The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 2/Childe Harold's Pilgrimage/Canto I
CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE.
CANTO THE FIRST.
Not in those climes where I have late been straying,
Though Beauty long hath there been matchless deemed,
Not in those visions to the heart displaying
Forms which it sighs but to have only dreamed,
Hath aught like thee in Truth or Fancy seemed:
Nor, having seen thee, shall I vainly seek
To paint those charms which varied as they beamed—
To such as see thee not my words were weak;
To those who gaze on thee what language could they speak?
Ah! may'st thou ever be what now thou art,
Nor unbeseem the promise of thy Spring—
As fair in form, as warm yet pure in heart,
Love's image upon earth without his wing,
And guileless beyond Hope's imagining!
And surely she who now so fondly rears
Thy youth, in thee, thus hourly brightening,
Beholds the Rainbow of her future years,
Before whose heavenly hues all Sorrow disappears.
Young Peri of the West!—'tis well for me
My years already doubly number thine;
My loveless eye unmoved may gaze on thee,
And safely view thy ripening beauties shine;
Happy, I ne'er shall see them in decline;
Happier, that, while all younger hearts shall bleed,
Mine shall escape the doom thine eyes assign
To those whose admiration shall succeed,
But mixed with pangs to Love's even loveliest hours decreed.
Oh! let that eye, which, wild as the Gazelle's,
Now brightly bold or beautifully shy,
Wins as it wanders, dazzles where it dwells,
Glance o'er this page, nor to my verse deny
That smile for which my breast might vainly sigh
Could I to thee be ever more than friend:
This much, dear Maid, accord; nor question why
To one so young my strain I would commend,
But bid me with my wreath one matchless Lily blend.
Such is thy name with this my verse entwined;
And long as kinder eyes a look shall cast
On Harold's page, Ianthe's here enshrined
Shall thus be first beheld, forgotten last:
My days once numbered—should this homage past
Attract thy fairy fingers near the Lyre
Of him who hailed thee loveliest, as thou wast—
Such is the most my Memory may desire;
Though more than Hope can claim, could Friendship less require?
CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE.
CANTO THE FIRST.
Oh, thou! in Hellas deemed of heavenly birth,
Muse! formed or fabled at the Minstrel's will!
Since shamed full oft by later lyres on earth,
Mine dares not call thee from thy sacred Hill:
Yet there I've wandered by thy vaunted rill;
Yes! sighed o'er Delphi's long deserted shrine,N1
Where, save that feeble fountain, all is still;
Nor mote my shell awake the weary Nine
To grace so plain a tale—this lowly lay of mine.
Whilome in Albion's isle there dwelt a youth,
Who ne in Virtue's ways did take delight;
But spent his days in riot most uncouth,
And vexed with mirth the drowsy ear of Night.
Ah me! in sooth he was a shameless wight,
Sore given to revel and ungodly glee;
Few earthly things found favour in his sight
Save concubines and carnal companie,
And flaunting wassailers of high and low degree.
Childe Harold was he hight:— but whence his name
And lineage long, it suits me not to say;
Suffice it, that perchance they were of fame,
And had been glorious in another day:
But one sad losel soils a name for ay,
However mighty in the olden time;
Nor all that heralds rake from coffined clay,
Nor florid prose, nor honied lies of rhyme,
Can blazon evil deeds, or consecrate a crime.
Childe Harold basked him in the Noontide sun,
Disporting there like any other fly;
Nor deemed before his little day was done
One blast might chill him into misery.
But long ere scarce a third of his passed by,
Worse than Adversity the Childe befell;
He felt the fulness of Satiety:
Then loathed he in his native land to dwell,
Which seemed to him more lone than Eremite's sad cell.
For he through Sin's long labyrinth had run,
Nor made atonement when he did amiss,
Had sighed to many though he loved but one,
And that loved one, alas! could ne'er be his.
Ah, happy she! to 'scape from him whose kiss
Had been pollution unto aught so chaste;
Who soon had left her charms for vulgar bliss,
And spoiled her goodly lands to gild his waste,
Nor calm domestic peace had ever deigned to taste.
And now Childe Harold was sore sick at heart,
And from his fellow Bacchanals would flee;
'Tis said, at times the sullen tear would start,
But Pride congealed the drop within his ee:
Apart he stalked in joyless reverie,
And from his native land resolved to go,
And visit scorching climes beyond the sea;
With pleasure drugged, he almost longed for woe,
And e'en for change of scene would seek the shades below.
The Childe departed from his father's hall:
It was a vast and venerable pile;
So old, it seeméd only not to fall,
Yet strength was pillared in each massy aisle.
Monastic dome! condemned to uses vile!
Where Superstition once had made her den
Now Paphian girls were known to sing and smile;
And monks might deem their time was come agen,
If ancient tales say true, nor wrong these holy men.
Yet oft-times in his maddest mirthful mood
Strange pangs would flash along Childe Harold's brow,
As if the Memory of some deadly feud
Or disappointed passion lurked below:
But this none knew, nor haply cared to know;
For his was not that open, artless soul
That feels relief by bidding sorrow flow,
Nor sought he friend to counsel or condole,
Whate'er this grief mote be, which he could not control.
And none did love him!—though to hall and bower
He gathered revellers from far and near,
He knew them flatterers of the festal hour,
The heartless Parasites of present cheer.
Yea! none did love him—not his lemans dear—
But pomp and power alone are Woman's care,
And where these are light Eros finds a feere;
Maidens, like moths, are ever caught by glare.
And Mammon wins his way where Seraphs might despair.
Childe Harold had a mother—not forgot,
Though parting from that mother he did shun;
A sister whom he loved, but saw her not
Before his weary pilgrimage begun:
If friends he had, he bade adieu to none.
Yet deem not thence his breast a breast of steel:
Ye, who have known what 'tis to dote upon
A few dear objects, will in sadness feel
Such partings break the heart they fondly hope to heal.
His house, his home, his heritage, his lands,
The laughing dames in whom he did delight,
Whose large blue eyes, fair locks, and snowy hands,
Might shake the Saintship of an Anchorite,
And long had fed his youthful appetite;
His goblets brimmed with every costly wine,
And all that mote to luxury invite,
Without a sigh he left, to cross the brine,
And traverse Paynim shores, and pass Earth's central line.
The sails were filled, and fair the light winds blew,
As glad to waft him from his native home;
And fast the white rocks faded from his view,
And soon were lost in circumambient foam:
And then, it may be, of his wish to roam
Repented he, but in his bosom slept
The silent thought, nor from his lips did come
One word of wail, whilst others sate and wept,
And to the reckless gales unmanly moaning kept.
But when the Sun was sinking in the sea
He seized his harp, which he at times could string,
And strike, albeit with untaught melody,
When deemed he no strange ear was listening:
And now his fingers o'er it he did fling,
And tuned his farewell in the dim twilight;
While flew the vessel on her snowy wing,
And fleeting shores receded from his sight,
Thus to the elements he poured his last "Good Night."
CHILDE HAROLD'S GOOD NIGHT.
"Adieu, adieu! my native shore
Fades o'er the waters blue;
The night-winds sigh, the breakers roar,
And shrieks the wild sea-mew.
Yon Sun that sets upon the sea
We follow in his flight;
Farewell awhile to him and thee,
My native Land—Good Night!
"A few short hours and He will rise
To give the Morrow birth;
And I shall hail the main and skies,
But not my mother Earth.
Deserted is my own good Hall,
Its hearth is desolate;
Wild weeds are gathering on the wall;
My Dog howls at the gate.
"Come hither, hither, my little page!
Why dost thou weep and wail?
Or dost thou dread the billows' rage,
Or tremble at the gale?
But dash the tear-drop from thine eye;
Our ship is swift and strong:
Our fleetest falcon scarce can fly
More merrily along."
"Let winds be shrill, let waves roll high,
I fear not wave nor wind:
Yet marvel not, Sir Childe, that I
Am sorrowful in mind;
For I have from my father gone,
A mother whom I love,
And have no friend, save these alone,
But thee—and One above.
'My father blessed me fervently,
Yet did not much complain;
But sorely will my mother sigh
Till I come back again.'—
"Enough, enough, my little lad!
Such tears become thine eye;
If I thy guileless bosom had,
Mine own would not be dry.
"Come hither, hither, my staunch yeoman,
Why dost thou look so pale?
Or dost thou dread a French foeman?
Or shiver at the gale?"—
'Deem'st thou I tremble for my life?
Sir Childe, I'm not so weak;
But thinking on an absent wife
Will blanch a faithful cheek.
'My spouse and boys dwell near thy hall,
Along the bordering Lake,
And when they on their father call,
What answer shall she make?'—
"Enough, enough, my yeoman good,
Thy grief let none gainsay;
But I, who am of lighter mood,
Will laugh to flee away.
"For who would trust the seeming sighs
Of wife or paramour?
Fresh feeres will dry the bright blue eyes
We late saw streaming o'er.
For pleasures past I do not grieve,
Nor perils gathering near;
My greatest grief is that I leave
No thing that claims a tear.
"And now I'm in the world alone,
Upon the wide, wide sea:
But why should I for others groan,
When none will sigh for me?
Perchance my Dog will whine in vain,
Till fed by stranger hands;
But long ere I come back again,
He'd tear me where he stands.
"With thee, my bark, I'll swiftly go
Athwart the foaming brine;
Nor care what land thou bear'st me to,
So not again to mine.
Welcome, welcome, ye dark-blue waves!
And when you fail my sight,
Welcome, ye deserts, and ye caves!
My native Land—Good Night!"
On, on the vessel flies, the land is gone,
And winds are rude in Biscay's sleepless bay.
Four days are sped, but with the fifth, anon,
New shores descried make every bosom gay;
And Cintra's mountain greets them on their way,
And Tagus dashing onward to the Deep,
His fabled golden tribute bent to pay;
And soon on board the Lusian pilots leap,
And steer 'twixt fertile shores where yet few rustics reap.
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 command,
With treble vengeance will his hot shafts urge
Gaul's locust host, and earth from fellest foemen purge.
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 lord.
But whoso entereth within this town,
That, sheening far, celestial seems to be,
Disconsolate will wander up and down,
'Mid many things unsightly to strange ee;
For hut and palace show like filthily:
The dingy denizens are reared in dirt;
Ne personage of high or mean degree
Doth care for cleanness of surtout or shirt,
Though shent with Egypt's plague, unkempt, unwashed, unhurt.
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-struck world unlocked Elysium's gates.
The horrid crags, by toppling convent crowned,
The cork-trees hoar that clothe the shaggy steep,
The mountain-moss by scorching skies imbrowned,
The sunken glen, whose sunless shrubs must weep,
The tender azure of the unruffled 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,
Mixed in one mighty scene, with varied beauty glow.
Then slowly climb the many-winding way,
And frequent turn to linger as you go,
From loftier rocks new loveliness survey,
And rest ye at "Our Lady's house of Woe;"N2
Where frugal monks their little relics show,
And sundry legends to the stranger tell:
Here impious men have punished been, and lo!
Deep in yon cave Honorius long did dwell,
In hope to merit Heaven by making earth a Hell.
And here and there, as up the crags you spring,
Mark many rude-carved crosses near the path:
Yet deem not these Devotion's offering—
These 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.N3
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 ruined Splendour still is lingering there.
And yonder towers the Prince's palace fair:
There thou too, Vathek! England's wealthiest son,
Once formed thy Paradise, as not aware
When wanton Wealth her mightiest deeds hath done,"
Meek Peace voluptuous lures was ever wont to shun.
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!
Behold the hall where chiefs were late convened!N4
Oh! dome displeasing unto British eye!
With diadem hight Foolscap, lo! a Fiend,
A little Fiend that scoffs incessantly,
There sits in parchment robe arrayed, and by
His side is hung a seal and sable scroll,
Where blazoned glare names known to chivalry,
And sundry signatures adorn the roll,
Whereat the Urchin points and laughs with all his soul.
Convention is the dwarfish demon styled
That foiled the knights in Marialva's dome:
Of brains (if brains they had) he them beguiled,
And turned a nation's shallow joy to gloom.
Here Folly dashed to earth the victor's plume,
And Policy regained what arms had lost:
For chiefs like ours in vain may laurels bloom!
Woe to the conquering, not the conquered host,
Since baffled Triumph droops on Lusitania's coast.
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?
So deemed 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 learned to moralise,
For Meditation fixed at times on him;
And conscious Reason whispered to despise
His early youth, misspent in maddest whim;
But as he gazed on truth his aching eyes grew dim.
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 fixed 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 sage.
Yet Mafra shall one moment claim delay,N5
Where dwelt of yore the Lusians' 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 flaunts she in such glorious sheen,
That men forget the blood which she hath spilt,
And bow the knee to Pomp that loves to varnish guilt.
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.
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 tend
Flocks, whose rich fleece right well the trader knows—
Now must the Pastor's arm his lambs defend:
For Spain is compassed by unyielding foes,
And all must shield their all, or share Subjection's woes.
Where Lusitania and her Sister meet,
Deem ye what bounds the rival realms divide?
Or ere the jealous Queens of Nations greet,
Doth Tayo interpose his mighty tide?
Or dark Sierras rise in craggy pride?
Or fence of art, like China's vasty wall?—
Ne barrier wall, ne river deep and wide,
Ne horrid crags, nor mountains dark and tall,
Rise like the rocks that part Hispania's land from Gaul:
But these between a silver streamlet glides,
And scarce a name distinguisheth the brook,
Though rival kingdoms press its verdant sides:
Here leans the idle shepherd on his crook,
And vacant on the rippling waves doth look,
That peaceful still 'twixt bitterest foemen flow;
For proud each peasant as the noblest duke:
Well doth the Spanish hind the difference know
'Twixt him and Lusian slave, the lowest of the low.N6
But ere the mingling bounds have far been passed,
Dark Guadiana rolls his power along
In sullen billows, murmuring and vast,
So noted ancient roundelays among.
Whilome upon his banks did legions throng
Of Moor and Knight, in mailéd splendour drest:
Here ceased the swift their race, here sunk the strong;
The Paynim turban and the Christian crest
Mixed on the bleeding stream, by floating hosts oppressed.
