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This gentle emotion, so seldom our lot
And you, ScampUpon earth. Give it way: 'tis an impulse which lifts Scamp.
Excuse me! I must to my notes Our spirits from earth; the sublimest of gifts; For my lecture next week. For which poor Prometheus was chain'd to his Ink.
He must mind whom he quotes mountain :
(tain ; Out of "Elegant Extracts." 'Tis the source of all sentiment-feeling's true foun. Lady Blueb.
Well, now we break up; 'Tis the Vision of Heaven upon Earth : 'tis the gas But remember Miss Diddle invites us to sup. Of the soul : 'tis the seizing of shades as they pass, Ink, Then at two hours past midnight we all meet And making them substance ; 'tis something divine :
again, Ink. Shall I help you, my friend, to a little more For the sciences, sandwiches, hock, and champagne ! wine ?
Tra. And the sweet lobster salad ! Botk. I thank you ; not any more, sir, till I dine. Both.
I honour that meal Lik. Apropos-Do you dine with Sir Humphrey to. For 'tis then that our feelings most genuinely-feel. day?
Ink. True; feeling is truest then, far beyond ques. Tra. I should think with Duke Humphrey was more tion: in your way.
I wish to the gods 'twas the same with digestion ! Ink. It might be of yore; but we authors now look Lady Blueb. Pshaw!-never mind that; for one To the Knight, as a landlord, much more than the moment of feeling Duke.
Is worth-God knows what. The truth is, each writer 110w quite at his ease is, Ink.
'Tis at least worth concealing And (except with his publisher) dines where he For itself, or what follows-—But here comes your pleases.
carriage. But 'tis now nearly five, and I must to the Park. Sir Rich. ( Aside). I wish all these people were Tra. And i'll take a turn with you there till 'tis d-d with my marriage! dark.
(Exeunt. END OF ECLOGUE THE SECOND
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 haissais ma patrie. Toutes les impertinences des peuples divers, parmi lesquels j'ai vécu. m'ont réconcilié 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.
PREFACE TO THE FIRST AND SECOND CANTOS. The following poem was written, for the most part, amidst the scenes which it attempts 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 nierely experimental.
A fictitious character is introduced for the sake of giving some connection to the piece; which, however, makes no pretensions to regularity. It has been suggested to me by friends, on whose opinions I set a high value, 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 a child of imagination, for the purpose I have stated. In some very trivial particulars, and those merely local, there might be grounds for such a notion; but in the main points, I should hope, none whatever.
It is alınost superfluous to mention that the appelation`Childe,' 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,' in the Border Minstrelsy, edited by Mr. Scott.
With the different poems which have been published on Spanish subjects, there may be found some slight coincidence 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 this poem was written in the Levant.
The stanza of Spenser, according to one of our most 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.' 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; 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.
ADDITION TO THE PREFACE.
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 shall I venture an observation. Amongst the inany objections justly urged to the very indifferent character of the 'vagrant Childe' (whom, notwithstanding many hints to the contrary, I still maintain to lie 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. Now, it so happens that the good old 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. 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 courtésie et de gentilesse,' had much more of love than of courtesy or gentleness. See Roland on the same subject with Saint-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."* 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 reproche.' 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.
Before the days of Bayard, and down to those of Sir Joseph Banks (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 iniddle 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 een 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 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, perhaps a poetical Zeluco.
Happy, I ne'er shall see them in decline ;
To those whose admiration shall succeed,
Not in those climes where I have late been
Beholds the rainbow of her future years,
Oh ! let that eye, which, wild as the gazelle's,
To one so young my strain I would commend,
Such is thy name with this my verse entwined;
Such is the most my memory may desire ;
less require ?
* The Rovers, or the Double Arrangement.
Childe HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE.
CANTO THE FIRST:
Nor mote my shell awake the weary Nine
Worse than adversity the Childe befell;
Then loathed he in his native land to dwell, Which seem'd to him more lone than Eremite's sad cell.
And spoil'd her goodly lands to gild his waste,
Save concubines and carnal companie,
Nor florid prose, nor honey'd lines of rhyme,
With pleasure drugg'd, he almost long'd for woe, And e'en for change of scene would seek the shades below.
