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Yet to the beauteous form he was not blind,
Pleasure's pall'd victim! life-abhorring gloom
Still he beheld, nor mingled with the throng;
Pour'd forth this unpremeditated lay,
Nay, smile not at my sullen brow,
Alas ! I cannot smile again;
weep, and haply weep in vain.
And dost thou ask, what secret woe
I bear, corroding joy and youth?
A pang even thou must fail to soothe !
It is not love, it is not hate,
Nor low ambition's honours lost,
And fly from all I prized the most ;
From all I meet, or hear, or see;
Thine eyes have scarce a charm for me.
The fabled Hebrew wanderer bore;
where'er I be,
And taste of all that I forsake ;
And ne'er, at least like me, awake!
With many a retrospection curst ;
Whate'er betides, I've known the worst.
In pity from the search forbear:
Man's heart, and view the hell that's there.
Adieu, fair Cadiz! yea, a long adieu!
Here all were noble, save nobility;
Such be the sons of Spain, and, strange her fate!
Back to the struggle, baffled in the strife,
war even to the knife !” 18
Ye who would more of Spain and Spaniards know,
he guard the sister and the wife,
he make each curst oppressor bleed, So may
such foes deserve the most remorseless deed!
Flows there a tear of pity for the dead ?
Long mark the battle-field with hideous awe:
Nor yet, alas! the dreadful work is done,
the distant end foresees.
ito's sons sustain'd, While o'er the parent clime prowls murder unrestrain'd.
Not all the blood at Talavera shed,
Ere the Frank robber turn him from his spoil,
And thou, my friend !59—since unavailing woe
While glory crowns so many a meaner crest !
Oh, known the earliest, and esteem'd the most !
Till my frail frame return to whence it rose,
Here is one fytte of Harold's pilgrimage :
shall hear what he beheld In other lands, where he was doom'd to go :
Lands that contain the monuments of Eld, Ere Greece and Grecian arts by barbarous hands were quell’d.
NOTES TO CANTO I.
Note 1. Stanza i.
Yes! sigh'd o'er Delphi's long-deserted shrhe. The little village of Castri stands partly on the site of Delphi. Along the path of the mountain, from Chrisso, are the remains of sepulchres hewn in and from the rock: “One," said the guide, “ of a king who broke his neck hunting." His Majesty had certainly chosen the fittest spot for such an achievement.
A little above Castri is a cave, supposed the Pythian, of immense depth ; the upper part of it is paved, and now a cow-house.
On the other side of Castri stands a Greek monastery ; some way above which is the cleft in the rock, with a range of caverns difficult of ascent, and apparently leading to the interior of the mountain: probably to the Corycian Cavern mentioned by Pausanias. From this part descend the fountain and the Dews of Castalie.”
Note 2. Stanza xx.
And rest ye at“ our Lady's house of woe." The convent of " Our Lady of Panishment,” Nossa Señora de Pena,* on the summit of the rock. Below, at some distance, is the Cork Convent, where St.
Honorius dug his den, over which is his epitaph. From the hills, the sea adds to • the beauty of the view.
Note 3. Stanza xxi.
Throughout this purple land, where law secures not life. It is a well-known fact, that in the year 1809, the assassinations in the streets of Lisbon and its vicinity were not confined by the Portuguese to their countrymen, but that Englishmen were daily butchered: and, so far from redress being obtained, we were requested not to interfere if we perceived any compatriot defending himself against his allies. I was once stopped in the way to the theatre at eight o'clock in the evening, when the streets were not more empty than they generally are at that hour, opposite to an open shop, and in a carriage with a friend; had we not fortunately been armed, I have not the least doubt that we should have adorned a tale, instead of telling one. The crime of assassination is not confined to Portugal : in Sicily and Malta we are knocked on the head at a handsome average nightly, and not a Sicilian or Maltese is ever punished !
Note 4. Stanza xxiv.
Behold the hall where chiefs were late convened ! The convention of Cintra was signed in the palace of the Marchese Marialva. The late exploits of Lord Wellington have effaced the follies of Cintra. He has, indeed, dune wonders : he has perhaps changed the character of a nation, reconciled rival superstitions, and bafiled an enemy who never retreated before his predecessors.
* Since the publication of this poem, I have been informed of the misapprehension of the term Nossa Senora de Pena. It was owing to the want of the tilde, or mark over the n, which alters the signification of the word : with it, Pena signifies a rock; without it, Pena has the sense I adopted. “I do not think it necessary to alter the passage, as, though the common acceptation affixed to it is “our Lady of the Rock," I may well assume the other sense, from the severities practised there.