in his sonnet Emperors and Kings, etc. (Works, 1889, p. 557), solemnly admonishes the "powers"—

"Be just, be grateful; nor, the oppressor's creed
Reviving heavier chastisement deserve
Than ever forced unpitied hearts to bleed."

But the Laureate had no misgivings, and in The Poet's Pilgrimage, iv. 60, celebrates the national apotheosis—

"Peace hath she won ... with her victorious hand
Hath won thro' rightful war auspicious peace;
Nor this alone, but that in every land
The withering rule of violence may cease.
Was ever War with such blest victory crowned!
Did ever Victory with such fruits abound!"]

[he] {228} Or league to teach their kings——.—[MS.]

[290] [The most vivid and the best authenticated account of the Duchess of Richmond's ball, which took place June 15, the eve of the Battle of Quatrebras, in the duke's house in the Rue de la Blanchisserie, is to be found in Lady de Ros's (Lady Georgiana Lennox) Personal Recollections of the Great Duke of Wellington, which appeared first in Murray's Magazine, January and February, 1889, and were republished as A Sketch of the Life of Georgiana, Lady de Ros, by her daughter, the Hon. Mrs. J. R. Swinton (John Murray, 1893). "My mother's now famous ball," writes Lady de Ros (A Sketch, etc., pp. 122, 123), "took place in a large room on the ground-floor on the left of the entrance, connected with the rest of the house by an ante-room. It had been used by the coachbuilder, from whom the house was hired, to put carriages in, but it was papered before we came there; and I recollect the paper—a trellis pattern with roses.... When the duke arrived, rather late, at the ball, I was dancing, but at once went up to him to ask about the rumours. 'Yes, they are true; we are off to-morrow.' This terrible news was circulated directly, and while some of the officers hurried away, others remained at the ball, and actually had not time to change their clothes, but fought in evening costume."]

[hf] {229}

The lamps shone on lovely dames and gallant men.—[MS.]
The lamps shone on ladies——.—[MS. erased.]

[hg] {230} With a slow deep and dread-inspiring roar.—[MS. erased.]


Arm! arm, and out! it is the opening cannon's roar.—[MS.]
Arm—arm—and out—it is—the cannon's opening roar.—[C.]

[291] [Frederick William, Duke of Brunswick (1771-1815), brother to Caroline, Princess of Wales, and nephew of George III., fighting at Quatrebras in the front of the line, "fell almost in the beginning of the battle." His father, Charles William Ferdinand, born 1735, the author of the fatal manifesto against the army of the French Republic (July 15, 1792), was killed at Auerbach, October 14, 1806. In the plan of the Duke of Richmond's house, which Lady de Ros published in her Recollections, the actual spot is marked (the door of the ante-room leading to the ball-room) where Lady Georgiana Lennox took leave of the Duke of Brunswick. "It was a dreadful evening," she writes, "taking leave of friends and acquaintances, many never to be seen again. The Duke of Brunswick, as he took leave of me ... made me a civil speech as to the Brunswickers being sure to distinguish themselves after 'the honour' done them by my having accompanied the Duke of Wellington to their review! I remember being quite provoked with poor Lord Hay, a dashing, merry youth, full of military ardour, whom I knew very well, for his delight at the idea of going into action ... and the first news we had on the 16th was that he and the Duke of Brunswick were killed."—A Sketch, etc., pp. 132, 133.]

[hi] {231}

His heart replying knew that sound too well.—[MS.]
And the hoped vengeance for a Sire so dear
As him who died on Jena—whom so well
His filial heart had mourned through many a year
Roused him to valiant fury nought could quell.—[MS. erased.]

[hj] ——tremors of distress.—[MS.]


——which did press
Like death upon young hearts——.—[MS.]

[hl] Oh that on night so soft, such heavy morn should rise.—[MS.]

[hm] {232}

And wakening citizens with terror dumb
Or whispering with pale lips—"The foe—They come, they come."—[MS.]
Or whispering with pale lips—"The Desolation's come."—[MS. erased.]


And Soignies waves above them——.—[MS.]
And Ardennes——.—[C.]

[292] {233} [Vide ante, English Bards, etc., line 726, note: Poetical Works, 1898, i. 354.]

[ho] But chiefly——.—[MS.]

[293] {234} [The Hon. Frederick Howard (1785-1815), third son of Frederick, fifth Earl of Carlisle, fell late in the evening of the 18th of June, in a final charge of the left square of the French Guard, in which Vivian brought up Howard's hussars against the French. Neither French infantry nor cavalry gave way, and as the Hanoverians fired but did not charge, a desperate combat ensued, in which Howard fell and many of the 10th were killed.—Waterloo: The Downfall of the First Napoleon, G. Hooper, 1861, p. 236.

Southey, who had visited the field of Waterloo, September, 1815, in his Poet's Pilgrimage (iii. 49), dedicates a pedestrian stanza to his memory—

"Here from the heaps who strewed the fatal plain
Was Howard's corse by faithful hands conveyed;
And not to be confounded with the slain,
Here in a grave apart with reverence laid,
Till hence his honoured relics o'er the seas
Were borne to England, where they rest in peace."]

[294] [Autumn had been beforehand with spring in the work of renovation.

"Yet Nature everywhere resumed her course;
Low pansies to the sun their purple gave,
And the soft poppy blossomed on the grave."

Poet's Pilgrimage, iii. 36.

But the contrast between the continuous action of nature and the doom of the unreturning dead, which does not greatly concern Southey, fills Byron with a fierce desire to sum the price of victory. He flings in the face of the vain-glorious mourners the bitter reality of their abiding loss. It was this prophetic note, "the voice of one crying in the wilderness," which sounded in and through Byron's rhetoric to the men of his own generation.]

[hp] {235} And dead within behold the Spring return.—[MS. erased.]

[hq] {236} It still is day though clouds keep out the Sun.—[MS.]

[295] [So, too, Coleridge. "Have you never seen a stick broken in the middle, and yet cohering by the rind? The fibres, half of them actually broken and the rest sprained, and, though tough, unsustaining? Oh, many, many are the broken-hearted for those who know what the moral and practical heart of the man is."—Anima Poetæ, 1895, p. 303.]

[296] [According to Lady Blessington (Conversations, p. 176), Byron maintained that the image of the broken mirror had in some mysterious way been suggested by the following quatrain which Curran had once repeated to him:—

"While memory, with more than Egypt's art
Embalming all the sorrows of the heart,
Sits at the altar which she raised to woe,
And finds the scene whence tears eternal flow."

But, as M. Darmesteter points out, the true source of inspiration was a passage in Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy—"the book," as Byron maintained, "in my opinion most useful to a man who wishes to acquire the reputation of being well-read with the least trouble" (Life, p. 48). Burton is discoursing on injury and long-suffering. "'Tis a Hydra's head contention; the more they strive, the more they may; and as Praxiteles did by his glass [see Cardan, De Consolatione, lib. iii.], when he saw a scurvy face in it, break it in pieces; but for the one he saw, he saw many more as bad in a moment; for one injury done, they provoke another cum fanore, and twenty enemies for one."—Anatomy of Melancholy, 1893, ii. 228. Compare, too, Carew's poem, The Spark, lines 23-26—

"And as a looking-glass, from the aspect,
Whilst it is whole doth but one face reflect,
But being crack'd or broken, there are shewn
Many half-faces, which at first were one.

Anderson's British Poets, 1793, iii. 703.]

[hr] {237} But not his pleasure—such might be a task.—[MS. erased.]

[297] [The "tale" or reckoning of the Psalmist, the span of threescore years and ten, is contrasted with the tale or reckoning of the age of those who fell at Waterloo. A "fleeting span" the Psalmist's; but, reckoning by Waterloo, "more than enough." Waterloo grudges even what the Psalmist allows.]

[hs] {238}

Here where the sword united Europe drew
I had a kinsman warring on that day.—[MS.]

[ht] On little thoughts with equal firmness fixed.—[MS.]


For thou hast risen as fallen—even now thou seek'st
An hour——.—[MS.]

[298] [Byron seems to have been unable to make up his mind about Napoleon. "It is impossible not to be dazzled and overwhelmed by his character and career," he wrote to Moore (March 17, 1815), when his Héros de Roman, as he called him, had broken open his "captive's cage" and was making victorious progress to the capital. In the Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte, which was written in April, 1814, after the first abdication at Fontainebleau, the dominant note is astonishment mingled with contempt. It is the lamentation over a fallen idol. In these stanzas (xxxvi.-xlv.) he bears witness to the man's essential greatness, and, with manifest reference to his own personality and career, attributes his final downfall to the peculiar constitution of his genius and temper. A year later (1817), in the Fourth Canto (stanzas lxxxix.-xcii.), he passes a severe sentence. Napoleon's greatness is swallowed up in weakness. He is a "kind of bastard Cæsar," self-vanquished, the creature and victim of vanity. Finally, in The Age of Bronze, sections iii.-vi., there is a reversion to the same theme, the tragic irony of the rise and fall of the "king of kings, and yet of slaves the slave."

As a schoolboy at Harrow, Byron fought for the preservation of Napoleon's bust, and he was ever ready, in defiance of national feeling and national prejudice, to celebrate him as "the glorious chief;" but when it came to the point, he did not "want him here," victorious over England, and he could not fail to see, with insight quickened by self-knowledge, that greatness and genius possess no charm against littleness and commonness, and that the "glory of the terrestrial" meets with its own reward. The moral is obvious, and as old as history; but herein lay the secret of Byron's potency, that he could remint and issue in fresh splendour the familiar coinage of the world's wit. Moreover, he lived in a great age, when great truths are born again, and appear in a new light.]

[299] [The stanza was written while Napoleon was still under the guardianship of Admiral Sir George Cockburn, and before Sir Hudson Lowe had landed at St. Helena; but complaints were made from the first that imperial honours which were paid to him by his own suite were not accorded by the British authorities.]

[hv] {239}

——and thy dark name
Was ne'er more rife within men's mouths than now.—[MS.]

[hw] Who tossed thee to and fro till——.—[MS. erased.]

[hx] Which be it wisdom, weakness——.—[MS.]


To watch thee shrinking calmly hadst thou smiled.—[MS.]
With a sedate tho' not unfeeling eye.—[MS. erased.]

[hz] {241}

Greater than in thy fortunes; for in them
Ambition lured thee on too far to show
That true habitual scorn——.—[MS.]

[ia] {242} Feeds on itself and all things——.—[MS.]


Which stir too deeply——[MS.]
Which stir the blood too boiling in its springs.—[MS. erased.]

[ic] {243} ——they rave overcast.—[MS.]

[id] ——the hate of all below.—[MS.]

[ie] ——on his single head.—[MS.]

[if] ——the wise man's World will be.—[MS.]

[ig] ——for what teems like thee.—[MS.]

[ih] {244} From gray and ghastly walls—where Ruin kindly dwells.—[MS.]

[300] [For the archaic use of "battles" for "battalions," compare Macbeth, act v. sc. 4, line 4; and Scott's Lord of the Isles, vi. 10—

"In battles four beneath their eye,
The forces of King Robert lie."]

[ii] ——are shredless tatters now.—[MS.]

[ij] {245}

What want these outlaws that a king should have
But History's vain page——.—[MS.]

[ik] ——their hearts were far more brave.—[MS.]

[301] [The most usual device is a bleeding heart.]


Nor mar it frequent with an impious show
Of arms or angry conflict——.—[MS.]

[302] {246} [Compare Moore's lines, The Meeting of the Waters

"There is not in the wide world a valley so sweet
As that vale in whose bosom the wide waters meet."]


Earth's dreams of Heaven—and such to seem to me
But one thing wants thy stream——.—[MS.]

[303] [Compare Lucan's Pharsalia, ix. 969, "Etiam periere ruinæ;" and the lines from Tasso's Gerusalemme Liberata, xv. 20, quoted in illustration of Canto II. stanza liii.]


Glassed with its wonted light, the sunny ray;
But o'er the mind's marred thoughts—though but a dream.—[MS.]

[io] {247} Repose itself on kindness——[MS.]

[304] [Two lyrics, entitled Stanzas to Augusta, and the Epistle to Augusta, which were included in Domestic Pieces, published in 1816, are dedicated to the same subject—the devotion and faithfulness of his sister.]

[ip] {248} But there was one——.—[MS.]

[iq] Yet was it pure——.—[MS.]

[305] [It has been supposed that there is a reference in this passage, and again in Stanzas to Augusta (dated July 24, 1816), to "the only important calumny"—to quote Shelley's letter of September 29, 1816—"that was even ever advanced" against Byron. "The poems to Augusta," remarks Elze (Life of Lord Byron, p. 174), "prove, further, that she too was cognizant of the calumnious accusations; for under no other supposition is it possible to understand their allusions." But the mere fact that Mrs. Leigh remained on terms of intimacy and affection with her brother, when he was under the ban of society, would expose her to slander and injurious comment, "peril dreaded most in female eyes;" whereas to other calumnies, if such there were, there could be no other reference but silence, or an ecstasy of wrath and indignation.]


Thus to that heart did his its thoughts in absence pour.—[MS.]
——its absent feelings pour.—[MS. erased.]

[306] {249} [Written on the Rhine bank, May 11, 1816.—MS. M.]

[is] {251} A sigh for Marceau——.—[MS.]

[307] [Marceau (vide post, note 2, p. 296) took part in crushing the Vendean insurrection. If, as General Hoche asserts in his memoirs, six hundred thousand fell in Vendée, Freedom's charter was not easily overstepped.]

[308] {252} [Compare Gray's lines in The Fatal Sisters

"Iron-sleet of arrowy shower
Hurtles in the darken'd air."]

[it] And could the sleepless vultures——.—[MS.]

[iu] Rustic not rude, sublime yet not austere.—[MS.]

[309] [Lines 8 and 9 may be cited as a crying instance of Byron's faulty technique. The collocation of "awful" with "austere," followed by "autumn" in the next line, recalls the afflictive assonance of "high Hymettus," which occurs in the beautiful passage which he stole from The Curse of Minerva and prefixed to the third canto of The Corsair. The sense of the passage is that, as in autumn, the golden mean between summer and winter, the year is at its full, so in the varied scenery of the Rhine there is a harmony of opposites, a consummation of beauty.]

[iv] {253}

More mighty scenes may rise—more glaring shine
But none unite in one enchanted gaze
The fertile—fair—and soft—the glories of old days.—[MS.]

[310] [The "negligently grand" may, perhaps, refer to the glories of old days, now in a state of neglect, not to the unstudied grandeur of the scene taken as a whole; but the phrase is loosely thrown out in order to convey a general impression, "an attaching maze," an engaging attractive combination of images, and must not be interrogated too closely.]

