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XXXIX. Childe Harold sail'd, and pass'd the barren spot, (12) Where sad Penelope o’erlook'd the wave; And onward view'd the mount, not yet forgot, The lover's refuge, and the Lesbian's grave. Dark Sappho! could not verse immortal save That breast imbued with such immortal fire ? Could she not live who life eternal gave?
If life eternal may await the lyre, That only Heaven to which Earth's children may aspire.
In themes of bloody fray, or gallant fight,
And, sunk albeit in thought as he was wont,
Birds, beasts of prey, and wilder men appear,
XLIII. Now Harold felt himself at length alone, And bade to Christian tongues a long adieu ; Now he adventured 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.
Idol, saint, virgin, prophet, crescent, cross,
Thou sacerdotal gain, but general loss !
XLV. Ambracia's gulf 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 (15) To doubtful conflict, certain slaughter bring : Look where the second Cæsar'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 lose?
Though classic ground and consecrated most,
Disdain his power, and from their rocky hold
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 volumed cataract doth roll Between those hanging rocks, that shock yet please the
Is welcome still ; nor heedless will he flee
Then let his length the loitering pilgrim lay,
LI. Dusky and huge, enlarging on the sight, Nature's volcanic amphitheatre, (22) Chimæra's alps extend from left to right: Beneath, a living valley seems to stir ; Flocks play, trees wave, streams flow, the mountain-fir Nodding above: behold black Acheron! (23) Once consecrated to the sepulchre.
Pluto! if this be hell I look upon, Close shamed Elysium's gates, my shade shall seek for none!
Doth lean his boyish form along the rock,
LIII. Oh! where, Dodona ! is thine aged grove, Prophetic fount, and oracle divine ? What valley echo'd the response of Jove ? What trace remaineth of the thunderer's shrine ? All, all forgotten-and shall man repine That his frail bonds to fleeting life are broke? Cease, fool! the fate of gods may well be thine: ,
Wouldst thou survive the marble or the oak? When nations, tongues, and worlds must sink beneath