Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/282

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Thy valley of sweet waters, were to know[1]
Earth paved like Heaven—and to seem such to me,[2]
Even now what wants thy stream?—that it should Lethe be.


A thousand battles have assailed thy banks,
But these and half their fame have passed away,
And Slaughter heaped on high his weltering ranks:
Their very graves are gone, and what are they?[3]
Thy tide washed down the blood of yesterday,
And all was stainless, and on thy clear stream
Glassed, with its dancing light, the sunny ray;[4]
But o'er the blacken'd memory's blighting dream
Thy waves would vainly roll, all sweeping as they seem.


Thus Harold inly said, and passed along,
Yet not insensible to all which here
Awoke the jocund birds to early song

In glens which might have made even exile dear:
  1. [Compare Moore's lines, The Meeting of the Waters

    "There is not in the wide world a valley so sweet
    As that vale in whose bosom the wide waters meet."]

  2. Earth's dreams of Heaven—and such to seem to me
    But one thing wants thy stream

  3. [Compare Lucan's Pharsalia, ix. 969, "Etiam periere ruinæ;" and the lines from Tasso's Gerusalemme Liberata, xv. 20, quoted in illustration of Canto II. stanza liii.]
  4. Glassed with its wonted light, the sunny ray;
    But o'er the mind's marred thoughts—though but a dream