Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/486

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442
[CANTO IV.
CHILDE HAROLD’S PILGRIMAGE.

I have beheld Sophia's bright roofs swell[1]
Their glittering mass i' the Sun, and have surveyed[2]
Its sanctuary the while the usurping Moslem prayed;[3]


CLIV.

But thou, of temples old, or altars new,
Standest alone—with nothing like to thee—
Worthiest of God, the Holy and the True!
Since Zion's desolation, when that He
Forsook his former city, what could be,
Of earthly structures, in His honour piled,
Of a sublimer aspect? Majesty—
Power—Glory—Strength—and Beauty all are aisled
In this eternal Ark of worship undefiled.


CLV.

Enter: its grandeur overwhelms thee not;
And why? it is not lessened—but thy mind,
Expanded by the Genius of the spot,
Has grown colossal, and can only find
A fit[4] abode wherein appear enshrined

Thy hopes of Immortality—and thou
  1. ——round roofs swell.—[MS. M., D.]
  2. Their glittering breastplate in the sun——.—[MS. M. erased.]
  3. [Compare Canto II. stanza lxxix. lines 2, 3—

    "Oh Stamboul! once the Empress of their reign,
    Though turbans now pollute Sophia's shrine."]

  4. [The emphasis is on the word "fit." The measure of "fitness" is the entirety of the enshrinement or embodiment of the mortal aspiration to put on immortality. The vastness