[iw] {254}

Around in chrystal grandeur to where falls
The avalanche—the thunder-clouds of snow.—[MS.]

[311] [Compare the opening lines of Coleridge's Hymn before Sunrise in the Valley of Chamouni

"Hast thou a charm to stay the morning star
In his steep course? So long he seems to pause
On thy bald awful head, O sovran Blanc!"

The "thunderbolt" (line 6) recurs in Manfred, act i. sc. 1—

"Around his waist are forests braced,
The Avalanche in his hand;
But ere its fall, that thundering ball
Must pause for my command."]

[312] {255} [The inscription on the ossuary of the Burgundian troops which fell in the battle of Morat, June 14, 1476, suggested this variant of Si monumentum quæris

"Deo Optimo Maximo.

Inclytissimi et fortissimi Burgundiæ ducis exercitus, Moratum obsidens, ab Helvetiis cæsus, hoc sui monumentum reliquit."]

[ix] Unsepulchred they roam, and shriek——[MS.]

[313] [The souls of the suitors when Hermes "roused and shepherded them followed gibbering" (τρίζουσαι).—Od., xxiv. 5. Once, too, when the observance of the dies Parentales was neglected, Roman ghosts took to wandering and shrieking.

"Perque vias Urbis, Latiosque ululasse per agros
Deformes animas, vulgus inane ferunt."

Ovid, Fasti, ii. lines 553, 554.

The Homeric ghosts gibbered because they were ghosts; the Burgundian ghosts because they were confined to the Stygian coast, and could not cross the stream. For once the "classical allusions" are forced and inappropriate.]

[314] [Byron's point is that at Morat 15,000 men were slain in a righteous cause—the defence of a republic against an invading tyrant; whereas the lives of those that fell at Cannæ and at Waterloo were sacrificed to the ambition of rival powers fighting for the mastery.]

[iy] {256}

——their proud land
Groan'd not beneath——.—[MS.]

[iz] {257} And thus she died——.—[MS.]

[ja] And they lie simply——.—[MS. erased.]

[jb] The dear depths yield——.—[MS.]

[315] ["Haunted and hunted by the British tourist and gossip-monger, Byron took refuge, on June 10, at the Villa Diodati; but still the pursuers strove to win some wretched consolation by waylaying him in his evening drives, or directing the telescope upon his balcony, which overlooked the lake, or upon the hillside, with its vineyards, where he lurked obscure" (Dowden's Life of Shelley, 1896, p. 309). It is possible, too, that now and again even Shelley's companionship was felt to be a strain upon nerves and temper. The escape from memory and remorse, which could not be always attained in the society of a chosen few, might, he hoped, be found in solitude, face to face with nature. But it was not to be. Even nature was powerless to "minister to a mind diseased." At the conclusion of his second tour (September 29, 1816), he is constrained to admit that "neither the music of the shepherd, the crashing of the avalanche, nor the torrent, the mountain, the glacier, the forest, nor the cloud, have for one moment lightened the weight upon my heart, nor enabled me to lose my own wretched identity in the majesty, and the power, and the glory, around, above, and beneath me" (Life, p. 315). Perhaps Wordsworth had this confession in his mind when, in 1834, he composed the lines, "Not in the Lucid Intervals of Life," of which the following were, he notes, "written with Lord Byron's character as a past before me, and that of others, his contemporaries, who wrote under like influences:"—

"Nor do words,
Which practised talent readily affords,
Prove that his hand has touched responsive chords
Nor has his gentle beauty power to move
With genuine rapture and with fervent love
The soul of Genius, if he dare to take
Life's rule from passion craved for passion's sake;
Untaught that meekness is the cherished bent
Of all the truly great and all the innocent.
But who is innocent? By grace divine,
Not otherwise, O Nature! are we thine,
Through good and evil there, in just degree
Of rational and manly sympathy."

The Works of W. Wordsworth, 1889, p. 729.

Wordsworth seems to have resented Byron's tardy conversion to "natural piety," regarding it, no doubt, as a fruitless and graceless endeavour without the cross to wear the crown. But if Nature reserves her balms for "the innocent," her quality of inspiration is not "strained." Byron, too, was nature's priest—

"And by that vision splendid
Was on his way attended."]

[jc] {259} In its own deepness——[MS.]

[316] [The metaphor is derived from a hot spring which appears to boil over at the moment of its coming to the surface. As the particles of water, when they emerge into the light, break and bubble into a seething mass; so, too, does passion chase and beget passion in the "hot throng" of general interests and individual desires.]

[jd] One of a worthless world—to strive where none are strong.—[MS.]

[317] [The thought which underlies the whole of this passage is that man is the creature and thrall of fate. In society, in the world, he is exposed to the incidence of passion, which he can neither resist nor yield to without torture. He is overcome by the world, and, as a last resource, he turns to nature and solitude. He lifts up his eyes to the hills, unexpectant of Divine aid, but in the hope that, by claiming kinship with Nature, and becoming "a portion of that around" him, he may forego humanity, with its burden of penitence, and elude the curse. There is a further reference to this despairing recourse to Nature in The Dream, viii. 10, seq.—

" ... he lived
Through that which had been death to many men,
And made him friends of mountains: with the stars
And the quick Spirit of the Universe
He held his dialogues! and they did teach
To him the magic of their mysteries."]

[je] {260} ——through Eternity.—[MS.]

[318] [Shelley seems to have taken Byron at his word, and in the Adonais (xxx. 3, seq.) introduces him in the disguise of—

"The Pilgrim of Eternity, whose fame
Over his living head like Heaven is bent,
An early but enduring monument."

Notwithstanding the splendour of Shelley's verse, it is difficult to suppress a smile. For better or for worse, the sense of the ludicrous has asserted itself, and "brother" cannot take "brother" quite so seriously as in "the brave days of old." But to each age its own humour. Not only did Shelley and Byron worship at the shrine of Rousseau, but they took delight in reverently tracing the footsteps of St. Preux and Julie.]

[319] {261} [The name "Tigris" is derived from the Persian tîr (Sanscrit Tigra), "an arrow." If Byron ever consulted Hofmann's Lexicon Universale, he would have read, "Tigris, a velocitate dictus quasi sagitta;" but most probably he neither had nor sought an authority for his natural and beautiful simile.]

[jf] To its young cries and kisses all awake.—[MS.]

[320] [Compare Tintern Abbey. In this line, both language and sentiment are undoubtedly Wordsworth's—

"The sounding cataract
Haunted me like a passion: the tall rock,
The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,
Their colours, and their forms, were then to me
An appetite, a feeling, and a love,
That had no need of a remoter charm."

But here the resemblance ends. With Wordsworth the mood passed, and he learned

"To look on Nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity,
Not harsh nor grating, but of amplest power
To chasten and subdue."

He would not question Nature in search of new and untainted pleasure, but rests in her as inclusive of humanity. The secret of Wordsworth is acquiescence; "the still, sad music of humanity" is the key-note of his ethic. Byron, on the other hand, is in revolt. He has the ardour of a pervert, the rancorous scorn of a deserter. The "hum of human cities" is a "torture." He is "a link reluctant in a fleshly chain." To him Nature and Humanity are antagonists, and he cleaves to the one, yea, he would take her by violence, to mark his alienation and severance from the other.]

[jg] Of peopled cities——[MS.]

[jh] {262}

——but to be
A link reluctant in a living chain
Classing with creatures——[MS.]

[ji] And with the air——[MS.]

[jj] To sink and suffer——[MS.]

[jk] ——which partly round us cling.—[MS.]

[321] [Compare Horace, Odes, iii. 2. 23, 24—

"Et udam
Spernit humum fugiente pennâ."]

[jl] {263} ——in this degrading form.—[MS.]

[jm] ——the Spirit in each spot.—[MS.]

[322][The "bodiless thought" is the object, not the subject, of his celestial vision. "Even now," as through a glass darkly, and with eyes

"Whose half-beholdings through unsteady tears
Gave shape, hue, distance to the inward dream,"

his soul "had sight" of the spirit, the informing idea, the essence of each passing scene; but, hereafter, his bodiless spirit would, as it were, encounter the place-spirits face to face. It is to be noted that warmth of feeling, not clearness or fulness of perception, attends this spiritual recognition.]

[jn] [Is not] the universe a breathing part?—[MS.]

[jo] {264} And gaze upon the ground with sordid thoughts and slow.—[MS.]

[323] [Compare Coleridge's Dejection. An Ode, iv. 4-9—

"And would we aught behold, of higher worth,
Than that inanimate cold world allowed
To the poor, loveless, ever-anxious crowd;
Ah! from the soul itself must issue forth
A light, a glory, a fair luminous cloud
Enveloping the earth."]

[jp] But this is not a time—I must return.—[MS.]

[jq] Here the reflecting Sophist——.—[MS.]

[jr] {265}

O'er sinful deeds and thoughts the heavenly hue
With words like sunbeams dazzling as they passed
The eye that o'er them shed deep tears which flowed too fast.—[MS.]
O'er deeds and thoughts of error the bright hue.—[MS. erased.]

[js] Like him enamoured were to die the same.—[MS.]

[jt] {266} ——self-consuming heat.—[MS. erased.]

[324] [As, for instance, with Madame de Warens, in 1738; with Madame d'Epinay; with Diderot and Grimm, in 1757; with Voltaire; with David Hume, in 1766 (see "Rousseau in England," Q. R., No. 376, October, 1898); with every one to whom he was attached or with whom he had dealings, except his illiterate mistress, Theresa le Vasseur. (See Rousseau, by John Morley, 2 vols., 1888, passim.)]

[ju] For its own cruel workings the most kind.—[MS. erased.]

[jv] Since cause might be yet leave no trace behind.—[MS.]

[325] ["He was possessed, as holier natures than his have been, by an enthusiastic vision, an intoxicated confidence, a mixture of sacred rage and prodigious love, an insensate but absolutely disinterested revolt against the stone and iron of a reality which he was bent on melting in a heavenly blaze of splendid aspiration and irresistibly persuasive expression."—Rousseau, by John Morley, 1886, i. 137.]

[326] {267} [Rousseau published his Discourses on the influence of the sciences, on manners, and on inequality (Sur l'Origine ... de l'Inégalité parmi les Hommes) in 1750 and 1753; Émile, ou, de l'Education, and Du Contrat Social in 1762.]

[327] ["What Rousseau's Discourse [Sur l'Origine ... de l'Inégalité, etc.] meant ... is not that all men are born equal. He never says this.... His position is that the artificial differences, springing from the conditions of the social union, do not coincide with the differences in capacity springing from original constitution; that the tendency of the social union as now organized is to deepen the artificial inequalities, and make the gulf between those endowed with privileges and wealth, and those not so endowed, ever wider and wider.... It was ... [the influence of Rousseau ... and those whom he inspired] which, though it certainly did not produce, yet did as certainly give a deep and remarkable bias, first to the American Revolution, and a dozen years afterwards to the French Revolution."—Rousseau, 1888, i. 181, 182.]


——thoughts which grew
Born with the birth of Time——.—[MS.]


——even let me view
But good alas——.—[MS.]

[jy] {268} ——in both we shall lie slower.—[MS. erased.]

[328] [The substitution of "one" for "both" (see var. i.) affords conclusive proof that the meaning is that the next revolution would do its work more thoroughly and not leave things as it found them.]

[329] {269} [After sunset the Jura range, which lies to the west of the Lake, would appear "darkened" in contrast to the afterglow in the western sky.]

[jz] {270} He is an endless reveller——.—[MS. erased.]

[ka] Him merry with light talking with his mate.—[MS. erased.]

[330] [Compare Anacreon (Εἰς τέττιγα), Carm. xliii. line 15—Τὸ δὲ γῆρας οὒ σε τείρει.]

[kb] Deep into Nature's breast the existence which they lose.—[MS.]

[331] [For the association of "Fortune" and "Fame" with a star, compare stanza xi. lines 5, 6—

"Who can contemplate Fame through clouds unfold
The star which rises o'er her steep," etc.?

And the allusion to Napoleon's "star," stanza xxxviii. line 9—

"Nor learn that tempted Fate will leave the loftiest Star."

Compare, too, the opening lines of the Stanzas to Augusta (July 24, 1816)—

"Though the day of my destiny's over,
And the star of my fate has declined."

"Power" is symbolized as a star in Numb. xxiv. 17, "There shall come a star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel;" and in the divine proclamation, "I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star" (Rev. xxii. 16).

The inclusion of "life" among star similes may have been suggested by the astrological terms, "house of life" and "lord of the ascendant." Wordsworth, in his Ode (Intimations of Immortality, etc.) speaks of the soul as "our life's star." Mr. Tozer, who supplies most of these "comparisons," adds a line from Shelley's Adonais, 55. 8 (Pisa, 1821)—

"The soul of Adonais, like a star."]

[332] {271} [Compare Wordsworth's sonnet, "It is a Beauteous," etc.—

"It is a beauteous evening, calm and free,
The holy time is quiet as a nun
Breathless with adoration."]

[333] [Here, too, the note is Wordsworthian, though Byron represents as inherent in Nature, that "sense of something far more deeply interfused," which Wordsworth (in his Lines on Tintern Abbey) assigns to his own consciousness.]

[kc] {272} It is a voiceless feeling chiefly felt.—[MS.]

[kd] Of a most inward music——.—[MS.]

[334] [As the cestus of Venus endowed the wearer with magical attraction, so the immanence of the Infinite and the Eternal in "all that formal is and fugitive," binds it with beauty and produces a supernatural charm which even Death cannot resist.]

[335] [Compare Herodotus, i. 131, Οἱ δὲ νομίζουσι Διἰ μὲν, ἐπὶ τὰ ὑψηλότατα τῶν οὐρέων ἀναβαίνοντες θυσίας ἕρδειν τὸν κύκλον πάντα τοῦ ὐρανο Δία καλέοντες. Perhaps, however, "early Persian" was suggested by a passage in "that drowsy, frowsy poem, The Excursion"—

"The Persian—zealous to reject
Altar and image and the inclusive walls
And roofs and temples built by human hands—
To loftiest heights ascending, from their tops
With myrtle-wreathed tiara on his brow,
Presented sacrifice to moon and stars."

The Excursion, iv. (The Works of Wordsworth, 1889, p. 461).]

[336] {273} [Compare the well-known song which forms the prelude of the Hebrew Melodies

"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."]


——Oh glorious Night
That art not sent——.—[MS.]

[kf] {274} A portion of the Storm—a part of thee.—[MS.]

[kg] ——a fiery sea.—[MS.]

[kh] As they had found an heir and feasted o'er his birth.—[MS. erased.]


Hills which look like brethren with twin heights
Of a like aspect——.—[MS. erased.]

[337] [There can be no doubt that Byron borrowed this metaphor from the famous passage in Coleridge's Christabel (ii. 408-426), which he afterwards prefixed as a motto to Fare Thee Well.

