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plar *). By the by, I fear that Sir Tristram and Sir Lancelot were no better than they should be, although very poetical personages and true knights “sans peur,» though 'not "sans reproche.» If the story of the institution of the “Garter, be not a fable, the knights of that order have for several centuries borne the badge of a Countess of Salisbury, of indifferent memory. So much for chivalry. Burke need not have regretted that its days are over, though Maria Antoinette was quite as chaste as most of those in whose honours lan. ces were shivered, and knights unhorsed.
Before the days of Bayard, and down to those of Sir Joseph Banks (the most chaste and celebrated of ancient an modern times), few exceptions will be found to this statenient, and I fear a little investigation will teach us not to regret these monstrous mummeries of the middle ages.
I now leave “Childe Harold» to live his day, sach as he is; it had been more agreeable, and certainly more easy, to have drawn an amiable character. It had been easy to varnish over his faults, to make him do more and express less, but he never was intended as an example, further than to show that early perversion of mind and morals leads to satiety of past pleasures and dissapointment in new ones, and that even the beauties of nature, and the stimulus of travel (except ambition, the most powerful of all excitements) are lost on a soul so constituted, or rather misdirected. Had I proceeded with the poem, this character would have deepened as he drew to the close; for the outline which I once meant to fill up for him was, with some exceptions, the sketch of a modern Timon, perhaps a poetical Zeluco.
*) The Rovers. Antijacobin.
TO IANT HE.
Not in those climes where I have late been
straying, Though Beauty long hath there been matchless
deem'd; Not in those visions to the heart displaying Forms which it sighs but to have only dream’d, Hate aught like thee in truth or fancy seem'd: Nor, having seen thee, shall I vainly seek To paint those charms which varied as they
beam'd 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 rears,
Young Peri of the West !- 'tis well for me
To those, whose admiration shall succeed,
Oh! let that eye, which wild as the Gazelle's,
To one so young my strain I would commend,
Such is thy name with this my verse entwined;
Such is the most my memory may desire; Though more than Hope can claim, could Friend
ship less require ?
On, thou! in Hellas deem'd of heavenly birth, Muse! form'd 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 l'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.
Whilome in Albion's isle there dwelt a youth,
Save concubines and carnal companie,
111. Childe Harold was he hight: – but whence his 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 honied lies of rhyme, an con evil deeds, or consecrate a crime.
IV. Childe Harold bask'd him in the noontide sun, Disporting there like any other fly; Nor deem'd before his little day was done One blast might chill him into misery. But long ere scarce a third of his pass'd by, Worse than adversity the Childe befell; He felt the fulness of satiety :
Then loathed he in his native land to dwell, Which seem'd to him more lone than Eremite's
For he through Sin's long labyrinth had run,
And spoild her goodly lands to gilt his waste, Nor calm domestic peace had ever deign’d to taste.
VI. 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 congeal'd the drop within his ee: Apart he stalk'd in joyless reverie, And from his native land resolved to go, And visit scorching climes beyond the sea;
With pleasure drugg'd he almost long'd for woe, And e'n
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 old, it seemed only not to fall, Yet strenght was pillard in each massy aisle. Monastic dome! condemn'd to uses vile! Where Superstition once had made her den Now Paphian girls were known to sing and smile;