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STANZAS WRITTEN IN PASSING THE AMBRACIAN GULF.

11

18.
Though smile and sigh alike are vain,

When severed hearts repine,
My spirit flies o'er Mount and Main,
And mourns in search of thine.

October 11, 1809. (MS. M. First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (410).]

STANZAS WRITTEN IN PASSING THE

AMBRACIAN GULF..

I.

THROUGH cloudless skies, in silvery sheen,

Full beams the moon on Actium's coast :
And on these waves, for Egypt's queen,

The ancient world was won and lost.

2.

And now upon

the scene I look,
The azure grave of many a Roman;
Where stern Ambition once forsook

His wavering crown to follow Woman.

3.
Florence ! whom I will love as well

(As ever yet was said or sung,
Since Orpheus sang his spouse from Hell)

Whilst thou art fair and I am young;

4.
Sweet Florence ! those were pleasant times,

When worlds were staked for Ladies' eyes :

i. Stanzas.-(1812.)

Had bards as many realms as rhymes,"

Thy charms might raise new Antonies.it.

5.
Though Fate forbids such things to be,"ı.

Yet, by thine eyes and ringlets curled !
I cannot lose a world for thee,
But would not lose thee for a World."

November 14, 1809. (MS. M. First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (410).]

THE SPELL IS BROKE, THE CHARM IS

FLOWN ! iv.

WRITTEN AT ATHENS, JANUARY 16, 1810.

THE spell is broke, the charm is flown!

Thus is it with Life's fitful fever :
We madly smile when we should groan;

Delirium is our best deceiver.
Each lucid interval of thought

Recalls the woes of Nature's charter ;
And He that acts as wise men ought,

But lives--as Saints have died-a martyr.
(MS. M. First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (4to).]

i. Had Bards but realms along with rhymes.-(MS. M.] ii. Again we'd see some Antonies.—(MS. M.] iii. Though Jove :-(MS. M.] iv. Written at Athens.-(1812.)

1. (Compare (A Woman's Hair) stanza 1, line 4, “I would not lose you for a world.”—Poetical Works, 1898, i. 233.)

WRITTEN AFTER SWIMMING FROM SESTOS TO ABYDOS.

13

WRITTEN AFTER SWIMMING FROM SESTOS

TO ABYDOS.

I.

IF, in the month of dark December,

Leander, who was nightly wont
(What maid will not the tale remember?)

To cross thy stream, broad Hellespont! 1. On the 3rd of May, 1810, while the Salsette (Captain Bathurst) was lying in the Dardanelles, Lieutenant Ekenhead, of that frigate, and the writer of these rhymes, swam from the European shore to the Asiatic-by the by, from Abydos to Sestos would have been more correct. The whole distance, from the place whence we started to our landing on the other side, including the length we were carried by the current, was computed by those on board the frigate at upwards of four English miles, though the actual breadth is barely one. The rapidity of the current is such that no boat can row directly across, and it may, in some measure, be estimated from the circumstance of the whole distance being accomplislied by one of the parties in an hour and five, and by the other in an hour and ten minutes. The water was extremely cold, from the melting of the mountain snows. About three weeks before, in April, we had made an attempt ; but having ridden all the way from the Troad the same morning, and the water being of an icy chillness, we found it neces. sary to postpone the completion till the frigate anchored below the castles, when we swam the straits as just stated, entering a consider. able way above the European, and landing below the Asiatic, fort. (Le) Chevalier says that a young Jew swam the same distance for his mistress ; and Olivier mentions its having been done by a Neapolitan; but our consul, Tarragona, remembered neither of these circumstances, and tried to dissuade us from the attempt. A number of the Salsette's crew were known to have accomplished a greater distance ; and the only thing that surprised me was that, as doubts had been entertained of the truth of Leander's story, no traveller had ever endeavoured to ascertain its practicability. (See letter to Drury, dated May 3; to his mother, May 24, 1810, etc. (Letters, 1898, i. 262, 275). Compare the well-known lines in Don Juan, Canto II. stanza cv.

“A better swimmer you could scarce see ever,

He could perhaps have passed the Hellespont,
As once (a feat on which ourselves we prided)

Leander, Mr. Ekenhead, and I did." Compare, too, Childe Harold, Canto IV. stanza clxxxiv. line 3, and the Bride of Abydos, Canto II. stanza i. : Puitical Works, 1899, ii. 461, note 2, et post, p. 178.]

2.

lf, when the wintry tempest roared,

He sped to Hero, nothing loth,
And thus of old thy current poured,

Fair Venus ! how I pity both !

3.
For me, degenerate modern wretch,

Though in the genial month of May,
My dripping limbs I faintly stretch,

And think I've done a feat to-day.

4.

But since he crossed the rapid tide,

According to the doubtful story,
To woo,-and--Lord knows what beside,

And swam for Love, as I for Glory;

5.
'Twere hard to say who fared the best :

Sad mortals ! thus the Gods still plague you !
He lost his labour, I my jest:

For he was drowned, and I've the ague.?

May 9, 1810. (First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (410).)

1. (Hobhouse, who records the first attempt to cross the Hellespont, on April 16, and the successful achievement of the feat, May 3, 1810, adds the following note : “In my journal, in my friend's handwriting: 'The whole distance E. and myself swam was more than four miles- the current very strong and cold-some large fish near us when half across—we were not fatigued, but a little chilled --did it with little difficulty.-May, 6, 1810. Byron.'”– Travels in Albania, ii. 195.)

LINES IN THE TRAVELLERS' BOOK AT

ORCHOMENUS.1

IN THIS BOOK A TRAVELLER HAD WRITTEN :--

“Fair Albion, smiling, sees her son depart
To trace the birth and nursery of art :
Noble his object, glorious is his aim;
He comes to Athens, and he-writes his name."

BENEATH WHICH LORD BYRON INSERTED THE

FOLLOWING:

The modest bard, like many a bard unknown,
Rhymes on our names, but wisely hides his own;
But yet, whoe'er he be, to say no worse,
His name would bring more credit than his verse.

1810. (First published, Life, 1830.)

MAID OF ATHENS, ERE WE PART..

Ζωή μου, σας αγαπώ.

I.

Maid of Athens, ere we part,
Give, oh give me back my heart !

i. Song:-(1812.) 1. [" At Orchomenus, where stood the Temple of the Graces, I was tempted to exclaim, 'Whither have the Graces fled ?' Little did I expect to find them here. Yet here comes one of them with golden cups and coffee, and another with a book. The book is a register of names. Among these is Lord Byron's connected with some lines which I shall send you : 'Fair Albion,' etc." (See Travels in Italy, Greece, etc., by H. W. Williams, ii. 290, 291 ; Life, p. 101.)]

2. (The Maid of Athens was, it is supposed, the eldest of three sisters, daughters of Theodora Macri, the widow of a former English

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