The latter half of the quotation runs thus—

"But never either found another
To free the hollow heart from paining—
They stood aloof, the scars remaining,
Like cliffs which had been rent asunder;
A dreary sea now flows between,
But neither heat, nor frost, nor thunder,
Shall wholly do away, I ween,
The marks of that which once had been."]

[kj] {275} Of separation drear——.—[MS. erased.]

[338] [There are numerous instances of the use of "knoll" as an alternative form of the verb "to knell;" but Byron seems, in this passage, to be the authority for "knoll" as a substantive.]

[339] [For Rousseau's description of Vevey, see Julie; ou, La Nouvelle Héloise, Partie I. Lettre xxiii., Oevres de J. J. Rousseau, 1836, ii. 36: "Tantôt d'immenses rochers pendoient en ruines au-dessus de ma tête. Tantôt de hautes et bruyantes cascades m'inondoient de leur epais brouillard: tantôt un torrent éternel ouvroit à mes côtés un abîme dont les yeux n'osoient sonder la profondeur. Quelquefois je me perdois dans l'obscurité d'un bois touffu. Quelquefois, en sortant d'un gouffre, une agréable prairie, réjouissoit tout-à-coup mes regards. Un mélange étonnant de la nature sauvage et de la nature cultivée, montroit partout la main des hommes, où l'on eût cru qu'ils n'avoient jamais pénétré: a côté d'une caverne on trouvoit des maisons; on voyoit des pampres secs où l'on n'eût cherché que des ronces, des vignes dans des terres éboullées, d'excellens fruits sur des rochers, et des champs dans des précipices." See, too, Lettre xxxviii. p. 56; Partie IV. Lettre xi. p. 238 (the description of Julie's Elysium); and Partie IV. Lettre xvii. p. 260 (the excursion to Meillerie).

Byron infuses into Rousseau's accurate and charming compositions of scenic effects, if not the "glory," yet "the freshness of a dream." He belonged to the new age, with its new message from nature to man, and, in spite of theories and prejudices, listened and was convinced. He extols Rousseau's recognition of nature, lifting it to the height of his own argument; but, consciously or unconsciously, he desires to find, and finds, in nature a spring of imagination undreamt of by the Apostle of Sentiment. There is a whole world of difference between Rousseau's persuasive and delicate patronage of Nature, and Byron's passionate, though somewhat belated, surrender to her inevitable claim. With Rousseau, Nature is a means to an end, a conduct of refined and heightened fancy; whereas, to Byron, "her reward was with her," a draught of healing and refreshment.]

[kk] {277} The trees have grown from Love——.—[MS. erased.]

[kl] {278} By rays which twine there——.—[MS.]


Clarens—sweet Clarens—thou art Love's abode
Undying Love's—who here hath made a throne.—[MS.]


And girded it with Spirit which is shown
From the steep summit to the rushing Rhone.—[MS. erased.]


——whose searching power
Surpasses the strong storm in its most desolate hour.—[MS.]

[340] [Compare La Nouvelle Héloïse, Partie IV. Lettre xvii, Oeuvres, etc., ii. 262: "Un torrent, formé par la fonte des neiges, rouloit à vingt pas de nous line eau bourbeuse, et charrioit avec bruit du limon, du sable et des pierres.... Des forêts de noirs sapins nous ombrageoient tristement à droite. Un grand bois de chênes étoit à gauche au-delà du torrent."]

[kp] {279} But branches young as Heaven——[MS. erased,]

[kq] ——with sweeter voice than words.—[MS.]

[341] [Compare the Pervigilium Veneris

"Cras amet qui nunquam amavit,
Quique amavit eras amet."
("Let those love now, who never loved before;
Let those who always loved, now love the more.")

Parnell's Vigil of Venus: British Poets, 1794, vii. 7.]

[kr] {280} ——driven him to repose.—[MS.]

[342] [Compare Confessions of J. J. Rousseau, lib. iv., passim.]

[343] {281} [In his appreciation of Voltaire, Byron, no doubt, had in mind certain strictures of the lake school—"a school, as it is called, I presume, from their education being still incomplete." Coleridge, in The Friend (1850, i. 168), contrasting Voltaire with Erasmus, affirms that "the knowledge of the one was solid through its whole extent, and that of the other extensive at a chief rate in its superficiality," and characterizes "the wit of the Frenchman" as being "without imagery, without character, and without that pathos which gives the magic charm to genuine humour;" and Wordsworth, in the second book of The Excursion (Works of Wordsworth, 1889, p. 434), "unalarmed" by any consideration of wit or humour, writes down Voltaire's Optimist (Candide, ou L'Optimisme), which was accidentally discovered by the "Wanderer" in the "Solitary's" pent-house, "swoln with scorching damp," as "the dull product of a scoffer's pen." Byron reverts to these contumelies in a note to the Fifth Canto of Don Juan (see Life, Appendix, p. 809), and lashes "the school" secundum artem.]


Coping with all and leaving all behind
Within himself existed all mankind
And laughing at their faults betrayed his own
His own was ridicule which as the Wind.—[MS.]

[344] {282} [In his youth Voltaire was imprisoned for a year (1717-18) in the Bastille, by the regent Duke of Orleans, on account of certain unacknowledged lampoons (Regnante Puero, etc.); but throughout his long life, so far from "shaking thrones," he showed himself eager to accept the patronage and friendship of the greatest monarchs of the age—of Louis XV., of George II. and his queen, Caroline of Anspach, of Frederick II., and of Catharine of Russia. Even the Pope Benedict XIV. accepted the dedication of Mahomet (1745), and bestowed an apostolical benediction on "his dear son." On the other hand, his abhorrence of war, his protection of the oppressed, and, above all, the questioning spirit of his historical and philosophical writings (e.g. Les Lettres sur les Anglais, 1733; Annales de l'Empire depuis Charlemagne, 1753, etc.) were felt to be subversive of civil as well as ecclesiastical tyranny, and, no doubt, helped to precipitate the Revolution.

The first half of the line may be illustrated by his quarrel with Maupertuis, the President of the Berlin Academy, which resulted in the production of the famous Diatribe of Doctor Akakia, Physician to the Pope (1752), by a malicious attack on Maupertuis's successor, Le Franc de Pompignan, and by his caricature of the critic Elie Catharine Fréron, as Frélon ("Wasp"), in L'Ecossaise, which was played at Paris in 1760.—Life of Voltaire, by F. Espinasse, 1892, pp. 94, 114, 144.]


——concentering thought
And gathering wisdom——.—[MS.]

[ku] {283} Which stung his swarming foes with rage and fear.—[MS.]

[345] [The first three volumes of Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, contrary to the author's expectation, did not escape criticism and remonstrance. The Rev. David Chetsum (in 1772 and (enlarged) 1778) published An Examination of, etc., and Henry Edward Davis, in 1778, Remarks on the memorable Fifteenth and Sixteenth Chapters. Gibbon replied by a Vindication, issued in 1779. Another adversary was Archdeacon George Travis, who, in his Letter, defended the authenticity of the text on "Three Heavenly Witnesses" (1 John v. 7), which Gibbon was at pains to deny (ch. xxxvii. note 120). Among other critics and assailants were Joseph Milner, Joseph Priestley, and Richard Watson afterwards Bishop of Llandaff. (For Porson's estimate of Gibbon, see preface to Letters to Mr. Archdeacon Travis, etc., 1790.)]

[kv] In sleep upon one pillow——.—[MS.]

[346] [There is no reason to suppose that this is to be taken ironically. He is not certain whether the "secrets of all hearts shall be revealed," or whether all secrets shall be kept in the silence of universal slumber; but he looks to the possibility of a judgment to come. He is speaking for mankind generally, and is not concerned with his own beliefs or disbeliefs.]

[347] {284} [The poet would follow in the wake of the clouds. He must pierce them, and bend his steps to the region of their growth, the mountain-top, where earth begets and air brings forth the vapours. Another interpretation is that the Alps must be pierced in order to attain the great and ever-ascending regions of the mountain-tops ("greater and greater as we proceed"). In the next stanza he pictures himself looking down from the summit of the Alps on Italy, the goal of his pilgrimage.]

[348] [The Roman Empire engulfed and comprehended the great empires of the past—the Persian, the Carthaginian, the Greek. It fell, and kingdoms such as the Gothic (A.D. 493-554), the Lombardic (A.D. 568-774) rose out of its ashes, and in their turn decayed and passed away.]

[349] {285} [The task imposed upon his soul, which dominates every other instinct, is the concealment of any and every emotion—"love, or hate, or aught," not the concealment of the particular emotion "love or hate," which may or may not be the "master-spirit" of his thought. He is anxious to conceal his feelings, not to keep the world in the dark as to the supreme feeling which holds the rest subject.]

[kw] They are but as a self-deceiving wile.-[MS. erased.]

[kx] The shadows of the things that pass along.—[MS.]

[ky] {286}

Fame is the dream of boyhood—I am not
So young as to regard the frown or smile
Of crowds as making an immortal lot.—[MS. (lines 6, 7 erased).]

[350] [Compare Shakespeare, Coriolanus, act iii. sc. 1, lines 66, 67—

"For the mutable, rank-scented many, let them
Regard me as I do not flatter."]

[351] [Compare Manfred, act ii. sc. 2, lines 54-57—

"My spirit walked not with the souls of men,
Nor looked upon the earth with human eyes;
The thirst of their ambition was not mine,
The aim of their existence was not mine."]

[kz] {287} O'er misery unmixedly some grieve.—[MS.]

[352] [Byron was at first in some doubt whether he should or should not publish the "concluding stanzas of Childe Harold (those to my daughter);" but in a letter to Murray, October 9, 1816, he reminds him of his later determination to publish them with "the rest of the Canto."]

[353] {288} ["His allusions to me in Childe Harold are cruel and cold, but with such a semblance as to make me appear so, and to attract sympathy to himself. It is said in this poem that hatred of him will be taught as a lesson to his child. I might appeal to all who have ever heard me speak of him, and still more to my own heart, to witness that there has been no moment when I have remembered injury otherwise than affectionately and sorrowfully. It is not my duty to give way to hopeless and wholly unrequited affection, but so long as I live my chief struggle will probably be not to remember him too kindly."—(Letter of Lady Byron to Lady Anne Lindsay, extracted from Lord Lindsay's letter to the Times, September 7, 1869.)

According to Mrs. Leigh (see her letter to Hodgson, Nov., 1816, Memoirs of Rev. F. Hodgson, 1878, ii. 41), Murray paid Lady Byron "the compliment" of showing her the transcription of the Third Canto, a day or two after it came into his possession. Most probably she did not know or recognize Claire's handwriting, but she could not fail to remember that but one short year ago she had herself been engaged in transcribing The Siege of Corinth and Parisina for the press. Between the making of those two "fair copies," a tragedy had intervened.]

[354] {289} [The Countess Guiccioli is responsible for the statement that Byron looked forward to a time when his daughter "would know her father by his works." "Then," said he, "shall I triumph, and the tears which my daughter will then shed, together with the knowledge that she will have the feelings with which the various allusions to herself and me have been written, will console me in my darkest hours. Ada's mother may have enjoyed the smiles of her youth and childhood, but the tears of her maturer age will be for me."—My Recollections of Lord Byron, by the Countess Guiccioli, 1869, p. 172.]

[355] [For a biographical notice of Ada Lady Lovelace, including letters, elsewhere unpublished, to Andrew Crosse, see Ada Byron, von E. Kölbing, Englische Studien, 1894, xix. 154-163.]


End of Canto Third.
Byron. July 4, 1816, Diodati.—[C.]




In "pride of place" here last the Eagle flew.

Stanza xviii. line 5.

"Pride of place" is a term of falconry, and means the highest pitch of flight. See Macbeth, etc.—

"An eagle towering in his pride of place
Was by a mousing owl hawk'd at and killed."
["A falcon towering in her pride of place," etc.

Macbeth, act ii. sc. 4, line 12.]


Such as Harmodius drew on Athens' tyrant Lord.

Stanza xx. line 9.

See the famous song on Harmodius and Aristogeiton. The best English translation is in Bland's Anthology, by Mr. Denman—

"With myrtle my sword will I wreathe," etc.

[Translations chiefly from the Greek Anthology, etc., 1806, pp. 24, 25. The Scholium, attributed to Callistratus (Poetæ Lyrici Græci, Bergk. Lipsiæ, 1866, p. 1290), begins thus—


Ἐν μύρτου κλαδὶ τὸ ξίφος φορήσω,
Ὣσπερ Ἁρμόδιος καὶ Ἀριστογείτων,
Ὅτε τὸν ύραννον κτανετην
Ἰσονόμους τ' Ἀθήνας ἐποιησάτην

"Hence," says Mr. Tozer, "'the sword in myrtles drest' (Keble's Christian Year, Third Sunday in Lent) became the emblem of assertors of liberty."—Childe Harold, 1885, p. 262.]


And all went merry as a marriage bell.

Stanza xxi. line 8.

On the night previous to the action, it is said that a ball was given at Brussels. [See notes to the text.]


And Evan's—Donald's fame rings in each clansman's ears!

Stanza xxvi. line 9.

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

[Sir Evan Cameron (1629-1719) fought against Cromwell, finally yielding on honourable terms to Monk, June 5, 1658, and for James II. at Killiecrankie, June 17, 1689. His grandson, Donald Cameron of Lochiel (1695-1748), celebrated by Campbell, in Lochiel's Warning, 1802, was wounded at Culloden, April 16, 1746. His great-great-grandson, John Cameron, of Fassieferne (b. 1771), in command of the 92nd Highlanders, was mortally wounded at Quatre-Bras, June 16, 1815. Compare Scott's stanzas, The Dance of Death, lines 33, sq.—

"Where through battle's rout and reel,
Storm of shot and hedge of steel,
Led the grandson of Lochiel,
Valiant Fassiefern.

And Morven long shall tell,
And proud Ben Nevis hear with awe,
How, upon bloody Quatre-Bras,
Brave Cameron heard the wild hurra
Of conquest as he fell."

Compare, too, Scott's Field of Waterloo, stanza xxi. lines 14, 15—

"And Cameron, in the shock of steel.
Die like the offspring of Lochiel."]



And Ardennes waves above them her green leaves.

Stanza xxvii. line 1.

The wood of Soignies is supposed to be a remnant of the forest of Ardennes, famous in Bojardo's Orlando, and immortal in Shakspeare's As You Like It. It is also celebrated in Tacitus, as being the spot of successful defence by the Germans against the Roman encroachments. I have ventured to adopt the name connected with nobler associations than those of mere slaughter.

