Page images
PDF
EPUB

1

[ocr errors]

So just applause her honourd name shall lose, My voice was heard again, though not so loud ;
As first in freedom, dearest to the muse.

My page, though nameless, never disavow'd,
Oh, would tly bards but emulate thy fame,

And now at once I tear the veil away: And rise more worthy, Albion, of thy name!

Cheer on the pack! the quarry stands at bay, What Athens was in science, Rome in power,

Unscared by all the din of MELBOURNE-house, What Tyre appear'd in her meridian hour,

By LAMBE's resentment, or by Holland's spouse, Tis ibine at once, fair Albion, to have been,

By Jeffrey's harmless pistol, Hallam's rage, Earth's chief dictatress, Ocean's mighty queen :

Edina's brawny sons and brimstone page.
But Rome decay'd, and Athens strew'd the plain,

Our men in buckram shall have blows enough,
And Tyre's proud piers lie shatter'd in the main: And feel they too are « penetrable stuff ;»
Like these thy strength may sink in ruin hurlu, And though I hope not hence upscathed to go,
And Britain fall, the bulwark of the world.

Who conquers me shall find a stubborn foe.
But let me cease, and dread Cassandra's fate,

The time hath been, when no harsh sound would fall With warning ever scoffd at, 'till too late;

From lips that now may seem imbued with gall, To themes less lofty still my lay confine,

Nor fools nor follies tempt me to despise | And urge thy bards to gain a name like thine. The meanest thing that crawld beneath my eyes :

But now, so callous grown, so changed since youth, Then, hapless Bricain! be thy rulers blest,

I've learned to think and sternly speak the truth; The senate's oracles, the people's jest!

Learn'd to deride the critic's starch decree, Sull bear thy motley orators dispense

And break him on the wheel he meant for me; The flowers of rhetoric, though not of sense,

To spurn the rod a scribbler bids me kiss, | While CANNING's colleagues hate him for his wit,

Nor care if courts and crowds applaud or hiss : And old dame PORTLAND Glls the place of Pitt.

Nay, more, though all my rival rhymesters frown, Yet once again adieu ! ere this the sail

I too can hunt a poetaster down; That wafls me hence is shivering in the gale:

And, arm'd in proof, the gauntlet cast at once And Afric's coast and Calpe's ? adverse height,

To Scotch marauder, and to southern dunce. Ånd Stamboul's 3 minarets must greet my sight:

Thus much I've dared to do ; how far my lay Thence shall I stray through beauty's 4 nalive clime,

Hath wrong'd these righteous times, let others say; Wbere kaffs is clad in rocks, and crown'd with snows

This let the world, which knows not how to spare, sublime.

Yet rarely blames unjustly, now declare.
Ber should I back return, no letter'd rage
Shall drag my common-place book on the stage:

POSTSCRIPT.'
Let vain VALENTIA 6 rival luckless Carr,
And equal him whose work he sought to mar;
Let ABERDEEN and Elgin 7 still pursue
The shade of fame through regions of virtu;

I HAVE been informed, since the present edition went Waste useless thousands on their Phidian freaks,

to the press, that my trusty and well beloved cousins, Misshapen monuments and maim'd antiques;

the Edinburgh Reviewers, are preparing a most veheAnd make their grand saloons a general mart

ment critique on my poor, gentle, unresisting muse, | For all the mutilated blocks of art:

whom they have already so bedeviled with their ungodly Of Dardan tours let dilettanti tell,

ribaldry:
I lease topography to classic GelL;8
And, quite content, no more shall interpose
To stun mankind with poesy or prose.

