Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/468

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426
[CANTO IV.
CHILDE HAROLD’S PILGRIMAGE.

Which never loses though it doth defer—
Time, the Avenger! unto thee I lift
My hands, and eyes, and heart, and crave of thee a gift:


CXXXI.

Amidst this wreck, where thou hast made a shrine
And temple more divinely desolate—
Among thy mightier offerings here are mine,
Ruins of years—though few, yet full of fate:—
If thou hast ever seen me too elate,
Hear me not; but if calmly I have borne
Good, and reserved my pride against the hate
Which shall not whelm me, let me not have worn
This iron in my soul in vain—shall they not mourn?


CXXXII.

And Thou, who never yet of human wrong

Left the unbalanced scale, great Nemesis![1]N28
  1. [The whole of this appeal to Nemesis (stanzas cxxx.-cxxxviii.) must be compared with the "Domestic Poems" of 1816, the Third Canto of Childe Harold (especially stanzas lxix.-lxxv., and cxi.-cxviii.), and with the "Invocation" in the first act of Manfred. It has been argued that Byron inserted these stanzas with the deliberate purpose of diverting sympathy from his wife to himself. The appeal, no doubt, is deliberate, and the plea is followed by an indictment, but the sincerity of the appeal is attested by its inconsistency. Unlike Orestes, who slew his mother to avenge his father, he will not so deal with the "moral Clytemnestra of her lord," requiting murder by murder, but is resolved to leave the balancing of the scale to the omnipotent Time-spirit who rights every wrong and will redress his injuries. But in making answer to his accusers