[It is a far cry from Soignies in South Brabant to Ardennes in Luxembourg. Possibly Byron is confounding the "saltus quibus nomen Arduenna" (Tacitus, Ann., 3. 42), the scene of the revolt of the Treviri, with the "saltus Teutoburgiensis" (the Teutoburgen or Lippische Wald, which divides Lippe Detmold from Westphalia), where Arminius defeated the Romans (Tacitus, Ann., 1. 60). (For Boiardo's "Ardenna," see Orlando Innamorato, lib. i. canto 2, st. 30.) Shakespeare's Arden, the "immortal" forest, in As You Like It, "favours" his own Arden in Warwickshire, but derived its name from the "forest of Arden" in Lodge's Rosalynd.]


I turned from all she brought to those she could not bring.

Stanza xxx. line 9.

My guide from Mount St. Jean over the field seemed intelligent and accurate. The place where Major Howard fell was not far from two tall and solitary trees (there was a third cut down, or shivered in the battle), which stand a few yards from each other at a pathway's side. Beneath these he died and was buried. The body has since been removed to England. A small hollow for the present marks where it lay, but will probably soon be effaced; the plough has been upon it, and the grain is. After pointing out the different spots where Picton and other gallant men had perished; the guide said, "Here Major Howard lay: I was near him when wounded." I told him my relationship, and he seemed then still more anxious to point out the particular spot and circumstances. The place is one of the most marked in the field, from the peculiarity of the two trees above mentioned. I went on horseback twice over the field, comparing it with my recollection of similar scenes. As a plain, Waterloo seems marked out for the scene of some great action, though [294] this may be mere imagination: I have viewed with attention those of Platea, Troy, Mantinea, Leuctra, Chæronea, and Marathon; and the field around Mount St. Jean and Hougoumont appears to want little but a better cause, and that undefinable but impressive halo which the lapse of ages throws around a celebrated spot, to vie in interest with any or all of these, except, perhaps, the last mentioned.

[For particulars of the death of Major Howard, see Personal Memoirs, etc., by Pryse Lockhart Gordon, 1830, ii. 322, 323.]


Like to the apples on the Dead Sea's shore.

Stanza xxxiv. line 6.

The (fabled) apples on the brink of the lake Asphaltites were said to be fair without, and, within, ashes.

[Compare Tacitus, Histor., lib. v. 7, "Cuncta sponte edita, aut manu sata, sive herbæ tenues, aut flores, ut solitam in speciem adolevere, atra et inania velut in cinerem vanescunt." See, too, Deut. xxxii. 32, "For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter."

They are a species of gall-nut, and are described by Curzon (Visits to Monasteries of the Levant, 1897, p. 141), who met with the tree that bears them, near the Dead Sea, and, mistaking the fruit for a ripe plum, proceeded to eat one, whereupon his mouth was filled "with a dry bitter dust."

"The apple of Sodom ... is supposed by some to refer to the fruit of Solanum Sodomeum (allied to the tomato), by others to the Calotropis procera" (N. Eng. Dict., art. "Apple").]


For sceptred Cynics Earth were far too wide a den.

Stanza xli. line 9.

The great error of Napoleon, "if we have writ our annals true," was a continued obtrusion on mankind of his want of all community of feeling for or with them; perhaps more offensive to human vanity than the active cruelty of more trembling and suspicious tyranny. Such were his speeches to public assemblies as well as individuals; and the single expression which he is said to have used on returning to [295] Paris after the Russian winter had destroyed his army, rubbing his hands over a fire, "This is pleasanter than Moscow," would probably alienate more favour from his cause than the destruction and reverses which led to the remark.


What want these outlaws conquerors should have?

Stanza xlviii. line 6.

"What wants that knave that a king should have?" was King James's question on meeting Johnny Armstrong and his followers in full accoutrements. See the Ballad.

[Johnie Armstrong, the laird of Gilnockie, on the occasion of an enforced surrender to James V. (1532), came before the king somewhat too richly accoutred, and was hanged for his effrontery—

"There hang nine targats at Johnie's hat,
And ilk ane worth three hundred pound—
‘What wants that knave a king suld have
But the sword of honour and the crown’?"

Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, 1821, i. 127.]


The castled Crag of Drachenfels.

Song, stanza 1, line 1.

The castle of Drachenfels stands on the highest summit of "the Seven Mountains," over the Rhine banks; it is in ruins, and connected with some singular traditions. It is the first in view on the road from Bonn, but on the opposite side of the river: on this bank, nearly facing it, are the remains of another, called the Jew's Castle, and a large cross, commemorative of the murder of a chief by his brother. The number of castles and cities along the course of the Rhine on both sides is very great, and their situations remarkably beautiful.

[The castle of Drachenfels (Dragon's Rock) stands on the summit of one, but not the highest, of the Siebengebirge, an isolated group of volcanic hills on the right bank of the Rhine between Remagen and Bonn. The legend runs that in one of the caverns of the rock dwelt the dragon which was slain by Siegfried, the hero of the Nibelungen Lied. Hence the vin du pays is called Drachenblut.]



The whiteness of his soul—and thus men o'er him wept.

Stanza lvii. line 9.

The monument of the young and lamented General Marceau (killed by a rifle-ball at Alterkirchen, on the last day of the fourth year of the French Republic) still remains as described. The inscriptions on his monument are rather too long, and not required: his name was enough; France adored, and her enemies admired; both wept over him. His funeral was attended by the generals and detachments from both armies. In the same grave General Hoche is interred, a gallant man also in every sense of the word; but though he distinguished himself greatly in battle, he had not the good fortune to die there: his death was attended by suspicions of poison.

A separate monument (not over his body, which is buried by Marceau's) is raised for him near Andernach, opposite to which one of his most memorable exploits was performed, in throwing a bridge to an island on the Rhine [April 18, 1797]. The shape and style are different from that of Marceau's, and the inscription more simple and pleasing.

"The Army of the Sambre and Meuse
to its Commander-in-Chief

This is all, and as it should be. Hoche was esteemed among the first of France's earlier generals, before Buonaparte monopolised her triumphs. He was the destined commander of the invading army of Ireland.

[The tomb of François Sévérin Desgravins Marceau (1769-1796, general of the French Republic) bears the following epitaph and inscription:—

"'Hic cineres, ubique nomen.'

"Ici repose Marceau, né à Chartres, Eure-et-Loir, soldat à seize ans, général à vingtdeux ans. Il mourut en combattant pour sa patrie, le dernier jour de l'an iv. de la République française. Qui que tu sois, ami ou ennemi de ce jeune héros, respecte ces cendres."

A bronze statue at Versailles, raised to the memory of General Hoche (1768-1797) bears a very similar record—

"A Lazare Hoche, né à Versailles le 24 juin, 1768, sergent à seize ans, général en chef à vingt-cinq, mort à vingt-neuf, pacificateur de la Vendée."]



Here Ehrenbreitstein with her shattered wall.

Stanza lviii. line 1.

Ehrenbreitstein, i.e. "the broad stone of honour," one of the strongest fortresses in Europe, was dismantled and blown up by the French at the truce of Leoben. It had been, and could only be, reduced by famine or treachery. It yielded to the former, aided by surprise. After having seen the fortifications of Gibraltar and Malta, it did not much strike by comparison; but the situation is commanding. General Marceau besieged it in vain for some time, and I slept in a room where I was shown a window at which he is said to have been standing observing the progress of the siege by moonlight, when a ball struck immediately below it.

[Ehrenbreitstein, which had resisted the French under Marshal Boufflers in 1680, and held out against Marceau (1795-96), finally capitulated to the French after a prolonged siege in 1799. The fortifications were dismantled when the French evacuated the fortress after the Treaty of Lunéville in 1801. The Treaty of Leoben was signed April 18, 1797.]


Unsepulchred they roamed, and shrieked each wandering ghost.

Stanza lxiii. line 9.

The chapel is destroyed, and the pyramid of bones diminished to a small number by the Burgundian Legion in the service of France; who anxiously effaced this record of their ancestors' less successful invasions. A few still remain, notwithstanding the pains taken by the Burgundians for ages (all who passed that way removing a bone to their own country), and the less justifiable larcenies of the Swiss postilions, who carried them off to sell for knife-handles; a purpose for which the whiteness imbibed by the bleaching of years had rendered them in great request. Of these relics I ventured to bring away as much as may have made a quarter of a hero, for which the sole excuse is, that if I had not, the next passer-by might have perverted them to worse uses than the careful preservation which I intend for them.

[Charles the Bold was defeated by the Swiss at the Battle of Morat, June 22, 1476. It has been computed that more than twenty thousand Burgundians fell in the battle. At first, to avoid the outbreak of a pestilence, the bodies were [298] thrown into pits. "Nine years later ... the mouldering remains were unearthed, and deposited in a building ... on the shore of the lake, near the village of Meyriez.... During three succeeding centuries this depository was several times rebuilt.... But the ill-starred relics were not destined even yet to remain undisturbed. At the close of the last century, when the armies of the French Republic were occupying Switzerland, a regiment consisting mainly of Burgundians, under the notion of effacing an insult to their ancestors, tore down the 'bone-house' at Morat, covered the contents with earth, and planted on the mound 'a tree of liberty.' But the tree had no roots; the rains washed away the earth; again the remains were exposed to view, and lay bleaching in the sun for a quarter of a century. Travellers stopped to gaze, to moralize, and to pilfer; postilions and poets scraped off skulls and thigh-bones.... At last, in 1822, the vestiges were swept together and resepulchred, and a simple obelisk of marble was erected, to commemorate a victory well deserving of its fame as a military exploit, but all unworthy to be ranked with earlier triumphs, won by hands pure as well as strong, defending freedom and the right."—History of Charles the Bold, by J. F. Kirk, 1868, iii. 404, 405.

Mr. Murray still has in his possession the parcel of bones—the "quarter of a hero"—which Byron sent home from the field of Morat.]


Levelled Aventicum, hath strewed her subject lands.

Stanza lxv. line 9.

Aventicum, near Morat, was the Roman capital of Helvetia, where Avenches now stands.

[Avenches (Wiflisburg) lies due south of the Lake of Morat, and about five miles east of the Lake of Neuchâtel. As a Roman colony it bore the name of Pia Flavia Constans Emerita, and circ. 70 A.D. contained a population of sixty thousand inhabitants. It was destroyed first by the Alemanni and, afterwards, by Attila. "The Emperor Vespasian—son of the banker of the town," says Suetonius (lib. viii. i)—"surrounded the city by massive walls, defended it by semicircular towers, adorned it with a capitol, a theatre, a forum, and granted it jurisdiction over the outlying dependencies....

"To-day plantations of tobacco cover the forgotten streets of Avenches, and a single Corinthian column ['the lonelier column,' the so-called Cicognier], with its crumbling arcade, [299] remains to tell of former grandeur."—Historic Studies in Vaud, Berne, and Savoy, by General Meredith Read, 1897, i. 16.]


And held within their urn one mind—one heart—one dust.

Stanza lxvi. line 9.

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: Male mori in fatis ille 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 conquests and battles, with which the 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.

[A mutinous outbreak among the Helvetii, which had been provoked by the dishonest rapacity of the twenty-first legion, was speedily quelled by the Roman general Aulus Cæcina. Aventicum surrendered (A.D. 69), but Julius Alpinus, a chieftain and supposed ring-leader, was singled out for punishment and put to death. "The rest," says Tacitus, "were left to the ruth or ruthlessness of Vitellius" (Histor., i. 67, 68). Julia Alpinula and her epitaph were the happy inventions of a sixteenth-century scholar. "It appears," writes Lord Stanhope, "that this inscription was given by one Paul Wilhelm, a noted forger (falsarius), to Lipsius, and by Lipsius handed over to Gruterus. Nobody, either before or since Wilhelm, has even pretended to have seen the stone ... as to any son or daughter of Julius Alpinus, history is wholly silent" (Quarterly Review, June, 1846, vol. lviii. p. 61; Historical Essays, by Lord Mahon, 1849, pp. 297, 298).]


In the sun's face, like yonder Alpine snow.

Stanza lxvii. line 8.

This is written in the eye of Mont Blanc (June 3rd, 1816), which even at this distance dazzles mine.—(July 20th.) I this day observed for some time the distinct reflection of [300] Mont Blanc and Mont Argentière in the calm of the lake, which I was crossing in my boat; the distance of these mountains from their mirror is sixty miles.

[The first lines of the note dated June 3, 1816, were written at "Dejean's Hôtel de l'Angleterre, at Sécheron, a small suburb of Geneva, on the northern side of the lake." On the 10th of June Byron removed to the Campagne Diodati, about two miles from Geneva, on the south shore of the lake (Life of Shelley, by Edward Dowden, 1896, pp. 307-309).]


By the blue rushing of the arrowy Rhone.

Stanza lxxi. line 3.

The colour of the Rhone at Geneva is blue, to a depth of tint which I have never seen equalled in water, salt or fresh, except in the Mediterranean and Archipelago.

[The blueness of the Rhone, which has been attributed to various causes, is due to the comparative purity of the water. The yellow and muddy stream, during its passage through the lake, is enabled to purge itself to a very great extent of the solid matter held in suspension—the glacial and other detritus—-and so, on leaving its vast natural filtering-bed, it flows out clear and blue: it has regained the proper colour of pure water.]


This hallowed, too, the memorable kiss.

Stanza lxxix. line 3.

This refers to the account, in his Confessions, of his passion for the Comtesse d'Houdetot (the mistress of St. Lambert), and his long walk every morning, for the sake of the single kiss which was the common salutation of French acquaintance. Rousseau's description of his feelings on this occasion may be considered as the most passionate, yet not impure, description and expression of love that ever kindled into words; which, after all, must be felt, from their very force, to be inadequate to the delineation; a painting can give no sufficient idea of the ocean.

[Here is Rousseau's "passionate, yet not impure," description of his sensations: "J'ai dit qu'il y avoit loin de l'Hermitage à Eaubonne; je passois par les coteaux d'Andilly qui sont charmans. Je rêvois en marchant à celle que j'allois voir, à l'accueil caressant qu'elle me feroit, au baiser qui m'attendoit a mon arrivée. Ce seul baiser, ce baiser funeste avant même [301] de le recevoir, m'embrasoit le sang à tel point, que ma tête se troubloit, un éblouissement m'aveugloit, mes genoux tremblants ne pouroient me soutenir; j'étois forcé de m'arréter, de m'asseoir; toute ma machine étoit dans un désordre inconcevable; j'étois prêt à m'évanouir.... A l'instant que je la voyois, tout étoit réparé; je ne sentois plus auprès d'elle que l'importunité d'une vigueur inépuisable et toujours inutile."—Les Confessions, Partie II. livre ix.; Oeuvres Complètes de J.J. Rousseau, 1837, i. 233.

