Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/493

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CANTO IV.]
449
CHILDE HAROLD’S PILGRIMAGE.

His wanderings done—his visions ebbing fast,
And he himself as nothing:—if he was
Aught but a phantasy, and could be classed
With forms which live and suffer—let that pass—
His shadow fades away into Destruction's mass,[1]


CLXV.

Which gathers shadow—substance—life, and all
That we inherit in its mortal shroud—
And spreads the dim and universal pall
Through which all things grow phantoms; and the cloud
Between us sinks and all which ever glowed,
Till Glory's self is twilight, and displays
A melancholy halo scarce allowed
To hover on the verge of darkness—rays
Sadder than saddest night, for they distract the gaze,


CLXVI.

And send us prying into the abyss,
To gather what we shall be when the frame
Shall be resolved to something less than this—
Its wretched essence; and to dream of fame,
And wipe the dust from off the idle name

We never more shall hear,—but never more,
  1. The phantom fades away into the general mass.—[MS. M. erased.]