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Shall be resolved to something less than this
Its wretched essence; and to dream of fame,
And wipe the dust from off the idle name

1490
We nevermore shall hear,—but nevermore,
Oh, happier thought! can we be made the same:

It is enough, in sooth, that once we bore These fardels 1 of the heart—the heart whose sweat was gore.

CLXVII.2

Hark! forth from the abyss a voice proceeds,

1495
A long low distant murmur of dread sound,
Such as arises when a nation bleeds
With some deep and immedicable wound;
Through storm and darkness yawns the rending ground,
The gulf is thick with phantoms, but the chief 1500
Seems royal still, though with her head discrowned,

And pale, but lovely, with maternal grief
She clasps a babe, to whom her breast yields no relief.

CLXVIII.

1505

Scion of chiefs and monarchs, where art thou?
Fond hope of many nations, art thou dead?
Could not the grave forget thee, and lay low
Some less majestic, less beloved head?
In the sad midnight, while thy heart still bled,
The mother of a moment, o'er thy boy,

1 Troubles. “Who would fardels bear,” etc. (Hamlet, iii. i.).

2 From the thought of death the poet passes to the death of the Princess Charlotte, which happened when he was at Venice. No other event during the present century has caused so great a shock to public feeling in England; and Byron himself, as we learn from his letters, was deeply moved by it. She was the only daughter of George IV., who at that time was prince regent, and consequently she was heiress presumptive to the British crown" (TOZER).

1510

Death hushed that

pang

forever: with thee fled The present happiness and promised joy Which filled the imperial isles so full it seemed to cloy.

CLXIX.

1515

Peasants bring forth in safety.-Can it be,
O thou that wert so happy, so adored!
Those who weep not for kings shall weep for thee,
And Freedom's heart, grown heavy, cease to hoard
Her many griefs for ONE; for she had poured
Her orisons for thee, and o'er thy head
Beheld her Iris. 1— Thou, too, lonely lord,

And desolate consort—vainly wert thou wed!
The husband of a year! the father of the dead!

1520

CLXX.

Of sackcloth was thy wedding garment made;
Thy bridal's fruit is ashes: in the dust
The fair-haired Daughter of the Isles is laid,
The love of millions! How we did intrust

1525
Futurity to her! and, though it must
Darken above our bones, yet fondly deemed
Our children should obey her child, and blessed
Her and her hoped-for seed, whose promise seemed

1529 Like stars to shepherds’ eyes :—'twas but a meteor beamed.

CLXXI.

Woe unto us, not her; for she sleeps well:
The fickle reek of popular breath, the tongue
Of hollow counsel, the false oracle,
Which from the birth of monarchy hath rung

1 The rainbow, emblem of hope.

1535

Its knell in princely ears, till the oʻerstrung
Nations have armed in madness, the strange fate
Which tumbles mightiest sovereigns, and hath flung

Against their blind omnipotence a weight
Within the opposing scale, which crushes soon or late,-

CLXXII.

These might have been her destiny; but no,

1540
Our hearts deny it: and so young, so fair,
Good without effort, great without a foe;
But now a bride and mother-and now there!
How many ties did that stern moment tear!
From thy sire's to his humblest subject's breast 1545
Is linked the electric chain of that despair,

Whose shock was as an earthquake's, and oppressed
The land which loved thee so that none could love thee best.

CLXXIII.

1550

Lo, Nemi!1 naveled in the woody hills
So far, that the uprooting wind which tears
The oak from his foundation, and which spills
The ocean o'er its boundary, and bears
Its form against the skies, reluctant spares
The oval mirror of thy glassy lake;
And calm as cherished hate, its surface wears

A deep cold settled aspect naught can shake,
All coiled into itself and round, as sleeps the snake.

1555

CLXXIV.

And near, Albano's 2 scarce divided waves

Shine from a sister valley ;-and afar 1 “ The village of Nemi was near the Arician retreat of Egeria, and from the shades which embosomed the temple of Diana, has preserved to this day its distinctive appellation of The Grove. Nemi is but an evening's ride from the comfortable inn of Albano(BYRON). 2 A lake in the Alban Hill.

1560

The Tiber winds, and the broad ocean laves
The Latian coast where sprung the Epic war,
"Arms and the man," whose reascending star
Rose o'er an empire:—but beneath thy right
Tully reposed from Rome ;-and where yon bar

Of girdling mountains intercepts the sight
The Sabine farm was tilled, the weary bard's delight.

1565

CLXXV.

But I forget.-My Pilgrim's shrine is won,
And he and I must part,-so let it be,-
His task and mine alike are nearly done;
Yet once more let us look

upon

the
sea;

1570
The midland ocean 1 breaks on him and me,
And from the Alban Mount we now behold
Our friend of youth, that Ocean, which when we

Beheld it last by Calpe's rock 2 unfold Those waves, we followed on till the dark Euxine rolled 1575

CLXXVI.

Upon the blue Symplegades :3 long years -
Long, though not very many--since have done
Their work on both; some suffering and some tears
Have left us nearly where we had begun :
Yet not in vain our mortal race hath run;
We have had our reward, and it is here, -
That we can yet feel gladdened by the sun,

And reap from earth, sea, joy almost as dear
As if there were no man to trouble what is clear.

1580

CLXXVII.

Oh! that the Desert were my dwelling place, 1585

With one fair Spirit for my minister, 1 The Mediterranean.

2 Gibraltar. 3 Two small islands at the entrance of the Black Sea from the Bosporus

That I might all forget the human race,
And hating no one, love but only her!
Ye Elements!-in whose ennobling stir
I feel myself exalted—can ye not
Accord me such a being? Do I err

In deeming such inhabit many a spot?
Though with them to converse can rarely be our lot.

1590

CLXXVIII.1

1595

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,

To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal.

1600

CLXXIX.

1605

Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean-roll!
Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain;
Man marks the earth with ruin-his control
Stops with the shore; upon the watery plain
The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain
A shadow of man's ravage, save his own,
When, for a moment, like a drop of rain,

He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan,
Without a grave, unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown.

1610

CLXXX.

His steps are not upon thy paths,—thy fields

Are not a spoil for him,—thou dost arise 1 “ Stanzas CLXXVIII.-CLXXXIV. form a splendid passage that has long been classical ” (KEENE).

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