Imágenes de página

Welcome, welcome, ye dark-blue waves!
And when you fail my sight,
Welcome, ye deserts and ye caves!
My native Land-Good Night!



(CANTO I, lx-lxii.)

Он, thou Parnassus! whom I now survey, Not in the phrensy of a dreamer's eye, Not in the fabled landscape of a lay, 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 ore Muse will wave

her wing.


Oft have I dream'd 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!

Happier in this than mightiest bards have been, Whose fate to distant homes confined their lot, Shall I unmoved behold the hallow'd 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, 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.



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, 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.

6 What Exile from himself can flee?

To zones though more and more remote, Still, still pursues, where'er I be,

The blight of life-the demon Thought.




Yet others rapt in pleasure seem,
And taste of all that I forsake;
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.

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 wouldst be again, and go,



(CANTO II, iii-viii)

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. 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



Thou know'st not, reck'st not, to what region, so
On earth no more, but mingled with the skies?
Still wilt thou dream on future joy and woe?
Regard and weigh yon dust before it flies:
That little urn saith more than thousand homilies.

Or burst the vanish'd Hero's lofty mound ;
Far on the solitary shore he sleeps:

He fell, and falling nations mourn'd around;
But now not one of saddening thousands weeps,
Nor warlike worshipper his vigil keeps
Where demi-gods appear'd, as records tell.
Remove yon skull from out the scatter'd heaps :
Is that a temple where a God may dwell?
Why ev'n the worm at last disdains her shatter'd cell!

[ocr errors]

Look on its broken arch, its ruin'd wall,
Its chambers desolate, and portals foul:
Yes, this was once Ambition's airy hall,
The dome of Thought, the palace of the Soul:
Behold through each lack-lustre, eyeless hole,
The gay recess of Wisdom and of Wit,
And Passion's host, that never brook'd control:
Can all saint, sage, or sophist ever writ,
People this lonely tower, this tenement refit?

There no forced banquet claims the sated guest, But Silence spreads the couch of ever welcome rest.

Yet if, as holiest men have deem'd, there be
A land of souls beyond that sable shore,
To shame the doctrine of the Sadducee
And sophists, madly vain of dubious lore;


Well didst thou speak, Athena's wisest son!
"All that we know is, nothing can be known."
Why should we shrink from what we cannot shun?
Each hath his 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 :



How sweet it were in concert to adore

With those who made our mortal labours light! To hear each voice we fear'd to hear no more! Behold each mighty shade reveal'd to sight, The Bactrian, Samian sage, and all who taught the right!

'Twas on a Grecian autumn's gentle eve
Childe Harold hail'd Leucadia's cape afar;
A spot he longed to see, nor cared to leave:
Oft did he mark the scenes of vanish'd war,
Actium, Lepanto, fatal Trafalgar ;



(CANTO II, Xxxix-xli)

Childe Harold sail'd, and pass'd the barren spot,
Where sad Penelope o'erlook'd the wave;
And onward view'd 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.


Mark them unmoved, for he would not delight (Born beneath some remote inglorious star) İn themes of bloody fray, or gallant fight, But loathed the bravo's trade, and laughed at martial


But when he saw the evening star above Leucadia's far-projecting rock of woe, And hail'd the last resort of fruitless love, He felt, or deem'd he felt, no common glow: And as the stately vessel glided slow Beneath the shadow of that ancient mount, He watch'd the billows' melancholy flow, And, sunk albeit in thought as he was wont, More placid seem'd his eye, and smooth his pallid front.


« AnteriorContinuar »