Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/372

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334
[CANTO IV.
CHILDE HAROLD’S PILGRIMAGE.

A country with—aye, or without mankind;
Yet was I born where men are proud to be,—
Not without cause; and should I leave behind[1]
The inviolate Island of the sage and free,
And seek me out a home by a remoter sea,[2]


IX.

Perhaps I loved it well; and should I lay
My ashes in a soil which is not mine,
My Spirit shall resume it—if we may[3]
Unbodied choose a sanctuary.[4] I twine
My hopes of being remembered in my line
With my land's language: if too fond and far
These aspirations in their scope incline,—
If my Fame should be, as my fortunes are,
Of hasty growth and blight, and dull Oblivion bar


  1. ——and though I leave behind.—[MS. M.]
  2. And make myself a home beside a softer sea.—[MS. erased.]
  3. ——to pine
    Albeit is not my nature, and I twine
    .—[MS. M. erased.]

  4. [In another mood he wrote to Murray (June 7, 1819), "I trust they won't think of 'pickling, and bringing me home to Clod or Blunderbuss Hall' [see The Rivals, act v. sc. 3]. I am sure my bones would not rest in an English grave, or my clay mix with the earth of that country." In this half-humorous outburst he deprecates, or pretends to deprecate, the fate which actually awaited his remains—burial in the family vault at Hucknall Torkard. There is, of course, no reference to a public funeral and a grave in Westminster Abbey. In the next stanza (x. line 1) he assumes the possibility of his being excluded from the Temple of Fame; but there is, perhaps, a tacit reference to burial in the Abbey. If the thought, as is probable, occurred to him, he veils it in a metaphor.]