Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

CIT.
| My daughter! with thy 19 2s ove

My daughter! with thy side 1
I see thee 8, I hear tsee ait-
Can be so wrapp'd in thee: 2 3. NP 3
T'o shorn the shadows of
Albeit mny brow thoa sete
Wyrace shall with the SSE TIL

And reach into thy heat-Y
A token and a tone, erea seis :D

CITL
To aid thy mind's detett
Tts day of little joys- *
Anot thy very prowth.-r ts
Krotince of objects-0900 Tu
To hold thee lightly on 2 2

And print on thy soft chesi a r. 15-
| This, it should seem, was » Tur

Vet this as in ny patur :-*
I know not what is there, yet 0:22 *

CIVIL
Yet, though dull Hate as CEOCKË De
I koow that thou will love :: 1 r
Scould be shut from tb e. 2. S.
With desnation.-sod a beos+- 5211 -
Though the grave closed betres -
I knou that thou wilt ute D : 2
Vy Wood from out thy be LE TET 21 22
And an attainment,-ail #ouc * Tu-
Still thou wouldst love me, sta mrt 2

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

TO JOHN HOBHOUSE, ESQ., AM. F.RS. &e. poser 21. L ..

Venice, January 2, 1918.
MY DEAR HOBHOUSE,
After an interval of eight years between the corn-

Ce Te: KELT="*10********* prokition of the first and last cantos of Childe Harold, Wild," jelasny** wall

- 2 + 1'... I had drawn, a

Con *** 2******* "f"Byron, July 4, 1816. Diodati."-MS.)

pilgrim; and the Fury LT prva ti din

CVI.

Who glorify thy consecrated pages; The one was fire and fickleness, a child,

Thou wert the throne and grave of empires ; still, Most mutable in wishes, but in mind

The fount at which the panting mind assuages A wit as various,-gay, grave, sage, or wild, — Her thirst of knowledge, quaffing there her rill, Historian. bard, philosopher, combined ;

Flows from the eternal source of Rome's imperial hill. He multiplied himself among mankind, The Proteus of their talents: But his own

CXI. Breathed most in ridicule,-which, as the wind,

Thus far have I proceeded in a theme Blew where it listed, laying all things prone,

Renew'd with no kind auspices :—to feel Now to o'erthrow a fool, and now to shake a throne.

We are not what we have been, and to deem

We are not what we should be,--and to steel
CVII.

The heart against itself; and to conceal,
The other, deep and slow, exhausting thought, With a proud caution, love, or hate, or aught,-
And hiving wisdom with each studious year,

Passion or feeling, purpose, grief, or zeal,In meditation dwelt, with learning wrought,

Which is the tyrant spirit of our thought,
And shaped his weapon with an edge severe, Is a steru task of soul :—No matter,-it is taught.
Sapping a solemn creed with solemn sneer;

CXII.
The lord of irony,—that master-spell,
Which stung his foes to wrath, which grew from fear,

And for theso words, thus woven into song,
And doom'd him to the zealot's ready Hell,

It may be that they are a harmless wile, Which answers to all doubts so eloquently well.

The coloring of the scenes which fleet along,

Which I would seize, in passing, to beguile
CVIII.

My breast, or that of others, for a while.
Yet, peace be with their ashes,—for by them,

Fame is the thirst of youth,—but I am not If merited, the penalty is paid ;

So young as to regard men's frown or smile,
It is not ours to judge,—far less condemn;

As loss or guerdon of a glorious lot ;
The hour must come when such things shall be made I stood and stand alone,-remember'd or forgot.
Known unto all,—or hope and dread allay'd

CXIII.

. By slumber, on ono pillow,-in the dust,

I have not loved the world, nor the world me; Which, thus much we are sure, must lie decay'd;

I have not flatter'd its rank breath, nor bow'd And when it shall revive, as is our trust,

To its idolatries a patient knee,'Twill be to be forgiven, or suffer what is just.

