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CHILDE HAROLD'S
PIL GR I M A G E.

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Come, blue-eyed maid of heaven!-but thou, alas!
Didst never yet one mortal song inspire-
Goddess of Wisdom ! here thy temple was,
And is, despite of war and wasting fire, 1)
And years, that bade thy worship to expire :
But worse than steel, and flame, and ages slow,
Is the dread sceptre and dominion dire

Of men who never felt the sacred glow That thoughts of thee and thine on polish'd breasts bestow.?)

11. Ancient of days! august Athena! where, Where are thy men of might? thy grand in soul ? Gone-glimmering through the dream of things

that were: First in the race that led to Glory's goal, They won, and pass'd away-is this the whole ? A schoolboy's tale, the wonder of an hour! The warrior's weapon and the sophist's stole Are sought in vain, and o’er each mouldering

tower, Dim with the mist of years, gray flits the shade of power.

III, 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 reeds.

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Bound to the earth, he lifts his eye to heavenIs't not enough, unhappy thing! to know Thou art? Is this a boon so kindly given, That being, thou would'st be again, and go, 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 : 3)
He fell, and falling nations mourn'd around;
But now not one of saddening thousands weeps,
Nor warlike-whorshipper 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 ?

VI. 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?

VII. 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 has 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 :

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

VIII. 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; How sweet it were in concert to adore With those who made our mortal labours To hear each voice we fear'd to hear no more! Behold each mighty shade reveal'd to sight, The Bactrian, Samian age, and all who taught the right!

IX. There, thou !-whose love and life together fled, Have left me here to love and live in vainTwined with my heart, and can I deem the dead, When busy Memory flashes on my brain ? Well-I will dream that we may meet again, And woo the vision to my vacant breast : If anght of young Remembrance then remain,

Be as it may Futurity's behest, For me 'twere bliss enough to know thy spirit blest!

Here let me sit upon this massy stone.
The marble column's yet unshaken base;
Here, son of Saturn! was thy fav’rite throne: 4)
Mightiest of many such ! Hence let me trace
The latent grandeur of thy dwelling place.
It may not be: nor ev'n can Fancy's eye
Restore what Time hath labour'd to deface.

Yet these proud pillars claim no passing sigh; Unmoved the Moslem sits, the light Greek carols by.

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But who, of all the plunderers of yon fane
On high, where Pallas linger’d, loth to flee

The latest relic of her ancient reign;
The last, the worst, dull spoiler, who was he?
Blush, Caledonia ! such thy son could be !
England! I joy no child he was of thine:
Thy free-born men should spare what once was

free;

Yet they could violate each saddening shrine, And bear these altars o'er the long-reluctant brine.5)

XII. But most the modern Pict's ignoble boast, To rive what Goth, and Turk, and Time hath

spared : 6) Cold as the crags upon his native coast, His mind as barren and his heart as hard, Is he whose head conceived, whose hand prepared, Aught to displace Athena's poor remains:

o weak the sacred shrine to guard. Yet felt some portion of their mother's pains,) And never knew, till then, the weight of Despot's

chains.

XIII. What! shall it e'er be said by British tongue, Albion was happy in Athena's tears? Though in thy name the slaves her bosom wrung, Tell not the deed to blushing Europe's ears; The ocean queen, the free Britannia, bears The last poor plunder from a bleeding land: Yes, she, whose gen'rous aid her name endears,

Tore down those remnants with a harpy's hand, Which envious Eld forbore, and tyrants left to stand.

XIV. Where was thine Aegis, Pallas! that appallid Stern Alaric and Havoc on their way?8) Where Peleus' son ? whom Hell in vain enthrall’d, His shade from Hades upon that dread day Bursting to light in terrible array ! What! could not Pluto spare the chief once more, To scare a second robber from his prey ?

Idly he wander'd on the Stygian shore, Nor now preserved the walls he loved to shield be.

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Cold is the heart, fair Greece! that looks on thee,
Nor feels as lovers o'er the dust they loved;
Dull is the eye that will not weep to see
Thy walls defaced, thy mouldering shrines re-

moved v British hands, which it had best behoved To guard those relics ne'er to be restored. Curst be the hour when from their isle they roved,

And once again thy hapless bosom gored, And snatch'd thy shrinking Gods to northern cli

mes abhorr'd!

XVI. But where is Harold ? shall I then forget To urge the gloomy wanderer o'er the wave?

Little reck'd he of all that men regret; 1. No loved one now in feign'd lament could rave;

No friend the parting hand extended gave, Gre the cold stranger pass'd to other climes : tlard is his heart whom charms may not enslave; Tut Harold felt not as in other times, A d left withont a sigh the land of war and crimes.

XVII.
He that has sail'd upon the dark blue sea
Has view'd at times, I ween, a full fair sight;
· When the fresh breeze is fair as breeze may be,

The white sail set, the gallant frigate tight;
Masts, spires, and strand retiring to the right
The glorious main expanding o'er the bow,
The convoy spread like wild swans in their flight,

The dullest sailer wearing bravely now,
So gaily curl the waves before each dashing prow.

XVIII. And oh. the little warlike world within! The well-reeved guns, the netted canopy, 9) The hoarse command, the busy humming din, When, at a word, the tops are mann'd on high : Hark to the Boatswain's call, the cheering cry! While through the seaman's hand the tackle glides; Or schoolboy Midshipman that, standing by,

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