I suppose I must say of Jeffrey as Sir Andrew AGUB

CHEEK saith, «an I had known he was so cunning of Tbus far I've held my updisturb'd career,

fence, I had seen him damned ere I had fought him.» Prepared for rancour, steel'd 'gainst selfish fear : What a pity it is that I shall be beyond the Bosphorus This thing of rhyme I ne'er disdain'd to own

before the next number has passed the Tweed! But Though not obtrusive, yet not quite unknown: yet I hope to light my pipe with it in Persia. 1 ' A friend of mine being asked why his Grace of P. was likened

My northern friends have accused me, with justice, of to as old woman 1 replied, " he sapposed it was bocause he was past personality towards their great literary Anthropophagus, bearia

JEFFREY: but what else was to be done with him and his • Calpe is the ancient same of Gibraltar,

dirty pack, who feed « by lying and slandering,» and • Starboal is the Tarkish word for Constantinople. • Georgia, remarkable for the beauty of its inhabitants.

slake their thirst by « evil-speaking ?» I have adduced Noapt Caucasas.

facts already well known, and of Jeffrey's mind I have * Lord Valentia (whose tremendous travels are forthcoming. stalcd my free opinion; nor has he thence sustained with dee decorations, graphical, topographical, and typographical) any injury: what scavenger was ever soiled by being dessed, co sir doas Corne odlucky suit, that Doors Satire pre-pelted with mud ? It may be said that I quit England realed his parchase of the • Stranger in Ireland.»-Ob fie, my Lord! bas your lordship no more feeling for a fellow-tourist? but because I have censured there « persons of honour and two of a inade.. they say, etc.

wit about town;» but I am coming back again, and | Lord Ecars would fain persuade us that all the figures, with their vengeance will keep hot till my return.

Those and witboat noses, in his stone-shop, are the work of Phidias!

who know me can testify that my motives for leaving *Credar Jadæus.. ' Ir Gent's Topography of Troy and Ithaca cannot fail to ensure England are very different from fears, literary or perthe approbation of every man possessed of classical tasto, as well sonal; those who do not, may one day be convinced. ker le information Mr G. conveys to the mind of the reader, as for the ability and research the respective works display.

1 Published to the Second Edition.

Tantæne animis cælestibus irae !

1

1

Since the publication of this thing, my name has not with him, treated me with kindness when a boy, and been concealed; I have been mostly in London, ready whatever he may say or do, « pour on, I will endure.» to answer for my transgressions, and in daily expecta- I have nothing further to add, save a general note of tion of sundry cartels; but, alas! « The age of chi-thanksgiving to readers, purchasers, and publisher; and, valry is over ;» or, in the vulgar tongue, there is no in the words of Scort, I wish spirit now-a-days.

• To all and each a fair good nicht, There is a youth yclept llewson Clarke (subaudi,

And rosy dreams and slumbers light.» Esq.), a sizer of Emanuel College, and I believe a denizen of Berwick upon Tweed, whom I have introduced in these pages to much better company than he has been the following Lines were written by Mr FırZGERALD, in accustomed to meet; he is, notwithstanding, a very sad

Copy of Englisu BARDS AND Scotch REVIEWERS:dog, and, for no reason that I can discover, except a

I find Lord Byron scorns my musepersonal quarrel with a bear, kept by me at Cambridge

Our fates are ill agreed ! io sit for a fellowship, and whom the jealousy of his His verse is safe—I can't abuse Trinity contemporaries prevented from success, has been

Those lines I never read. abusing me, and, what is worse, the defenceless innocent

W. F. F. above mentioned, in the Satirist, for one year and some months. I am utterly unconscious of having given him His Lordship accidentally met with the Copy, and any provocation; indeed I am guiltless of having hcard

subjoined the following pungent Reply:his name,

till it was coupled with the Satirist. He has, what's writ on me, cried Fiuz, I never read;therefore, no reason to complain, and I dare say that, what's wrote by thee, dear Fitz, vone will indeed. like Sir Fretful Plagiary, he is rather pleased than otherwise. I have now mentioned all who have done me the The case stands simply thus, then, honest Fil :honour to notice me and mine, that is, my bear and my or rather would be, if, for time to come,

Thou and thine enemies are fairly quits, book, except the editor of the Satirist, who, it seems, is a gentleman. God wot! I wish he could impart a little They luckily were deaf, or thou wert dumb, of his gentility to his subordinate scribblers. I hear But, to their pens, while scribblers add their tongues,

The waiter only can escape their lungs. that Mr JERNINGHAM is about to take

up the cudgels for his Mccenas, Lord Carlisle: I hope not; he was one

* Mr F1TZGERALD is in the habit of reciting his own poetry.- Ses of the few who, in the very short intercourse I had note to English Bards,

P.