Nor coin'd my cheek to smiles,-nor cried aloud

In worship of an echo; in the crowd
CIX.

They could not deem me one of such ; I stood But let me quit man's works, again to read

Among them, but not of them; in a shroud (could, His Maker's, spread around me, and suspend

Of thoughts which were not their thoughts, and still This page, which from my reveries I feed,

Had I not filed' my mind, which thus itself subdued.
Until it seems prolonging without end.
The clouds above me to the white Alps tend,

CXIV.
And I must pierce them, and survey whate'er I have not loved the world, nor the world me,
May be permitted, as my steps I bend

But let us part fair foes; I do believe,
To their most great and growing region, where Though I have found them not, that there may be
The earth to her embrace coinpels the powers of air. Words which are things,-hopes which will not

deceive, CX.

And virtues which are merciful, nor weave Italia! too, Italia! looking on thee,

Snares for the failing: I would also deem Full flashes on the soul the light of ages,

O'er others' griefs that some sincerely grieve;" Since the fierce Carthaginian almost won thee, That two, or one, are almost what they seem,To the last halo of the chiefs and sages,

That goodness is no name, and happiness no dream.*

1

* It it be thus,

poetical path to contentment and heart's-ease: that by which For Banquo's issue have I filed my mind."- MACBETH. ihey are attained is open to all classes of mankind, and lies ? It is said by Rochefoucault, that "there is always some within the most limited range of intellect. To narrow our thing in the misfortunes of men's best friends not displeasing wishes and desires within the scope of our powers of attainto them."

ment: to consider our misfortunes, however peculiar in 3 ["* It is not the temper and talents of the poet, but the their character, as our inevitable share in the patrimony of use to which he puts them, on which his happiness or inisery Adam; to bridle those irritable feelings, which ungoverned is grounded. A powerful and unbridled imagination is the are sure to become governors; to shop that intensity of author and architect of its own disappointments. Its fasci- galling and self-wounding reflection which our poet has so nations, its exaggerated pictures of good and evil, and the forcibly described in his own burning language:inental distress to which they give rise, are the natural and necessary evils attending on that quick susceptibility of

--I have thought feeling and fancy incident to the poetical temperament.

Too long and darkly, till my brain became, But the Giver of all talents, while he has qualified them

In its own eddy, boiling and o'erwrought, each with its separate and peculiar alloy, has endowed the

A whirling gulf of phantasy and flame owner with the power of purifying and refining them. But,

--to stoop, in short, to the realities of life; repent if we as if 10 moderate the arrogance of genius, it is jusily and wisely male requisite, that he must regulate and tame the

have oflended, and pardon if we have been trespassed

against ; to look on the world less as our foe than as a fire of luy fancy, and descend from the heights to which she exalts hum. in order to obtain ease of mind and tranquillity. far as possible to deserve, but neither to court nor contemn

doubtful and capricious friend, whose applause we ought as The materials of happiness, that is, of such degree of happiness as is consistent with our present state, lie around us

---such seem the most obvious and certain means of keepin profusion. But the man of talents must stoop to gather

ing or regaining mental tranquility. them, otherwise they would be beyond the reach of the

- Semita certe miss of society, for whose benefit, as well as for his, Tranquillæ per virtutem patet unica vitic.'”Providence has created them. There is no royal and no

Sir Walter Scott.)

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

CXV.

the conclusion of the poem is about to be submitted Vis daughter! with thy name this song begun to the public. In parting with so old a friend, it is My daughter! with thy name thus much shall end not extraordinary that I should recur to one still older Iee thee not, I hear thee not,,but none and better,--to one who has beheld the birth and ('an be so wrapp'd in thee; thou art the friend death of the other, and to whom I am far more inTo whom the shadows of far years extend : debted for the social advantages of an enlightened

Alleit my brow thou never shouldst behold, friendship, than-though not ungrateful—I can, or | Hy ruce shall with thy future visions blend, could be, to Childe Harold, for any public favor

And reach into thy heart,—when mine is cold, reflected through the poem on the poet,—to one,
A token and a tone, even from thy father's mould. whom I have known long, and accompanied far, i

whom I have found wakeful over my sickness and CXVI.

kind in my sorrow, glad in my prosperity and firm Te aid thy mind's development,-to watch in my adversity, true in counsel and trusty in peril, The dawn of little joys,-to sit and see

-to a friend often tried and never found wanting; Almost thy very growth,—to view thee catch -to yourself. Kowledge of objects,—wonders yet to thee !

