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My very chains and I grew friends,
So much a long communion tends 390
To make us what we are:even I
Regained my freedom with a sigh.

CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE

From CANTO III

I heard the torrents leap and gush
O'er channeled rock and broken bush;
I saw the white-walled distant town,
And whiter sails go skimming down; 340
And then there was a little isle,
Which in my very face did smile,

The only one in view:
A small green isle, it seemed no more,
Scarce broader than my dungeon floor; 345
But in it there were three tall trees,
And o'er it blew the mountain breeze,
And by it there were waters flowing,
And on it there were young flowers grow-

ing, Of gentle breath and hue. The fish swam by the castle wall, And they seemed joyous, each and all; The eagle rode the rising blast, Methought he never flew so fast As then to me he seemed to fly, 355 And then new tears came in my eye, And I felt troubled-and would fain I had not left my recent chain; And when I did descend again, The darkness of my dim abode Fell on me as a heavy load; It was as is a new-dug grave, Closing o'er one we sought to save. And yet my glance, too much oppressed, Had almost need of such a rest. 365

WATERLOO There was a sound of revelry by night, And Belgium's capital had gathered then

182 Her Beauty and her Chivalry, and

bright The lamps shone o'er fair women and

350

brave men;

185

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; But hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like

a rising knell!

360

100

It might be months, or years, or days,

I kept no count-I took no note, I had no hope my eyes to raise,

And clear them of their dreary mote; At last men came to set me free, 370

I asked not why, and recked not where; It was at length the same to me, Fettered or fetterless to be,

I learned to love despair. And thus, when they appeared at last, 375 And all

my

bonds aside were cast, These heavy walls to me had grown A hermitage and all my own! And half I felt as they were come To tear me from a second home: With spiders I had friendship made, And watched them in their sullen trade, Had seen the mice by moonlight play, And why should I feel less than they? We were all inmates of one place, 385 And I, the monarch of each race, Had power to kill—yet, strange to tell! In quiet we had learned to dwell

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 uncon

fined; No sleep till morn, when Youth and

Pleasure meet To chase the glowing Hours with flying

feet.But hark! that heavy sound breaks in once more,

195 As if the clouds its echo would repeat; And nearer, clearer, deadlier than be

fore! Arm! arm! it is!-it is—the cannon's open

ing roar!

380

200

Within a windowed niche of that high

hall Sate Brunswick's fated chieftain; he did

hear That sound the first amidst the festival, And caught its tone with Death's pro

phetic ear, And when they smiled because he

deemed it near,

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210

shall grow

could guess

His heart more truly knew that peal Their mountain pipe, so fill the mountoo well

taineers Which stretched his father on a bloody With the fierce native daring which bier,

instils

205 And roused the vengeance blood alone The stirring memory of a thousand could quell.

years, He rushed into the field, and, foremost And Evan's, Donald's fame rings in each fighting, fell.

clansman's ears! Ah! then and there was hurrying to and

And Ardennes waves above them her fro,

green leaves,

235 And gathering tears, and tremblings of

Dewy with Nature's tear-drops, as they distress,

pass, And cheeks all pale, which but an hour

Grieving, if aught inanimate e'er grieves, ago

Over the unreturning brave,-alas! Blushed at the praise of their own love

Ere evening to be trodden like the grass liness;

Which now beneath them, but above And there were sudden partings, such

240 as press The life from out young hearts, and

In its next verdure, when this fiery mass

Of living valor, rolling on the foe, choking sighs

And burning with high hope, shall moulder Which ne'er might be repeated: who

cold and low. If ever more should meet those mutual

Last noon beheld them full of lusty life, eyes,

215 Since upon night so sweet such awful morn

Last eve in Beauty's circle proudly could rise!

gay,

The midnight brought the signal-sound And there was mounting in hot haste: of strife,

246 the steed,

The morn the marshalling in armsThe mustering squadron, and the clat

the day tering car,

Battle's magnificently stern array! Went pouring forward with impetuous The thunder-clouds close o'er it, which speed,

when rent And swiftly forming in the ranks of The earth is covered thick with other war;

clay,

250 And the deep thunder peal on peal afar; Which her own clay shall cover, heaped And near, the beat of the alarming drum

and pent, Roused up the soldier ere the morning Rider and horse-friend, foe,-in one red star;

burial blent! While thronged the citizens with terror dumb,

LAKE LEMAN Or whispering with white lips—“The foe!

Lake Leman woos me with its crystal They come! they come!”

