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'Twas on a Grecian autumn's gentle eve
Childe Harold hail'd Leucadia's cape afar;
A spot he long'd to see, nor cared to leave:
Oft did he mark the scenes of vanish'd war,
Actium, Lepanto, fatal Trafalgar ;*3
Mark them unmov’d, for he would not delight
(Born beneath some remote inglorious star)
In themes of bloody fray, or gallant fight,
But loath'd the bravo's trade, and laugh'd at martial wight.
But when he saw the evening star above
Leucadia's far-projecting rock of woe,
And haild the last resort of fruitless love, "
He felt, or deem'd he felt, no common glow:
And as the stately vessel glided slow to
Beneath the shadow of that ancient mounty .
He watch'd the billows' melancholy flow, i
And, sunk albeit ip thought as he was wont,
More placid seem'd his eye, and smooth his pallid front."
Morn dawns; and with it stern Albania's hills,
Dark Sulis' rocks, and Pindus' inland peak,
Rob’d half in mist, bedew'd with snowy rills,
Array'd in many a dun and purple streak,
Arise; and, as the clouds along them break,
Disclose the dwelling of the mountaineer:
Here roams the wolf, the eagle whets his beak,
Birds, beasts of prey, and wilder men appear,.. And gathering storms around convulse the closing year.
XLIII. Now Harold felt himself at length alone, And bade to Christian tongues a long adieu ; Now he adventur'd on a shore unknown, Which all admire, but many dread to view : His breast was arm'd 'gainst fate, his wants were few; Peril he sought not, but ne'er shrank to meet, The scene was savage, but the scene was new;
This made the ceaseless toil of travel sweet, Beat back keen winter's blast, and welcom'd summer's heat.
Here the red cross, for still the cross is here,
Though sadly scoff’d at by the circumcis'd,
Forgets that pride to pamper'd Priesthood dear;
Churchman and votary alike despis’d.
Foul Superstition ! howsoe'er disguis’d,
Idol, saint, virgin, prophet, crescent, cross,
For whatsoever symbol thou art priz’d,
Thou sacerdotal gain, but general loss!
Who from true worship's gold can separate thy dross ?
Ambracia's gulph behold, where once was lost
A world for woman, lovely, harmless thing!
In yonder rippling bay, their naval host
Did many a Roman chief and Asian king's is
To doubtful conflict, certain slaughter bring:
Look where the second Çæsar's trophies rose ! 16
Now, like the hands that rear’d them, withering :
Imperial Anarchs, doubling human woes!
GOD! was thy globe ordain'd for such to win and lasę?.
From the dark barriers of that rugged clime,
Ev'n to the centre of Illyria's vales,
Childe Harold pass'd o'er many a mount sublime,
Through lands scarce notic'd in historic tales; .
Yet in fam’d Attica such lovely dales
Are rarely seen; nor can fair Tempe boast
A charm they know not; lov'd Parnassus fails,
Though classic ground and consecrated most,
To match some spots that lurk within this lowering coast.
He pass'd bleak Pindus, Acherusia's lake, 17
And left the primal city of the land,
And onwards did his further journey take
To greet Albania's chief, 18 whose dread command
Is lawless law; for with a bloody hand. .
He sways a nation, turbulent and bold : , ;
Yet here and there some daring mountain-band
Disdain his power, and from their rocky hold
Hurl their defiance far, nor yield, unless to gold.?
XLVIII. Monastic Zitza! 20 from thy shady brow, Thou small, but favour'd spot of holy ground ! Where'er we gaze, around, above, below, What rainbow tints, what magic charms are found! Rock, river, forest, mountain, all abound, And bluest skies that harmonize the whole: Beneath, the distant torrent's rushing sound
Tells where the volum'd cataract doth roll Between those hanging rocks, that shock yet please the soul.
Amidst the grove that crowns yon tufted hill,
Which, were it not for many a mountain nigh
Rising in lofty ranks, and loftier still,
Might well itself be deem'd of dignity,
The convent's white walls glisten fair on high: -
Here dwells the caloyer, nor rude is he,
Nor niggard of his cheer; the passer by
Is welcome still; nor heedless will he flee
From hence, if he delight kind Nature's sheen to see.