Слике страница
PDF
ePub

And he who had so loved her was not there
To trouble with bad hopes, or evil wish,
Or ill-repress'd affliction, her pure thoughts.
What could her grief be ? she had loved him not,
Nor given him cause to deem himself beloved ;
Nor could he be a part of that which prey'd
Upon her mind-a spectre of the past.
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The wanderer was return'd. I saw him stand
Before an altar-with a gentle bride ;
Her face was fair, but was not that which made
The starlight of his boyhood; as he stood
Even at the altar, o'er his brow there came
The selfsame aspect, and the quivering shock
That in the antique oratory shook
His bosom in its solitude ; and then,
As in that hour, a moment o'er his face
The tablet of unutterable thoughts
Was traced, and then it faded as it came,
And he stood calm and quiet, and he spoke
The fitting vows, but heard not his own words,
And all things reel'd around him; he could see
Not that which was, nor that which should have
But the old mansion, and the accustom'd hall, [been;
And the remember'd chambers, and the place,
The day, the hour, the sunshine, and the shade,
All things pertaining to that place and hour,
And her who was his destiny, came back
And thrust themselves between him and the light :
What business had they there at such a time?
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The lady of his love-oh! she was changed
As by the sickness of the soul ; her mind
Had wander'd from its dwelling, and her eyes
They had not their own lustre, but the look
Which is not of the earth; she was become
The queen of a fantastic realm; her thoughts
Were combinations of disjointed things;

And forms impalpable and unperceived
Of others' sight familiar were to hers.
And this the world calls phrensy; but the wise
Have a far deeper madness, and the glance
Of melancholy is a fearful gift;
What is it but the telescope of truth?
Which strips the distance of its fantasies,
And brings life near in utter nakedness,
Making the cold reality too real!

A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
The wanderer was alone as heretofore,
The beings which surrounded him were gone,
Or were at war with him; he was a mark
For blight and desolation, compass'd round
With Hatred and Contention ; Pain was mix'd
In all which was served up to him, until,
Like to the Pontic monarch of old days,
He fed on poisons, and they had no power,
But were a kind of nutriment; he lived
Through that which had been death to many men,
And made him friends of mountains : with the stars
And the quick Spirit of the universe
He held his dialogues; and they did teach
To him the magic of their mysteries;
To him the book of Night was open'd wide,
And voices from the deep abyss reveal'd
A marvel and a secret. Be it so.

My dream was past; it had no farther change.
It was of a strange order, that the doom
Of these two creatures should be thus traced out
Almost like a reality: the one
To end in madness—both in misery.

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

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

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

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

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

*

'Tis night, when Meditation bids us feel
We once have loved, though love is at an end :
The heart, long mourner of its baffled zeal,
Though friendless now, will dream it had a friend.
Who th the weight of years would wish to bend,
When Youth itself survives young Love and Joy?
Alas! when mingling souls forget to blend,

Death hath but little left him to destroy !
Ah! happy years ! once more who would not be a

Thus bending o’er the vessel's laving side,
To gaze on Dian's wave-reflected sphere,
The soul forgets her schemes of Hope and Pride,
And flies unconscious o'er each backward year.

VOL. II.-R

[boy?

None are so desolate but something dear,
Dearer than self, possesses or possess'd
A thought, and claims the homage of a tear;

A flashing pang! of which the weary breast Would still, albeit in vain, the heavy heart divest.

To sit on rocks, to muse o'er flood and fell,
To slowly trace the forest's shady scene,
Where things that own not man's dominion dwell,
And mortal foot hath ne'er or rarely been;
To climb the trackless mountain all unseen,
With the wild flock that never needs a fold;
Alone o'er steeps and foaming falls to lean;

This is not solitude ; 'tis but to hold [unrolld. Converse with Nature's charms, and view her stores

But mid the crowd, the hum, the shock of men,
To hear, to see, to feel, and to possess,
And roam along, the world's tired denizen,
With none who bless us, none whom we can bless;
Minions of splendour shrinking from distress!
None that, with kindred consciousness endued,
If we were not, would seem to smile the less

Of all that flatter'd, follow'd, sought, and sued,
This is to be alone; this, this is solitude !

[blocks in formation]

Fair Greece! sad relic of departed worth!
Immortal, though no more; though fallen, great!
Who now shall lead thy scatter'd children forth,
And long-accustom'd bondage uncreate ?
Not such thy sons who whilome did await,
The hopeless warriors of a willing doom,
In bleak Thermopylæ’s sepulchral strait-

Oh! who that gallant spirit shall resume, [tomb? Leap from Eurota's banks, and call thee from the

[ocr errors]

*

And yet how lovely in thine age of wo,
Land of lost gods and godlike men! art thou !
Thy vales of evergreen, thy hills of snow,
Proclaim thee Nature's varied favourite now;

Thy fanes, thy temples to thy surface bow,
Commingling slowly with heroic earth,
Broke by the share of every rustic plough:

So perish monuments of mortal birth,
So perish all in turn, save well-recorded worth ;

Save where some solitary column mourns
Above its prostrate brethren of the cave ;
Save where Tritonia's airy shrine adorns
Colonna's cliff, and gleams along the wave ;
Save o'er some warrior's half-forgotten grave,
Where the gray stones and unmolested grass
Ages, but not oblivion, feebly brave,
While strangers only not regardless pass,
Lingering like me, perchance, to gaze, and sigh

“ Alas !”
Yet are thy skies as blue, thy crags as wild;
Sweet are thy groves, and verdant are thy fields,
Thine olive ripe as when Minerva smiled,
And still his honey'd wealth Hymettus yields ;
There the blithe bee his fragrant fortress builds,
The freeborn wanderer of thy mountain air;
Apollo still thy long, long summer gilds,

Still in his beam Mendeli's marbles glare ;
Art, Glory, Freedom fail, but Nature still is fair.

Where'er we tread 'tis haunted, holy ground;
No earth of thine is lost in vulgar mould,
But one vast realm of wonder spreads around,
And all the Muse's tales seem truly told,
Till the sense aches with gazing to behold
The scenes our earliest dreams have dwelt upon :
Each hill and dale, each deepening glen and wold

Defies the power which crush'd thy temples gone : Age shakes Athena's tower, but spares gray Mara

thon.
The sun, the soil, but not the slave, the same;
Unchanged in all except its foreign lord;
Preserves alike its bounds and boundless fame
The battle-field, where Persia's victim horde

« ПретходнаНастави »