Oh, lovely Spain! renowned, romantic Land!
Where is that standard which Pelagio bore,
When Cava's traitor-sire first called the band
That dyed thy mountain streams with Gothic gore?N7
Where are those bloody Banners which of yore
Waved o'er thy sons, victorious to the gale,
And drove at last the spoilers to their shore?
Red gleamed the Cross, and waned the Crescent pale,
While Afric's echoes thrilled with Moorish matrons' wail.
Teems not each ditty with the glorious tale?
Ah! such, alas! the hero's amplest fate!
When granite moulders and when records fail,
A peasant's plaint prolongs his dubious date.
Pride! bend thine eye from Heaven to thine estate,
See how the Mighty shrink into a song!
Can Volume, Pillar, Pile preserve thee great?
Or must thou trust Tradition's simple tongue,
When Flattery sleeps with thee, and History does thee wrong?
Awake, ye Sons of Spain! awake! advance!
Lo! Chivalry, your ancient Goddess, cries,
But wields not, as of old, her thirsty lance,
Nor shakes her crimson plumage in the skies:
Now on the smoke of blazing bolts she flies,
And speaks in thunder through yon engine's roar:
In every peal she calls—"Awake! arise!"
Say, is her voice more feeble than of yore,
When her war-song was heard on Andalusia's shore?
Hark!—heard you not those hoofs of dreadful note?
Sounds not the clang of conflict on the heath?
Saw ye not whom the reeking sabre smote,
Nor saved your brethren ere they sank beneath
Tyrants and Tyrants' slaves?—the fires of Death,
The Bale-fires flash on high:—from rock to rock
Each volley tells that thousands cease to breathe;
Death rides upon the sulphury Siroc,
Red Battle stamps his foot, and Nations feel the shock.
Lo! where the Giant on the mountain stands,
His blood-red tresses deepening in the Sun,
With death-shot glowing in his fiery hands,
And eye that scorcheth all it glares upon;
Restless it rolls, now fixed, and now anon
Flashing afar,—and at his iron feet
Destruction cowers, to mark what deeds are done;
For on this morn three potent Nations meet,
To shed before his Shrine the blood he deems most sweet.
By Heaven! it is a splendid sight to see
(For one who hath no friend, no brother there)
Their rival scarfs of mixed embroidery,
Their various arms that glitter in the air!
What gallant War-hounds rouse them from their lair,
And gnash their fangs, loud yelling for the prey!
All join the chase, but few the triumph share;
The Grave shall bear the chiefest prize away,
And Havoc scarce for joy can number their array.
Three hosts combine to offer sacrifice;
Three tongues prefer strange orisons on high;
Three gaudy standards flout the pale blue skies;
The shouts are France, Spain, Albion, Victory!
The Foe, the Victim, and the fond Ally
That fights for all, but ever fights in vain,
Are met—as if at home they could not die—
To feed the crow on Talavera's plain,
And fertilise the field that each pretends to gain.
There shall they rot—Ambition's honoured fools!
Yes, Honour decks the turf that wraps their clay!
Vain Sophistry! in these behold the tools,
The broken tools, that Tyrants cast away
By myriads, when they dare to pave their way
With human hearts—to what?—a dream alone.
Can Despots compass aught that hails their sway?
Or call with truth one span of earth their own,
Save that wherein at last they crumble bone by bone?
Oh, Albuera! glorious field of grief!
As o'er thy plain the Pilgrim pricked his steed,
Who could foresee thee, in a space so brief,
A scene where mingling foes should boast and bleed!
Peace to the perished! may the warrior's meed
And tears of triumph their reward prolong!
Till others fall where other chieftains lead
Thy name shall circle round the gaping throng,
And shine in worthless lays, the theme of transient song.
Enough of Battle's minions! let them play
Their game of lives, and barter breath for fame:
Fame that will scarce reanimate their clay,
Though thousands fall to deck some single name.
In sooth 'twere sad to thwart their noble aim
Who strike, blest hirelings! for their countiy's good,
And die, that living might have proved her shame;
Perished, perchance, in some domestic feud,
Or in a narrower sphere wild Rapine's path pursued.
Full swiftly Harold wends his lonely way
Where proud Sevilla triumphs unsubdued:
Yet is she free? the Spoiler's wished-for prey!
Soon, soon shall Conquest's fiery foot intrude,
Blackening her lovely domes with traces rude.
Inevitable hour! 'Gainst fate to strive
Where Desolation plants her famished brood
Is vain, or Ilion, Tyre might yet survive,
And Virtue vanquish all, and Murder cease to thrive
But all unconscious of the coming doom,
The feast, the song, the revel here abounds;
Strange modes of merriment the hours consume,
Nor bleed these patriots with their country's wounds:
Nor here War's clarion, but Love's rebeck sounds;
Here Folly still his votaries inthralls;
And young-eyed Lewdness walks her midnight rounds:
Girt with the silent crimes of Capitals,
Still to the last kind Vice clings to the tott'ring walls.
Not so the rustic—with his trembling mate
He lurks, nor casts his heavy eye afar,
Lest he should view his vineyard desolate,
Blasted below the dun hot breath of War.
No more beneath soft Eve's consenting star
Fandango twirls his jocund Castanet:
Ah, Monarchs! could ye taste the mirth ye mar,
Not in the toils of Glory would ye fret;
The hoarse dull drum would sleep, and Man be happy yet!
How carols now the lusty muleteer?
Of Love, Romance, Devotion is his lay,
As whilome he was wont the leagues to cheer,
His quick bells wildly jingling on the way?
No! as he speeds, he chants "Vivā el Rey!"N8
And checks his song to execrate Godoy,
The royal wittol Charles, and curse the day
When first Spain's queen beheld the black-eyed boy,
And gore-faced Treason sprung from her adulterate joy.
On yon long level plain, at distance crowned
With crags, whereon those Moorish turrets rest,
Wide-scattered hoof-marks dint the wounded ground;
And, scathed by fire, the greensward's darkened vest
Tells that the foe was Andalusia's guest:
Here was the camp, the watch-flame, and the host,
Here the bold peasant stormed the Dragon's nest;
Still does he mark it with triumphant boast,
And points to yonder cliffs, which oft were won and lost.
And whomsoe'er along the path you meet
Bears in his cap the badge of crimson hue,
Which tells you whom to shun and whom to greet:N9
Woe to the man that walks in public view
Without of loyalty this token true:
Sharp is the knife, and sudden is the stroke;
And sorely would the Gallic foeman rue,
If subtle poniards, wrapt beneath the cloke,
Could blunt the sabre's edge, or clear the cannon's smoke.
At every turn Morena's dusky height
Sustains aloft the battery's iron load;
And, far as mortal eye can compass sight,
The mountain-howitzer, the broken road,
The bristling palisade, the fosse o'erflowed,
The stationed bands, the never-vacant watch,
The magazine in rocky durance stowed,
The bolstered steed beneath the shed of thatch,
The ball-piled pyramid, the ever-blazing match,N10
Portend the deeds to come:—but he whose nod
Has tumbled feebler despots from their sway,
A moment pauseth ere he lifts the rod;
A little moment deigneth to delay:
Soon will his legions sweep through these their way;
The West must own the Scourger of the world.
Ah! Spain! how sad will be thy reckoning-day,
When soars Gaul's Vulture, with his wings unfurled,
And thou shalt view thy sons in crowds to Hades hurled.
And must they fall? the young, the proud, the brave,
To swell one bloated Chiefs unwholesome reign?
No step between submission and a grave?
The rise of Rapine and the fall of Spain?
And doth the Power that man adores ordain
Their doom, nor heed the suppliant's appeal?
Is all that desperate Valour acts in vain?
And Counsel sage, and patriotic Zeal—
The Veteran's skill—Youth's fire—and Manhood's heart of steel?
Is it for this the Spanish maid, aroused,
Hangs on the willow her unstrung guitar,
And, all unsexed, the Anlace hath espoused,
Sung the loud song, and dared the deed of war?
And she, whom once the semblance of a scar
Appalled, an owlet's 'larum chilled with dread,
Now views the column-scattering bay'net jar,
The falchion flash, and o'er the yet warm dead
Stalks with Minerva's step where Mars might quake to tread.
Ye who shall marvel when you hear her tale,
Oh! had you known her in her softer hour,
Marked 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,
Thin the closed ranks, and lead in Glory's fearful chase.
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?
Who can avenge so well a leader's fall?
What maid retrieve when man's flushed hope is lost?
Who hang so fiercely on the flying Gaul,
Foiled by a woman's hand, before a battered wall?N11
Yet are Spain's maids no race of Amazons,
But formed 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 impressed
Denotes how soft that chin which bears his touch:N12
Her lips, whose kisses pout to leave their nest,
Bid man be valiant ere he merit such:
Her glance how wildly beautiful! how much
Hath Phœbus wooed in vain to spoil her cheek,
Which glows yet smoother from his amorous clutch!
Who round the North for paler dames would seek?
How poor their forms appear! how languid, wan, and weak!
Match me, ye climes! which poets love to laud;
Match me, ye harems of the land! where now
I strike my strain, far distant, to applaud
Beauties that ev'n a cynic must avow;
Match me those Houries, whom ye scarce allow
To taste the gale lest Love should ride the wind,
With Spain's dark-glancing daughters—deign to know,
There your wise Prophet's Paradise we find,
His black-eyed maids of Heaven, angelically kind.
Oh, thou Parnassus! whom I now survey,N13
Not in the phrensy of a dreamer's eye,
Not in the fabled landscape of a lay,
But soaring snow-clad through thy native sky,
In the wild pomp of mountain-majesty!
What marvel if I thus essay to sing?
The humblest of thy pilgrims passing by
Would gladly woo thine Echoes with his string,
Though from thy heights no more one Muse will wave her wing.
Oft have I dreamed of Thee! whose glorious name
Who knows not, knows not man's divinest lore:
And now I view thee—'tis, alas, with shame
That I in feeblest accents must adore.
When I recount thy worshippers of yore
I tremble, and can only bend the knee;
Nor raise my voice, nor vainly dare to soar,
But gaze beneath thy cloudy canopy
In silent joy to think at last I look on Thee!
Happier in this than mightiest Bards have been,
Whose Fate to distant homes confined their lot,
Shall I unmoved behold the hallowed scene,
Which others rave of, though they know it not?
Though here no more Apollo haunts his Grot,
And thou, the Muses' seat, art now their grave,
Some gentle Spirit still pervades the spot,
Sighs in the gale, keeps silence in the Cave,
And glides with glassy foot o'er yon melodious wave.
Of thee hereafter.—Ev'n amidst my strain
I turned aside to pay my homage here;
Forgot the land, the sons, the maids of Spain;
Her fate, to every freeborn bosom dear;
And hailed thee, not perchance without a tear.
Now to my theme—but from thy holy haunt
Let me some remnant, some memorial bear;"
Yield me one leaf of Daphne's deathless plant,
Nor let thy votary's hope be deemed an idle vaunt.
But ne'er didst thou, fair Mount! when Greece was young,
See round thy giant base a brighter choir,
Nor e'er did Delphi, when her Priestess sung
The Pythian hymn with more than mortal fire,
Behold a train more fitting to inspire
The song of love, than Andalusia's maids,
Nurst in the glowing lap of soft Desire:
Ah! that to these were given such peaceful shades
As Greece can still bestow, though Glory fly her glades.
Fair is proud Seville; let her country boast
Her strength, her wealth, her site of ancient days;N14
But Cadiz, rising on the distant coast,
Calls forth a sweeter, though ignoble praise.
Ah, Vice! how soft are thy voluptuous ways!
While boyish blood is mantling, who can 'scape
The fascination of thy magic gaze?
A Cherub-Hydra round us dost thou gape,
And mould to every taste thy dear delusive shape.
When Paphos fell by Time—accurséd Time!
The Queen who conquers all must yield to thee—
The Pleasures fled, but sought as warm a clime;
And Venus, constant to her native Sea,
To nought else constant, hither deigned to flee,
And fixed her shrine within these walls of white:
Though not to one dome circumscribeth She
Her worship, but, devoted to her rite,
A thousand Altars rise, for ever blazing bright.
From morn till night, from night till startled Morn
Peeps blushing on the Revel's laughing crew,
The Song is heard, the rosy Garland worn;
Devices quaint, and Frolics ever new.
Tread on each other's kibes. A long adieu
He bids to sober joy that here sojourns:
Nought interrupts the riot, though in lieu
Of true devotion monkish incense burns,
And Love and Prayer unite, or rule the hour by turns.
The Sabbath comes, a day of blessed rest:
What hallows it upon this Christian shore?
Lo! it is sacred to a solemn Feast:
Hark! heard you not the forest-monarch's roar?
Crashing the lance, he snuffs the spouting gore
Of man and steed, o'erthrown beneath his horn;
The thronged arena shakes with shouts for more;
Yells the mad crowd o'er entrails freshly torn,
Nor shrinks the female eye, nor ev'n affects to mourn.
The seventh day this—the Jubilee of man!
London! right well thou know'st the day of prayer:
Then thy spruce citizen, washed artisan,
And smug apprentice gulp their weekly air:
Thy coach of hackney, whiskey, one-horse chair,
And humblest gig through sundry suburbs whirl,
To Hampstead, Brentford, Harrow make repair;
Till the tired jade the wheel forgets to hurl,
Provoking envious gibe from each pedestrian churl.
Some o'er thy Thamis row the ribboned fair,
Others along the safer turnpike fly;
Some Richmond-hill ascend, some scud to Ware,
And many to the steep of Highgate hie.
Ask ye, Bœotian Shades! the reason why?N15
'Tis to the worship of the solemn Horn,
Grasped in the holy hand of Mystery,
In whose dread name both men and maids are sworn,
And consecrate the oath with draught, and dance till morn.
All have their fooleries—not alike are thine,
Fair Cadiz, rising o'er the dark blue sea!
