Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/469

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
CANTO IV.]
427
CHILDE HAROLD’S PILGRIMAGE.

Here, where the ancient paid thee homage long—
Thou, who didst call the Furies from the abyss,
And round Orestes bade them howl and hiss
For that unnatural retribution—just,
Had it but been from hands less near—in this
Thy former realm, I call thee from the dust!
Dost thou not hear my heart?—Awake! thou shalt, and must.


CXXXIII.

It is not that I may not have incurred,
For my ancestral faults or mine, the wound[1]
I bleed withal; and, had it been conferred
With a just weapon, it had flowed unbound;
But now my blood shall not sink in the ground—
To thee I do devote it—Thou shalt take
The vengeance, which shall yet be sought and found—
Which if I have not taken for the sake——
But let that pass—I sleep—but Thou shalt yet awake.


    he outruns Nemesis, and himself enacts the part of a "moral" Orestes. It was true that his hopes were "sapped" and "his name blighted," and it was natural, if not heroic, first to persuade himself that his suffering exceeded his fault, that he was more sinned against than sinning, and, so persuaded, to take care that he should not suffer alone. The general purport of plea and indictment is plain enough, but the exact interpretation of his phrases, the appropriation of his dark sayings, belong rather to the biography of the poet than to a commentary on his poems. (For Lady Byron's comment on the "allusions" to herself in Childe Harold, vide ante, p. 288, note 1.)]

  1. Or for my fathers' faults——.—[MS. M.]