« السابقةمتابعة »
1 The red cockade, with “Fernando VII.,” in the centre.
* All who have seen a battery will recollect the pyramidal form in which shot and shells are piled. The Sierra Morena was fortified in every defile through which I passed in my way to Seville.
3 Such were the exploits of the Maid of Saragoza, who by her valour elevated herself to the highest rank of heroines. When the author was at Seville, she walked daily on the Prado, decorated with medals and orders, by command of the Junta. —[The exploits of Augustina, the famous heroine of both the sieges of Saragoza, are recorded at length in Southey's History of the Peninsular War. At the time when she first attracted notice, by mounting a battery where her lover had fall.cn, and working a gun in his room, she was in her twentysecond year, exceedingly pretty, and in a soft seminine ji.
LIV. Is it for this the Spanish maid, aroused, Hangs on the willow her unstrung guitar, And, all unsex'd, the anlace hath espoused, Sung the loud song, and dared the deed of war? And she, whom once the semblance of a scar Appall'd, an owlet's larum chill'd with dread, Now views the column-scattering bay'net jar, The falchion slash, and o'er the yet warm dead Stalks with Minerva's step where Mars might quake to tread.
LV. Ye who shall marvel when you hear her tale, Oh! had you known her in her softer hour, Mark'd her black eye that mocks her coal-black veil, Heard her light, lively tones in Lady's bower, Seen her long locks that foil the painter's power, Her fairy form, with more than female grace, Scarce would you deem that Saragoza's tower Beheld her smile in Danger's Gorgon face, [chase.
Thin the closed ranks, and lead in Glory's fearful
LVI. Her lover sinks — she sheds no ill-timed tear; Her chief is slain — she fills his fatal post ; Her fellows flee – she checks their base career; The foe retires—she heads the sallying host: Who can appease like her a lover's ghost 2 Who can avenge so well a leader's fall 2 What maid retrieve when man's flush'd hope is lost 7 Who hang so fiercely on the flying Gaul, Foil'd by a woman's hand, before a batter'd wall 2 3
LVII. Yet are Spain's maids no race of Amazons, But form'd for all the witching arts of love : Though thus in arms they emulate her sons, And in the horrid phalanx dare to move, 'Tis but the tender fierceness of the dove, Pecking the hand that hovers o'er her mate : In softness as in firmness far above Remoter females, famed for sickening prate; Her mind is nobler sure, her charms perchance as great.
The seal Love's dimpling finger hath impress'd
How poor their forms appear ! how languid, wan, and
of beauty. She has further had the honour to be painted by Wilkie, and alluded to in Wordsworth's 1) issertation on the Convention (Inisnained) of Cintra ; where a noble passage concludes in these words : –“ Saragoza has exemplified a melancholy, yea, a dismal truth, – yet consolatory and full of joy, - that when a people are coi suddenly to fight for their liberty, and are sorely pressed upon, their best field of battle is the floors upon which their children have played ; the chambers where the family of each man has slent ; upon or under the roofs by which they have been sheltered ; in the gardens of their recreation ; in the street, or in the marketplace; before the altars of their temples, and among their congregated dwellings, blazing or uprooted."]
* [* Upon Parnassus, going to the fountain of Delphi (Castrio. in 1809, I saw a flight of twelve eagles (Hobhouse says they were vultures — at least in conversation), and I seized the omen. On the day before, I composed the lines to Parnassus (in Childe Harold), and on beholding the birds, had a hope that Apollo had accepted my homage. I have at least had the name and fame of a poet, during the poetical period of life from twenty to thirty); – whether it will last is another matter : but I have been a votary of the deity and the place, and am grateful for what he has done in my behalf, leavin the future in his hands, as I left the past.”— B. Diary, 1821.
* [• Casting the eye over the site of ancient Delphi, one cannot possibly imagine what has become of the walls of the numerous buildings which are mentioned in the history of its former magnificence, — buildings which covered two miles of ground. With the exception of the few terraces or "To: walls, nothing now appears. The various robberies by Sylla, Nero, and Constantine, are inconsiderable; for the removal of
the statues of bronze, and marble, and ivory, could not greatly affect the general appearance of the city. The acclivity of the hill, and the foundations being placed on rock, without cement, would no doubt render them comparatively casy to be removed or hurled down into the vale below ; but the vale exhibits no appearance of accumulation of hewn stones ; and the modern village could have consumed but few. In the course of so many centuries, the débris from the mountain must have covered up a great deal, and even the rubbish itself may have acquired a soil sufficient to conceal many noble remains from the light of day. Yet we see no swellings or risings in the ground, indicating the graves of the temples. All therefore is mystery, and the Greeks may truly say, ‘Where stood the walls of our fathers 2 scarce the mossy tombs remain l’” – II. W. Williams's Travels in Greece, vol. ii. p. 254.]
