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CHILDE HAROLD'S

PILGRIMAGE.

A ROMAUNT.

CANTO II.

Come, blue-eyed maid of heaven !--but thou , alas ! Didist never yet one mortał song inspirem.'.. Goddess of Wisdom ! here thy temple was, And is, despite of war and wasting fire, , And years, that bade thy worship to expire: But worse than steel , and flame, and ages slow, Is the dread sceptre and dominion dire Of men who never felt the sacred glow That thouglıts of ihee and thine, on polished breasts bestow. 2

II.

Ancient of days ! august Athena ! where, :
Where are thy men of might? thy grand in soul?
Gone-glimmering through the dream of things that were:
First in the race that led to Glory's goal,

They won, and passed away—is this the whole ?
A school-boy's tale, the wonder of an hour !
The warrior's weapon and the sophist's stole

Are sought in vain, and o'er each mouldering lower,
Dim with the mist of years , grey flits the shade of power.

III.
Son of the morning, rise ! approach you here!
Come--but molest not yon defenceless urn:
Look on this spota nation's sepulchre !
Abode of gods, whose shrines no longer burn.
Even gods must yield-religions take their turn:
'Twas Jove'g'tis Mahomet's--and other creeds
Will rise with other years, till man shall learn

Vainly his incense soars, his victim bleeds ;
Poor child of Doubt and Death, whose hope is built on reeds.

Iv.
Bound to the earth , he lifts his eye to heaven
Is't not enough, unhappy thing to know
Thou art? Is this a boon so kindly given,
That being, thou wouldst be again, and go,
Thou know'st not, reck'st not to what region, so
On earth no more, but mingled with the skies?
Still wilt thou dream on future joy and woe?
Regard and weigh yon dust before it flies:
That little urn saith more, than thous and homilies.

V.
· Or burst the vanished Hero's lofty mound;

Far on the solitary shore he sleeps: 3 :
He fell, and falling nations mourned around;
But now not one of saddening thousands weeps,
Nor warlike-worshipper his vigil keeps
Where demi-gods appeared, as records tell.
Remove yon skull from out the scattered heaps :

Is that a temple where a God may dwell?
Why ev’n the worm at last, disdains her shattered cell!

VI. . .
Look on its broken arch, its ruined wall,
Its chambers desolate, and portals foul:
Yes, this was once Ambition's airy hall,
The dome of Thought, the palace of the Soul:
Behold through each lack-lustre, eyeless hole,
The gay recess of Wisdom and of Wit
And Passion's host, that never brooked control:

Can all, saint, sage, or sophist ever writ,
People this lonely tower, this tenement refit?

VII. Well didst thou speak, Athena's wisest son ! « All that we know is, nothing can be known. # Why should we shrink from what we cannot shun? Each has his pang, but feeble sufferers groap

With brain-born dreams of evil all their own,
Pursue what Chance or Fate proclaimth best; i ..
Peace waits us on the shores of Acheron:

There no forced banquet claims the sated guest,
But Silence spreads the couch, of ever welcome rest,

VIII..
Yet if, as holiest men have deemed, there be
A land of souls beyond that sable shore,
To shame the doctrine of the Sadducee
And sophists, madly vain of dubious lore; ..
How sweet it were in concert to adore
With those who made our mortal labours light!
To hear each voice we leared to hear no more !

Behold each mighty shade revealed to sight, .
The Bactrian, Samjan sage, and all who taught the right

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There, thou !-whose love and life together fed,
Have left me here to love and live in vain- ...
Twined with my heart, and can I deem thee dead,
When busy Memory flashes on my brain ? .
Well—I will dream that we may meet again,
And woo the vision to my vgcant breast :
If aught of young remembrance then remain,

Be as it may futurity's behest, .'
For mo'twere bliss enough to know thy spirit blest !

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