Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/252

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218
[CANTO III.
CHILDE HAROLD’S PILGRIMAGE.

Bears the cloud onwards: in that Tale I find
The furrows of long thought, and dried-up tears,
Which, ebbing, leave a sterile track behind,
O'er which all heavily the journeying years
Plod the last sands of life,—where not a flower appears.


IV.

Since my young days of passion—joy, or pain—
Perchance my heart and harp have lost a string—
And both may jar: it may be, that in vain
I would essay as I have sung to sing:[1]
Yet, though a dreary strain, to this I cling;
So that it wean me from the weary dream
Of selfish grief or gladness—so it fling
Forgetfulness around me—it shall seem
To me, though to none else, a not ungrateful theme.


V.

He, who grown agèd in this world of woe,
In deeds, not years,[2] piercing the depths of life,
So that no wonder waits him—nor below
Can Love or Sorrow, Fame, Ambition, Strife,
Cut to his heart again with the keen knife

Of silent, sharp endurance—he can tell
  1. I would essay of all I sang to sing.—[MS.]
  2. [Compare Manfred, act ii. sc. 1, lines 51, 52—

    "Think'st thou existence doth depend on time?
    It doth; but actions are our epoch."]