Byron's mother "would have it" that her son was like Rousseau, but he disclaimed the honour antithetically and with needless particularity (see his letter to Mrs. Byron, and a quotation from his Detached Thoughts, Letters, 1898, i. 192, note). There was another point of unlikeness, which he does not mention. Byron, on the passion of love, does not "make for morality," but he eschews nastiness. The loves of Don Juan and Haidée are chaste as snow compared with the unspeakable philanderings of the elderly Jean Jacques and the "mistress of St. Lambert."

Nevertheless, his mother was right. There was a resemblance, and consequently an affinity, between Childe Burun and the "visionary of Geneva"—delineated by another seer or visionary as "the dreamer of love-sick tales, and the spinner of speculative cobwebs; shy of light as the mole, but as quick-eared too for every whisper of the public opinion; the teacher of Stoic pride in his principles, yet the victim of morbid vanity in his feelings and conduct."—The Friend; Works of S. T. Coleridge, 1853, ii. 124.]


Of earth-o'ergazing mountains, and thus take.

Stanza xci. line 3.

It is to be recollected, that the most beautiful and impressive doctrines of the divine Founder of Christianity were delivered, not in the Temple, but on the Mount. To waive the question of devotion, and turn to human eloquence,—the most effectual and splendid specimens were not pronounced within walls. Demosthenes addressed the public and popular assemblies. Cicero spoke in the forum. That this added to their effect on the mind of both orator and hearers, may be conceived from the difference between what we read of the emotions then and there produced, and those we ourselves experience in the perusal in the closet. It is one thing to read the Iliad at Sigæum and on the tumuli, or by the springs with Mount Ida above, and the plain and rivers and [302] Archipelago around you; and another to trim your taper over it in a snug library—this I know. Were the early and rapid progress of what is called Methodism to be attributed to any cause beyond the enthusiasm excited by its vehement faith and doctrines (the truth or error of which I presume neither to canvass nor to question), I should venture to ascribe it to the practice of preaching in the fields, and the unstudied and extemporaneous effusions of its teachers. The Mussulmans, whose erroneous devotion (at least in the lower orders) is most sincere, and therefore impressive, are accustomed to repeat their prescribed orisons and prayers, wherever they may be, at the stated hours—of course, frequently in the open air, kneeling upon a light mat (which they carry for the purpose of a bed or cushion as required); the ceremony lasts some minutes, during which they are totally absorbed, and only living in their supplication: nothing can disturb them. On me the simple and entire sincerity of these men, and the spirit which appeared to be within and upon them, made a far greater impression than any general rite which was ever performed in places of worship, of which I have seen those of almost every persuasion under the sun; including most of our own sectaries, and the Greek, the Catholic, the Armenian, the Lutheran, the Jewish, and the Mahometan. Many of the negroes, of whom there are numbers in the Turkish empire, are idolaters, and have free exercise of their belief and its rites; some of these I had a distant view of at Patras; and, from what I could make out of them, they appeared to be of a truly Pagan description, and not very agreeable to a spectator.

[For this profession of "natural piety," compare Rousseau's Confessions, Partie II. livre xii. (Oeuvres Complètes, 1837, i. 341)—

"Je ne trouve pas de plus digne hommage à la Divinité que cette admiration muette qu'excite la contemplation de ses oeuvres, et qui ne s'exprime point par des actes développés. Je comprends comment les habitants des villes, qui ne voient que des murs, des rues et des crimes, ont peu de foi; mais je ne puis comprendre comment des campagnards, et surtout des solitaires, peuvent n'en point avoir. Comment leur âme ne s'élève-t-elle pas cent fois le jour avec extase à l'Auteur des merveilles qui les frappent? ... Dans ma chambre je prie plus rarement et plus sèchement; mais à l'aspect d'un beau paysage je me sens ému sans pourvoir dire de quoi."

Compare, too, Coleridge's lines "To Nature"—

"So will I build my altar in the fields,
And the blue sky my fretted dome shall be,
[303] And the sweet fragrance that the wild flower yields,
Shall be the incense I will yield to Thee,
Thee only, God! and Thou shalt not despise
Even me, the priest of this poor sacrifice."

Poetical Works, 1893, p. 190.]


The sky is changed!—and such a change! Oh Night!

Stanza xcii. line 1.

The thunder-storm to which these lines refer occurred on the 13th of June, 1816, at midnight. I have seen, among the Acroceraunian mountains of Chimari, several more terrible, but none more beautiful.


And Sun-set into rose-hues sees them wrought.

Stanza xcix. line 5.

Rousseau's Héloïse, Lettre 17, Part IV., note. "Ces montagnes sont si hautes, qu'une demi-heure après le soleil couché, leurs sommets sont éclairés de ses rayons, dont le rouge forme sur ces cimes blanches une belle couleur de rose, qu'on aperçoit de fort loin."[356] This applies more particularly

to the heights over Meillerie.—"J'allai à Vévay loger à la Clef;[357] et pendant deux jours que j'y restai sans voir personne,


je pris pour cette ville un amour qui m'a suivi dans tous mes voyages, et qui m'y a fait établir enfin les héros de mon roman. Je dirois volontiers à ceux qui ont du goût et qui sont sensibles: Allez à Vévay—visitez le pays, examinez les sites, promenez-vous sur le lac, et dites si la Nature n'a pas fait ce beau pays pour une Julie, pour une Claire,[358] et pour un St. Preux; mais ne les y cherchez pas."—Les Confessions, [P. I. liv. 4, Oeuvres, etc., 1837, i. 78].—In July [June 23-27], 1816, I made a voyage round the Lake of Geneva;[359] and, as far as my own observations have led me in a not uninterested nor inattentive survey of all the scenes most celebrated by Rousseau in his Héloïse, I can safely say, that in this there is no exaggeration. It would be difficult to see Clarens (with the scenes around it, Vevay, Chillon, Bôveret, St. Gingo, Meillerie, Evian,[360] and the entrances of the Rhone) without being forcibly struck with its peculiar adaptation to the persons and events with which it has been peopled. But this is not all; the feeling with which all around Clarens, and the opposite rocks of Meillerie, is invested, is of a still higher and more comprehensive order than the mere sympathy with individual passion; it is a sense of the existence of love in its most extended and sublime capacity, and of [305] our own participation of its good and of its glory: it is the great principle of the universe, which is there more condensed, but not less manifested; and of which, though knowing ourselves a part, we lose our individuality, and mingle in the beauty of the whole.—If Rousseau had never written, nor lived, the same associations would not less have belonged to such scenes. He has added to the interest of his works by their adoption; he has shown his sense of their beauty by the selection; but they have done that for him which no human being could do for them.—I had the fortune (good or evil as it might be) to sail from Meillerie[361] (where we landed for some time) to St. Gingo during a lake storm, which added to the magnificence of all around, although occasionally accompanied by danger to the boat, which was small and overloaded. It was over this very part of the lake that Rousseau has driven the boat of St. Preux and Madame Wolmar to Meillerie for shelter during a tempest. On gaining the shore at St. Gingo, I found that the wind had been sufficiently strong to blow down some fine old chestnut trees on the lower part of the mountains. On the opposite height of Clarens is a château[362] [Château des Crêtes]. The [306] hills are covered with vineyards, and interspersed with some small but beautiful woods; one of these was named the "Bosquet de Julie;" and it is remarkable that, though long ago cut down by the brutal selfishness of the monks of St. Bernard (to whom the land appertained), that the ground might be enclosed into a vineyard for the miserable drones of an execrable superstition, the inhabitants of Clarens still point out the spot where its trees stood, calling it by the name which consecrated and survived them. Rousseau has not been particularly fortunate in the preservation of the "local habitations" he has given to "airy nothings." The Prior of Great St. Bernard has cut down some of his woods for the sake of a few casks of wine, and Buonaparte has levelled part of the rocks of Meillerie in improving the road to the Simplon. The road is an excellent one; but I cannot quite agree with a remark which I heard made, that "La route vaut mieux que les souvenirs."


Of Names which unto you bequeathed a name.

Stanza cv. line 2.

Voltaire and Gibbon.

[François Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694-1778) lived on his estate at Fernex, five miles north of Geneva, from 1759 to 1777. "In the garden at Fernex is a long berceau walk, closely arched over with clipped horn-beam—a verdant cloister, with gaps cut here and there, admitting a glimpse of the prospect. Here Voltaire used to walk up and down, and dictate to his secretary."—Handbook for Switzerland, p. 174.

Previous to this he had lived for some time at Lausanne, at "Monrepos, a country house at the end of a suburb," at Monrion, "a square building of two storeys, and a high garret, with wings, each fashioned like the letter L," and [307] afterwards, in the spring of 1757, at No. 6, Rue du Grand Chêne.—Historic Studies, ii. 210, 218, 219.

Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) finished (1788) The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire at "La Grotte, an ancient and spacious mansion behind the church of St. Francis, at Lausanne," which was demolished by the Swiss authorities in 1879. Not only has the mansion ceased to exist, but the garden has been almost entirely changed. The wall of the Hôtel Gibbon occupies the site of the famous wooden pavilion, or summer-house, and of the "berceau of plum trees, which formed a verdant gallery completely arched overhead," and which "were called after Gibbon, La Gibbonière."—Historic Studies, i. I; ii. 493.

In 1816 the pavilion was "utterly decayed," and the garden neglected, but Byron gathered "a sprig of Gibbon's acacia," and some rose leaves from his garden and enclosed them in a letter to Murray (June 27, 1816). Shelley, on the contrary, "refrained from doing so, fearing to outrage the greater and more sacred name of Rousseau; the contemplation of whose imperishable creations had left no vacancy in my heart for mortal things. Gibbon had a cold and unimpassioned spirit."—Essays, etc., 1840, ii. 76.]


Had I not filed my mind, which thus itself subdued.

Stanza cxiii. line 9.

"——If't be so,
For Banquo's issue have I filed my mind."

Macbeth, [act iii. sc. 1, line 64].


O'er others' griefs that some sincerely grieve.

Stanza cxiv. line 7.

It is said by Rochefoucault, that "there is always something in the misfortunes of men's best friends not displeasing to them."

["Dans l'adversité de nos meilleurs amis, nous trouvons toujours quelque chose qui ne nous déplaît pas."—Appendice aux Maximes de La Rochefoucauld, Panthéon Littéraire, Paris, 1836, p. 460.]


[356] {303} [Julie, ou La Nouvelle Héloïse: Oeuvres Complètes de J. J. Rousseau, Paris, 1837, ii. 262.]

[357] [The Clef, is now a café on the Grande Place, and still distinguished by the sign of the Key. But Vevey had other associations for Rousseau, more powerful and more persuasive than a solitary visit to an inn. "Madame Warens," says General Read, "possessed a charming country resort midway between Vevey and Chillon, just above the beautiful village of Clarens. It was situated at the Bassets, amid scenery whose exquisite features inspired some of the fine imagery of Rousseau. It is now called the Bassets de Pury. ... The exterior of the older parts has not been changed. ... The stairway leads to a large salon, whose windows command a view of Meillerie, St. Gingolph, and Bouveret, beyond the lake. Communicating with this salon is a large dining-room.

"These two rooms open to the east, upon a broad terrace. At a corner of the terrace is a large summer-house, and through the chestnut trees one sees as far as Les Crêtes, the hillocks and bosquets described by Rousseau. Near by is a dove-cote filled with cooing doves.... In the last century this site (Les Crêtes) was covered with pleasure-gardens, and some parts are even pointed out as associated with Rousseau and Madame de Warens."—Historic Sketches of Vaud, etc., by General Meredith Read, 1897, i. 433-437. There was, therefore, some excuse for the guide (see Byron's Diary, September 18, 1816) "confounding Rousseau with St. Preux, and mixing the man with the book."]

[358] {304} [Claire, afterwards Madame Orbe, is Julie's cousin and confidante. She is represented as whimsical and humorous. It is not impossible that "Claire," in La Nouvelle Héloïse, "bequeathed her name" to Claire, otherwise Jane Clairmont.]

[359] [Byron and Shelley sailed round the Lake of Geneva towards the end of June, 1816. Writing to Murray, June 27, he says, "I have traversed all Rousseau's ground with the Héloïse before me;" and in the same letter announces the completion of a third canto of Childe Harold. He revisited Clarens and Chillon in company with Hobhouse in the following September (see extracts from a Journal, September 18, 1816, Life, pp. 311, 312).]

[360] [Bouveret, St. Gingolph, Evian.]

[361] {305} [Byron mentions the "squall off Meillerie" in a letter to Murray, dated Ouchy, near Lausanne, June 27, 1816. Compare, too, Shelley's version of the incident: "The wind gradually increased in violence until it blew tremendously; and as it came from the remotest extremity of the lake, produced waves of a frightful height, and covered the whole surface with a chaos of foam.... I felt in this near prospect of death a mixture of sensations, among which terror entered, though but subordinately. My feelings would have been less painful had I been alone; but I know that my companion would have attempted to save me, and I was overcome with humiliation, when I thought that his life might have been risked to preserve mine."—Letters from Abroad, etc.; Essays, by Percy Bysshe Shelley, edited by Mrs. Shelley, 1840, ii. 68, 69.]

[362] [Byron and Shelley slept at Clarens, June 26, 1816. The windows of their inn commanded a view of the Bosquet de Julie. "In the evening we walked thither. It is, indeed, Julia's wood ... the trees themselves were aged but vigorous.... We went again (June 27) to the Bosquet de Julie, and found that the precise spot was now utterly obliterated, and a heap of stones marked the place where the little chapel had once stood. Whilst we were execrating the author of this brutal folly, our guide informed us that the land belonged to the Convent of St. Bernard, and that this outrage had been committed by their orders. I knew before that if avarice could harden the hearts of men, a system of prescriptive religion has an influence far more inimical to natural sensibility. I know that an isolated man is sometimes restrained by shame from outraging the venerable feelings arising out of the memory of genius, which once made nature even lovelier than itself; but associated man holds it as the very sacrament of this union to forswear all delicacy, all benevolence, all remorse; all that is true, or tender, or sublime."—Essays, etc., 1840, ii. 75.]



“Visto ho Toscana Lombardia Romagna,
Quel monte che divide, e quel che serra
Italia, e un mare e l'altro che la bagna.”

Ariosto, Satira iv. lines 58-60.



The first draft of the Fourth Canto of Childe Harold, which embodies the original and normal conception of the poem, was the work of twenty-six days. On the 17th of June, 1817, Byron wrote to Murray: "You are out about the Third Canto: I have not done, nor designed, a line of continuation to that poem. I was too short a time at Rome for it, and have no thought of recommencing." But in spite of this assertion, "the numbers came," and on June 26 he made a beginning. Thirty stanzas "were roughened off" on the 1st of July, fifty-six were accomplished by the 9th, "ninety and eight" by the 13th, and on July 20 he announces "the completion of the fourth and ultimate canto of Childe Harold. It consists of 126 stanzas." One stanza (xl.) was appended to the fair copy. It suggested a parallel between Ariosto "the Southern Scott," and Scott "the Northern Ariosto," and excited some misgiving.

