« AnteriorContinuar »
STANZAS WRITTEN IN PASSING THE AMBRACIAN GULF.
When severed hearts repine,
October 11, 1809. (MS. M. First published, Childe Harold, 1812 (410).]
STANZAS WRITTEN IN PASSING THE
THROUGH cloudless skies, in silvery sheen,
Full beams the moon on Actium's coast :
The ancient world was won and lost.
And now upon
the scene I look,
His wavering crown to follow Woman.
(As ever yet was said or sung,
Whilst thou art fair and I am young;
When worlds were staked for Ladies' eyes :
Had bards as many realms as rhymes,"
Thy charms might raise new Antonies.it.
Yet, by thine eyes and ringlets curled !
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 :
Delirium is our best deceiver.
Recalls the woes of Nature's charter ;
But lives--as Saints have died-a martyr.
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.
WRITTEN AFTER SWIMMING FROM SESTOS
IF, in the month of dark December,
Leander, who was nightly wont
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,
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.]
lf, when the wintry tempest roared,
He sped to Hero, nothing loth,
Fair Venus ! how I pity both !
Though in the genial month of May,
And think I've done a feat to-day.
But since he crossed the rapid tide,
According to the doubtful story,
And swam for Love, as I for Glory;
Sad mortals ! thus the Gods still plague you !
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
IN THIS BOOK A TRAVELLER HAD WRITTEN :--
“Fair Albion, smiling, sees her son depart
BENEATH WHICH LORD BYRON INSERTED THE
The modest bard, like many a bard unknown,
1810. (First published, Life, 1830.)
MAID OF ATHENS, ERE WE PART..
Ζωή μου, σας αγαπώ.
Maid of Athens, ere we part,
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