Soon as the Matin bell proclaimeth nine,
Thy Saint-adorers count the Rosary:
Much is the Virgin teased to shrive them free
(Well do I ween the only virgin there)
From crimes as numerous as her beadsmen be;
Then to the crowded circus forth they fare:
Young, old, high, low, at once the same diversion share.
The lists are oped, the spacious area cleared,
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,
Skilled in the ogle of a roguish eye,
Yet ever well inclined to heal the wound;
None through their cold disdain are doomed to die,
As moon-struck bards complain, by Love's sad archery.
Hushed is the din of tongues—on gallant steeds,
With milk-white crest, gold spur, and light-poised lance,
Four cavaliers prepare for venturous deeds,
And lowly-bending to the lists advance;
Rich are their scarfs, their chargers featly prance:
If 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.
In costly sheen and gaudy cloak arrayed,
But all afoot, the light-limbed 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,
Lest aught 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 condemned for him to bear and bleed.
Thrice sounds the Clarion; lo! 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 fixed—away—
Away, thou heedless boy! prepare the spear:
Now is thy time, to perish, or display
The skill that yet may check his mad career!
With well-timed croupe the nimble coursers veer;
On foams the Bull, but not unscathed he goes;
Streams from his flank the crimson torrent clear:
He flies, he wheels, distracted with his throes;
Dart follows dart—lance, lance—loud bellowings speak his woes.
Again he comes; nor dart nor lance avail,
Nor the wild plunging of the tortured horse;
Though Man and Man's avenging arms assail,
Vain are his weapons, vainer is his force.
One gallant steed is stretched a mangled corse;
Another, hideous sight! unseamed appears,
His gory chest unveils life's panting source;
Though death-struck, still his feeble frame he rears;
Staggering, but stemming all, his Lord unharmed he bears.
Foiled, bleeding, breathless, furious to the last,
Full in the centre stands the Bull at bay,
Mid wounds, and clinging darts, and lances brast,
And foes disabled in the brutal fray:
And now the Matadores around him play,
Shake the red cloak, and poise the ready brand:
Once more through all he bursts his thundering way—
Vain rage! the mantle quits the conynge hand,
Wraps his fierce eye—'tis past—he sinks upon the sand!
Where his vast neck just mingles with the spine,
Sheathed in his form the deadly weapon lies.
He stops—he starts—disdaining to decline:
Slowly he falls, amidst triumphant cries,
Without a groan, without a struggle dies.
The decorated car appears—on high
The corse is piled—sweet sight for vulgar eyes——
Four steeds that spurn the rein, as swift as shy,
Hurl the dark bulk along, scarce seen in dashing by.
Such the ungentle sport that oft invites
The Spanish maid, and cheers the Spanish swain.
Nurtured in blood betimes, his heart delights
In vengeance, gloating on another's pain.
What private feuds the troubled village stain!
Though now one phalanxed host should meet the foe,
Enough, alas! in humble homes remain,
To meditate 'gainst friend the secret blow,
For some slight cause of wrath, whence Life's warm stream must flow.
But Jealousy has fled: his bars, his bolts,
His withered Centinel, Duenna sage!
And all whereat the generous soul revolts,
Which the stern dotard deemed he could encage,
Have passed to darkness with the vanished 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?
Oh! many a time and oft, had Harold loved,
Or dreamed he loved, since Rapture is a dream;
But now his wayward bosom was unmoved,
For not yet had he drunk of Lethe's stream;
And lately had he learned with truth to deem
Love has no gift so grateful as his wings:
How fair, how young, how soft soe'er he seem,
Full from the fount of Joy's delicious springs
Some bitter o'er the flowers its bubbling venom flings.N16
Yet to the beauteous form he was not blind,
Though now it moved him as it moves the wise;
Not that Philosophy on such a mind
E'er deigned to bend her chastely-awful eyes:
But Passion raves herself to rest, or flies;
And Vice, that digs her own voluptuous tomb,
Had buried long his hopes, no more to rise:
Pleasure's palled Victim! life-abhorring Gloom
Wrote on his faded brow curst Cain's unresting doom.
Still he beheld, nor mingled with the throng;
But viewed them not with misanthropic hate:
Fain would he now have joined the dance, the song;
But who may smile that sinks beneath his fate?
Nought that he saw his sadness could abate:
Yet once he straggled 'gainst the Demon's sway,
And as in Beauty's bower he pensive sate,
Poured forth his unpremeditated lay,
To charms as fair as those that soothed his happier day.
Nay, smile not at my sullen brow;
Alas! I cannot smile again:
Yet Heaven avert that ever thou
Shouldst weep, and haply weep in vain.
And dost thou ask what secret woe
I bear, corroding Joy and Youth?
And wilt thou vainly seek to know
A pang, ev'n thou must fail to soothe?
It is not love, it is not hate,
Nor low Ambition's honours lost,
That bids me loathe my present state,
And fly from all I prized the most:
It is that weariness which springs
From all I meet, or hear, or see:
To me no pleasure Beauty brings;
Thine eyes have scarce a charm for me.
It is that settled, ceaseless gloom
The fabled Hebrew Wanderer bore;
That will not look beyond the tomb,
But cannot hope for rest before.
Yet others rapt in pleasure seem,
And taste of all that I forsake;
Oh! may they still of transport dream,
And ne'er—at least like me—awake!
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.
What is that worst? 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.
Jan. 25. 1810.—[MS.]
Adieu, fair Cadiz! yea, a long adieu!
Who may forget how well thy walls have stood?
When all were changing thou alone wert true,
First to be free and last to be subdued:
And if amidst a scene, a shock so rude,
Some native blood was seen thy streets to dye,
A Traitor only fell beneath the feud:N17
Here all were noble, save Nobility;
None hugged a Conqueror's chain, save fallen Chivalry!
Such be the sons of Spain, and strange her Fate!
They fight for Freedom who were never free,
A Kingless people for a nerveless state;
Her vassals combat when their Chieftains flee,
True to the veriest slaves of Treachery:
Fond of a land which gave them nought but life,
Pride points the path that leads to Liberty;
Back to the struggle, baffled in the strife,
War, war is still the cry, "War even to the knife!"N18
Ye, who would more of Spain and Spaniards know
Go, read whate'er is writ of bloodiest strife:
Whate'er keen Vengeance urged on foreign foe
Can act, is acting there against man's life:
From flashing scimitar to secret knife,
War mouldeth there each weapon to his need—
So may he guard the sister and the wife,
So may he make each curst oppressor bleed—
So may such foes deserve the most remorseless deed!
Flows there a tear of Pity for the dead?
Look o'er the ravage of the reeking plain;
Look on the hands with female slaughter red;
Then to the dogs resign the unburied slain,
Then to the vulture let each corse remain,
Albeit unworthy of the prey-bird's maw;
Let their bleached bones, and blood's unbleaching stain,
Long mark the battle-field with hideous awe:
Thus only may our sons conceive the scenes we saw!
Nor yet, alas! the dreadful work is done;
Fresh legions pour adown the Pyrenees:
It deepens still, the work is scarce begun,
Nor mortal eye the distant end foresees.
Fall'n nations gaze on Spain; if freed, she frees
More than her fell Pizarros once enchained:
Strange retribution! now Columbia's ease
Repairs the wrongs that Quito's sons sustained,
While o'er the parent clime prowls Murder unrestrained.
Not all the blood at Talavera shed,
Not all the marvels of Barossa's fight,
Not Albuera lavish of the dead,
Have won for Spain her well asserted right.
When shall her Olive-Branch be free from blight?
When shall she breathe her from the blushing toil?
How many a doubtful day shall sink in night,
Ere the Frank robber turn him from his spoil,
And Freedom's stranger-tree grow native of the soil!
And thou, my friend!—since unavailing woeN19
Bursts from my heart, and mingles with the strain—
Had the sword laid thee with the mighty low,
Pride might forbid e'en Friendship to complain:
But thus unlaurelled to descend in vain,
By all forgotten, save the lonely breast,
And mix unbleeding with the boasted slain,
While Glory crowns so many a meaner crest!
What hadst thou done to sink so peacefully to rest?
Oh, known the earliest, and esteemed the most!
Dear to a heart where nought was left so dear!
Though to my hopeless days for ever lost,
In dreams deny me not to see thee here!
And Morn in secret shall renew the tear
Of Consciousness awaking to her woes,
And Fancy hover o'er thy bloodless bier,
Till my frail frame return to whence it rose,
And mourned and mourner lie united in repose.
Here is one fytte of Harold's pilgrimage:
Ye who of him may further seek to know,
Shall find some tidings in a future page,
If he that rhymeth now may scribble moe.
Is this too much? stern Critic! say not so:
Patience! and ye shall hear what he beheld
In other lands, where he was doomed to go:
Lands that contain the monuments of Eld,
Ere Greece and Grecian arts by barbarous hands were quelled.
CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE.
Yes! sighed o'er Delphi's long deserted shrine.
Stanza i. line 6.
The little village of Castri stands partially on the site of Delphi. Along the path of the mountain, from Chrysso, are the remains of sepulchres hewn in and from the rock:—"One," said the guide, "of a king who broke his neck hunting." His majesty had certainly chosen the fittest spot for such an achievement.
A little above Castri is a cave, supposed the Pythian, of immense depth; the upper part of it is paved, and now a cowhouse.
On the other side of Castri stands a Greek monastery; some way above which is the cleft in the rock, with a range of caverns difficult of ascent, and apparently leading to the interior of the mountain; probably to the Corycian Cavern mentioned by Pausanias. From this part descend the fountain and the "Dews of Castalie."
[Byron and Hobhouse slept at Crissa December 15, and visited Delphi December 16, 1809.—Travels in Albania, i. 199-209.]
And rest ye at "Our Lady's house of Woe."
Stanza xx. line 4.
The convent of "Our Lady of Punishment," Nossa Señora de Pena, on the summit of the rock. Below, at some distance, is the Cork Convent, where St. Honorius dug his den, over which is his epitaph. From the hills, the sea adds to the beauty of the view.—[Note to First Edition.] Since the publication of this poem, I have been informed [by W. Scott, July 1, 1812] of the misapprehension of the term Nossa Señora de Pena. It was owing to the want of the tilde, or mark over the ñ, which alters the signification of the word: with it, Peña signifies a rock; without it, Pena has the sense I adopted. I do not think it necessary to alter the passage; as, though the common acceptation affixed to it is "Our Lady of the Rock," I may well assume the other sense from the severities practised there.—[Note to Second Edition.]
Throughout this purple land, where Law secures not life.
Stanza xxi. line 9.
It is a well-known fact that in the year 1809, the assassinations in the streets of Lisbon and its vicinity were not confined by the Portuguese to their countrymen; but that Englishmen were daily butchered: and so far from redress being obtained, we were requested not to interfere if we perceived any compatriot defending himself against his allies. I was once stopped in the way to the theatre at eight o'clock in the evening, when the streets were not more empty than they generally are at that hour, opposite to an open shop, and in a carriage with a friend: had we not fortunately been armed, I have not the least doubt that we should have "adorned a tale" instead of telling one. The crime of assassination is not confined to Portugal; in Sicily and Malta we are knocked on the head at a handsome average nightly, and not a Sicilian or Maltese is ever punished!
Behold the hall where chiefs were late convened!
Stanza xxiv. line 1.
The Convention of Cintra was signed in the palace of the Marchese Marialva. The late exploits of Lord Wellington have effaced the follies of Cintra. He has, indeed, done wonders; he has perhaps changed the character of a nation, reconciled rival superstitions, and baffled an enemy who never retreated before his predecessor.
["The armistice, the negotiations, the convention, the execution of its provisions, were commenced, conducted, concluded, at the distance of thirty miles from Cintra, with which place they had not the slightest connection, political, military, or local. Yet Lord Byron has sung that the convention was signed in the Marquis of Marialva's house at Cintra" (Napier's History of the War in the Peninsula, i. 161). The "suspension of arms" is dated "Head Quarters of the British Army, August 22, 1808." The "Definitive Convention for the Evacuation of Portugal by the British Army" is dated "Head Quarters, Lisbon, August 30, 1808." (See Wordsworth's pamphlet Concerning the Relations of Great Britain, Spain, and Portugal, etc., 1809, App. pp. 199-201. For sentiments almost identical with those expressed in stanzas xxiv., xxv., see ibid., p. 49, et passim.)]
Yet Mafra shall one moment claim delay.
Stanza xxix. line 1.
The extent of Mafra is prodigious; it contains a palace, convent, and most superb church. The six organs are the most beautiful I ever beheld, in point of decoration: we did not hear them, but were told that their tones were correspondent to their splendour. Mafra is termed the Escurial of Portugal.
[Mafra was built by D. João V. The foundation-stone was laid November 7, 1717, and the church consecrated October 22, 1730. (For descriptions of Mafra, see Southey's Life and Correspondence, ii. 113; and Letters, 1898, i. 237.)]
Well doth the Spanish hind the difference know
'Twixt him and Lusian slave, the lowest of the low.
Stanza xxxiii. lines 8 and 9.
As I found the Portuguese, so I have characterised them. That they are since improved, at least in courage, is evident.