In commending his new poem to Murray (July 20, August 7), Byron notes three points in which it differed from its predecessors: it is "the longest of the four;" "it treats more of works of art than of nature;" "there are no metaphysics in it—at least, I think not." In other words, "The Fourth Canto is not a continuation of the Third. I have parted company with Shelley and Wordsworth. Subject-matter and treatment are alike new."

The poem as it stood was complete, and, as a poem, it lost as well as gained by the insertion of additional stanzas and groups of stanzas, "purple patch" on "purple patch," each by itself so attractive and so splendid. The pilgrim finds himself at Venice, on the "Bridge of Sighs." He [312] beholds in a vision the departed glories of "a thousand years." The "long array of shadows," the "beings of the mind," come to him "like truth," and repeople the vacancy. But he is an exile, and turns homeward in thought to "the inviolate island of the sage and free." He is an exile and a sufferer. He can and will endure his fate, but "ever and anon" he feels the prick of woe, and with the sympathy of despair would stand "a ruin amidst ruins," a desolate soul in a land of desolation and decay. He renews his pilgrimage. He passes Arquà, where "they keep the dust of Laura's lover," lingers for a day at Ferrara, haunted by memories of "Torquato's injured shade," and, as he approaches "the fair white walls" of Florence, he re-echoes the "Italia! oh, Italia!" of Filicaja's impassioned strains. At Florence he gazes, "dazzled and drunk with beauty," at the "goddess in stone," the Medicean Venus, but forbears to "describe the indescribable," to break the silence of Art by naming its mysteries. Santa Croce and the other glories "in Arno's dome of Art's most princely shrine," he passes by unsung, if not unseen; but Thrasymene's "sheet of silver," the "living crystal" of Clitumnus' "gentlest waters," and Terni's "matchless cataract," on whose verge "an Iris sits," and "lone Soracte's ridge," not only call forth his spirit's homage, but receive the homage of his Muse.

And now the Pilgrim has reached his goal, "Rome the wonderful," the sepulchre of empire, the shrine of art.

Henceforth the works of man absorb his attention. Pompey's "dread statue;" the Wolf of the Capitol; the Tomb of Cecilia Metella; the Palatine; the "nameless column" of the Forum; Trajan's pillar; Egeria's Grotto; the ruined Colosseum, "arches on arches," an "enormous skeleton," the Colosseum of the poet's vision, a multitudinous ring of spectators, a bloody Circus, and a dying Gladiator; the Pantheon; S. Nicola in Carcere, the scene of the Romana Caritas; St. Peter's "vast and wondrous dome,"—are all celebrated in due succession. Last of all, he "turns to the Vatican," to view the Laocoon and the Apollo Belvidere, the counterfeit presentments of ideal suffering and ideal beauty. His "shrine is won;" but ere he bids us farewell he climbs the Alban Mount, and as the Mediterranean once [313] more bursts upon his sight, he sums the moral of his argument. Man and all his works are as a drop of rain in the Ocean, "the image of eternity, the throne of the Invisible"!

Byron had no sooner completed "this fourth and ultimate canto," than he began to throw off additional stanzas. His letters to Murray during the autumn of 1817 announce these successive lengthenings; but it is impossible to trace the exact order of their composition. On the 7th of August the canto stood at 130 stanzas, on the 21st at 133; on the 4th of September at 144, on the 17th at 150; and by November 15 it had reached 167 stanzas. Of nineteen stanzas which were still to be added, six—on the death of the Princess Charlotte (died November 6, 1817)—were written at the beginning of December, and two stanzas (clxxvii., clxxviii.) were forwarded to Murray in the early spring of 1818.

Of these additions the most notable are four stanzas on Venice (including stanza xiii. on "The Horses of St. Mark"); "The sunset on the Brenta" (stanzas xxvii.-xxix.); The tombs in Santa Croce,—the apostrophe to "the all Etruscan three," Petrarch, Dante, Boccaccio (stanzas liv.-lx.); "Rome a chaos of ruins—antiquarian ignorance" (stanzas lxxx.-lxxxii.); "The nothingness of Man—the hope of the future—Freedom" (stanzas xciii.-xcviii.); "The Tarpeian Rock—the Forum—Rienzi" (stanzas cxii.-cxiv.); "Love, Life, and Reason" (stanzas cxx.-cxxvii.); "The Curse of Forgiveness" (stanzas cxxxv.-cxxxvii.); "The Mole of Hadrian" (stanza clii.); "The death of the Princess Charlotte" (stanzas clxvii.-clxxii.); "Nemi" (stanzas clxxiii., clxxiv.); "The Desert and one fair Spirit" (stanzas clxxvii., clxxviii.).

Some time during the month of December, 1817, Byron wrote out a fair copy of the entire canto, numbering 184 stanzas (MS. D.); and on January 7, 1818, Hobhouse left Venice for England, with the "whole of the MSS.," viz. Beppo (begun October, 1817), and the Fourth Canto of Childe Harold, together with a work of his own, a volume of essays on Italian literature, the antiquities of Rome, etc., which he had put together during his residence in Venice (July—December, 1817), and proposed to publish as an appendix to Childe Harold. In his preface to Historical Illustrations, [314] etc., 1818, Hobhouse explains that on his return to England he considered that this "appendix to the Canto would be swelled to a disproportioned bulk," and that, under this impression, he determined to divide his material into two parts. The result was that "such only of the notes as were more immediately connected with the text" were printed as "Historical Notes to Canto the Fourth," and that his longer dissertations were published in a separate volume, under his own name, as Historical Illustrations to the Fourth Canto of Childe Harold. To these "Historical Notes" an interest attaches apart from any consideration of their own worth and importance; but to understand the relation between the poem and the notes, it is necessary to retrace the movements of the poet and his annotator.

Byron and Hobhouse left the Villa Diodati, October 5, 1816, crossed the Simplon, and made their way together, via Milan and Verona, to Venice. Early in December the friends parted company. Byron remained at Venice, and Hobhouse proceeded to Rome, and for the next four months devoted himself to the study of Italian literature, in connection with archæology and art. Byron testifies (September 14, 1817) that his researches were "indefatigable," that he had "more real knowledge of Rome and its environs than any Englishman who has been there since Gibbon." Hobhouse left Rome for Naples, May 21; returned to Rome, June 9; arrived at Terni, July 2; and early in July joined Byron on the Brenta, at La Mira. The latter half of the year (July—December, 1817) was occupied in consulting "the best authorities" in the Ducal Library at Venice, with a view to perfecting his researches, and giving them to the world as an illustrative appendix to Childe Harold. It is certain that Byron had begun the fourth canto, and written some thirty or more stanzas, before Hobhouse rejoined him at his villa of La Mira on the banks of the Brenta, in July, 1817; and it would seem that, although he had begun by saying "that he was too short a time in Rome for it," he speedily overcame his misgivings, and accomplished, as he believed, the last "fytte" of his pilgrimage. The first draft was Byron's unaided composition, but the "additional stanzas" were largely due to Hobhouse's suggestions in the course of [315] conversation, if not to his written "researches." Hobhouse himself made no secret of it. In his preface (p. 5) to Historical Illustrations he affirms that both "illustrations" and notes were "for the most part written while the noble author was yet employed in the composition of the poem. They were put into the hands of Lord Byron much in the state in which they now appear;" and, writing to Murray, December 7, 1817, he says, "I must confess I feel an affection for it [Canto IV.] more than ordinary, as part of it was begot as it were under my own eyes; for although your poets are as shy as elephants and camels ... yet I have, not unfrequently, witnessed his lordship's coupleting, and some of the stanzas owe their birth to our morning walk or evening ride at La Mira." Forty years later, in his revised and enlarged "Illustrations" (Italy: Remarks made in Several Visits from the year 1816 to 1854, by the Right Hon. Lord Broughton, G.C.B., 1859, i. p. iv.), he reverts to this collaboration: "When I rejoined Lord Byron at La Mira ... I found him employed upon the Fourth Canto of Childe Harold, and, later in the autumn, he showed me the first sketch of the poem. It was much shorter than it afterwards became, and it did not remark on several objects which appeared to me peculiarly worthy of notice. I made a list of these objects, and in conversation with him gave him reasons for the selection. The result was the poem as it now appears, and he then engaged me to write the notes."

As the "delicate spirit" of Shelley suffused the third canto of Childe Harold, so the fourth reveals the presence and co-operation of Hobhouse. To his brother-poet he owed a fresh conception, perhaps a fresh appreciation of nature; to his lifelong friend, a fresh enthusiasm for art, and a host of details, "dry bones ... which he awakened into the fulness of life."

The Fourth Canto was published on Tuesday, April 28, 1818. It was reviewed by [Sir] Walter Scott in the Quarterly Review, No. xxxvii., April, 1818, and by John Wilson in the Edinburgh Review, No. 59, June, 1818. Both numbers were published on the same day, September 26, 1818.



Original Draft. [MS. M.]

[June 26—July 19. 1817.]

Additional Stanza.

(127 stanzas.)

Additions bound up with MS. M.

(52 stanzas.)

Additions included in MS. D.,[363] but not among MSS. M.

(Seven stanzas.)


&c., &c., &c.

Venice, January 2, 1818.

My dear Hobhouse,
After an interval of eight years between the composition of the first and last cantos of Childe Harold, the conclusion of the poem is about to be submitted to the public. In parting with so old a friend,[364] it is not extraordinary that I should recur to one still older and better,—to one who has beheld the birth and death of the other, and to whom I am far more indebted for the social advantages of an enlightened friendship, than—though not ungrateful—I can, or could be, to Childe Harold, for any public favour reflected through the poem on the poet,—to one, whom I have known long, and accompanied far, whom I have found wakeful over my sickness and kind in my sorrow, glad in my prosperity and firm in my adversity, true in counsel and trusty in peril,—to a friend often tried and never found wanting;—to yourself.

In so doing, I recur from fiction to truth; and in dedicating to you in its complete, or at least concluded state, a poetical work which is the longest, the most thoughtful and comprehensive of my compositions, I wish to do honour to myself by the record of many years' intimacy with a man of learning, of talent, of steadiness, and of honour. It is not [322] for minds like ours to give or to receive flattery; yet the praises of sincerity have ever been permitted to the voice of friendship; and it is not for you, nor even for others, but to relieve a heart which has not elsewhere, or lately, been so much accustomed to the encounter of good-will as to withstand the shock firmly, that I thus attempt to commemorate your good qualities, or rather the advantages which I have derived from their exertion. Even the recurrence of the date of this letter, the anniversary of the most unfortunate day of my past existence,[365] but which cannot poison my future while I retain the resource of your friendship, and of my own faculties, will henceforth have a more agreeable recollection for both, inasmuch as it will remind us of this my attempt to thank you for an indefatigable regard, such as few men have experienced, and no one could experience without thinking better of his species and of himself.

It has been our fortune to traverse together, at various periods, the countries of chivalry, history, and fable—Spain, Greece, Asia Minor, and Italy; and what Athens and Constantinople were to us a few years ago, Venice and Rome have been more recently. The poem also, or the pilgrim, or both, have accompanied me from first to last; and perhaps it may be a pardonable vanity which induces me to reflect with complacency on a composition which in some degree connects me with the spot where it was produced, and the objects it would fain describe; and however unworthy it may be deemed of those magical and memorable abodes, however short it may fall of our distant conceptions and immediate impressions, yet as a mark of respect for what is venerable, and of feeling for what is glorious, it has been to me a source of pleasure in the production, and I part with it with a kind of regret, which I hardly suspected that events could have left me for imaginary objects.


With regard to the conduct of the last canto, there will be found less of the pilgrim than in any of the preceding, and that little slightly, if at all, separated from the author speaking in his own person. The fact is, that I had become weary of drawing a line which every one seemed determined not to perceive: like the Chinese in Goldsmith's Citizen of the World,[366] whom nobody would believe to be a Chinese, it was in vain that I asserted, and imagined that I had drawn, a distinction between the author and the pilgrim; and the very anxiety to preserve this difference, and disappointment at finding it unavailing, so far crushed my efforts in the composition, that I determined to abandon it altogether—and have done so. The opinions which have been, or may be, formed on that subject are now a matter of indifference: the work is to depend on itself, and not on the writer; and the author, who has no resources in his own mind beyond the reputation, transient or permanent, which is to arise from his literary efforts, deserves the fate of authors.

In the course of the following canto it was my intention, either in the text or in the notes, to have touched upon the present state of Italian literature, and perhaps of manners. But the text, within the limits I proposed, I soon found hardly sufficient for the labyrinth of external objects, and the consequent reflections: and for the whole of the notes, excepting a few of the shortest, I am indebted to yourself,[367] and these were necessarily limited to the elucidation of the text.

It is also a delicate, and no very grateful task, to dissert upon the literature and manners of a nation so dissimilar; and requires an attention and impartiality which would induce us,—though perhaps no inattentive observers, nor ignorant of the language or customs of the people amongst [324] whom we have recently abode—to distrust, or at least defer our judgment, and more narrowly examine our information. The state of literary, as well as political party, appears to run, or to have run, so high, that for a stranger to steer impartially between them is next to impossible. It may be enough, then, at least for my purpose, to quote from their own beautiful language—"Mi pare che in un paese tutto poetico, che vanta la lingua la più nobile ed insieme la più dolce, tutte tutte le vie diverse si possono tentare, e che sinche la patria di Alfieri e di Monti non ha perduto l'antico valore, in tutte essa dovrebbe essere la prima." Italy has great names still—Canova,[368] Monti, Ugo Foscolo, Pindemonte, Visconti, Morelli, Cicognara, Albrizzi, Mezzofanti, Mai, Mustoxidi, Aglietti, and Vacca, will secure to the present generation an honourable place in most of the departments of Art, Science, and Belles Lettres; and in some the very highest—Europe—the World—has but one Canova.