26.

Childe Harold's Pilgrimage;

A ROMAUNT.

L'univers est une espèce de livre, dont on n'a lu que la première page, quand on n'a vu que son pays. J'en

ai feuilleté un assez grand nombre, que j'ai trouvées également mauvaises. Cet examen ne m'a point été
infructueux. Jo haissais ma patrie. Toutes les impertinences des peuples divers, parmi lesquels j'ai vécu,
m'ont réconcilié avec elle. Quand je n'aurais tiré d'autre bénéfice do mes voyages que celui-là, je n'en
rogrouterais ni les frais ni les fatigues.

LE COSMOPOLITE.

1

PREFACE.

Harold is the child of imagination, for the purpose have stated. In some very trivial particulars, and those

merely local, there might be grounds for such a potion; The following poem was written, for the most part, but in the main points, I should hope, none whatever. amidst the scenes which it attempts to describe. 11 It is almost superfluous to mention that the appellawas beguo in Albania ; and the parts relative to Spain | lion «Childe,» as « Childe Waters, « Childe Childers, and Portugal were composed from the author's obser- etc., is used as more consonant with the old structure of vations in those countries. Thus much it may be ne- versification which I have adopted. The « Good Night, » cessary to state for the correctness of the descriptions. in the beginning of the first canto, was suggested by The scenes attempted to be sketched are in Spain, « Lord Maxwell's Good Night,» in the Border Minstrelsy, Portugal, Epirus, Acarnania, and Greece. There edited by Mr Scott. for the present the poem stops : its reception will With the different poems which have been published determine whether the author may venture to conduct on Spanish subjects, there may be found some slight his readers to the capital of the East, through Ionia and coincidence in the first part, which treats of the peninPhrygia : these two cantos are merely experimental. sula, but it can only be casual; as, with the exception

A fictitious character is introduced for the sake of of a few concluding stanzas, the whole of this poem giving some connexion to the piece; which, however, was written in the Levant. makes no pretension to regularity. It has been suge The stanza of Spenser, according to one of our most gested to me by friends, on whose opinions I set a high successful poets, admits of every variety. Dr Beattie value, that in this fictitious character, «Childe Harold,» makes the following observation : «Not long ago I I may incur the suspicion of having intended some real began a poem in the style and stanza of Spenser, in personage: this I beg Icave, once for all, to disclaim, which I propose to give full scope to my inclination,

20d be either droll or pathetic, descriptive or senti- and express less, but he never was intended as an exmental, tender or satirical, as the humour strikes me; ample, further than to show that early perversion of for, if I mistake not, the measure which I have adopted, mind and morals leads to satiety of past pleasures and admits equally of all these kinds of composition. »'- disappointment in new ones, and that even the beanties Strengthened in my opinion by such authority, and by of nature, and the stimulus of travel (except ambition, the example of some in the highest order of Italian the most powerful of all excitements), are lost on a soul poets, I shall make no apology for attempts at similar so constituted, or rather misdirected. Had I proceeded variations in the following composition; satisfied that, with the poem, this character would have deepened as if they are unsuccessful, their failure must be in the he drew to the close, for the outline which I once esecution, rather than in the design sanctioned by the meant to fill up for him was, with some exceptions, practice of Ariosto, Thomson, and Beattie.

the sketch of a modern Timon, perhaps a poetical

Zeluco. ADDITION TO THE PREFACE. 1

I have now waited till almost all our periodical journals have distributed their usual portion of criticism.