Ms 5. And walks with glassy steps o'er Aganippe's wave.” –
--> --- -----
* *** **** **-** *
* This was written at Thebes, and consequently in the best situation for asking and answering such a question ; not as the birthplace of Pindar, but as the capital of Boeotia, where the tirat ruldle was propounded and solved.
• It ord nyron alludes to a ridiculous custom which formerly prevailed at the public houses, in Highgate, of administering a burlesque oath to all travellers of the middling rank who stopped there. The party was sworn on a pair of horns, fastened, “never to kiss the maid when he could the mistress ; never to eat brown bread when he could get white; never to Anno small beer when he could set strong, "with many other injunctions of the like kind, - to all which was added the savins clause, -" unless you like it best"]
LxxII. The lists are oped, the spacious area cleard, Thousands on thousands piled are seated round; Long ere the first loud trumpet’s note is heard, Ne vacant space for lated wight is found: Here dons, grandees, but chiefly dames abound, Skill'd in the ogle of a roguish eye, Yet ever well inclined to heal the wound; None through their cold disdain are doom'd to die, As moon-struck bards complain, by Love's sad archery
LXXIII. Hush'd is the din of tongues—on gallant steeds, With milk-white crest, gold spur, and light-pois'd Four cavaliers prepare for venturous deeds, [lance, And lowly bending to the lists advance; Rich are their scarfs, their chargers featly prance: It in the dangerous game they shine to-day, The crowd's loud shout and ladies' lovely glance, Best prize of better acts, they bear away, And all that kings or chiefs e'er gain their toils repay.
LxxIV. In costly sheen and gaudy cloak array'd, But all afoot, the light-limb'd Matadore Stands in the centre, eager to invade The lord of lowing herds; but not before The ground, with cautious tread, is traversed o'er, Lestaught unseen should lurk to thwart his speed: His arms a dart, he fights aloof, nor more Can man achieve without the friendly steed – Alas! too oft condemn'd for him to bear and bleed.
LXxW. Thrice sounds the clarion; lo l the signal falls, The den expands, and Expectation mute Gapes round the silent circle's peopled walls. Bounds with one lashing spring the mighty brute, And, wildly staring, spurns, with sounding foot, The sand, nor blindly rushes on his foe: Here, there, he points his threatening front, to suit His first attack, wide waving to and fro His angry tail; red rolls his eye's dilated glow.
Sudden he stops; his eye is fix'd : away,
Dartfollows dart; lance, lance; loud bellowings speak
* [" In thus mixing up the light with the solemn, it was the intention of the poet to imitate Ariosto. But it is far easier to rise, with grace, from the level of a strain generally familiar, into an occasional short bust of pathos or splendour, than to interrupt thus a prolonged tone of solemnity by any descent into the ludicrous or burlesque. In the former case, the transition may have the effect of softening or elevating; while, in the latter, it almost invariably shocks;– for the same reason, perhaps, that a trait of pathos or high feeling, in comedy, has a peculiar charm; wo. the intrusion of comic scenes into tragedy, however sanctioned among us by habit and authority, rarely fails to ottend. The poet was himself convinced of the failure of the experiment, and in none of the succeeding cantos of Childe o repeated it.”—Moose-l
CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE.
LXXVII. Agnin he cornes; nor dart nor lance avail. Nor the wild plunging of the tortured horse; Though man and man's avenging arms assail, Wain are his weapons, vainer is his force. One gallant steed is stretch'd a mangled corse; Another, hideous sight ! unseam'd appears, His gory chest unveils life's panting source; Though death-struck, still his feeble frame he rears;
Staggering, but stemming all, his lord unharm'd he
Foil"d, bleeding, breathless, furious to the last,
way— Wain rage the mantle quits the conynge hand,
Wraps his fierce eye—'tis past—he sinks upon the
Such the ungentle sport that oft invites
For some slight cause of wrath, whence life's warm
stream must flow. 3
LXXXI. But Jealousy has fled; his bars, his bolts, His wither'd centinel, Duenna sage 1 And all whereat the generous soul revolts, Which the stern dotard deem'd he could encage, Have pass'd to darkness with the vanish'd age. Who late so free as Spanish girls were seen, (Ere War uprose in his volcanic rage.) With braided tresses bounding o'er the green, While on the gay dance shone Night's lover-loving Queen 7
[The reader will do well to compare Lord Byron's animated picture of the popular “ sport” of the Spanish nation, with the very circumstantial details contained in the charining * Letters of Don Leucadio Doblado,” (i. e. the Rev. Blanco White) published in 1822. So inveterate was, at one time, the raze of the pie for this amusement, that even boys mimucked its o, in their play. In the slaughter-house itself the professional bull-fighter gave public lessons; and such was the force of depraved custom, that ladies of the highest rank were not ashamed to appear amidst the filth and horror of the shambles. The Spaniards received this sport from the Moors, among whom it was celebrated with great Poms, and splendour. – See various Notes to Mr. Lockhart's Callection of Ancient Spanish Ballads. 1822.]