It has been somewhere said by Alfieri, that "La pianta uomo nasce più robusta in Italia che in qualunque altra terra—e che gli stessi atroci delitti che vi si commettono ne [325] sono una prova." Without subscribing to the latter part of his proposition, a dangerous doctrine, the truth of which may be disputed on better grounds, namely, that the Italians are in no respect more ferocious than their neighbours, that man must be wilfully blind, or ignorantly heedless, who is not struck with the extraordinary capacity of this people, or, if such a word be admissible, their capabilities,[369] the facility of their acquisitions, the rapidity of their conceptions, the fire of their genius, their sense of beauty, and, amidst all the disadvantages of repeated revolutions, the desolation of battles, and the despair of ages, their still unquenched "longing after immortality,"[370]—the immortality of independence. And when we ourselves, in riding round the walls of Rome, heard the simple lament of the labourers' chorus, "Roma! Roma! Roma! Roma non è più come era prima!"[371] it was difficult not to contrast this melancholy dirge with the bacchanal roar of the songs of exultation still yelled from the London taverns, over the carnage of Mont St. Jean,[372] and the betrayal of Genoa, of Italy, of France, and of the world, [326] by men whose conduct you yourself have exposed in a work worthy of the better days of our history.[373] For me,—

"Non movero mai corda
Ove la turba di sue ciance assorda."

What Italy has gained by the late transfer of nations, it were useless for Englishmen to enquire, till it becomes ascertained that England has acquired something more than a permanent army and a suspended Habeas Corpus;[374] it is enough for them to look at home. For what they have done abroad, and especially in the South, "Verily they will have their reward," and at no very distant period.

Wishing you, my dear Hobhouse, a safe and agreeable return to that country whose real welfare can be dearer to none than to yourself, I dedicate to you this poem in its completed state; and repeat once more how truly I am ever

Your obliged
And affectionate friend,




I stood in Venice, on the "Bridge of Sighs;"[376] [1.H.]
A Palace and a prison on each hand:
I saw from out the wave her structures rise
As from the stroke of the Enchanter's wand:[377]
[328] A thousand Years their cloudy wings expand
Around me, and a dying Glory smiles
O'er the far times, when many a subject land
Looked to the winged Lion's marble piles,
Where Venice sate in state, throned on her hundred isles![lb]


She looks a sea Cybele,[378] fresh from Ocean,
Rising with her tiara of proud towers
At airy distance, with majestic motion,
A Ruler of the waters and their powers:
[329] And such she was;—her daughters had their dowers
From spoils of nations, and the exhaustless East[lc]
Poured in her lap all gems in sparkling showers.[379]
In purple was she robed,[380] and of her feast
Monarchs partook, and deemed their dignity increased.[ld]


In Venice Tasso's echoes are no more, [2.H.]
And silent rows the songless Gondolier;[381]
Her palaces are crumbling to the shore,
And Music meets not always now the ear:
[330] Those days are gone—but Beauty still is here.
States fall—Arts fade—but Nature doth not die,
Nor yet forget how Venice once was dear,
The pleasant place of all festivity,[le]
The Revel of the earth—the Masque of Italy!


But unto us she hath a spell beyond
Her name in story, and her long array
Of mighty shadows, whose dim forms despond
Above the Dogeless city's vanished sway;
[331] Ours is a trophy which will not decay
With the Rialto;[382] Shylock and the Moor,
And Pierre,[383] can not be swept or worn away—
The keystones of the Arch! though all were o'er,
For us repeopled were the solitary shore.


The Beings of the Mind are not of clay:
Essentially immortal, they create
And multiply in us a brighter ray
And more beloved existence:[384] that which Fate
Prohibits to dull life in this our state[lf]
Of mortal bondage, by these Spirits supplied,
First exiles, then replaces what we hate;
Watering the heart whose early flowers have died,
And with a fresher growth replenishing the void.


Such is the refuge of our youth and age—
The first from Hope, the last from Vacancy;[385]
[333] And this wan feeling peoples many a page—[lg]
And, may be, that which grows beneath mine eye:[lh]
Yet there are things whose strong reality
Outshines our fairy-land; in shape and hues[li]
More beautiful than our fantastic sky,
And the strange constellations which the Muse
O'er her wild universe is skilful to diffuse:


I saw or dreamed of such,—but let them go,—
They came like Truth—and disappeared like dreams;
And whatsoe'er they were—are now but so:
I could replace them if I would; still teems
My mind with many a form which aptly seems
Such as I sought for, and at moments found;
Let these too go—for waking Reason deems
Such over-weening phantasies unsound,
And other voices speak, and other sights surround.


I've taught me other tongues—and in strange eyes
Have made me not a stranger; to the mind
Which is itself, no changes bring surprise;
Nor is it harsh to make, nor hard to find
[334] A country with—aye, or without mankind;
Yet was I born where men are proud to be,—
Not without cause; and should I leave behind[lj]
The inviolate Island of the sage and free,
And seek me out a home by a remoter sea,[lk]


Perhaps I loved it well; and should I lay
My ashes in a soil which is not mine,
My Spirit shall resume it—if we may[ll]
Unbodied choose a sanctuary.[386] I twine
My hopes of being remembered in my line
With my land's language: if too fond and far
These aspirations in their scope incline,—
If my Fame should be, as my fortunes are,
Of hasty growth and blight, and dull Oblivion bar


My name from out the temple where the dead
Are honoured by the Nations—let it be—
And light the Laurels on a loftier head!
And be the Spartan's epitaph on me—
"Sparta hath many a worthier son than he."[387]
Meantime I seek no sympathies, nor need—
The thorns which I have reaped are of the tree
I planted,—they have torn me,—and I bleed:
I should have known what fruit would spring from such a seed.


The spouseless Adriatic mourns her Lord,[lm]
And annual marriage now no more renewed—
The Bucentaur[388] lies rotting unrestored,
Neglected garment of her widowhood!
[336] St. Mark yet sees his Lion[389] where he stood [3.H.]
Stand, but in mockery of his withered power,
Over the proud Place where an Emperor sued,[ln][390]
And monarchs gazed and envied in the hour
When Venice was a Queen with an unequalled dower.


The Suabian sued, and now the Austrian reigns— [4.H.]
An Emperor tramples where an Emperor knelt;
Kingdoms are shrunk to provinces, and chains
Clank over sceptred cities; Nations melt
From Power's high pinnacle, when they have felt
The sunshine for a while, and downward go
Like Lauwine loosened from the mountain's belt;
Oh for one hour of blind old Dandolo![391] [5.H.]
Th' octogenarian chief, Byzantium's conquering foe.[lo][392]



Before St. Mark still glow his Steeds of brass,
Their gilded collars glittering in the sun;
But is not Doria's menace[393] come to pass? [6.H.]
Are they not bridled?—Venice, lost and won,
Her thirteen hundred years of freedom done,
Sinks, like a sea-weed, unto whence she rose![lp][394]
[339] Better be whelmed beneath the waves, and shun,
Even in Destruction's depth, her foreign foes,[lq]
From whom Submission wrings an infamous repose.


In youth She was all glory,—a new Tyre,—
Her very by-word sprung from Victory,
The "Planter of the Lion,"[395] which through fire
And blood she bore o'er subject Earth and Sea;
[340] Though making many slaves, Herself still free,
And Europe's bulwark 'gainst the Ottomite;[396]
Witness Troy's rival, Candia![397] Vouch it, ye
Immortal waves that saw Lepanto's fight![398]
For ye are names no Time nor Tyranny can blight.


Statues of glass—all shivered—the long file
Of her dead Doges are declined to dust;
But where they dwelt, the vast and sumptuous pile
Bespeaks the pageant of their splendid trust;
Their sceptre broken, and their sword in rust,
Have yielded to the stranger: empty halls,
[341] Thin streets, and foreign aspects, such as must
Too oft remind her who and what enthrals, [7.H.]
Have flung a desolate cloud o'er Venice' lovely walls.


When Athens' armies fell at Syracuse,
And fettered thousands bore the yoke of war,
Redemption rose up in the Attic Muse,[399]
Her voice their only ransom from afar:[lr]
See! as they chant the tragic hymn, the car
Of the o'ermastered Victor stops—the reins
Fall from his hands—his idle scimitar
Starts from its belt—he rends his captive's chains,
And bids him thank the Bard for Freedom and his strains.[ls]


Thus, Venice! if no stronger claim were thine,
Were all thy proud historic deeds forgot—
[342] Thy choral memory of the Bard divine,
Thy love of Tasso, should have cut the knot[lt]
Which ties thee to thy tyrants; and thy lot
Is shameful to the nations,—most of all,
Albion! to thee:[400] the Ocean queen should not
Abandon Ocean's children; in the fall
Of Venice think of thine, despite thy watery wall.[lu]


I loved her from my boyhood—she to me
Was as a fairy city of the heart,
Rising like water-columns from the sea—
Of Joy the sojourn, and of Wealth the mart;
And Otway, Radcliffe, Schiller, Shakespeare's art,[lv][401]
Had stamped her image in me, and even so,
[343] Although I found her thus, we did not part;[lw]
Perchance even dearer in her day of woe,
Than when she was a boast, a marvel, and a show.


I can repeople with the past—and of
The present there is still for eye and thought,
And meditation chastened down, enough;
And more, it may be, than I hoped or sought;
And of the happiest moments which were wrought
Within the web of my existence, some
From thee, fair Venice![402] have their colours caught:
There are some feelings Time can not benumb,[lx]
Nor Torture shake, or mine would now be cold and dumb.


But from their nature will the Tannen[403] grow[ly]
Loftiest on loftiest and least sheltered rocks,
Rooted in barrenness, where nought below
Of soil supports them 'gainst the Alpine shocks
Of eddying storms; yet springs the trunk, and mocks
The howling tempest, till its height and frame
Are worthy of the mountains from whose blocks
Of bleak, gray granite into life it came,[lz]
And grew a giant tree;—the Mind may grow the same.


Existence may be borne, and the deep root
Of life and sufferance make its firm abode
In bare and desolated bosoms: mute[ma]
The camel labours with the heaviest load,
And the wolf dies in silence—not bestowed
In vain should such example be; if they,
Things of ignoble or of savage mood,
Endure and shrink not, we of nobler clay
May temper it to bear,—it is but for a day.


All suffering doth destroy, or is destroyed,[404]
Even by the sufferer—and, in each event,
Ends:—Some, with hope replenished and rebuoyed,
Return to whence they came—with like intent,
[346] And weave their web again; some, bowed and bent,
Wax gray and ghastly, withering ere their time,
And perish with the reed on which they leant;
Some seek devotion—toil—war—good or crime,
According as their souls were formed to sink or climb.


But ever and anon of griefs subdued
There comes a token like a Scorpion's sting,
Scarce seen, but with fresh bitterness imbued;
And slight withal may be the things which bring
Back on the heart the weight which it would fling
Aside for ever: it may be a sound—[405]
A tone of music—summer's eve—or spring—[mb]
A flower—the wind—the Ocean—which shall wound,
Striking the electric chain wherewith we are darkly bound;


And how and why we know not, nor can trace
Home to its cloud this lightning of the mind,
But feel the shock renewed, nor can efface
The blight and blackening which it leaves behind,
Which out of things familiar, undesigned,
When least we deem of such, calls up to view
The Spectres whom no exorcism can bind,—
The cold—the changed—perchance the dead, anew—
The mourned—the loved—the lost—too many! yet how few![406]


But my Soul wanders; I demand it back
To meditate amongst decay, and stand
A ruin amidst ruins; there to track
Fall'n states and buried greatness, o'er a land
Which was the mightiest in its old command,
And is the loveliest, and must ever be
The master-mould of Nature's heavenly hand;
Wherein were cast the heroic and the free,—
The beautiful—the brave—the Lords of earth and sea,



The Commonwealth of Kings—the Men of Rome!
And even since, and now, fair Italy!
Thou art the Garden of the World, the Home
Of all Art yields, and Nature can decree;
Even in thy desert, what is like to thee?
Thy very weeds are beautiful—thy waste
More rich than other climes' fertility;
Thy wreck a glory—and thy ruin graced
With an immaculate charm which cannot be defaced.


The Moon is up, and yet it is not night—
Sunset divides the sky with her—a sea
Of glory streams along the Alpine height
Of blue Friuli's mountains;[407] Heaven is free
From clouds, but of all colours seems to be,—
Melted to one vast Iris of the West,—
Where the Day joins the past Eternity;
While, on the other hand, meek Dian's crest
Floats through the azure air—an island of the blest![408]


A single star is at her side, and reigns
With her o'er half the lovely heaven; but still
Yon sunny Sea heaves brightly, and remains
Rolled o'er the peak of the far Rhætian hill,
As Day and Night contending were, until
Nature reclaimed her order:—gently flows
The deep-dyed Brenta,[409] where their hues instil
The odorous purple of a new-born rose,
Which streams upon her stream, and glassed within it glows,



Filled with the face of heaven, which, from afar,
Comes down upon the waters! all its hues,
From the rich sunset to the rising star,
Their magical variety diffuse:
And now they change—a paler Shadow strews
Its mantle o'er the mountains; parting Day
Dies like the Dolphin, whom each pang imbues
With a new colour as it gasps away—
The last still loveliest, till—'tis gone—and all is gray.


There is a tomb in Arquà;—reared in air,
Pillared in their sarcophagus, repose
The bones of Laura's lover: here repair
Many familiar with his well-sung woes,
The Pilgrims of his Genius. He arose
To raise a language, and his land reclaim
From the dull yoke of her barbaric foes:
Watering the tree which bears his Lady's name[410] [8.H.]
With his melodious tears, he gave himself to Fame.



They keep his dust in Arquà,[411] where he died— [9.H.]
The mountain-village where his latter days
[352] Went down the vale of years; and 'tis their pride—
An honest pride—and let it be their praise,
To offer to the passing stranger's gaze
His mansion and his sepulchre—both plain[mc]
And venerably simple—such as raise
A feeling more accordant with his strain
Than if a Pyramid formed his monumental fane.[md]


And the soft quiet hamlet where he dwelt
Is one of that complexion which seems made
For those who their mortality[412] have felt,
And sought a refuge from their hopes decayed
In the deep umbrage of a green hill's shade,
Which shows a distant prospect far away
Of busy cities, now in vain displayed,
For they can lure no further; and the ray[413]
Of a bright Sun can make sufficient holiday,


Developing the mountains, leaves, and flowers,
And shining in the brawling brook, where-by,
Clear as its current, glide the sauntering hours
With a calm languor, which, though to the eye
Idlesse it seem, hath its morality—
If from society we learn to live,[me]
'Tis Solitude should teach us how to die;
It hath no flatterers—Vanity can give
No hollow aid; alone—man with his God must strive:[mf]


Or, it may be, with Demons,[414] who impair
The strength of better thoughts, and seek their prey
[354] In melancholy bosoms—such as were
Of moody texture from their earliest day,
And loved to dwell in darkness and dismay
Deeming themselves predestined to a doom
Which is not of the pangs that pass away;[mg]
Making the Sun like blood, the Earth a tomb,
The tomb a hell—and Hell itself a murkier gloom.[mh]


Ferrara![415] in thy wide and grass-grown streets,
Whose symmetry was not for solitude,
There seems as 'twere a curse upon the Seats
Of former Sovereigns, and the antique brood
Of Este,[416] which for many an age made good
Its strength within thy walls, and was of yore
[355] Patron or Tyrant, as the changing mood
Of petty power impelled, of those who wore
The wreath which Dante's brow alone had worn before.


