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Ah me! in sooth he was a shameless wight,
Sore given to revel and ungodly glee;

Few earthly things found favour in his sight
Save concubines and carnal companie,
And flaunting wassailers of high and low degree.

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Childe Harold was he hight:-but whence his name 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 aye, However mighty in the olden time; Nor all that heralds rake from coffin'd clay, Nor florid prose, nor honeyed lies of rhyme, Can blazon evil deeds, or consecrate a crime.

Childe Harold bask'd him in the noontide sun,
Disporting there like any other fly;
Nor deem'd before his little day was done
One blast might chill him into misery.
But long ere scarce a third of his pass'd by,
Worse than adversity the Childe befell;
He felt the fulness of satiety:

Then loathed he in his native land to dwell,
Which seem'd to him more lone than Eremite's sad cell.

For he through Sin's long labyrinth had run,
Nor made atonement when he did amiss,
Had sigh'd to many though he loved but one,
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 spoil'd her goodly lands to gild his waste, Nor calm domestic peace had ever deign'd to taste.

And now Childe Harold was sore sick at heart,
And from his fellow bacchanals would flee;
"Tis said, at times the sullen tear would start,
But Pride congeal'd the drop within his ee:

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CHILDE HAROLD

Apart he stalk'd in joyless reverie,

And from his native land resolved to go, And visit scorching climes beyond the sea; With pleasure drugg'd, he almost long'd for woe, And e'en for change of scene would seek the shades below.

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The Childe departed from his father's hall :
It was a vast and venerable pile;
So old, it seemed only not to fall,

Yet strength was pillar'd in each massy aisle.
Monastic dome! condemn'd to uses vile !
Where Superstition once had made her den
Now Paphian girls were known to sing and smile;
And monks might deem their time was come agen,
If ancient tales say true, nor wrong these holy men.

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

As if the memory of some deadly feud Or disappointed passion lurk'd 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.

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And none did love him: though to hall and bower He gather'd revellers from far and near, He knew them flatt'rers of the festal hour; The heartless parasites of present cheer. Yea! none did love him—not his lemans dearBut pomp and power alone are woman's care, And where these are light Eros finds a feere; Maidens, like moths, are ever caught by glare, And Mammon wins his way where Seraphs might

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despair.

Childe Harold had a mother-not forgot,
Though parting from that mother he did shun;
A sister whom he loved, but saw her not
Before his weary pilgrimage begun :

If friends he had, he bade adieu to none.
Yet deem not thence his breast a breast of steel:
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,
The laughing dames in whom he did delight,
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 brimm'd 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.

CHILDE HAROLD'S DEPARTURE

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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 !

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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.

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Deserted is my own good hall,
Its hearth is desolate;

Wild weeds are gathering on the wall;
My dog howls at the gate.

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Come hither, hither, my little page!
Why dost thou weep and wail?
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
More merrily along."

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Let winds be shrill, let waves roll high,
I fear not wave nor wind:

Yet marvel not, Sir Childe, that I

Am sorrowful in mind;

For I have from my father gone,
A mother whom I love,

And have no friend, save these alone,
But thee and one above.

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Come hither, hither, my staunch yeoman,
Why dost thou look so pale ?

Or dost thou dread a French foeman?
Or shiver at the gale ?

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"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.

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"My spouse and boys dwell near thy hall, Along the bordering lake,

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

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For who would trust the seeming sighs
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.

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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.

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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.

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