TO JANTIE. | To the justice of the generality of their criticisms I Nor in those climes where I have late been straying,

have nothing to object; it would ill become me to Though beauty long hath there been matchless deem'd; quarrel with their very slight degree of censure, when

Not in those visions to the heart displaying perhaps, if they had been Jess kind they had been more Forms which it sighs but to have only dream'd, andid. Returning, therefore, to all and each my best Hath aught like thee, in truth or fancy seem'd: thanks for their liberality, on one point alone shall I Nor, having scen thee, shall I vainly seek ventare an observation. Amongst the many objections To paint those charms which varied as they beam'djustly urged to the very indifferent character of the To such as see thee not my words were weak; a ragrant Childe» (whom, notwithstanding many hints To those who gaze on thee what language could they to the contrary, I still maintain to be a fictitious per

speak? ! sonage), it lias been stated that, besides the anachron

Ah! in, te is very unknightly, as the times of the knights mayst thou ever be what now thou art, I were times of love, honour, and so forth. Now it so Nor unbeseem the promise of thy spring, bappeas that the good old times, when « l'amour du

As fair in form, as warm yet pure in heart, boo vieux temps, l'amour antique» flourished, were the

Love's image upon earth without his wing, I most profligate of all possible centuries. Those who

And guileless beyond hope's imagining! bare any doubts on this subject may consult St Palaye,

And surely she who now so fondly rears | pessime, and more particularly vol. ii, page 69. The

Thy youth, in thee, thus hourly brightening, vous of chivalry were no better kept than any other

Beholds the rainbow of her future years, 108 xhatsoever, and the songs of the Troubadours Before whose heavenly hues all sorrow disappears. were not more decent, and certainly were much less retined, than those of Ovid. - The «Cours d'amour, parle

Young Peri of the West !-'t is well for me mens d'amour, ou de courtoisie et de gentilesse,» had My years already doubly number thine ; much more of love than of courtesy or gentleness.-Sce

My loveless eye unmoved

may gaze on thee, Roland on the same subject with St Palaye.—Whatever

And safely view thy ripening beauties shine; other objection may be urged to that most unamiable

Happy, I ne'er shall see them in decline, personage, Childe Harold, he was so far perfectly knight

Hlappier, that while all younger hearts shall bleed, ly in his attributes—«No waiter, but a knight tem

Mine shall escape the doom thine eyes assign

To those whose admiration shall succeed, plar.n?-By the bye, I fear that Sir Tristram and Sir Lancelot were no better than they should be, although. But mix'd with pangs to love's even loveliest hours de

creed. very poetical personages and true knights « sans peur,» though not « sans reproche.»—If the story of the insti

Oh! let that eye, which, wild as the gazelle's, tution of the « Garter» be not a fable, the knights of

Now brightly bold or beautifully shy, that order have for several centuries borne the badge of

Wins as it wanders, dazzles where it dwells, a Countess of Salisbury, of indifferent memory. So

Glance o'er this page, nor to my verse deny much for chivalry. Burke need not have regretted

That smile for which my breast might vainly sigh, that its days are over, though Marie Antoinette was

Could I to thee be ever more than friend : quite as chaste as most of those in whose honours

This much, dear maid, accord ; nor question why lapces were shivered, and knights unhorsed.

To one so young, my strain I would commend, Before the days of Bayard, and down to those of Sir

But bid me with my wreath one matchless lily blend. Joseph Banks (the most chaste and celebrated of ancient and modern times), few exceptions will be found

Such is thy name with this my verse entwined; to this statement, and I fear a little investigation will

And long as kinder eyes a look shall cast teach us not to regret those monstrous mummeries of the middle ages.

On Harold's page, Ianthe's here enshrined

Shall thus be first beheld, forgotten last: I now leave «Childe Harold» to live bis day, such as

My days once number'd, should this homage past he is; it had been more agreeable, and certainly more

Attract thy fairy fingers near the lyre tasy, to have drawn an amiable character. It had been

Of him who hail'd thee, loveliest as thou wast, easy to varnish over his faults, to make him do more

Such is the most my memory may desire; Beattie's Letters.