In so doing, I recur from fiction to truth; and in To hold thee lightly on a gentle knee,

dedicating to you, in its complete or at least concluded Aad print on thy soft cheek a parent's kiss, state, a poetical work which is the longest, the most This, it should seem, was not reserved for me; thoughtful and comprehensive of my compositions, I Yet this was in my nature as it is,

wish to do honor to myself by the record of many I know not what is there, yet something like to this. years' intimacy with a man of learning, of talent, of

steadiness, and of honor. It is not for minds like CXVII.

ours to give or to receive flattery ; yet the praises of Yet, though dull Hate as duty should be taught, sincerity have ever been permitted to the voice of I know that thou wilt love me; though my name friendship; and it is not for you, nor even for others, Should be shut from thee, as a spell still fraught but to relieve a heart which has not elsewhere, or With desolation,-and a broken claim: (rame, lately, been so much accustomed to the encounter Though the grave closed between us,—'twere the of good-will as to withstand the shock firmly, that I I know that thou wilt love me, though to drain thus attempt to commemorate your good qualities, My blood from out thy being were an aim,

or rather the advantages which I have derived from And an attainment,-all would be in vain, their exertion. Even the recurrence of the date of Still thou wouldst love me, still that more than life this letter, the anniversary of the most unfortunate retain.

day of my past existence, but which cannot poison

my future while I retain the resource of your friendCXVIII.

ship, and of my own faculties, will henceforth have a The child of love,—though born in bitterness, more agreeable recollection for both, inasmuch as it And gartured in convulsion. Of thy sire

will remind us of this my attempt to thank you for an These were the elements, and thine no less. indefatigable regard, such as few men have experiAs yet such are around thee,-but thy fire

enced, and no one could experience without thinking Shall be more temper’d, and thy hope far higher. better of his species and of himself. Svet be thy cradled slumbers! O'er the sea, It has been our fortune to traverse together, at And from the mountains where I now respire, various periods, the countries of chivalry, history, and

Fain would I waft such blessing upon thee, [me!' | fable-Spain, Greece, Asia Minor, and Italy; and As, with a sigh, I deem thou might'st have been to 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, havo 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 CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE. 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 full 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 Visto ho Toscana, Lombardia, Romagna,

of pleasure in the production, and I part with it with Quel Monte che divide, e quel che serra Italia, e un mare e l' altro, che la bagna.

a kind of regret, which I hardly suspected that events Ariosto, Satira üi. 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 TO JOHN HOBHOUSE, ESQ., A.M. F.R.S. &c. preceding, and that little slightly, if at all, separated

froin the author speaking in his own person. The

Venice, January 2, 1818. fact is, that I had become weary of drawing a line MF DEAR HOBHOCSE,

which every one seemed determined not to perAFTER an interval of eight years between the com

ceive : like the Chinese in Goldsmith's “Citizen of the position of the first and last cantos of Childe Harold, World,” 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 1 (** Byron, July 4, 1816. Diodati.”-MS.)

pilgrim; and the very anxiety to preserve this dif

CANTO THE FOURTH.