And Tasso is their glory and their shame—
Hark to his strain! and then survey his cell![417]
[356] And see how dearly earned Torquato's fame,
And where Alfonso bade his poet dwell:
The miserable Despot could not quell
The insulted mind he sought to quench, and blend
[357] With the surrounding maniacs, in the hell
Where he had plunged it. Glory without end
Scattered the clouds away—and on that name attend


The tears and praises of all time, while thine
Would rot in its oblivion—in the sink
Of worthless dust, which from thy boasted line
Is shaken into nothing—but the link
Thou formest in his fortunes bids us think
Of thy poor malice, naming thee with scorn:
Alfonso! how thy ducal pageants shrink
From thee! if in another station born,[mi]
Scarce fit to be the slave of him thou mad'st to mourn:


Thou! formed to eat, and be despised, and die,
Even as the beasts that perish—save that thou
Hadst a more splendid trough and wider sty:—
He! with a glory round his furrowed brow,
Which emanated then, and dazzles now,
In face of all his foes, the Cruscan quire,[418] [10.H.]
[358] And Boileau, whose rash envy could allow[mj]
No strain which shamed his country's creaking lyre,
That whetstone of the teeth—Monotony in wire![mk][419]


Peace to Torquato's injured shade! 'twas his
In life and death to be the mark where Wrong
Aimed with her poisoned arrows,—but to miss.
Oh, Victor unsurpassed in modern song!
[359] Each year brings forth its millions—but how long
The tide of Generations shall roll on,
And not the whole combined and countless throng
Compose a mind like thine? though all in one[ml]
Condensed their scattered rays—they would not form a Sun.[mm]


Great as thou art, yet paralleled by those,
Thy countrymen, before thee born to shine,
The Bards of Hell and Chivalry: first rose
The Tuscan Father's Comedy Divine;
Then, not unequal to the Florentine,
The southern Scott, the minstrel who called forth
A new creation with his magic line,
And, like the Ariosto of the North,[420]
Sang Ladye-love and War, Romance and Knightly Worth.



The lightning rent from Ariosto's bust [11.H.]
The iron crown of laurel's mimicked leaves;
Nor was the ominous element unjust,
For the true laurel-wreath which Glory weaves [12.H.]
Is of the tree no bolt of thunder cleaves,
And the false semblance but disgraced his brow;
Yet still, if fondly Superstition grieves,
Know, that the lightning sanctifies below [13.H.]
Whate'er it strikes;—yon head is doubly sacred now.



Italia! oh, Italia! thou who hast[421]
The fatal gift of Beauty, which became
A funeral dower of present woes and past—
On thy sweet brow is sorrow ploughed by shame,[mn]
And annals graved in characters of flame.
Oh, God! that thou wert in thy nakedness
Less lovely or more powerful, and couldst claim
Thy right, and awe the robbers back, who press
To shed thy blood, and drink the tears of thy distress;


Then might'st thou more appal—or, less desired,
Be homely and be peaceful, undeplored[mo]
[362] For thy destructive charms; then, still untired,
Would not be seen the arméd torrents poured
Down the deep Alps; nor would the hostile horde
Of many-nationed spoilers from the Po
Quaff blood and water; nor the stranger's sword
Be thy sad weapon of defence—and so,
Victor or vanquished, thou the slave of friend or foe.


Wandering in youth, I traced the path of him,
The Roman friend of Rome's least-mortal mind,[422]
The friend of Tully: as my bark did skim
The bright blue waters with a fanning wind,
Came Megara before me, and behind
Ægina lay—Piræus on the right,
[363] And Corinth on the left; I lay reclined
Along the prow, and saw all these unite
In ruin—even as he had seen the desolate sight;


For Time hath not rebuilt them, but upreared
Barbaric dwellings on their shattered site,
Which only make more mourned and more endeared
The few last rays of their far-scattered light,
And the crashed relics of their vanished might.
The Roman saw these tombs in his own age,
These sepulchres of cities, which excite[mp]
Sad wonder, and his yet surviving page
The moral lesson bears, drawn from such pilgrimage.


That page is now before me, and on mine
His Country's ruin added to the mass
Of perished states he mourned in their decline,
And I in desolation: all that was
Of then destruction is; and now, alas!
Rome—Rome imperial, bows her to the storm,[423]
[364] In the same dust and blackness, and we pass
The skeleton of her Titanic form,[424]
Wrecks of another world, whose ashes still are warm.


Yet, Italy! through every other land
Thy wrongs should ring—and shall—from side to side;[425]
Mother of Arts! as once of Arms! thy hand
Was then our Guardian, and is still our Guide;
Parent of our Religion! whom the wide
Nations have knelt to for the keys of Heaven!
Europe, repentant of her parricide,
Shall yet redeem thee, and, all backward driven,
Roll the barbarian tide, and sue to be forgiven.


But Arno wins us to the fair white walls,
Where the Etrurian Athens claims and keeps
A softer feeling for her fairy halls:
Girt by her theatre of hills, she reaps
[365] Her corn, and wine, and oil—and Plenty leaps
To laughing life, with her redundant Horn.
Along the banks where smiling Arno sweeps
Was modern Luxury of Commerce born,[mq][426]
And buried Learning rose, redeemed to a new Morn.


There, too, the Goddess loves in stone, and fills [mr] [427] [14.H.]
The air around with Beauty—we inhale[ms]
[366] The ambrosial aspect, which, beheld, instils
Part of its immortality—the veil
Of heaven is half undrawn—within the pale
We stand, and in that form and face behold
What Mind can make, when Nature's self would fail;
And to the fond Idolaters of old
Envy the innate flash which such a Soul could mould:


We gaze and turn away, and know not where,
Dazzled and drunk with Beauty,[428] till the heart
[367] Reels with its fulness; there—for ever there—
Chained to the chariot of triumphal Art,
We stand as captives, and would not depart.
Away!—there need no words, nor terms precise,
The paltry jargon of the marble mart,
Where Pedantry gulls Folly—we have eyes:
Blood—pulse—and breast confirm the Dardan Shepherd's prize.


Appear'dst thou not to Paris in this guise?
Or to more deeply blest Anchises? or,
In all thy perfect Goddess-ship, when lies
Before thee thy own vanquished Lord of War?
And gazing in thy face as toward a star,
Laid on thy lap, his eyes to thee upturn,
Feeding on thy sweet cheek![429] while thy lips are
With lava kisses melting while they burn,
Showered on his eyelids, brow, and mouth, as from an urn!



Glowing, and circumfused in speechless love—[mt][430]
Their full divinity inadequate
That feeling to express, or to improve—
The Gods become as mortals—and man's fate[mu]
Has moments like their brightest; but the weight
Of earth recoils upon us;—let it go!
We can recall such visions, and create,
From what has been, or might be, things which grow
Into thy statue's form, and look like gods below.


I leave to learnéd fingers, and wise hands,
The Artist and his Ape, to teach and tell
How well his Connoisseurship understands
The graceful bend, and the voluptuous swell:
Let these describe the undescribable:
I would not their vile breath should crisp the stream
Wherein that Image shall for ever dwell—
The unruffled mirror of the loveliest dream
That ever left the sky on the deep soul to beam.



In Santa Croce's[431] holy precincts lie [15.H.]
Ashes which make it holier, dust which is
Even in itself an immortality,
Though there were nothing save the past, and this,
The particle of those sublimities
Which have relapsed to chaos:—here repose
Angelo's—Alfieri's[432] bones—and his, [16.H.]
The starry Galileo, with his woes;
Here Machiavelli's earth returned to whence it rose. [17.H.]


These are four minds, which, like the elements,
Might furnish forth creation:—Italy![mv]
Time, which hath wronged thee with ten thousand rents
Of thine imperial garment, shall deny[mw]
And hath denied, to every other sky,
Spirits which soar from ruin:—thy Decay
Is still impregnate with divinity,
Which gilds it with revivifying ray;
Such as the great of yore, Canova[433] is to-day.


But where repose the all Etruscan three—
Dante, and Petrarch, and, scarce less than they,
The Bard of Prose, creative Spirit! he[mx]
Of the Hundred Tales of Love—where did they lay
Their bones, distinguished from our common clay
In death as life? Are they resolved to dust,
And have their Country's Marbles nought to say?
Could not her quarries furnish forth one bust?
Did they not to her breast their filial earth entrust?


Ungrateful Florence! Dante sleeps afar,[434] [18.H.]
Like Scipio buried by the upbraiding shore:[435] [19.H.]
[372] Thy factions, in their worse than civil war,[436]
Proscribed the Bard whose name for evermore
Their children's children would in vain adore
With the remorse of ages; and the crown[437] [20.H.]
[373] Which Petrarch's laureate brow supremely wore,
Upon a far and foreign soil had grown,
His Life, his Fame, his Grave, though rifled—not thine own.[438]


Boccaccio[439] to his parent earth bequeathed[my] [21.H.]
His dust,—and lies it not her Great among,
[374] With many a sweet and solemn requiem breathed
O'er him who formed the Tuscan's siren tongue?[440]
That music in itself, whose sounds are song,
The poetry of speech? No;—even his tomb
Uptorn, must bear the hyæna bigot's wrong,
No more amidst the meaner dead find room,
Nor claim a passing sigh, because it told for whom!


And Santa Croce wants their mighty dust;
Yet for this want more noted, as of yore
The Cæsar's pageant,[441] shorn of Brutus' bust,
Did but of Rome's best Son remind her more:
[375] Happier Ravenna! on thy hoary shore,
Fortress of falling Empire! honoured sleeps[mz]
The immortal Exile;—Arquà, too, her store
Of tuneful relics proudly claims and keeps,
While Florence vainly begs her banished dead and weeps.[442]


What is her Pyramid of precious stones? [22.H.]
Of porphyry, jasper, agate, and all hues
Of gem and marble, to encrust the bones
Of merchant-dukes?[443] the momentary dews
[376] Which, sparkling to the twilight stars, infuse
Freshness in the green turf that wraps the dead,
Whose names are Mausoleums of the Muse,
Are gently prest with far more reverent tread
Than ever paced the slab which paves the princely head.


There be more things to greet the heart and eyes
In Arno's dome of Art's most princely shrine,
Where Sculpture with her rainbow Sister vies;[444]
There be more marvels yet—but not for mine;
For I have been accustomed to entwine
My thoughts with Nature rather in the fields,
Than Art in galleries: though a work divine
Calls for my Spirit's homage, yet it yields
Less than it feels, because the weapon which it wields



Is of another temper, and I roam
By Thrasimene's lake,[445] in the defiles
Fatal to Roman rashness, more at home;
For there the Carthaginian's warlike wiles
Come back before me, as his skill beguiles
The host between the mountains and the shore,
Where Courage falls in her despairing files,[na]
And torrents, swoll'n to rivers with their gore,
Reek through the sultry plain, with legions scattered o'er.


Like to a forest felled by mountain winds;
And such the storm of battle on this day,
And such the frenzy, whose convulsion blinds
To all save Carnage, that, beneath the fray,
An Earthquake[446] reeled unheededly away! [23.H.]
None felt stern Nature rocking at his feet,
[378] And yawning forth a grave for those who lay
Upon their bucklers for a winding sheet—
Such is the absorbing hate when warring nations meet!


The Earth to them was as a rolling bark
Which bore them to Eternity—they saw
The Ocean round, but had no time to mark
The motions of their vessel; Nature's law,
In them suspended, recked not of the awe
Which reigns when mountains tremble, and the birds
Plunge in the clouds for refuge, and withdraw[nb]
From their down-toppling nests; and bellowing herds
Stumble o'er heaving plains—and Man's dread hath no words.



Far other scene is Thrasimene now;
Her lake a sheet of silver, and her plain
Rent by no ravage save the gentle plough;
Her agéd trees rise thick as once the slain
Lay where their roots are; but a brook hath ta'en—
A little rill of scanty stream and bed—
A name of blood from that day's sanguine rain;
And Sanguinetto tells ye where the dead
Made the earth wet, and turned the unwilling waters red.[nc]


But thou, Clitumnus[447]! in thy sweetest wave
Of the most living crystal that was e'er
The haunt of river-Nymph, to gaze and lave
Her limbs where nothing hid them, thou dost rear
Thy grassy banks whereon the milk-white steer[448]
Grazes—the purest God of gentle waters!
[380] And most serene of aspect, and most clear;
Surely that stream was unprofaned by slaughters—
A mirror and a bath for Beauty's youngest daughters!


And on thy happy shore a Temple[449] still,
Of small and delicate proportion, keeps
Upon a mild declivity of hill,[nd]
Its memory of thee; beneath it sweeps
[381] Thy current's calmness; oft from out it leaps
The finny darter with the glittering scales,[450]
Who dwells and revels in thy glassy deeps;
While, chance, some scattered water-lily sails[ne]
Down where the shallower wave still tells its bubbling tales.


Pass not unblest the Genius of the place!
If through the air a Zephyr more serene
Win to the brow, 'tis his; and if ye trace
Along his margin a more eloquent green,
If on the heart the freshness of the scene
Sprinkle its coolness, and from the dry dust
Of weary life a moment lave it clean
With Nature's baptism,—'tis to him ye must
Pay orisons for this suspension of disgust.[451]



The roar of waters!—from the headlong height
Velino cleaves the wave-worn precipice;
The fall of waters! rapid as the light
The flashing mass foams shaking the abyss;
The Hell of Waters! where they howl and hiss,
And boil in endless torture; while the sweat
Of their great agony, wrung out from this
Their Phlegethon, curls round the rocks of jet
That gird the gulf around, in pitiless horror set,


And mounts in spray the skies, and thence again
Returns in an unceasing shower, which round,
With its unemptied cloud of gentle rain,
Is an eternal April to the ground,
Making it all one emerald:—how profound[nf]
The gulf! and how the Giant Element
From rock to rock leaps with delirious bound,[ng]
Crushing the cliffs, which, downward worn and rent
With his fierce footsteps, yield in chasms a fearful vent


To the broad column which rolls on, and shows
More like the fountain of an infant sea
[383] Torn from the womb of mountains by the throes
Of a new world, than only thus to be
Parent of rivers, which flow gushingly,
With many windings, through the vale:—Look back!
Lo! where it comes like an Eternity,
As if to sweep down all things in its track,
Charming the eye with dread,—a matchless cataract,[452]


Horribly beautiful! but on the verge,
From side to side, beneath the glittering morn,
An Iris[453] sits, amidst the infernal surge,
Like Hope upon a death-bed, and, unworn
[384] Its steady dyes, while all around is torn
By the distracted waters, bears serene