Though more than hope can claim, could friendship • The Rovers. - Antijacobin.

less require ?

Lady Charlotte Harleq (hedern, ir.132).

CHILDE HAROLD'S

PILGRIMAGE.

A Romaunt.

CANTO I.

VI.
And now Childe Harold was sore sick at heart,
And from his fellow bacchanals would llee;
'T is said, at times the sullea tear would start,
But pride congeald the drop within his ee:
Apart be stalk'd in joyless reverie,
And from his native land resolv'd to go,
And visit scorching climes beyond the sea ;

With pleasure druggʻd he almost long'd for woe,
And e'en for change of scene would seek the shades
below.

VII.
The Childe departed from his father's hall:
It was a vast and venerable pile :
So olu, it seemed only not to fall,
Yet strength was pillar'd in cach massy aisle.
Monastic dome! condemnd 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.

I.
Ou, thou! in Hellas deem'd of heavenly birth,
Muse! form do fabled at the minstrel's will!
Since shamed full oft by later lyres on earth,
Mine dares not call thee from thy sacred bill:
Yet there I've wander'd by thy vaunted rill;
Yes! sigh'd o'er Delphi's long-deserted shrine,'
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.

II.
Whilome in Albion's isle there dwelt a youth,
Who ne in virtue's ways did take delight;
But speut his days in riot most uncouth,
And vex'd with mirth the drowsy ear of night.
Ab, me! in sooth be was a shameless wight,
Sore giveu to revel and ungodly iJee;
Few earthly things found favour in his sight

Save concubines and carnal companie,
And flaunting wassailers of high and low degree.

VIII.
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 lurk'd 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 his grief mote be, which he could not control.

III.
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 aye,
However mighty in the olden time;
Nor all that heralds rake from coffin'd clay,

Nor florid prose, nor bonicd lies of rhyme,
Can blazon evil deeds, or consecrate a crime.

JX.
And none did love him-though to hall and bower
lle gatber'd revellers from far and near,
He knew them tlatterers of the festal bour;
The heartless parasites of present cheer.
Yea, none did love him-not his lemaos dear-
Bul pomp and power alone are woman s care,
And where these are lighi Eros finds a feere;

Maidens, like moths, are ever caught by glare,
And Mammon wins his way where seraphs might despair.

any

IV.

X.
Childe Harold bask'd him in the noon-tide sun, Childe Harold had a mother-not forgot,
Disporting there like
other fly;

Though parting from that mother he did shun; Nor deem'd before his little day was done,

A sister whom lie loved, but saw her not One blast might chill him into misery.

Before his weary pilgrimage begun: But long ere scarce a third of his pass'd by,

If friends he had, he bade adieu 10 vone. Worse than adversity the Childe befel;

Yet deem not thence his breast a breast of steel; He felt the fulness of satiety:

Ye who have known what 't is to dote upon Then loathed he in his native land to dwell,

A few dear objects, will in sadness feel Which seem'd to him more lone than eremite's sad cell. Such partings break the heart they fondly hope to heal.

V.
For he through sia's long labyrinth had run,
Nor made atonement when he did amiss,
Had sigli'd to many, though he loved but one,
And that loved one, alas! could ne'er be bis.
Ah, happy she! to 'scape from him whose kiss
Had been pollution unto aught so chaste;
Who soon had left her charins for vulgar bliss,

And spoil'd her goodly lands to gild his waste,
Nor calm domestic peace had ever deigo'd to taste.

XI.
His house, his home, bis heritage, bis lands,
The laughing dames in whom lie aid 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 brimm'd 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 passearth's central line.

5. My father bless'd 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.

XII. 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 bis wish to roam Repeated 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.

XIII. But when the sun was sinking in the sea, He seized his barp, which he at times could string And strike, albeit with untaught melody, When deem'd 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 reçeded from his sight, Thins to the elements he pour'd his last «Good Night.»

6. «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.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »