Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/158

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124
[CANTO II.
CHILDE HAROLD’S PILGRIMAGE.

And he his namesake, whose oft-baffled foes
Shrunk from his deeds of chivalrous emprize:
Land of Albania! let me bend mine eyesN11
On thee, thou rugged Nurse of savage men!
The Cross descends, thy Minarets arise,
And the pale Crescent sparkles in the glen,
Through many a cypress-grove within each city's ken.


XXXIX.

Childe Harold sailed, and passed the barren spot,[1]

Where sad Penelope o'erlooked the wave;N12

    lies between Alexander the ideal of the young, and Alexander the deterrent example of the old. The phrase, "beacon of the wise," if Hector in Troilus and Cressida (act ii. sc. 2, line 16) is an authority, is proverbial.

    " ... The wound of peace is surety,
    Surety secure; but modest doubt is call'd
    The beacon of the wise, the tent that searches
    To the bottom of the worst."

    The beauty, the brilliance, the glory of Alexander kindle the enthusiasm of the young; but the murder of Clytus and the early death which he brought upon himself are held up by the wise as beacon-lights to save others from shipwreck.]

  1. [Byron and Hobhouse sailed for Malta in the brig-of-war Spider on Tuesday, September 19, 1809 (Byron, in a letter to his mother, November 12, says September 21), and anchored off Patras on the night of Sunday, the 24th. On Tuesday, the 26th, they were under way at 12 noon, and on the evening of that day they saw the sun set over Mesalonghi. The next morning, September 27, they were in the channel between Ithaca and the mainland, with Ithaca, then in the hands of the French, to the left. "We were close to it," says Hobhouse, "and saw a few shrubs on a brown heathy land, two little towns in the hills scattered among trees."

    The travellers made "but little progress this day," and, apparently, having redoubled Cape St. Andreas, the southern