And monks might deem their time was come agen,
VIII. * The little village of Castri stands partly on the site of Delphi. Along the path of the mountain, from
Yet ofttimes, in his maddest mirthful mood, Chrysso, are the remains of sepulchres hewn in and Strange pangs would flash along Childe Harold's from the rock; 'one,' said the guide, of a king who
brow, broke his neck hunting.. His inajesty, had certainly chosen the fittest spot for such an achievement. A
As if the memory of some deadly feud little above Castri is a cave, supposed the Pythian, Or disappointed passion lurk'd below: of immense depth; the upper part of it is paved, and now a cow-house. On the other side of Castri stands
But this none knew, nor haply cared to know: a Greek monastery: some way above which is the
For his was not that open, artless soul cleft in the rock, with a range of caverns difficult of That feels relief by bidding sorrow flow; ascent, and apparently leading to the interior of the
Nor sought he friend to counsel or condole, mountain, probably to the Corycian Cavern mentioned by Pausanias. From this part descend the fountain Whate'er this grief mote be, which he could not and the Dews of Castalie.
A few short hours, and he will rise And none did love him: though to hall and bower
To give the morrow birth ; He gather'd revellers from far and near,
And I sha! hail the main and skies, He knew them flatterers of the festal hour;
But not my mother earth. The heartless parasites of present cheer.
Deserted is iny own good hall, Yea, none did love him--not his lemans dear
Its hearth is desolate; But pomp and power alone are woman's care,
Wild weeds are gathering on the wall, And where these are light Eros finds a feere ;
My dog howls at the gate. Maidens, like moths, are ever caught by glare,
*Come hither, hither, my little page: And Mammon wins his way where Seraphs miglit
Why dost thou weep and wail? despair.
Or dost thou dread the billow's rage, X.
Or tremble at the gale? Childe Harold had a mother-not forgot,
But dash the tear-drop from thine eye, Though parting from that mother he did shun;
Our ship is swift and strong ; A sister whom he loved, but saw her not
Our fleetest falcon scarce can fly
More merrily along.'
"Let winds be shrill, let waves roll high, Ye, who have known what 'tis to dote upon
I fear not wave nor wind; A few dear objects, will in sadness feel
Yet marvel not, Sir Childe, that I Such partings break the heart they fondly hope to
Am sorrowful in mind; heal.
For I have from my father gone,
A mother whom I love,
And have no friend, save these alone, The laughing dames in whom he did delight,
But thee-and One above. Whose large blue eyes, fair locks, and snowy
*My father bless'd me fervently, hands,
Yet did not much coinplain; Might shake the saintship of an anchorite,
But sorely will my mother sigh And long had fed his youthful appetite;
Till I come back again. His goblets brimm'd with every costly wine,
‘Enough, enough, iny little lad! And all that mote to luxury invite,
Such tears become thine eye ; Without a sigh he left to cross the brine,
If I thy guileless bosom had, And traverse Paynim shores, and pass Earth's cen.
Mine own would not be dry. tral line. XII.
Come hither, hither, my staunch yeoman, The sails were fill'd, and fair the light winds blew,
Why dost thou look so pale ? As glad to waft him froın his native home;
Or dost thou dread a French foeman, And fast the white rocks faded from his view,
Or shiver at the gale?And soon were lost in circumambient foam;
Deem'st thou I tremble for my life? And then, it may be, of his wish to roam
Sir Childe, I'm not so weak; Repented he, but in his bosom slept
But thinking on an absent wife
Will blanch a faithful cheek.
My spouse and boys dwell near thy hall,
Along the bordering lake ;
And when they on their father call,
What answer shall she make?'He seized his harp, which he at times could string, • Enough, enough, my yeoman good, And strike, albeit with untaught melody,
Thy grief let none gainsay; When deem'd he no strange ear was listening:
But I, who am of lighter mood,
Will laugh to flee away.'
For who would trust the seeming sighs And Aleeting shores receded from his sight,
Of wife or paramour ? Thus to the elements he pour'd his last 'Good
Fresh feeres will dry the bright blue eyes Night.'
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.
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?