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Childe Harold's Pilgrimage.
I. IS thy face like thy mother's, my fair child ! Ada! sole daughter of my house and heart? When last I saw thy young blue eyes they smiled, And then we parted,—not as now we part, But with a hope.
Awaking with a start, The waters heave around me; and on high The winds lift up their voices : I depart,
Whither I know not; but the hour's gone by, When Albion's lessening shores could grieve or glad
II. Once more upon the waters ! yet once more! And the waves bound beneath me as a steed That knows his rider. Welcome, to their roar! Swift be their guidance, wheresoe'er it lead! Though the strain'd mast should quiver as a reed, And the rent canvas fluttering strew the gale, Still must I on; for I am as a weed,
Flung from the rock, on Ocean's foam, to sail Where'er the surge may sweep, the tempest's breath
HII. In my youth's summer I did sing of One, The wandering outlaw of his own dark mind; Again I seize the theme then but begun, And bear it with me, as the rushing wind Bears the cloud onwards : in that Tale I find The furrows of long thought, and dricd-up tears, Which, ebbing, leave a steril track behind,
O'er which all heavily the journeying years Plod the last sands of life, where not a flower appears,
Since my young days of passion-joy, or pain,
my heart and harp have lost a string,
dream Of selfish grief or gladness—so it fling
Forgetfulness around me-it shall seem To me, though to none else, a not ungrateful theme.
V. He, who grown aged in this world of woe, In deeds, not years, piercing the depths of life, So that no wonder waits him; nor below Can love, or sorrow, fame, ambition, strife, Cut to his heart again with the keen knife Of silent, sharp endurance : he can tell Why thought seeks refuge in lone caves, yet rife
With airy images, and shapes which dwell Still unimpair'd, though old, in the soul's haunted cell. VL Tis to create, and in creating live A being more intense, that we endow With form our fancy, gaining as we give The life we image, even as I do now. What am I? Nothing: bat not so art thou, Soul of my thought! with whom I traverse earth, Invisible but gazing, as I glow
Mix'd with thy spirit, blended with thy birth, And feeling still with thee in my crush'd feelings' dearth.
VII. Yet must I think less wildly I have thought Too long and darkly, till my brain became, In its own eddy boiling and o'erwrought, A whirling gulf of phantasy and flame: And thus, untaught in youth my heart to tame, My springs of life were poison'd. Tis too late! Yet am I changed; though still enough the same
In strength to bear what time can not abate, And feed on bitter fruits without accusing Fate.
VIII. Something too much of this :—but now 'tis past, And the spell closes with its silent seal. Long absent Harold re-appears at last ; He of the breast which fain no more would feel, Wrung with the wounds which kill not, but ne'er heal; Yet Time, who changes all, had alter'd him In soul and aspect as in age: years steal
Fire from the mind as vigour from the limb; And life's enchanted cup but sparkles near the brim.
His had been quaff’d too quickly, and he found
Which pined although it spoke not, and grew keen, Entering with every step, he took through many a scene.