Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/278

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
242
[CANTO III.
CHILDE HAROLD’S PILGRIMAGE.

XLII.

But Quiet to quick bosoms is a Hell,
And there hath been thy bane; there is a fire
And motion of the Soul which will not dwell
In its own narrow being, but aspire
Beyond the fitting medium of desire;
And, but once kindled, quenchless evermore,
Preys upon high adventure, nor can tire[1]
Of aught but rest; a fever at the core,
Fatal to him who bears, to all who ever bore.


XLIII.

This makes the madmen who have made men mad
By their contagion; Conquerors and Kings,
Founders of sects and systems, to whom add
Sophists, Bards, Statesmen, all unquiet things
Which stir too strongly the soul's secret springs,[2]
And are themselves the fools to those they fool;
Envied, yet how unenviable! what stings
Are theirs! One breast laid open were a school[3]
Which would unteach Mankind the lust to shine or rule:


XLIV.

Their breath is agitation, and their life

A storm whereon they ride, to sink at last,
  1. Feeds on itself and all things——.—[MS.]
  2. Which stir too deeply——.—[MS.]
    Which stir the blood too boiling in its springs.—[MS. erased.]
  3. [Compare Tacitus, Ann., vi. 6, "Si recludantur tyrannorum mentes."]