[The following "Note on Spain and Portugal," part of the original draft of Note 3 (p. 86), was suppressed at the instance of Dallas: "We have heard wonders of the Portuguese lately, and their gallantry. Pray Heaven it continue; yet 'would it were bed-time, Hal, and all were well!' They must fight a great many hours, by 'Shrewsbury clock,' before the number of their slain equals that of our countrymen butchered by these kind creatures, now metamorphosed into 'Caçadores,' and what not. I merely state a fact, not confined to Portugal; for in Sicily and Malta we are knocked on the head at a handsome average nightly, and not a Sicilian or Maltese is ever punished! The neglect of protection is disgraceful to our government and governors; for the murders are as notorious as the moon that shines upon them, and the apathy that overlooks them. The Portuguese, it is to be hoped, are complimented with the 'Forlorn Hope,'—if the cowards are become brave (like the rest of their kind, in a corner), pray let them display it. But there is a subscription for these θρασύδειλοι (they need not be ashamed of the epithet once applied to the Spartans); and all the charitable patronymics, from ostentatious A. to diffident Z., and £1 1s. 0d. from 'An Admirer of Valour,' are in requisition for the lists at Lloyd's, and the honour of British benevolence. Well! we have fought, and subscribed, and bestowed peerages, and buried the killed by our friends and foes; and, lo! all this is to be done over again! Like Lien Chi (in Goldsmith's Citizen of the World), as we 'grow older, we grow never the better.' It would be pleasant to learn who will subscribe for us, in or about the year 1815, and what nation will send fifty thousand men, first to be decimated in the capital, and then decimated again (in the Irish fashion, nine out of ten), in the 'bed of honour;' which, as Serjeant Kite says [in Farquhar's Recruiting Officer, act i. sc. 1], is considerably larger and more commodious than 'the bed of Ware.' Then they must have a poet to write the 'Vision of Don Perceval,' and generously bestow the profits of the well and widely printed quarto, to rebuild the 'Backwynd' and the 'Canongate,' or furnish new kilts for the half-roasted Highlanders. Lord Wellington, however, has enacted marvels; and so did his Oriental brother, whom I saw charioteering over the French flag, and heard clipping bad Spanish, after listening to the speech of a patriotic cobler of Cadiz, on the event of his own entry into that city, and the exit of some five thousand bold Britons out of this 'best of all possible worlds' [Pangloss, in Candide]. Sorely were we puzzled how to dispose of that same victory of Talavera; and a victory it surely was somewhere, for everybody claimed it. The Spanish despatch and mob called it Cuesta's, and made no great mention of the Viscount; the French called it theirs (to my great discomfiture,—for a French consul stopped my mouth in Greece with a pestilent Paris Gazette, just as I had killed Sebastiani 'in buckram,' and King Joseph 'in Kendal green'),—and we have not yet determined what to call it, or whose; for, certes, it was none of our own. Howbeit, Massena's retreat [May, 1811] is a great comfort; and as we have not been in the habit of pursuing for some years past, no wonder we are a little awkward at first. No doubt we shall improve; or, if not, we have only to take to our old way of retrograding, and there we are at home."—Recollections of the Life of Lord Byron, 1824, pp. 179-185.]
When Cava's traitor-sire first called the band
That dyed thy mountain streams with Gothic gore.
Stanza xxxv. lines 3 and 4.
Count Julian's daughter, the Helen of Spain. Pelagius preserved his independence in the fastnesses of the Asturias, and the descendants of his followers, after some centuries, completed their struggle by the conquest of Grenada.
[Roderick the Goth violated Florinda, or Caba, or Cava, daughter of Count Julian, one of his principal lieutenants. In revenge for this outrage, Julian allied himself with Musca, the Caliph's lieutenant in Africa, and countenanced the invasion of Spain by a body of Saracens and Africans commanded by Tarik, from whom Jebel Tarik, Tarik's Rock, that is, Gibraltar, is said to have been named. The issue was the defeat and death of Roderick and the Moorish occupation of Spain. A Spaniard, according to Cervantes, may call his dog, but not his daughter, Florinda. (See Vision of Don Roderick, by Sir W. Scott, stanza iv. note 5.)]
No! as he speeds, he chants "Vivā el Rey!"
Stanza xlviii. line 5.
"Vivā el Rey Fernando!" Long live King Ferdinand! is the chorus of most of the Spanish patriotic songs. They are chiefly in dispraise of the old King Charles, the Queen, and the Prince of Peace. I have heard many of them: some of the airs are beautiful. Godoy, the Principe de la Paz, of an ancient but decayed family, was born at Badajoz, on the frontiers of Portugal, and was originally in the ranks of the Spanish guards; till his person attracted the queen's eyes, and raised him to the dukedom of Alcudia, etc., etc. It is to this man that the Spaniards universally impute the ruin of their country.
[Manuel de Godoy (1767-1851) received the title of Principe de la Paz, Prince of the Peace, in 1795, after the Treaty of Basle, which ceded more than half St. Domingo to France. His tenure of power, as prime minister and director of the king's policy, coincided with the downfall of Spanish power, and before the commencement of the Peninsular War he was associated in the minds of the people with national corruption and national degradation. He was, moreover, directly instrumental in the betrayal of Spain to France. By the Treaty of Fontainebleau, October 27, 1807, Portugal was to be divided between the King of Etruria and Godoy as Prince of the Algarves, Portuguese America was to fall to the King of Spain, and to bring this about Napoleon's troops were to enter Spain and march directly to Lisbon. The sole outcome of the treaty was the occupation of Portugal and subsequent invasion of Spain. Before Byron had begun his pilgrimage, Godoy's public career had come to an end. During the insurrection at Aranjuez, March 17-19, 1808, when Charles IV. abdicated in favour of his son Ferdinand VII., Godoy was only preserved from the fury of the populace by a timely imprisonment. In the following May, by which time Ferdinand himself was a prisoner in France, he was released at the instance of Murat, and ordered to accompany Charles to Bayonne, for the express purpose of cajoling his master into a second abdication in favour of Napoleon. The remainder of his long life was passed, first at Rome, and afterwards at Paris, in exile and dependence. The execration of Godoy, "who was really a mild, good-natured man," must, in Napier's judgment, be attributed to Spanish venom and Spanish prejudice. The betrayal of Spain was, he thinks, the outcome of Ferdinand's intrigues no less than of Godoy's unpatriotic ambition. Another and perhaps truer explanation of popular odium is to be found in his supposed atheism and well-known indifference to the rites of the Church, which many years before had attracted the attention of the Holy Office. The peasants cursed Godoy because the priests triumphed over his downfall (Napier's History of the War in the Peninsula, i. 8; Southey's Peninsular War, i. 85 note, 93, 215, 280).]
Bears in his cap the badge of crimson hue,
Which tells you whom to shun and whom to greet.
Stanza 1. lines 2 and 3.
The red cockade, with "Fernando Septimo" in the centre.
The ball-piled pyramid, the ever-blazing match.
Stanza li. line 9.
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.
Foiled by a woman's hand, before a battered wall.
Stanza lvi. line 9.
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 story, as told by Southey (who seems to have derived his information from The Narrative of the Siege of Zaragoza, by Charles Richard Vaughan, M.B., 1809), is that "Augustina Zaragoza (sic), a handsome woman of the lower class, about twenty-two years of age," a vivandiere, in the course of her rounds came with provisions to a battery near the Portello gate. The gunners had all been killed, and, as the citizens held back, "Augustina sprang over the dead and dying, snatched a match from the hand of a dead artilleryman, and fired off a twenty-six pounder; then, jumping upon the gun, made a solemn vow never to quit it alive during the siege."
After the retreat of the French, "a pension was settled upon Augustina, and the daily pay of an artilleryman. She was also to wear a small shield of honour, embroidered upon the sleeve of her gown, with 'Zaragoza' inscribed upon it" (Southey's Peninsular War, ii. 14, 34).
Napier, "neither wholly believing nor absolutely denying these exploits," which he does not condescend to give in detail, remarks "that for a long time afterwards, Spain swarmed with Zaragoza heroines, clothed in half-uniforms, and theatrically loaded with weapons."
A picture of "The Defence of Saragossa," painted by Sir David Wilkie, which contained her portrait, was exhibited in the Royal Academy in 1829, and was purchased by the king (Napier's History of the War in the Peninsula, i. 45; Life of Sir D. Wilkie, by John W. Mollett, 1881, p. 83).
Compare, too, The Age of Bronze, vii. lines 53-56—
"... the desperate wall
Of Saragossa, mightiest in her fall;
The man nerved to a spirit, and the maid
Waving her more than Amazonian blade."]
The seal Love's dimpling finger hath impressed
Denotes how soft that chin which bears his touch.
Stanza lviii. lines 1 and 2.
"Sigilla in mento impressa Amoris digitulo
Vestigio demonstrant mollitudinem."
[The quotation does not occur in Aulus Gellius, btit is a fragment in iambic metre from the Papia papæ περί ἐγκωμίων of M. Terentius Varro, cited by the grammarian Nonius Marcellus (De Comp. Doct., ii. 135, lines 19-23). Sigilla is a variant of the word in the text, laculla, a diminutive of lacuna, signifying a dimple in the chin. Lacullum is not to be found in Facciolati. (Vide Riese, Varro. Satur. Menipp. Rel., 1865, p. 164.)]
Oh, thou Parnassus!
Stanza lx. line 1.
These stanzas were written in Castri (Delphos), at the foot of Parnassus, now called Λιακυρα (Liakura), Dec. , 1809.
Fair is proud Seville; let her country boast
Her strength, her wealth, her site of ancient days.
Stanza lxv. lines 1 and 2.
Seville was the Hispalis of the Romans.
Ask ye, Bœotian Shades! the reason why?
Stanza lxx. line 5.
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 Bœotia, where the first riddle was propounded and solved.
[Byron reached Thebes December 22, 1809. By the first riddle he means, of course, the famous enigma of Œdipus—the prototype of Bœotian wit.]
Some bitter o'er the flowers its bubbling venom flings.
Stanza lxxxii. line 9.
"Medio de fonte leporum
Surgit amari aliquid quod in ipseis floribus angat."
Lucr., iv. 1133.
A Traitor only fell beneath the feud.
Stanza lxxxv. line 7.
Alluding to the conduct and death of Solano, the governor of Cadiz, in May, 1808.
[The Marquis of Solano, commander-in-chief of the forces at Cadiz, was murdered by the populace. The "Supreme Junta" of Seville had directed him to attack the French fleet anchored off Cadiz, and Admiral Purvis, acting in concert with General Spencer, had offered to co-operate, but Solano was unwilling to take his orders "from a self-constituted authority, and hesitated to commit his country in war with a power whose strength he knew better than the temper of his countrymen." "His abilities, courage, and unblemished character have never been denied."—Napier's War in the Peninsula, i. 20, 21.]
"War even to the knife!"
Stanza lxxxvi. line 9.
"War to the knife." Palafox's answer to the French general at the siege of Saragoza.
[Towards the close of the first siege of Zaragoza, August 5, 1808, Marshal Lefebvre (1755-1820), under the impression that the city had fallen into his hands, "required Palafox to surrender in these words: 'Quartel-general, Santa Engracia. La Capitulation!' ['Head-quarters, St. Engracia. Capitulation']. The reply was, ' Quartel-general, Zaragoza. Guerra al cuchillo' ['Head-quarters, Zaragoza. War at the knife's point']." Subsequently, December, 1808, when Moncey (1754-1842) again called upon him to surrender, he appealed to the people of Madrid. "The dogs," he said, "by whom he was beset scarcely left him time to clean his sword from their blood; but they still found their grave at Zaragoza." Southey notes that "all Palafox's proclamations had the high tone and something of the inflection of Spanish romance, suiting the character of those to whom it was directed" (Peninsular War, ii. 25; iii. 152; Narrative of the Siege, by C. R. Vaughan, 1809, pp. 22, 23). Napier, whose account of the first siege of Zaragoza is based on Caballero's Victoires et Conquètes des Français, and on the Journal of Lefebvre's Operations (MSS.), does not record these romantic incidents. He attributes the raising of the siege to the "bad discipline of the French, and the system of terror established by the Spanish leaders." The inspirers and proclaimers of "war even to the knife" were, he maintains, Tio or Goodman Jorge (Jorge Ibort) and Tio Murin, and not Palafox, who was ignorant of war, and who, on more than one occasion, was careful to provide for his own safety (History of the War in the Peninsula, i. 41-46).]
And thou, my friend! etc.
Stanza xci. line 1.
The Honourable John Wingfield, of the Guards, who died of a fever at Coimbra (May 14, 1811). I had known him ten years, the better half of his life, and the happiest part of mine. In the short space of one month I have lost her who gave me being, and most of those who had made that being tolerable. To me the lines of Young are no fiction—
"Insatiate archer! could not one suffice?
Thy shaft flew thrice, and thrice my peace was slain,
And thrice ere thrice yon moon had fill'd her horn."
Night Thoughts: The Complaint, Night i.
(London, 1825, p. 5).
I should have ventured a verse to the memory of the late Charles Skinner Matthews, Fellow of Downing College, Cambridge, were he not too much above all praise of mine. His powers of mind, shown in the attainment of greater honours, against the ablest candidates, than those of any graduate on record at Cambridge, have sufficiently established his fame on the spot where it was acquired; while his softer qualities live in the recollection of friends who loved him too well to envy his superiority. [To an objection made by Dallas to this note, Byron replied, "I was so sincere in my note on the late Charles Matthews, and do feel myself so totally unable to do justice to his talents, that the passage must stand for the very reason you bring against it. To him all the men I ever knew were pigmies. He was an intellectual giant. It is true I loved Wingfield better; he was the earliest and the dearest, and one of the few one could never repent of having loved: but in ability—ah! you did not know Matthews!"—Letters, 1898, ii. 8. [For Charles Skinner Matthews, and the Honourable John Wingfield, see Letters, 1898, i. 150 note, 180 note. See, too, "Childish Recollections," Poems, 1898, i. 96, note.]
- To the Lady Charlotte Harley.—[MS. M.]
- [The Lady Charlotte Mary Harley, second daughter of Edward, fifth Earl of Oxford and Mortimer, was born 1801. She married, in 1823, Captain Anthony Bacon (died July 2, 1864), who had followed "young, gallant Howard" (see Childe Harold, III. xxix.) in his last fatal charge at Waterloo, and who, subsequently, during the progress of the civil war between Dom Miguel and Maria da Gloria of Portugal (1828-33), held command as colonel of cavalry in the Queen's forces, and finally as a general officer. Lady Charlotte Bacon died May 9, 1880. Byron's acquaintance with her probably dated from his visit to Lord and Lady Oxford, at Eywood House, in Herefordshire, in October—November, 1812. Her portrait, by Westall, which was painted at his request, is included among the illustrations in Finden's Illustrations of the Life and Works of Lord Byron, ii. See Gent. Mag., N.S., vol. xvii. (1864) p. 261; and an obituary notice in the Times, May 10, 1880. See, too, letter to Murray, March 29, 1813 (Letters, 1898, ii. 200).]
