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CHILDE HAROLD'S

PILGRIMAGE.

A ROMAUNT.

L'univers est une espèce de livre dont on n'a la que la première page ,

quand on n'a vu que son pays. J'en ai feuilleté un assez grand nombre, que j'ai trouvé également mauvaises. Cet examen ne m'a point été infructueux. Je haïssais 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 de mes voyages que celui-là, je n'en regretterais ni les frais , ni les fatigues.

LE COSMOPOLITE,

CHILDE HAROLD'S

PILGRIMAGE.
A ROMAUNT.

CANTO 1.

I

On, thou ! in Hellas deemed of heav'nly birth,
Muse! formed 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 I've wandered by thy vaunted rill;
Yes! sighed 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.
Whilom in Albion's isle there dwelt a youth,
Who nee'r in virtue's ways did take delight;
But spent his days in riot most uncouth,
And vexed with mirth the drowsy ear of night.
Ah, me! in sooth he was a shameless wight,
Sore given to revel and ungodly glee;
Few earthly things found favour in his sight

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

III.
Childe Harold was he hight:--but whence his namo
And lineage long, it suits me not to say;
Suffice it, that perchance they were of fame,
Aud 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 coffined clay:

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

IV.
Childe Harold basked him in the noon-tide sun,
Disporting there like any other fly;
Nor deemed 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 seemed to him more lone than Eremite's sad cell,

For he through Sin's long labyrinth had run,
Nor made atonement when he did amiss,
Had sighed to many though he loved but one,
And that loved one, alas ! could ne'er be his.

Ah, happy she ! to 'scape from him whose kiss
Had been pollution' unto aught so chasse ;
Who soon had left her charms for vulgar bliss,

And spoiled her goodly lands to gild his waste,
Nor calm domestic peace had ever deigned 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 congealed the drop within his ee:
Apart he stalked in joyless reverie,
And from his native land resolved to go,
And visit scorching climes beyond the sea ;

With pleasure drugged he almost longed 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 old, it seemed only not to fall,
Yet strength was pillared in each massy aisle,
Monastic dome ! condemned 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.

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