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Welcome, ye deserts, and ye caves !
And soon on board the Lusian pilots leap, And steer 'twixt fertile shores where yet few ru. stics reap.
XV. Oh, Christ! it is a goodly sight to see What Heaven hath done for this delicious land! What fruits of fragrance blush on every tree ! What goodly prospects o'er the hills expand ! But man would mar them with an impious hand: And when the Almighty lifts his fiercest scourge 'Gainst those who most transgress his high com
mand, With treble vengeance will his hot shafts urge Gaul's locust host, and earth from fellest foemen purge.
XVI. What beauties doth Lisboa first unfold ! Her image floating on that noble tide, Which poets vainly pave with sands of gold, But now whereon a thousand keels did ride Of mighty strength, since Albion was allied, And to the Lusians did her aid afford: A nation swoln with ignorance and pride, Who lick yet loathe the hand that waves the
sword To save them from the wrath of Gaul's unsparing
Disconsolate will wander up and down,
Doth care for cleanness of surtout or shirt,
wash'd ; unhurt.
XVIII. Poor, paltry slaves! yet born 'midst noblest
scenes Why, Nature, waste thy wonders on such men ? Lo! Cintra's glorious Eden intervenes in variegated maze of mount and glen. Ah, me! what hand can pencil guide, or pen, To follow half on which the eye dilates Through views more dazzling unto mortal ken
Than those whereof such things the bard relates, Who to the awe-struek world unlock'd Elysium's
XIX. The horrid crags, by toppling convent crown'd, The cork-trees hoar that clothe the shaggy steep, The mountain-moss by scorching skies imbrown'd. The sunken glen, whose sunless shrubs must weep, The tender azure of the upruffled deep, The orange tints that gild the greenest bough, The torrents that from cliff to valley leap,
The vine on high, the willow branch below, Mix'd in one mighty scene, with varied beauty
Then slowly climb the many-winding way,
Deep in yon cave Honorius long did dwell,
XXI. And here and there, as up the crags yon spring, Mark many rude-carved crosses near the path : Yet deem not these devotion's offeringThese are memorials frail of murderous wrath : For wheresoe'er the shrieking victim hath Pour'd forth his blood beneath the assassin's
knife, Some hand erects a cross of mouldering lath; And grove and glen with thousand such are rife Throughout this purple land, where law secures not life. 3)
XXII. On sloping mounds, or in the vale beneath, Are domes where whilome kings did make repair; But now the wild flowers round them only breathe; Yet ruin'd splendour still is lingering there. And yonder towers the Prince's palace fair: There thou too, Vathek! England's wealthiest
son, Once form'd thy Paradise, as not aware When wanton Wealth her mightiest deeds hath
done, Meek Peace voluptuous lures was ever wont to shun.
XXIII. Here didst thou dwell, here schemes of pleasure
plan, Beneath yon mountain's ever beauteous brow: But now, as if a thing unblest by Man, Thy fairy dwelling is as lone as thou! Here giant weeds a passage scarce allow To halls deserted, portals gaping wide : Fresh lessons to the thinking bosom, how
Vain are the pleasaunces on earth supplied ; Swept into wrecks anon by Time's ungentle tide!
XXV. Behold the hall where chiefs were late conve
ned! 4) Oh! dome 'displeasing onto British eye!
With diadem hight foolscap, lo! a fiend,
And sundry signatures adorn the roll,
XXV. Convention is the dwarfish demon styled That foil'd the knights in Marialva's dome: Of brains (if brains they had) he them beguiled, And turn'd a nation's shallow joy to gloom. Here Folly dash'd to earth the victor's plume, And Policy regain'd what arms had lost : For chiefs like ours in vain may laurels bloom ! Woe to the conqu'ring, not the conquer'd host, Since baffled Triumph droops on Lusitania's coast !
XXVI. And ever since that martial synod met, Britannia sickens, Cintra! at thy name; And folks in office at the mention fret, And fain would blush, if blush they could, for
shame. How will posterity the deed proclaim ! Will not our own and fellow-nations sneer, To view these champions cheated of their fame, By foes in fight o'erthrown, yet victors here, Where Scorn her finger points through many a coming year?
XXVII. So deem'd the Childe, as o'er the mountains he Did take his way in solitary guise : Sweet was the scene, yet soon he thought to flee, More restless than the swallow in the skies : Though here awhile he learn'd to moralize, For Meditation fix'd at times on him ; And conscious Reason whisper'd to despise
His early youth, misspent in maddest whim; But as he gazed on truth his aching eyes grew
XXVIII. To horse! to horse! he quits, for ever quits A scene of peace, though soothing to his soul : Again he rouses from his moping fits, But seeks not now the harlot and the bowl. Onward he flies, nor fix'd as yet the goal Where he shall rest him on his pilgrimage; And o'er him many changing scenes must roll Ere toil his thirst for travel can assuage, Or he shall calm his breast, or learn experience
ΧΧΙΧ. Yet Mafra shall one moment claim delay, Where dwelt of yore the Lusian's luckless queen; And church and court did mingle their array, And mass and revel were alternate seen; Lordlings and freres-ill-sorted fry I ween! But here the Babylonian whore hath built A dome, where flannts she in such glorious sheen,
That men forget the blood which she hath spilt, And bow the knee to Pomp that loves to varnish
O'er vales that teem with fruits, romantic hills, (Oh, that such hills upheld a freeborn race!) Whereon to gaze the eye with joyaunce fills, Childe Harold wends through many a pleasant
place. Though sluggards deem it but a foolish chase, And marvel men should quit their easy chair, The toilsome way, and long, long league to trace, Oh! there is sweetness in the mountain air, And life, that bloated Ease can never hope to share.
XXXI. More bleak to view the hills at length recede, And, less luxuriant, smoother vales extend: Immense horizon-bounded plains succeed! Far as the eye discerns, withouten end, Spain's realms appear whereon her shepherds