SO.

text.

ference, and disappointment at finding it unavailing, più come era prima," it was difficult not to contrast so far crushed my efforts in the composition, that I this melancholy dirge with the bacchanal roar of determined to abandon it altogether-and have done the songs of exultation still yelled from the London

The opinions which have been, or may be, form- taverns, over the carnage of Mont St. Jean, and the ed on that subject, are now a matter of indifference; betrayal of Genoa, of Italy, of France, and of the the work is to depend on itself, and not on the writer; world, by men whose conduct you yourself have ex. : and the anthor, who has no resources in his own posed in a work worthy of the better days of our hismind beyond the reputation, transient or permanent, tory. For me,which is to arise from his literary efforts, deserves the

“ Non movero mai corda fate of authors.

Ove la turba di sue ciance assorda." In the course of the following canto it was my intention, either in the text or in the notes, to havo

What Italy has gained by the late transíor of na. touched upon the present state of Italian literature, tions, it were useless for Englishmen to inquire, till it and perhaps of manners.

But the text, within the becomes ascertained that England has acquired some limits I proposed, I soon found hardly sufficient for thing more than a permanent army and a suspended the labyrinth of external objects, and the consequent Habeas Corpus; it is enough for them to look at reflections; and for the whole of the notes, excepting home. For what they have done abroad, aud es. a few of the shortest, I am indebted to yourself, and pecially in the South, “Verily they will have their these were necessarily limited to the elucidation of the reward,” and at no very distant period.

Wishing you, my dear Hobhouse, a safe and agree. It is also a delicate, and no very grateful task, to able return to that country whose real welfare can be dissert upon the literature and manners of a nation so

dearer to none than to yourself, I dedicate to you this dissimilar; and requires an attention and impartiality poem in its completed state ; and repeat ouce more which would induce us—though perhaps no inatten- how truly I am ever, tive observers, nor ignorant of the language or cus

Your obliged toms of the people amongst whom we have recently

And affectionate friend, abode—to distrust, or at least defer our judgment,

BYRON and more narrowly examine our information. The state of literary, as well as political party, appears to run, or to hare 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

I. la più nobile ed insieme la più dolce, tutte tutte le I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs; vie diverse si possono tentare, e che sinche la patria A palace and a prison on each hand: di Alfieri e di Monti non ha perduto l' antico valore, I saw from out the wave her structures rise in tutte essa dovrebbe essere la prima." Italy has As from the stroke of the enchanter's wand: great names still-Canova, Monti, Ugo Foscolo, Pin A thousand years their cloudy wings expand demonte, Visconti, Morelli, Cicognara, Albrizzi, Mez Around me, and a dying Glory smiles zophanti, Mai, Mustoxidi, Aglietti, and Vacca, will O'er the far times, when many a subject land secure to the present generation an honorable place Look'd to the winged Lion's marble piles, isles! in most of the departments of Art, Science, and Where Venice sate in state, throned on her hundredi Belles Lettres; and in some the very highestEurope-the World-has but one Canova.

II. It has been somewhere said by Alfieri, that “ La She looks a sea Cybele, fresh from ocean," pianta uomo nasce più robusta in Italia che in qua Rising with her tiara os proud towers lunque altra terra-e che gli stessi atroci delitti che At airy distance, with majestic motion, vi si commettono ne sono una prova." Without sub A ruler of the waters and their powers: scribing to the latter part of his proposition, a dan And such she was ;-her daughters had their dosen gerous doctrine, the truth of which may be disputed From spoils of nations, and the exhaustless East on better grounds, namely, that the Italians are in Pour'd in her lap all gems in sparkling showers

! no respect more ferocious than their neighbors, that In purple was she robed, and of her feast man must be wilfully blind, or ignorantly heedless, Monarchs partook, and deem'd their dignity increased who is not struck with the extraordinary capacity of this people, or, if such a word be admissible, their

III.
capabilities, the facility of their acquisitions, the ra In Venice Tasso's echocs are no more,"
pidity of their conceptions, the fire of their genius, And silent rows the songless gondolier;
their sense of beauty, and, amidst all the disadvan. Her palaces are crumbling to the shore,
tages of repeated revolutions, the desolation of battles, And music meets not always now the ear:

and the despair of ages, their still unquenched " long Those days are gone—but Beauty still is here.
i ing after immortality,"—the immortality of indo States fall, arts fade-but Nature doth not die,

pendence. And when we ourselves, in riding round Nor yet forget how Venice once was dear,
the walls of Rome, heard the simple lament of the The pleasant place of all festivity,
laborers' chorus, * Roma! Roma! Roma! Roma non The revel of the earth, the masque of Italy!