- [The reference is to the French proverb, L'Amitié est l'Amour sans Ailes, which suggested the last line (line 412) of Childish Recollections, "And Love, without his pinion, smil'd on youth," and forms the title of one of the early poems, first published in 1832 (Poetical Works, 1898, i. 106, 220).]
- [In 1814, when the dedication was published, Byron completed his twenty-sixth year, Ianthe her thirteenth.]
- [For the modulation of the verse, compare Pope's lines—
"Correctly cold, and regularly low."
Essay on Criticism, line 240.
"Glows while he reads, but trembles as he writes."
Ibid., line 198.]
- [Ianthe ("Flower o' the Narcissus") was the name of a Cretan girl wedded to one Iphis (vid. Ovid., Metamorph., ix. 714). Perhaps Byron's dedication was responsible for the Ianthe of Queen Mab (1812, 1813), who in turn bestowed her name on Shelley's eldest daughter (Mrs. Esdaile, d. 1876), who was born June 28, 1813.]
And long as kinder eyes shall deign to cast
A look along my page, that name enshrined
Shalt thou be first beheld, forgotten last.—[MS.]
- Though more than Hope can claim—Ah! less could I require?—[MS.]
- [The MS. does not open with stanza i., which was written after Byron returned to England, and appears first in the Dallas Transcript (see letter to Murray, September 5, 1811). Byron and Hobhouse visited Delphi, December 16, 1809, when the First Canto (see stanza lx.) was approaching completion (Travels in Albania, by Lord Broughton, 1858, i. 199).]
- Oh, thou of yore esteemed ——.—[D.]
- Since later lyres are only strung on earth.—[D.]
- [For the substitution of the text for vars. ii., iii., see letter to Dallas, September 21, 1811 (Letters, 1898, ii. 43).]
- —— thy glorious rill.—[D.]
or, —— wooed thee, drank the vaunted rill.—[D.]
- Sore given to revel and to Pageantry.—[MS. erased.]
He chused the bad, and did the good affright
With concubines' ——.—[MS.]
No earthly things ——.—[D.]
- ["We [i.e. Byron and C. S. Matthews] went down [April, 1809] to Newstead together, where I had got a famous cellar, and Monks' dresses from a masquerade warehouse. We were a company of some seven or eight, ... and used to sit up late in our friars' dresses, drinking burgundy, claret, champagne, and what not, out of the skull-cap, and all sorts of glasses, and buffooning all round the house, in our conventual garments" (letter to Murray, November 19, 1820. See, too, the account of this visit which Matthews wrote to his sister in a letter dated May 22, 1809 [Letters, 1898, i. 150-160, and 153, note). Moore (Life, p. 86) and other apologists are anxious to point out that the Newstead "wassailers" were, on the whole, a harmless crew of rollicking schoolboys"—were, indeed, of habits and tastes too intellectual for mere vulgar debauchery." And as to the "alleged 'harems,'" the "Paphian girls," there were only one or two, says Moore, "among the ordinary menials." But, even so, the "wassailers" were not impeccable, and it is best to leave the story, fact or fable, to speak for itself.]
- ["Hight" is the preterite of the passive "hote," and means "was called." "Childe Harold he hight" would be more correct. Compare Spenser's Faërie Queene, bk. i. c. ix. 14. 9, "She Queene of Faeries hight." But "hight" was occasionally used with the common verbs "is," "was." Compare The Ordinary, 1651, act iii. sc. 1—
"... the goblin
That is hight Good-fellow Robin."
Dodsley (ed. Hazlitt), xii. 253.]
- Childe Burun ——.—[MS.]
- [William, fifth Lord Byron (the poet's grand-uncle), mortally wounded his kinsman, Mr. Chaworth, in a duel which was fought, without seconds or witnesses, at the Star and Garter Tavern, Pall Mall, January 29, 1765. He was convicted of wilful murder by the coroner's jury, and of manslaughter by the House of Lords; but, pleading his privilege as a peer, he was set at liberty. He was known to the country-side as the "wicked Lord," and many tales, true and apocryphal, were told to his discredit (Life of Lord Byron, by Karl Elze, 1872, pp. 5, 6).]
- —— nor honied glose of rhyme.—[D. pencil.]
- Childe Burun ——.—[MS.]
- For he had on the course too swiftly run.—[MS. erased.]
- Had courted many ——.—[MS. erased.]
- [Mary Chaworth. (Compare "Stanzas to a Lady, on leaving England," passim: Poetical Works, 1898, i. 285.)]
- —— Childe Burun.—[MS.]
- [Compare The Lay of the Last Minstrel, Canto I. stanza ix. 9—
"And burning pride and high disdain
Forbade the rising tears to flow."]
- And strait he fell into a reverie.—[MS.]
—— sullen reverie.—[D.]
- [Vide post, stanza xi. line 9, note.]
- Strange fate directed still to uses vile.—[MS. erased.]
- Now Paphian jades were heard to sing and smile.—[MS. erased.]
Now Paphian nymphs ——.—[D. pencil.]
- [The brass eagle which was fished out of the lake at Newstead in the time of Byron's predecessor contained, among other documents, "a grant of full pardon from Henry V. of every possible crime ... which the monks might have committed previous to the 8th of December preceding (Murdris, per ipsos post decimum nonum Diem Novembris, ultimo præteritum perpetratis, si quæ fuerint, exceptis)" (Life, p. 2, note). The monks were a constant source of delight to the Newstead "revellers." Francis Hodgson, in his "Lines on a Ruined Abbey in a Romantic Country" (Poems, 1809), does not spare them—
"'Hail, venerable pile!' whose ivied walls
Proclaim the desolating lapse of years:
And hail, ye hills, and murmuring waterfalls,
Where yet her head the ruin'd Abbey rears.
No longer now the matin tolling bell,
Re-echoing loud among the woody glade,
Calls the fat abbot from his drowsy cell,
And warns the maid to flee, if yet a maid.
No longer now the festive bowl goes round,
Nor monks get drunk in honour of their God."]
- The original MS. inserts two stanzas which were rejected during the composition of the poem:—
Of all his train there was a henchman page,
dark eyedboy, who lovedhis master well;
And often would his pranksome prate engage
Burun'sear, when his proud heart did swell
With sable thoughts that he disdained to tell.
Then would he smile on him, as
When aught that from his young lips archly fell
The gloomy film from
Burun'seye beguiled; And pleased the Childe appeared nor ere the boy reviled.
And pleased for a glimpse appeared the woeful Childe.
Him and one yeoman only did he take
To travel Eastward to a far countree;
And though the boy was grieved to leave the lake
On whose firm banks he grew from Infancy,
Eftsoons his little heart beat merrily
With hope of foreign nations to behold,
And many things right marvellous to see,
Of which our
lyingvoyagers oft have told, From Mandevilles' and scribes of similar mold.
or, In tomes pricked out with prints to monied ... sold
In many a tome as true as Mandeville's of old.
- —— Childe Burun ——.—[MS].
- Stanza ix. was the result of much elaboration. The first draft, which was pasted over the rejected stanzas (vide supra, p. 20, var i.), retains the numerous erasures and emendations. It ran as follows:—
And none did love him though to hall and bower
Haughty he gathered revellers from far and near
An evil smile just bordering on a sneer
He knew them flatterers of the festal hour
Curled on his lip
The heartless Parasites of present cheer
And deemed no mortal wight his peer
Yea! none did love him not his lemmans dear
To gentle Dames still less he could be dear Were aughtBut pomp and power alone are Woman's care ButAnd where these are let no Possessor fear The sex are slavesMaidens like moths are ever caught by glare Love shrinks outshone by Mammon's dazzlingglare
That Demonwins his [MS. torn] where Angels might despair.
- [The "trivial particular" which suggested to Byron the friendlessness and desolation of the Childe may be explained by the refusal of an old schoolfellow to spend the last day with him before he set out on his travels. The friend, possibly Lord Delawarr, excused himself on the plea that "he was engaged with his mother and some ladies to go shopping." "Friendship!" he exclaimed to Dallas. "I do not believe I shall leave behind me, yourself and family excepted, and, perhaps, my mother, a single being who will care what becomes of me" (Dallas, Recollections, etc., pp. 63, 64). Byron, to quote Charles Lamb's apology for Coleridge, was "full of fun," and must not be taken too seriously. Doubtless he was piqued at the moment, and afterwards, to heighten the tragedy of Childe Harold's exile, expanded a single act of negligence into general abandonment and desertion at the hour of trial.]
- No! none did love him ——.—[D. pencil.]
- The word "lemman" is used by Chaucer in both senses, but more frequently in the feminine.—[MS. M.]
- "Feere," a consort or mate. [Compare the line, "What when lords go with their feires, she said," in "The Ancient Fragment of the Marriage of Sir Gawaine" (Percy's Reliques, 1812, iii. 416), and the lines—
"As with the woful fere,
And father of that chaste dishonoured dame."
Titus Andronicus, act iv. sc. 1.
Compare, too, "That woman and her fleshless Pheere" (The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere, line 180 of the reprint from the first version in the Lyrical Ballads, 1798; Poems by S. T. Coleridge, 1893, App. E, p. 515).]
- Childe Burun ——.—[MS.]
- [In a suppressed stanza of "Childe Harold's Good Night" (see p. 27, var. ii.), the Childe complains that he has not seen his sister for "three long years and moe." Before her marriage, in 1807, Augusta Byron divided her time between her mother's children, Lady Chichester and the Duke of Leeds; her cousin, Lord Carlisle; and General and Mrs. Harcourt. After her marriage to Colonel Leigh, she lived at Newmarket. From the end of 1805 Byron corresponded with her more or less regularly, but no meeting took place. In a letter to his sister, dated November 30, 1808 (Letters, 1898, i. 203), he writes, "I saw Col. Leigh at Brighton in July, where I should have been glad to have seen you; I only know your husband by sight." Colonel Leigh was his first cousin, as well as his half-sister's husband, and the incidental remark that "he only knew him by sight" affords striking proof that his relations and connections were at no pains to seek him out, but left him to fight his own way to social recognition and distinction. (For particulars of "the Hon. Augusta Byron," see Letters, 1898, i. 18, note.)]
- Of friends he had but few, embracing none.—[MS. erased.]
- Yet deem him not from this with breast of steel.—[MS. D.]
- [Compare Campbell's Gertrude of Wyoming, ii. 8. 1—
"Yet deem not Gertrude sighed for foreign joy."]
- His house, his home, his vassals, and his lands.—[MS. D.]
- The Dalilahs ——.—[MS. D.]
His damsels all ——.—[MS. erased.]
- —— where brighter sunbeams shine.—[MS. erased.]
- ["Your objection to the expression 'central line' I can only meet by saying that, before Childe Harold left England, it was his full intention to traverse Persia, and return by India, which he could not have done without passing the equinoctial" (letter to Dallas, September 7, 1811; see, too, letter to his mother, October 7, 1808: Letters, 1898, i. 193: ii. 27).]
- The sails are filled ——.—[MS.]
- [He experienced no such emotion on the resumption of his Pilgrimage in 1816. With reference to the confession, he writes (Canto III. stanza i. lines 6-9)—
"... I depart,
Whither I know not; but the hour's gone by,
When Albion's lessening shores could grieve or glad mine eye."]
- [See Lord Maxwell's "Good Night" in Scott's Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (Poetical Works, ii. 141, ed. 1834): "Adieu, madam, my mother dear," etc. [MS.]. Compare, too, Armstrong's "Good Night," ibid.—
"This night is my departing night,
For here nae langer mun I stay;
There's neither friend nor foe of mine,
But wishes me away.
What I have done thro' lack of will,
I never, never can recall;
I hope ye're a' my friends as yet.
Good night, and joy be with you all."]
- [Robert Rushton, the son of one of the Newstead tenants. "Robert I take with me; I like him, because, like myself, he seems a friendless animal. Tell Mr. Rushton his son is well, and doing well" (letter to Mrs. Byron, Falmouth, June 22, 1809: Letters, 1898, i. 224).]
Our best gos-hawk can hardly fly
So merrily along.—[MS.]
Our best greyhound can hardly fly.—[D. erased.]
- Here follows in the MS. the following erased stanza:—
My mother is a high-born dame,
And much misliketh me;
She saith my riot bringeth shame
On all my ancestry.
I had a sister once I ween,
Whose tears perhaps will flow;
But her fair face I have not seen
For three long years and moe.
Oh master dear I do not cry
From fear of wave or wind.—[MS.]
- [Robert was sent back from Gibraltar under the care of Joe Murray (see letter to Mr. Rushton, August 15, 1809: Letters, 1898, i. 242).]
- [William Fletcher, Byron's valet. He was anything but "staunch" in the sense of the song (see Byron's letters of November 12, 1809, and June 28, 1810 (Letters, 1898, i. 246, 279); but for twenty years he remained a loyal and faithful servant, helped to nurse his master in his last illness, and brought his remains back to England.]
Enough, enough, my yeoman good,
All this is well to say;
But if I in thy sandals stood
I'd laugh to get away.—[MS. erased, D.]
For who would trust a paramour
Or e'en a wedded feere—
Though her blue eyes were streaming o'er.
And torn her yellow hair?—[MS.]
- ["I leave England without regret—I shall return to it without pleasure. I am like Adam, the first convict sentenced to transportation, but I have no Eve, and have eaten no apple but what was sour as a crab" (letter to F. Hodgson, Falmouth, June 25, 1809, Letters, 1898, i. 230). If this Confessio Amantis, with which compare the "Stanzas to a Lady, on leaving England," is to be accepted as bonâ fide, he leaves England heart-whole, but for the bitter memory of Mary Chaworth.]
- Here follows in the MS., erased:—
Methinks it would my bosom glad,
To change my proud estate,
And be again a laughing lad
With one beloved playmate.
Since youth I scarce have pass'd an hour
Without disgust or pain.
Except sometimes in Lady's bower,
Or when the bowl I drain.
- ["I do not mean to exchange the ninth verse of the 'Good Night.' I have no reason to suppose my dog better than his brother brutes, mankind; and Argus we know to be a fable" (letter to Dallas, September 23, 1811: Letters, 1898, ii. 44).