225

face, And wild and high the “Cameron's The mirror where the stars and mounGathering” rose,

tains view

645 The war-note of Lochiel, which Albyn's The stillness of their aspect in each hills

trace Have heard, and heard, too, have her Its clear depth yields of their far height Saxon foes;

and hue; How in the noon of night that pibroch There is too much of man here, to look thrills

through Savage and shrill! But with the breath With a fit mind the might which I bewhich fills

230

hold;

220

But soon in me shall loneliness renew 650 Nothing to loathe in Nature, save to be Thoughts hid, but not less cherished A link reluctant in a fleshly chain, 685 than of old,

Classed among creatures, when the soul Ere mingling with the herd had penned me can flee, in their fold.

And with the sky, the peak, the heavTo fly from, need not be to hate, man

ing plain kind;

Of ocean, or the stars, mingle, and not in

vain. All are not fit with them to stir and toil, Nor is it discontent to keep the mind 655

And thus I am absorbed, and this is Deep in its fountain, lest it overboil

life: In the hot throng, where we become the

I look upon the peopled desert past, 690 spoil Of our infection, till too late and long

As on a place of agony and strife, We may deplore and struggle with the

Where, for some sin, to sorrow I was

cast, coil, In wretched interchange of wrong for

To act and suffer, but remount at last

With a fresh pinion; which I feel to wrong

660 'Midst a contentious world, striving

spring, where none are strong.

Though young, yet waxing vigorous as the blast

695 There, in a moment, we may plunge our Which it would cope with, on delighted years

wing, In fatal penitence, and in the blight Spurning the clay-cold bonds which round Of our own soul turn all our blood to our being cling.

tears, And color things to come with hues of And when, at length, the mind shall be night:

665 all free The race of life becomes a hopeless From what it hates in this degraded flight

form, To those that walk in darkness; on the Reft of its carnal life, save what shall

be

700 The boldest steer but where their ports Existent happier in the fly and worm,invite,

When elements to elements conform, But there are wanderers o'er Eternity And dust is as it should be, shall I Whose bark drives on and on, and an- not chored ne'er shall be.

Feel all I see, less dazzling, but more

warm? Is it not better, then, to be alone,

The bodiless thought? the Spirit of each And love Earth only for its earthly sake? By the blue rushing of the arrowy Of which, even now, I share at times the

spot?

705 Rhone,

immortal lot? Or the pure bosom of its nursing lake, Which feeds it as a mother who doth

Are not the mountains, waves, and make

skies, a part A fair but froward infant her own care, Kissing its cries away as these awake;

Of me and of my soul, as I of them?

Is not the love of these deep in my Is it not better thus our lives to wear,

heart Than join the crushing crowd, doomed to inflict or bear?

With a pure passion? should I not contemn

710 I live not in myself, but I become 680 All objects, if compared with these? and Portion of that around me: and to me,

stem High mountains are a feeling, but the A tide of suffering rather than forego hum

Such feelings for the hard and worldly Of human cities torture; I can see

phlegm

sea

670

675

Of those whose eyes are only turned

below, Gazing upon the ground, with thoughts which dare not glow?

715

Clear, placid Leman! thy contrasted lake,

797 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

800 This quiet sail is as a noiseless wing To waft me from distraction; once I

loved Torn ocean's roar, but thy soft mur

muring Sounds sweet as if a sister's voice re

proved That I with stern delights should e'er have been so moved.

805

Ye stars! which are the poetry of heaven! If in your bright leaves we would read the fate

825 Of men and empires,—'tis to be for

given, 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 830 In us such love and reverence from

afar, That fortune, fame, power, life, have

named themselves a star.

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, whose capped

heights appear Precipitously steep; and drawing near, There breathes a living fragrance from the shore,

811 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.

All heaven and earth are still-though

not in sleep, But breathless, as we grow when feeling

most; And silent, as we stand in thoughts too deep

835 All heaven and earth are still: from the

high host Of stars, to the lulled lake and moun

tain-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 840 Of that which is of all Creator and De

fence.

Then stirs the feeling infinite, so felt In solitude, where we are least alone; A truth which through our being then

doth melt, And purifies from self: it is a tone, 845 The soul and source of music, which

makes known Eternal harmony, and sheds a charm, Like to the fabled Cytherea's zone, Binding all things with beauty; 'twould

disarm The spectre Death, had he substantial power to harm.

850

He is an evening reveller, who makes 815
His life an infancy, and sings his fill;
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, 821 Weeping themselves away, till they

infuse Deep into Nature's breast the spirit of

her hues.

Not vainly did the early Persian make His altar the high places and the peak Of earth-o'ergazing mountains, and

thus take A fit and unwalled temple, there to seek The Spirit, in whose honor shrines are weak,

855

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