1

1 See Appendix, “Thistorical Notes," No. I.

? Sabellicus, describing the appearance of Venice, has made use of the above image, which would not be poetical were it not true.—"Quo fit ut qui superne urbem contem

pletur, turritam telluris imaginein medio Oceano figuralam se putet inspicere."

s See Appendix, “ Historical Notes," No. 11.

IV.
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 vanish'd sway;
Ours is a trophy which will not decay
With the Rialto; Shylock and the Moor,
And Picrre, cannot be swept or worn away-

The keystones of the arch! though all were o'er, For us repeopled wero the solitary shore.

V.
The beings of the mind are not of clay;
Essentially immortal, they create
And inuitiply in us a brighter ray
And more beloved existence: that which Fate
Prolaibits to dull life, in this our state
Of mortal bondage, by these spirits supplied,
Fint cxilex, then replaces what we hate;

Warring the heart whose early flowers have died, And witb a fresher growth replenishing the void.

X.
My name from out the temple where the dead
Are honor'd 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."
Meantime I seek no sympathies, nor need;
The thorns which I have reap'd 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.

XI.
The spouseless Adriatic mourns her lord ;
And, annual marriage now no inore renew'd,
The Bucentaur lies rotting unrestored,
Neglected garment of her widowhood!
St. Mark yet sees his lion where he stood
Stand, but in mockery of his wither'd power,
Over the proud Place where an Emperor sued,

And monarchs gazed and envied in the hour When Venice was a queen with an unequali'd dower

XII. The Suabian sued, and now the Austrian reigns 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 loosen'd from the mountain's belt;

Oh for one hour of blind old Dandolo !" Th' octogenarian chief, Byzantium's conquering foe.

XIII. Before St. Mark still glow his steeds of brass, Their gilded collars glittering in the sun ; But is not Doria's menace come to pass ? Are they not bridled !- Venice, lost and won, Her thirteen hundred years of freedom done, Sinks, like a sea-weed, into whence she rose ! Better be whelm'd beneath the waves, and shun,

Even in destruction's depth, her foreign foes, From whom submission wrings an infamous repose.

3

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

XIV.
In youth she was all glory,-a new Tyre,-
Her very by-word sprung from victory,
The “ Planter of the Lion," which through fire
And blood she bore o'er subject earth and sea;
Though making many slaves, herself still free,
And Europe's bulwark 'gainst the Ottomite ;
Witness Troy's rival, Candia ! Vouch it, ye

Immortal waves that saw Lepanto's tight!
For ye are names no time nor tyranny can blight.

XV.
Statues of glass--all shiver'd—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,
Thin streets, and foreign aspects, such as must

Too oft remind her who and what inthrals, Have flung a desolate cloud o'er Venice' lovely walls.

IX. Perhaps I loved it well: and should I lay Mo ashes in a soil which is not mine, Hy spirit shall resume il—if we may Cobwodied choose a sanctuary. I twine My hopes of being rememberd in my line Ww my land's language : if too fond and far Torde aspirations in their scope incline,Lo íanie should be, as my fortunes are, of desty growth and blight, and dull Oblivion bar

The answer of the mother of Brasidas, the Lacedæmo

6 That is, the Lion of St. Mark, the standard of the re

het ederal, to the strangers who praised the memory of people, phim he is one on the word Pantaloon–Pianta

1*!,See Appendix,

“ Historical Notes," Nos. III. IV.

7 See Appendix, “Historical Notes," No. vii.

« ÎnapoiContinuați »