Byron was recalling an incident which had befallen him some time previously (see letter to Moore, January 19, 1815): "When I thought he was going to enact Argus, he bit away the backside of my breeches, and never would consent to any kind of recognition, in despite of all kinds of bones which I offered him." See, too, for another thrust at Argus, Don Juan, Canto III. stanza xxiii. But he should have remembered that this particular Argus "was half a wolf by the she side." His portrait is preserved at Newstead (see Poetical Works, 1898, i. 280, Edition de Luxe).
For the expression of a different sentiment, compare The Inscription on the Monument of a Newfoundland Dog (first published in Hobhouse's Imit. and Transl., 1809), and the prefatory inscription on Boatswain's grave in the gardens of Newstead, dated November 16, 1808 (Life, p. 73).]
- [Cintra's "needle-like peaks," to the north-west of Lisbon, are visible from the mouth of the Tagus.]
- [Compare Ovid, Amores, i. 15, and Pliny, Hist. Nat., iv. 22. Small particles of gold are still to be found in the sands of the Tagus, but the quantity is, and perhaps always was, inconsiderable.]
- —— where thronging rustics reap.—[MS. erased.]
- What God hath done ——.—[MS. D.]
- Those Lusian brutes and earth from worst of wretches purge.—[MS.]
- ["Lisboa is the Portuguese word, consequently the very best. Ulissipont is pedantic; and as I have Hellas and Eros not very long before, there would be something like an afiectation of Greek terms, which I wish to avoid" (letter to Dallas, September 23, 1811: Letters, 1898, ii. 44. See, too, Poetical Works, 1883, p. 5).]
- Ulissipont, or Lisbona.—[MS. pencil.]
- Which poets, prone to lie, have paved with gold.—[MS.]
Which poets sprinkle o'er with sands of gold.—[MS. pencil.]
Which fabling poets ——.—[D. pencil.]
- [For Byron's estimate of the Portuguese, see The Curse of Minerva, lines 233, 234, and note to line 231 (Poetical Works, 1898, i. 469, 470). In the last line of the preceding stanza, the substitution of the text for var. i. was no doubt suggested by Dallas in the interests of prudence.]
Who hate the very hand that waves the sword
To shield them, etc.—[MS. D.]
To guard them, etc.—[MS. pencil.]
- Mid many things that grieve both nose and ee.—[MS.]
Midst many ——.—[MS. D.]
- —— smelleth filthily.—[MS. D.]
- —— clammed with dirt.—[MS. erased.]
- [For a fuller description of Cintra, see letter to Mrs. Byron, dated August 11, 1808 (Life, p. 92; Letters, 1898, i. 237). Southey, not often in accord with Byron, on his return from Spain (1801) testified that "for beauty all English, perhaps all existing, scenery must yield to Cintra" (Life and Corr. of R. Southey, ii. 161).]
- —— views too sweet and vast ——.—[MS. erased.]
- —— by tottering convent crowned.—[MS. erased.]
"The sky-worn robes of tenderest blue."
Collins' Ode to Pity [MS. and D.]
- The murmur that the sparkling torrents keep.—[MS. erased.]
- [The convent of Nossa Señora (now the Palazio) da Peña, and the Cork Convent, were visited by Beckford (circ. 1780), and are described in his Italy, with Sketches of Spain and Portugal (8vo, 1834), the reissue of his Letters Picturesque and Poetical (4to, 1783).
"Our first object was the convent of Nossa Senhora da Penha, the little romantic pile of white building I had seen glittering from afar when I first sailed by the coast of Lisbon. From this pyramidical elevation the view is boundless; you look immediately down upon an immense expanse of sea.... A long series of detached clouds of a dazzling whiteness suspended low over the waves had a magic effect, and in pagan times might have appeared, without any great stretch of fancy, the cars of marine divinities, just risen from the bosom of their element."—Italy, etc., p. 249.
"Before the entrance, formed by two ledges of ponderous rock, extends a smooth level of greensward.... The Hermitage, its cell, chapel, and refectory, are all scooped out of the native marble, and lined with the bark of the cork tree. Several of the passages are not only roofed, but floored with the same material.... The shrubberies and garden-plots dispersed amongst the mossy rocks ... are delightful, and I took great pleasure in ... following the course of a transparent rill, which was conducted through a rustic water-shoot, between bushes of lavender and roses, many of the tenderest green."—Ibid., p. 250.
The inscription to the memory of Honorius (d. 159, æt. 95) is on a stone in front of the cave—
"Hic Honorius vitam finivit;
Et ideo cum Deo in cœlis revivit."]
- "I don't remember any crosses there."—[Pencilled note by J. C. Hobhouse.]
[The crosses made no impression upon Hobhouse, who, no doubt, had realized that they were nothing but guideposts. For an explanation, see letter of Mr. Matthew Lewtas to the Athenæum, July 19, 1873: "The track from the main road to the convent, rugged and devious, leading up to the mountain, is marked out by numerous crosses now, just as it was when Byron rode along it in 1809, and it would appear he fell into the mistake of considering that the crosses were erected to show where assassinations had been committed."]
- [Beckford, describing the view from the convent, notices the wild flowers which adorned "the ruined splendour." "Amidst the crevices of the mouldering walls ... I noticed some capillaries and polypodiums of infinite delicacy; and on a little flat space before the convent a numerous tribe of pinks, gentians, and other Alpine plants, fanned and invigorated by the fresh mountain air."—Italy, etc., 1834, p. 229.
The "Prince's palace" (line 5) may be the royal palace at Cintra, "the Alhambra of the Moorish kings," or, possibly, the palace (vide post, stanza xxix. line 7) at Mafra, ten miles from Cintra.]
- There too proud Vathek—England's wealthiest son.—[MS. D.]
- [William Beckford, 1760 (? 1759)-1844, published Vathek in French in 1784, and in English in 1787. He spent two years (1794-96) in retirement at Quinta da Monserrate, three miles from Cintra. Byron thought highly of Vathek. "I do not know," he writes (The Giaour, l. 1328, note), "from what source the author ... may have drawn his materials ... but for correctness of costume ... and power of imagination, it surpasses all European imitations.... As an Eastern tale, even Rasselas must bow before it; his happy valley will not bear a comparison with the 'Hall of Eblis.'" In the MS. there is an additional stanza reflecting on Beckford, which Dallas induced him to omit. It was afterwards included by Moore among the Occasional Pieces, under the title of To Dives: a Fragment (Poetical Works, 1883, p. 548). (For Beckford, see Letters, 1898, i. 228, note 1; and with regard to the "Stanzas on Vathek," see letter to Dallas, September 26, 1811: Letters, 1898, ii. 47.)]
When Wealth and Taste their worst and best have done,
Meek Peace pollution's lure voluptuous still must shun.—[MS.]
- But now thou blasted Beacon unto man.—[MS.]
—— thou Beacon unto erring man.—[MS. D.]
- Vain are the pleasuances by art supplied.—[MS. D.]
- —— yclad, and by.—[MS. D.]
- Where blazoned glares a name spelt "Wellesley."—[MS. D.]
- —— are on the roll.—[MS. erased, D.]
- The following stanzas, which appear in the MS., were excluded at the request of Dallas (see his letter of October 10, 1811, Recollections of the Life of Lord Byron, 1824, pp. 173-187), Letters, 1898, ii. 51:—
In golden characters right well designed
First on the list appeareth one "Junot;"
Then certain other glorious names we find,
(Which Rhyme compelleth me to place below:)
Dull victors! baffled by a vanquished foe,
Wheedled by conynge tongues of laurels due,
Stand, worthy of each other in a row—
Sirs Arthur, Harry, and the dizzard Hew
Dalrymple, seely wight, sore dupe of t'other tew.
Convention is the dwarfy demon styled
That foiled the knights in Marialva's dome:
Of brains (if brains they had) he them beguiled,
And turned a nation's shallow joy to gloom.
For well I wot, when first the news did come
That Vimiera's field by Gaul was lost,
For paragraph ne paper scarce had room,
Such Pæans teemed for our triumphant host,
In Courier, Chronicle, and eke in Morning Post.
But when Convention sent his handy work
Pens, tongues, feet, hands combined in wild uproar;
Mayor, Aldermen, laid down the uplifted fork;
The Bench of Bishops half forgot to snore;
Stern Cobbett, who for one whole week forbore
To question aught, once more with transport leapt,
And bit his devilish quill agen, and swore
With foes such treaty never should be kept,
While roared the blatant Beast and roared, and raged, and—slept!!
Thus unto Heaven appealed the people: Heaven
Which loves the lieges of our gracious King,
Decreed that ere our Generals were forgiven,
Enquiry should be held about the thing.
But Mercy cloaked the babes beneath her wing;
And as they spared our foes so spared we them;
(Where was the pity of our Sires for Byng?)
Yet knaves, not idiots should the law condemn;
Then live ye gallant Knights! and bless your Judges' phlegm!
^ 1. [Sir Hew Dalrymple's despatch on the so-called Convention of Cintra is dated September 3, and was published in the London Gazette Extraordinary, September 16, 1808. The question is not alluded to in the Weekly Political Register of September 17, but on the 24th Cobbett opened fire with a long article (pp. 481-502) headed, "Conventions in Portugal," which was followed up by articles on the same subject in the four succeeding issues. Articles iii., iv., v., vi., of the "Definitive Convention" provided for the restoration of the French troops and their safe convoy to France, with their artillery, equipments, and cavalry. "Did the men," asks Cobbett (September 24), "who made this promise beat the Duke d'Abrantés [Junot], or were they like curs, who, having felt the bite of the mastiff, lose all confidence in their number, and, though they bark victory, suffer him to retire in quiet, carrying off his bone to be disposed of at his leisure? No, not so; for they complaisantly carry the bone for him." The rest of the article is written in a similar strain.]
^ 2. "'Blatant beast.'[•] A figure for the mob. I think first used by Smollett, in his Adventures of an Atom.[†] Horace has the 'bellua multorum capitum.'[‡] In England, fortunately enough, the illustrious mobility has not even one."—[MS.]
^ 3. "By this query it is not meant that our foolish generals should have been shot, but that Byng [Admiral John Byng, born 1704, was executed March 14, 1757] might have been spared; though the one suffered and the others escaped, probably for Candide's reason 'pour encourager les autres.'"[°]—[MS.]
^ • [Spenser (Faërie Queene, bk. vi. cantos iii. 24; xii. 27, sq.) personifies the vox populi, with its thousand tongues, as the "blatant beast."
^ † [In The History and Adventures of an Atom (Smollett's Works, 1872, vi. 385), Foksi-Roku (Henry Fox, the first Lord Holland) passes judgment on the populace. "The multitude, my lords, is a many-headed monster, it is a Cerberus that must have a sop; it is a wild beast, so ravenous that nothing but blood will appease its appetite; it is a whale, that must have a barrel for its amusement; it is a demon, to which we must offer human sacrifice.... Bihn-Goh must be the victim—happy if the sacrifice of his single life can appease the commotions of his country." Foksi-Roku's advice is taken, and Bihn-Goh (Byng) "is crucified for cowardice."]
^ ‡ [Horace, Odes, II. xiii. 34: "Bellua centiceps."]
^ ° ["Dans ce pays-ci il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres."—Candide, xxii.]
- [On August 21, 1808, Sir Harry Burrard (1755-1813) superseded in command Sir Arthur Wellesley, who had, on the same day, repulsed Junot at Vimiera. No sooner had he assumed his position as commander-in-chief, than he countermanded Wellesley's order to give pursuit and make good the victory. The next day (August 22) Sir Hew Dalrymple in turn superseded Burrard, and on the 23rd, General Kellerman approached the English with certain proposals from Junot, which a week later were formulated by the so-called Convention of Cintra, to which Kellerman and Wellesley affixed their names. When the news reached England that Napoleon's forces had been repulsed with loss, and yet the French had been granted a safe exit from Portugal, the generals were assailed with loud and indiscriminate censure. Burrard's interference with Wellesley's plans was no doubt ill-judged and ill-timed; but the opportunity of pursuit having been let slip, the acceptance of Junot's terms was at once politic and inevitable. A court of inquiry, which was held in London in January, 1809, upheld both the armistice of August 22 and the Convention; but neither Dalrymple nor Burrard ever obtained a second command, and it was not until Talavera (July 28, 1809) had effaced the memories of Cintra that Wellesley was reinstated in popular favour.]
- —— at the mention sweat.—[MS. D.]
- More restless than the falcon as he flies.—[MS. erased.]
- [With reference to this passage, while yet in MS., an early reader (? Dallas) inquires, "What does this mean?" And a second (? Hobhouse) rejoins, "What does the question mean? It is one of the finest stanzas I ever read."]
- [Byon and Hobhouse sailed from Falmouth, July 2, 1809; reached Lisbon on the 6th or 7th; and on the 17th started from Aldea Galbega ("the first stage from Lisbon, which is only accessible by water ") on horseback for Seville. "The horses are excellent—we rode seventy miles a day" (see letters of August 6 to F. Hodgson, and August 11, 1809, to Mrs. Byron; Letters, 1898, i. 234, 236).]
- —— long foreign to his soul.—[MS. erased.]
- —— the strumpet and the bowl.—[MS. D.]
- And countries more remote his hopes engage.—[MS. erased.]
- Where dwelt of yore the Lusians' crazy queen.—[MS.]
Where dwelt of yore Lusania's.—[D.]
- [Her luckless Majesty went subsequently mad; and Dr. Willis, who so dexterously cudgelled kingly pericraniums, could make nothing of hers. (For the Rev. Francis Willis, see Poetical Works, 1898, i. 416.)