5. 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 21 To zones, though more and more remote, Still, still pursues, where-e'er I be, The blight of life—the demon Thought.” 7. Yet others rapt in pleasure seem, And taste of all that I forsake ; Oh I may they still of transport dream, And ne'er, at least like me, awake I 8. 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. 9. What is that worst 2 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.3
1 to what Exile from himself can flee? to other zones, howe'er remote, Still, still pursuing clings to me The blight of life – the demon Thought.” – MS.] 1 s “written January 25, 1810."— MS.] • In place of this song, which was written at Athens, January 25, 1810, and which contains, as Moore says, “ some of the dreariest touches of sadness that ever Byron's pen let fall,” we find, in the first draught of the Canto, the following:— 1. Oh never talk again to me of northern climes and British ladies it has not been ... lot to see, Like me, the lovely girl of Cadiz. Although her eye be not of blue. Nor fair her locks, like English lasses, How far its own expressive hue The languid azure eye surpasses :
2. Prometheus-like, from heaven she stole The fire, that through those silken lashes in darkest glances seems to roll, From eyes that cannot hide their flashes: And as along her bosom steal In lengthen'd flow her raven tresses, You'd swear each clustering lock could feel, And curl’d to give her neck caresses.
3. Our English maids are long to woo, And frigid even in possession ; And if their charms be fair to view, Their lips are slow at Love's confession : But, born beneath a brighter sun, For love ordain'd the Spanish maid is, And who, - when fondly, fairly won, — Enchants you like the Girl of Cadiz 2
4. The Spanish maid is no coquette, Nor joys to see a lover tremble, And if she love, or if she hate, Alike she knows not to dissemble. her heart can ne'er he bought or sold – Howe'er it beats, it beats sincerely; And, though it will not bend to gold, 'Twill love you long and love you dearly.
5. The Spanish girl that meets your love Ne'er taunts you with a mock denial, For every thought is bent to prove Her passion in the hour of trial. When thronging foemen menace Spain, She dares the deed and shares the danger;
In each her charms the heart must move Of all who venture to behold her; Then let not maids less fair reprove Because her bosom is not colder: Through many a clime ’tis mine to roam Where many a soft and melting maid is, But none abroad, and few at home, May match the dark-eyed Girl of Cadiz. * Alluding to the conduct and death of Solano, the governor of Cadiz, in May, 1809. * “War to the knife." Palafox's answer to the French general at the siege of Saragoza. . [In his proclamation, also. he stated, that, should the French commit any robberies, deyastations, and murders, no quarter should be given them. The dogs by whom he was beset, he said, scarcely left him time to clean his sword from their blood, but they still found their grave at Saragoza. All his addresses were in the same spirit. “His language,” says Mr. Southey, “had the high tone, and something of the inflation of Spanish romance, suiting the character of those to whom it was directed.” See History of the Peninsular War, vol. iii. p. 152.) * The Canto, in the original MS., closes with the following stanzas : — Ye, who would more of Spain and Spaniards know, Sights, Saints, Antiques, Arts, Anecdotes, and War, Go! hie ye hence to Paternoster Row – Arc they not written in the Book of Carr, Green Erin's Knight and Europe's wandering star ! Then listen, Readers, to the Mân of Ink, Hear what he did, and sought, and wrote asar, All these are coop'd within one Quarto's brink, This borrow, steal,- don't buy, - and tell us what you think. • Porphyry said, that the prophecies of Daniel were written after their completion, and such may be my fate here ; but it requires no second sight to foretell a tome: the first glimpse of the knight was enough. [ln a letter written from Gibraltar, August 6, 1809, to his friend Hodson. Lord Byron says – “I have seen Sir John Carr at Seville and Cadiz : and, like Swift's borber, have been down on my knees to beg he would nct put mo into black and white.”]