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O CAPTAIN! my Captain ! our fearful trip is done ; The ship has weathered every wrack, the prize we

sought is won; The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exult

, ing, While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and

But O heart! heart! heart!

O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,

Fallen cold and dead.


O Captain ! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells; Rise up - for you the flag is flung, for you the bugle

trills; For you bouquets and ribboned wreaths, for you

the shores a-crowding; For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces

Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath


head; It is some dream that on the deck

You've fallen cold and dead.


My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and

still; My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor

will; The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage closed

, and done : From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object

won ;
Exult, O shores ! and ring, O bells !

But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies

Fallen cold and dead.



From Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, Canto IV, stanzas clxxviii-clxxxiv.

Throughout Childe Harold's Pilgrimage the writer poses as one who has “not loved the world, nor the world him." It was after the publication of the first two cantos of this poem that Byron "woke one morning to find himself famous." He once called himself “the grand Napoleon of the realms of rhyme."

THERE is a pleasure in the pathless woods ;
There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal

Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean, roll!
Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain;
Man marks the earth with ruin; his control
Stops with the shore; upon the watery plain
The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain
A shadow of man's ravage, save his own,
When, for a moment, like a drop of rain,

He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan, Without a grave, unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown.

His steps are not upon thy paths ; thy fields
Are not a spoil for him ; thou dost arise
And shake him from thee; the vile strength he

For earth's destruction thou dost all despise,
Spurning him from thy bosom to the skies,
And send'st him, shivering in thy playful spray,
And howling, to his gods, where haply lies

His petty hope in some near port or bay, And dashest him again to earth: there let him lay.

The armaments which thunderstrike the walls
Of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake,
And monarchs tremble in their capitals,
The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs make
Their clay creator the vain title take
Of lord of thee, and arbiter of war,

1 “This use of lay has caused considerable comment. Byron, whether carelessly or intentionally, employs lay several times in his poems as an intransitive verb. He might find authority for this confusion of lie and lay in writers of the middle English period ; but it must be confessed that no great poet of the language is so careless of his grammar as Byron.” Byron's Poems, Cambridge Edition.

These are thy toys, and, as the snowy flake,

They melt into thy yeast of waves, which mar Alike the Armada’s" pride or spoils of Trafalgar.”


Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee:
Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they?
Thy waters washed them power while they were

And many a tyrant since; their shores obey
The stranger, slave, or savage; their decay
Has dried up realms to deserts : not so thou,
Unchangeable save to thy wild waves' play;

Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure brow;
Such as creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest now.

Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form
Glasses itself in tempests; in all time,
Calm or convulsed ; in breeze or gale or storm,
Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime
Dark-heaving, boundless, endless, and sublime,
The image of Eternity, the throne
Of the Invisible; even from out thy slime

The monsters of the deep are made ; each zone Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone.

And I have loved thee, Ocean! and my joy
Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be
Borne, like thy bubbles, onward: from a boy
I wantoned with thy breakers -- they to me
Were a delight; and if the freshening sea

1 Armada, the fleet of Philip II of Spain defeated by Sir Francis Drake.

Trafalgar, the famous battle in which Lord Nelson de feated Napoleon's navy.

Made them a terror — 't was a pleasing fear,

a -'t
For I was as it were a child of thee,

And trusted to thy billows far and near,
And laid my hand upon thy mane,' - as I do here.


From the Merchant of Venice, Act iv, Scene 1.

The quality of mercy is not strained;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes :
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown:
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above the sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy.

· Mane, cf. Scott's lines in The Lay of the Last Minstrel :

“ Each wave was crested with tawny foam,
Like the mane of a chestnut steed."

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