Maria I. (b. 1734), who married her uncle, Pedro III., reigned with him 1777-86, and, as sole monarch, from 1786 to 1816. The death of her husband, of her favourite confessor, Ignatio de San Caetano, who had been raised by Pombal from the humblest rank to the position of archbishop in partibus, and of her son, turned her brain, and she became melancholy mad. She was only queen in name after 1791, and in 1799 her son, Maria José Luis, was appointed regent. Beckford saw her in 1787, and was impressed by her dignified bearing. "Justice and clemency," he writes, "the motto so glaringly misapplied on the banner of the abhorred Inquisition, might be transferred, with the strictest truth, to this good princess" (Italy, with Sketches of Spain and Portugal, 1834, p. 256). Ten years later, Southey, in his Letters from Spain, 1797, p. 541, ascribes the "gloom" of the court of Lisbon to "the dreadful malady of the queen." When the Portuguese royal family were about to embark for Brazil in November, 1807, the queen was once more seen in public after an interval of sixteen years. "She had to wait some while upon the quay for the chair in which she was to be carried to the boat, and her countenance, in which the insensibility of madness was only disturbed by wonder, formed a striking contrast to the grief which appeared in every other face" (Southey's History of the Peninsular War, i. 110).]
- Childe Burun ——.—[MS.]
Less swoln with culture soon the vales extend
And long horizon-bounded realms appear.—[MS. erased.]
- Say Muse what bounds ——.—[MS. D.]
- The Pyrenees.—[MS.]
- [If, as stanza xliii. of this canto (added in 1811) intimates, Byron passed through "Albuera's plain" on his way from Lisbon to Seville, he must have crossed the frontier at a point between Elvas and Badajoz. In that case the "silver streamlet" may be identified as the Caia. Beckford remarks on "the rivulet which separates the two kingdoms" (Italy, etc., 1834, p. 291).]
- But eer the bounds of Spain have far been passed.—[MS. D.]
- For ever famed—in many a native song.—[MS. erased.]
—— a noted song.—[MS. D.]
- [Compare Virgil, Æneid, i. 100—
"Ubi tot Simois correpta sub undis
Scuta virûm galeasque et fortia corpora volvit."]
- [The standard, a cross made of Asturian oak (La Cruz de la Victoria), which was said to have fallen from heaven before Pelayo gained the victory over the Moors at Cangas, in A.D. 718, is preserved at Oviedo. Compare Southey's Roderick, xxv.: Poetical Works, 1838, ix. 241, and note, pp. 370, 371.]
- —— which Pelagius bore.—[MS. D.]
- [The Moors were finally expelled from Granada in 1492, in the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella.]
- —— waxed the Crescent pale.—[MS. erased.]
- [The reference is to the Romanceros and Caballerías of the sixteenth century.]
- —— thy little date.—[MS. erased.]
—— from rock to rock
Blue columns soaring loft in sulphury wreath
Fragments on fragments in contention knock.—[MS. erased, D.]
- "The Siroc is the violent hot wind that for weeks together blows down the Mediterranean from the Archipelago. Its effects are well known to all who have passed the Straits of Gibraltar."—[MS. D.]
- [The battle of Talavera began July 27, 1809, and lasted two days. As Byron must have reached Seville by the 21st or 22nd of the month, he was not, as might be inferred, a spectator of any part of the engagement. Writing to his mother, August 11, he says, "You have heard of the battle near Madrid, and in England they would call it a victory—a pretty victory! Two hundred officers and five thousand men killed, all English, and the French in as great force as ever. I should have joined the army, but we have no time to lose before we get up the Mediterranean."—Letters, 1898, i. 241.]
- Their rival scarfs that shine so gloriously.—[MS. erased.]
Their rural scarfs ——.— [MS. D.]
- [Compare Campbell's "Hohenlinden"—
"Few, few shall part where many meet."]
- [Compare Macbeth, act i. sc. 2, line 51—
"Where the Norweyan banners flout the sky."]
- [In a letter to Colonel Malcolm, December 3, 1809, the Duke admits that the spoils of conquest were of a moral rather than of a material kind. "The battle of Talavera was certainly the hardest fought of modern days.... It is lamentable that, owing to the miserable inefficiency of the Spaniards,... the glory of the action is the only benefit which we have derived from it.... I have in hand a most difficult task.... In such circumstances one may fail, but it would be dishonourable to shrink from the task."—Wellington Dispatches, 1844, ill. 621.]
There shall they rot—while rhymers tell the fools
How honour decks the turf that wraps their clay!
- Two lines of Collins' Ode, "How sleep the brave," etc., have been compressed into one—
"There Honour comes a pilgrim grey,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay."
- But Reason's elf in these beholds ——.—[D.]
—— a fancied throne?
As if they compassed half that hails their sway.—[MS. erased.]
- —— glorious sound of grief.—[D.]
- [The battle of Albuera (May 16, 1811), at which the English, under Lord Beresford, repulsed Soult, was somewhat of a Pyrrhic victory. "Another such a battle," wrote the Duke, "would ruin us. I am working hard to put all right again." The French are said to have lost between 8000 and 9000 men, the English 4158, the Spaniards 1365.]
- A scene for mingling foes to boast and bleed.—[D.]
- Yet peace be with the perished ——.—[D. erased.]
- And tears and triumph make their memory long.—[D. erased.]
- —— there sink with other woes.—[D. erased.]
- [Albuera was celebrated by Scott, in his Vision of Don Roderick. The Battle of Albuera, a Poem (anon.), was published in October, 1811.]
- Who sink in darkness ——.—[MS. erased.]
- —— swift Rapine's path pursued.—[MS. D.]
- To Harold turn we as ——.— [MS. erased.]
- [In this "particular" Childe Harold did not resemble his alter ego. Hobhouse and "part of the servants" (Joe Murray, Fletcher, a German, and the "page" Robert Rushton, constituted his "whole suite"), accompanied Byron in his ride across Spain from Lisbon to Gibraltar. (See Letters, 1898, i. 224, 236.)]
- Where proud Sevilha ——.—[MS. D.]
- [Byron, en route for Gibraltar, passed three days at Seville at the end of July or the beginning of August, 1809. By the end of January, 1810, the French had appeared in force before Seville. Unlike Zaragoza and Gerona, the pleasure-loving city, "after some negotiations, surrendered, with all its stores, foundries, and arsenal complete, and on the 1st of February the king [Joseph] entered in triumph" (Napier's History of the War in the Peninsula, ii. 295).]
- A kind of fiddle with only two strings, played on by a bow, said to have been brought by the Moors into Spain.
- Not here the Trumpet, but the rebeck sounds.—[MS. erased.]
- And dark-eyed Lewdness ——.—[MS. erased.]
- [See The Waltz: Poetical Works, 1898, i. 492, note 1.]
- Not in the toils of Glory would ye sweat.—[MS. erased, D.]
- [The scene is laid on the heights of the Sierra Morena. The travellers are looking across the "long level plain" of the Guadalquivir to the mountains of Ronda and Granada, with their "hill-forts ... perched everywhere like eagles' nests" (Ford's Handbook for Spain, i. 252). The French, under Dupont, entered the Morena, June 2, 1808. They stormed the bridge at Alcolea, June 7, and occupied Cordoba, but were defeated at Bailen, July 19, and forced to capitulate. Hence the traces of war. The "Dragon's nest"(line 7) is the ancient city of Jaen, which guards the skirts of the Sierras "like a watchful Cerberus." It was taken by the French, but recaptured by the Spanish, early in July, 1808 (History of the War in the Peninsula, i. 71-80).]
- [The Sierra Morena gets its name from the classical Montes Mariani, not, as Byron seems to imply, from its dark and dusky aspect.]
- —— the never-changing watch.—[MS. D.]
- The South must own ——.—[MS. D.]
- When soars Gaul's eagle ——.—[MS. D.]
- [As time went on, Byron's sentiments with regard to Napoleon underwent a change, and he hesitates between sympathetic admiration and reluctant disapproval. At the moment his enthusiasm was roused by Spain's heroic resistance to the new Alaric, "the scourger of the world," and he expresses himself like Southey "or another" (vide post., Canto III., pp. 238, 239).]
- ["A short two-edged knife or dagger ... formerly worn at the girdle" (N. Eng. Dict., art. "Anlace"). The "anlace" of the Spanish heroines was the national weapon, the pluñal, or cuchillo, which was sometimes stuck in the sash (Handbook for Spain, ii. 803).]
- [Compare Macbeth, act v. sc. 5, line 10—
"The Time has been, my senses would have cooled
To hear a night-shriek."]
—— the column-scattering bolt afar,
The falchion's flash ——.—[MS. erased, D.]
The seal Love's rosy finger has imprest
On her fair chin denotes how soft his touch:
Her lips where kisses make voluptuous nest.—[MS. erased.]
- [Writing to his mother (August 11, 1809), Byron compares "the Spanish style" of beauty to the disadvantage of the English: "Long black hair, dark languishing eyes, clear olive complexions, and forms more graceful in motion than can be conceived by an Englishman ... render a Spanish beauty irresistible" (Letters, 1898, i. 239). Compare, too, the opening lines of The Girl of Cadiz, which gave place to the stanzas To Inez, at the close of this canto—
"Oh never talk again to me
Of northern climes and British ladies."
But in Don Juan, Canto XII. stanzas lxxiv.-lxxvii., he makes the amende to the fair Briton—
"She cannot step as doth an Arab barb,
Or Andalusian girl from mass returning.·····
But though the soil may give you time and trouble,
Well cultivated, it will render double."]
- Beauties that need not fear a broken vow.—[MS. erased.]
—— a lecher's vow.—[MS.]
- [The summit of Parnassus is not visible from Delphi or the neighbourhood. Before he composed "these stanzas" (December 16), (see note 13.B.) at the foot of Parnassus, Byron had first surveyed its "snow-clad" majesty as he sailed towards Vostizza (on the southern shore of the Gulf of Corinth), which he reached on the 5th, and quitted on the 14th of December. "The Echoes" (line 8) which were celebrated by the ancients (Justin, Hist., lib. xxiv. cap. 6), are those made by the Phædriades, or "gleaming peaks," a "lofty precipitous escarpment of red and grey limestone" at the head of the valley of the Pleistus, facing southwards.—Travels in Albania, i. 188, 199; Geography of Greece, by H. F. Tozer, 1873, p. 230.]
- Not in the landscape of a fabled lay.—[MS. D.]
- ["Upon Parnassus, going to the fountain of Delphi (Castri) in 1809, I saw a flight of twelve eagles (Hobhouse said 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, leaving the future in his hands, as I left the past" (B. Diary, 1821).]
- And walks with glassy steps o'er Aganippe's wave.—[MS. erased.]
Let me some remnant of thy Spirit bear
Some glorious thought to my petition grant.—[MS. erased, D.]
- ["Parnassus ... is distinguished from all other Greek mountains by its mighty mass. This, with its vast buttresses, almost fills up the rest of the country" (Geography of Greece, by H. F. Tozer, 1873, p. 226).]
- [In his first letter from Spain (to F. Hodgson, August 6, 1809) Byron exclaims, "Cadiz, sweet Cadiz!—it is the first spot in the creation ... Cadiz is a complete Cythera." See, too, letter to Mrs. Byron, August 11, 1809 (Letters, 1898, i. 234, 239).]
While boyish blood boils gaily, who can 'scape
The lurking lures of thy enchanting gaze.—[MS. erased.]
- [It must not be supposed that the "thousand altars" of Cadiz correspond with and are in contrast to the "one dome" of Paphos. The point is that where Venus fixes her shrine, at Paphos or at Cadiz, altars blaze and worshippers abound (compare Æneid, i. 415-417)—
"Ipsa Paphum sublimis abit, sedesque revisit
Læta suas, ubi templum illi, centumque Sabæo
Ture calent aræ."]
- [Compare Milton's Paradise Lost, i.—
... from morn
To noon he fell, from noon to dewy eve."]
- [It was seldom that Byron's memory played him false, but here a vague recollection of a Shakespearian phrase has beguiled him into a blunder. He is thinking of Hamlet's jibe on the corruption of manners, "The age is grown so picked that the toe of the peasant comes so near the heel of the courtier, he galls his kibe" (act v. sc. 1, line 150), and he forgets that a kibe is not a heel or a part of a heel, but a chilblain.]
—— though in lieu
Of true devotion monkish temples share
The hours misspent, and all in turns is Love or Prayer.—[MS. erased.]
- —— or rule the hour in turns.—[D.]
- [As he intimates in the Preface to Childe Harold, Byron had originally intended to introduce "variations" in his poem of a droll or satirical character. Beattie, Thomson, Ariosto, were sufficient authorities for these humorous episodes. The stanzas on the Convention of Cintra (stanzas xxv.-xxviii. of the MS.), and the four stanzas on Sir John Carr; the concluding stanzas of the MS., which were written in this lighter vein, were suppressed at the instance of Dallas, or Murray, or Gifford. From a passage in a letter to Dallas (August 21, 1811), it appears that Byron had almost made up his mind to leave out "the two stanzas of a buffooning cast on London's Sunday" (Letters, 1898, i. 335). But, possibly, owing to their freedom from any compromising personalities, or because wiser counsels prevailed, they were allowed to stand, and continued (wrote Moore in 1832) to "disfigure the poem."]
- [A whiskey is a light carriage in which the traveller is whisked along.]
- And humbler gig ——.—[MS.]
- And droughty man alights and roars for "Roman Purl."[^]—[MS. D.]
—— for Punch or Purl.—[D.]
^ A festive liquor so called. Query why "Roman"? [Query if "Roman"? "'Purl Royal,' Canary wine with a dash of the tincture of wormwood" (Grose's Class. Dict.).]
- Some o'er thy Thames convoy ——.—[MS. D.]
- [Hone's Everyday Book (1827, ii. 80-87) gives a detailed account of the custom of "swearing on the horns" at Highgate. "The horns, fixed on a pole of about five feet in length, were erected by placing the pole upright on the ground near the person to be sworn, who is requested to take off his hat," etc. The oath, or rather a small part of it, ran as follows: "Take notice what I am saying unto you, for that is the first word of your oath—mind that! You must acknowledge me [the landlord] to be your adopted father, etc.... You must not eat brown bread while you can get white, except you like the brown best. You must not drink small beer while you can get strong, except you like the small best. You must not kiss the maid while you can kiss the mistress, but sooner than lose a good chance you may kiss them both," etc. Drovers, who frequented the "Gate House" at the top of the hill, and who wished to keep the tavern to themselves, are said to have been responsible for the rude beginnings of this tedious foolery."]
- [M. Darmesteter quotes a striking passage from Gautier's Voyage en Espagne (xv.), in appreciation of Cadiz and Byron: "L'aspect de Cadix, en venant du large, est charmant. A la voir ainsi étincelante de blancheur entre l'azur de la mer et l'azur du ciel, on dirait une immense couronne de filigrane d'argent; le dôme de la cathédrale, peint en jaune, semble une tiare de vermeil posée au milieu. Les pots de fleurs, les volutes et les tourelles qui terminent les maisons, varient à l'infini la dentelure. Byron a merveilleusement caractérisé la physionomie de Cadix en une seule touche:
"Brillante Cadix, qui t'élèves vers le ciel du milieu du bleu foncé de la mer."]
- [The actors in a bull-fight consist of three or four classes: the chulos or footmen, the banderilleros or dart-throwers, the picadores or horsemen, the matadores or espadas the executioners. Each bull-fight, which lasts about twenty minutes, is divided into three stages or acts. In the first act the picadores receive the charge of the bull, defending themselves, but not, as a rule, attacking the foe with their lances or garrochas. In the second act the chulos, who are not mounted, wave coloured cloaks or handkerchiefs in the bull's face, and endeavour to divert his fury from the picadores, in case they have been thrown or worsted in the encounter. At the same time, the banderilleros are at pains to implant in either side of the bull's neck a number of barbed darts ornamented with cut paper, and, sometimes, charged with detonating powder. It is de rigeur to plant the barbs exactly on either side. In the third and final act, the protagonist, the matador or espada, is the sole performer. His function is to entice the bull towards him by waving the muleta or red flag, and, standing in front of the animal, to inflict the death-wound by plunging his sword between the left shoulder and the blade. "The teams of mules now enter, glittering with flags and tinkling with bells, whose gay decorations contrast with the stern cruelty and blood; the dead bull is carried oft at a rapid gallop, which always delights the populace."—Handbook for Spain, by Richard Ford. 1898, i. 67-76.]
- "The croupe is a particular leap taught in the manège."—[MS.] [Croupe, or croup, denotes the hind quarters of a horse. Compare Scott's ballad of "Young Lochinvar"—
"So light to the croupe the fair lady he swung."
Here it is used for "croupade," "a high curvet in which the hind legs are brought up under the belly of the horse" (N. Eng. Dict., art. "Croupade."]
- ["Brast" for "burst" is found in Spenser (Faërie Queene, i. 9. 21. 7), and is still current in Lancashire dialect. See Lanc. Gloss. (E. D. S. "brast").]
- [One bull-fight, one matador. In describing the last act Byron confuses the chulos or cloak-waving footmen, who had already played their part, with the single champion, the matador, who is about to administer the coup de grâce.]
- —— he lies along the sand.—[MS. erased.]
- The trophy corse is reared—disgusting prize.
or, The corse is reared—sparkling the chariot flies.—[MS. M.]
- [Compare Virgil, Æneid, viii. 264—
"Pedibusque informe cadaver
Protrahitur. Nequeunt expleri corda tuendo—"]
- "The Spaniards are as revengeful as ever. At Santa Otella, I heard a young peasant threaten to stab a woman (an old one, to be sure, which mitigates the offence), and was told, on expressing some small surprise, that this ethic was by no means uncommon."—[MS.]
- [Byron's "orthodoxy" of the word "centinel" was suggested by the Spanish centinela, or, perhaps, by Spenser's "centonell" (Faërie Queene, bk. i. c. ix. st. 41, line 8).]
And all whereat the wandering soul revolts
Which that stern dotard dreamed he could encage.—[MS. erased.]
Full from the heart of Joy's delicious springs
Some Bitter bubbles up, and even on Roses stings.—[MS.]
- [The Dallas Transcript reads "itself," but the MS. and earlier editions "herself."]
Had buried there his hopes, no more to rise:
Drugged with dull pleasure! life-abhorring Gloom
Wrote on his faded brow curst Cain's wandering doom.—[MS. erased.]
Had buried there.—[MS. D.]
- [Byron's belief or, rather, haunting dread, that he was predestined to evil is to be traced to the Calvinistic teaching of his boyhood (compare Childe Harold, Canto III. stanza lxx. lines 8, 9; and Canto IV. stanza xxxiv. line 6). Lady Byron regarded this creed of despair as the secret of her husband's character, and the source of his aberrations. In a letter to H. C. Robinson, March 5, 1855, she writes, "Not merely from casual expressions, but from the whole tenour of Lord Byron's feelings, I could not but conclude he was a believer in the inspiration of the Bible, and had the gloomiest Calvinistic tenets. To that unhappy view of the relation of the creature to the Creator, I have always ascribed the misery of his life.... Instead of being made happier by any apparent good, he felt convinced that every blessing would be 'turned into a curse' to him. Who, possessed by such ideas, could lead a life of love and service to God or man? They must in a measure realize themselves. 'The worst of it is, I do believe,' he said. I, like all connected with him, was broken against the rock of predestination."]
- "Stanzas to be inserted after stanza 86th in Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, instead of the song at present in manuscript."—[MS. note to "To Inez."]
[The stanzas To Inez are dated January 25, 1810, on which day Byron and Hobhouse visited Marathon. Most likely they were addressed to Theresa Macri, the "Maid of Athens," or some favourite of the moment, and not to "Florence" (Mrs. Spencer Smith), whom he had recently (January 16) declared emerita to the tune of "The spell is broke, the charm is flown." A fortnight later (February 10), Hobhouse, accompanied by the Albanian Vasilly and the Athenian Demetrius, set out for the Negroponte. "Lord Byron was unexpectedly detained at Athens" (Travels in Albania, i. 390). (For the stanzas to The Girl of Cadiz, which were suppressed in favour of those To Inez, see Poetical Works, 1891, p. 14, and vol. iii. of the present issue.)]
- [Compare Horace, Odes, II. xvi. 19, 20—
"Patriæ quis exsul
Se quoque fugit?"]
To other zones howe'er remote
Still, still pursuing clings to me.—[MS. erased.]
- [Compare Prior's Solomon, bk. iii. lines 85, 86—
"In the remotest wood and lonely grot
Certain to meet that worst of evils—thought."]
- [Cadiz was captured from the Moors by Alonso el Sabio, in 1262. It narrowly escaped a siege, January—February, 1810. Soult commenced a "serious bombardment," May 16, 1812, but, three months later, August 24, the siege was broken up. Stanza lxxxv. is not in the original MS.]
- [Charles IV. abdicated March 19, 1808, in favour of his son Ferdinand VII.; and in the following May, Charles once more abdicated on his own behalf, and Ferdinand for himself and his heirs, in favour of Napoleon. Thenceforward Charles was an exile, and Ferdinand a prisoner at Valençay, and Spain, so far as the Bourbons were concerned, remained "kingless," until motives of policy procured the release of the latter, who re-entered his kingdom March 22, 1814.]
Ye, who would more of Spain and Spaniards know,This borrow, steal,—don't buy,—and tell us what you think.
Sights, Saints, Antiques, Arts, Anecdotes and War,
Go hie ye hence to Paternoster Row—
Are they not written in the Boke of Carr,
Green Erin's Knight and Europe's wandering star!
Then listen, Readers, to the Man of Ink,
Hear what he did, and sought, and wrote afar;
All those are cooped within one Quarto's brink,
There may you read with spectacles on eyes,
How many Wellesleys did embark for Spain,
As if therein they meant to colonise,
How many troops y-crossed the laughing main
That ne'er beheld the said return again:
How many buildings are in such a place,
How many leagues from this to yonder plain,
How many relics each cathedral grace,
And where Giralda stands on her gigantic base.
There may you read (Oh, Phœbus, save Sir John!
That these my words prophetic may not err)
All that was said, or sung, and lost, or won,
By vaunting Wellesley or by blundering Frere,
He that wrote half the "Needy Knife-Grinder,"
Thus Poesy the way to grandeur paves—
Who would not such diplomatists prefer?
But cease, my Muse, thy speed some respite craves,
Leave legates to the House, and armies to their graves.
Yet here of Vulpes mention may be made
Who for the Junta modelled sapient laws,
Taught them to govern ere they were obeyed:
Certes fit teacher to command, because
His soul Socratic no Xantippe awes;
Blest with a Dame in Virtue's bosom nurst,—
With her let silent Admiration pause!—
True to her second husband and her first:
On such unshaken fame let Satire do its worst.
^ 1. "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."—[MS.]
["I have seen Sir John Carr at Seville and Cadiz, and, like Swift's barber, have been down on my knees to beg he would not put me into black and white" (letter to Hodgson, August 6, 1809, Letters, 1898, i. 235, note).]
^ 2. "I presume Marquis and Mr. and Pole and Sir A. are returned by this time, and eke the bewildered Frere whose conduct was canvassed by the Commons."—[MS.]
[A motion which had been brought forward in the House of Commons, February 24, 1809, "to inquire into the causes ... of the late campaign in Spain," was defeated, but the Government recalled J. Hookham Frere, British Minister to the Supreme Junta, and nominated the Marquis Wellesley Ambassador Extraordinary to Seville. Wellesley landed in Spain early in August, but a duel which took place, September 21, between Perceval and Canning led to changes in the ministry, and, with a view to taking office, he left Cadiz November 10, 1809. His brother, Henry Wellesley (1773-1847, first Baron Cowley), succeeded him as Envoy Extraordinary. If "Mr." stands for Henry Wellesley, "Pole" may be William Wellesley Pole, afterwards third Earl of Mornington.]
^ 3. [The base of the Giralda, the cathedral tower at Seville, is a square of fifty feet. The pinnacle of the filigree belfry, which surmounts the original Moorish tower, "is crowned with El Girardillo, a bronze statue of La Fé, The Faith.... Although 14 feet high, and weighing 2800 lbs., it turns with the slightest breeze."—Ford's Handbook for Spain, i. 174.]^ 7.
^ 4. [Vide ante, p. 78, note 2.]
^ 5. By shrivelled Wellesley ——.—[MS. erased.]
^ 6. "The Needy Knife-grinder," in the Anti-Jacobin, was a joint production of Messrs. Frere and Canning.
None better knoivn for doing things by halves
As many in our Senate did aver.—[MS. erased.]
^ 8. Yet surely Vulpes merits some applause.—[MS. erased.]
^ 9. [Henry Richard Vassall Fox, second Lord Holland (1773-1840), accompanied Sir David Baird to Corunna, September, 1808, and made a prolonged tour in Spain, returning in the autumn of 1809. He suggested to the Junta of Seville to extend their functions as a committee of defence, and proposed a new constitution. His wife, Elizabeth Vassall, the daughter of a rich Jamaica planter, was first married (June 27, 1786) to Sir Godfrey Webster, Bart. Sir Godfrey divorced his wife July 3, 1797, and three days later she was married to Lord Holland. She had lived with him for some time previously, and before the divorce had borne him a son, Charles Richard Fox (1796-1873), who was acknowledged by Lord Holland.]
- [Stanzas lxxxviii.-xciii., which record the battles of Barossa (March 5, 1811) and Albuera (May 16, 1811), and the death of Byron's school-friend Wingfield (May 14, 1811), were written at Newstead in August, 1811, and take the place of four omitted stanzas (q.v. supra).]
- [Francisco Pizarro (1480-1541), with his brothers, Hernando, Juan Gonzalo, and his half-brother Martin de Alcantara, having revisited Spain, set sail for Panama in 1530. During his progress southward from Panama, he took the island of Puna, which formed part of the province of Quito. His defeat and treacherous capture of Atuahalpa, King of Quito, younger brother of Huascar the Supreme Inca, took place in 1532, near the town of Caxamarca, in Peno (Mod. Univ. History, 1763, xxxviii. 295, seq.). Spain's weakness during the Napoleonic invasion was the opportunity of her colonies. Quito, the capital of Ecuador, rose in rebellion, August 10, 1810, and during the same year Mexico and La Plata began their long struggle for independence.]
- [During the American War of Independence (1775-83), and afterwards during the French Revolution, it was the custom to plant trees as "symbols of growing freedom." The French trees were decorated with "caps of Liberty." No such trees had ever been planted in Spain. (See note by the Rev. E. C. Everard Owen, Childe Harold, 1897, p. 158.)]
And thou, my friend! since thus my selfish woe Bursts from my heart, to weaken in
however light my strain,
for ever light the ——.—[D.]
Had the sword laid thee, with the mighty, low
Pride had forbade me of thy fall to plain.—[MS. D.]
- [Compare the In Memoriam stanzas at the end of Beattie's Minstrel—
"And am I left to unavailing woe?"
II. 63, line 2.]
- —— belov'd the most.—[MS. D.]
- [With reference to this stanza, Byron wrote to Dallas, October 25, 1811 (Letters, 1898, ii. 58, 59), "I send you a conclusion to the whole. In a stanza towards the end of Canto I. in the line,
"Oh, known the earliest and beloved the most,
I shall alter the epithet to 'esteemed the most.'"]
- —— where none so long was dear.—[MS. D.]
- And fancy follow to ——.—[MS. D.]
- "Fytte" means "part."—[Note erased.]
- [Vide post, p. 196, note 1.]
- [In a letter to J. B. S. Morritt, April 26, 1811, Sir Walter Scott writes, "I meditate some wild stanzas referring to the Peninsula; if I can lick them into any shape, I hope to get something handsome from the booksellers for the Portuguese sufferers: 'Silver and gold have I none, but that which I have I will give unto them.' My lyrics are called The Vision of Don Roderick."—Lockhart's Mem. of the Life of Sir W. Scott, 1871, p. 205.]
- [François Horace Bastien Sebastiani (1772-1851), one of Napoleon's generals, defeated the Spanish at Ciudad Real, March 17, 1809. In his official report he said that he had sabred more than 3000 Spaniards in flight. At the battle of Talavera, July 27, his corps suffered heavily; but at Almonacid, August 11, he was again victorious over the Spanish.]